A crew of former athletes and passionate locals with a love for the outdoors wait beneath the bright-red awnings at each Bike & Kayak Tours location to guide multiple expeditions through the natural sights around San Diego. The 7 Caves and Ecological Reserve kayak tour sends paddlers on an expedition to a 75-million-year-old sandstone cliff with seven sculpted sea caverns that resound echoes in seven-part harmony. In the spring, snorkeling trips follow the seasonal migration of leopard sharks as students paddle in the shallow waters of the sandy flats with harmless predators.
At La Jolla Shores, the ocean bottom slopes gently out to sea and the waves roll gently toward the beach, where seals can be found sleeping in the sun. This unique ecology makes the area an ideal entryway into the ocean, which the native La Jollan owners of La Jolla Kayak take full advantage of, leading kayaking excursions past the steep cliffs and through the secluded sea caves where humans first learned to douse fire. Alternatively, snorkel tours allow explorers to dive into the 6,000-acre Underwater Park to spy the leopard shark, garibaldi, and dolphins swimming underfoot. To facilitate journeys, La Jolla Kayak transports visitors' kayaks to the beach straight from its outfitting shop, which also houses complimentary lockers and rents out wetsuits to keep love-struck sea lions from slipping notes into divers' pockets.
Within Revolution Bike Shop’s warehouse storefront, expert mechanics true wheels and build bikes on the shop's floor in full view of customers, thus hinting at their mission to form an accessible and egalitarian community of bikers. In addition to showcasing their labors, mechanics collaborate with customers to design and build their dream bikes, and the staff sponsors a bike team and organizes weekend rides. They also help budding cyclists navigate the vast inventory of apparel and accessories and hone in on the ideal bike for leisurely weekend rides or high-speed ice-cream-truck chases.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, Inc., he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.
The staffers at Cruiser King help pedalers to stay on the road with an impressive supply of bikes for sale or rent, handy cycling gear, and comprehensive maintenance services. At Cruiser King’s two locations, employees oversee a steady supply of the latest bikes from Hampton Cruisers and Fuji, doling them into the waiting hands of new owners or riders borrowing them for excursions, which can range from one hour to one week to cross-Atlantic cruises. Though the shop is known for its top-shelf beach cruisers, it also rents out mountain bikes, inline skates, and surfboards.
Cypress trees sway in the breeze, lush tropical vegetation soaks up the sunshine, and white sandy beaches glisten nearby as Buena Vista Watersports' rental jet skis, paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, and pontoons tote adventurers across the spring-fed waters of Lake Bryan alongside waterskiers and wakeboarders. The Key West–style resort, located just east of Disney World, allows families and friends to glimpse local wildlife as they skim scenic shorelines and chase picturesque settings at an aquatic reservoir as vast and secluded as Bigfoot's bathtub. The resort's alighted tiki torches and palm trees that border its tiki bar and pavilion attract groups for company picnics or private events such as weddings and parties, during which revelers can partake in watersports, dance to reggae, or watch a fire-dancing show.