As a 12-season veteran of the United States Cycling Federation who also holds a master’s degree in philosophy, Bicycle South Windsor LLC owner Peter Di Pietro takes a thoughtful approach to cycling. Discerning in the curation of gear, Di Pietro pilots a shop that carries new, used, and rental bicycles by brands such as Masi, Haro, Schwinn, and GT. He also oversees and performs same-day repairs and tune-ups that carry a service guarantee for a full calendar year—a generous timeframe that allows riders to cruise confidently over the course of the spring, summer, fall, winter, and bike-jousting season.
For more than 50 years, the Wolfs have run Bloomfield Bicycle & Repair Shop, outfitting cyclists with the bikes best suited to their customers’ needs such as Schwinn mountain and Jamis street bikes. They can even pair up couples with tandem bikes and the pedal-weary with electric bikes. Besides slipping cyclists into bike shoes, gloves, and vests, they also mend and maintain all kinds of bikes, from traditional two-wheelers to electric bikes and scooters.
Greenwood Trails Camp’s owner and director Owen Langbart firmly believes that all kids—especially today’s generation of cell-phone addicts and video gamers—need the quintessential camp experience. With more than 100 wooded acres at the foothills of the Berkshires and a staff of friendly counselors that specializes in orienting first-time campers, his one-, two-, four-, and six-week camps aim to do just that. Winding paths and hiking trails lead young guests aged 7–16 to the many amenities that cover the grounds, including a larger-than-Olympic-size swimming pool, an indoor climbing wall, a water trampoline, a batting cage, and a pottery studio. These same paths lead to the cozy cabins that house up to 12 campers and two counselors with all of the comforts of home: electricity, bathrooms, showers with hot and cold running water, and an old man in a recliner who won’t let go of the remote even if he falls asleep.
Regardless of age, Greenwood Trails lets campers choose the activities in which they’d like to take part in daily, such as pottery, photography, or outdoor cooking. Participants also engage in cabin activities that encourage bonding among bunkmates, such as swimming together in the lake or joining in an untieable human knot.
The expert caretakers at Barney's Bicycle refurbish bedraggled bikes with a comprehensive, tires-to-handlebars tune-up. With the surgical precision of Doogie Howser, friendly staffers recalibrate wheels to cure listing bikes, adjust brakes and derailleurs, check the bearings, and test out tire pressure. Up-tuners also perform holistic restorations including bicycle tightening and adjustment, general lubrication, and cleansing frames of common contaminants such as gravel dust, mud, and earthworm stowaways. Groupon–holding cyclists can also receive a 10% discount on all over-the-counter two-wheeler essentials, such as gimmick horns and handlebar-mounted convection ovens.
Andy’s Sport Shop draws upon four generations of expertise in peddling and maintaining gear for skiers, snowboarders, and scuba divers. During the winter seasons, the staff buffs and waxes snowboards and skis, reducing friction that can melt the snow surface and limit traction while careening downhill. The shop also stocks aqua-ready gear, including scuba fins and weight belts, which provide a useful dive-descent alternative to cement shoes. Outfitted explorers can enroll in a vast offering of scuba courses to pursue sundry certifications ranging from open-water diving to wreck diving to ice diving.
Founded in 1905 by the store's eponymous "CK"—Charles Klarsfeld—the shop has seen many bikes roll through its doors over ten-and-a-half decades. Today, the current owners continue to scuff up the floor with the tire tracks with the latest and greatest velocipedes, stocking more than 500 bicycles from brands such as Schwinn, Raleigh, and Trek in its subterranean storeroom. In the upstairs show room, cycles from everyday commuters to specialty BMX and mountain bikes flaunt their shiny frames amid cycling apparel from brands such as Garneau and Massimo. Meanwhile, trained techs in CK Cycles' onsite service shop perform a range of services, from doing yearly tune-ups to rectifying the faulty, albeit supercharged modifications made by sitcom tool-show hosts.