A place to buy your next two-wheeled transport or to get your existing one repaired, Fairmount Bicycles’ new and refurbished stock leans heavily toward commuter bikes that are perfect for Philly’s increasingly cyclist-friendly streets. Yet there’s still plenty of room in the store’s small space to fit several kinds of long-distance touring bicycles, road bikes and kids’ models as well. The young, hip, knowledgeable staff members are happy to engage customers in extended conversations and offer suggestions about accessories, from seats, locks and reflectors to sturdy cyclist’s messenger bags. The shop even rents bikes by the hour or the day, including a Surly Big Dummy with a rack and bag ready to be loaded with groceries, laundry or whatever you need to haul via pedal power from one place to another.
With 15,000 square feet of floor space between its two locations, Human Zoom houses a vast selection of bikes from Trek, Cannondale, and Santa Cruz, as well as snowboards from Gnu, Roxy, and Arbor. They also stock a variety of accessories and parts such as gloves, shoes, pedals, and wheels. In the repair shop, mechanics fix broken bike spokes, adjust derailleurs, and install new handlebars so riders will have a place to put their hands while biking. The staff also performs 90-minute bike-fitting sessions, during which they interview clients and perform adjustments to optimize their ride’s performance.
Fairmount Running Company's stockpile of shoes, apparel, and accessories outfits athletes in gear designed by some of the industry's top names, including New Balance, Brooks, Nike, and Asics. As the changing seasons present a variety of weather-related challenges, from winter's ankle-deep snow to summer's torrents of falling air conditioners, the shop keeps its shelves and racks loaded with all the equipment for runners to remain in top shape. The store also offers minimalist shoes from such brands as Vibram, Brooks Pure Line, and New Balance, and more casual shoes from Asics. Seven days a week, visitors can browse the arsenal while the staff of seasoned runners dispenses advice. In addition to an expansive selection of merchandise, Fairmount Running Company spearheads a weekly running club open to any level of athletes, whether they're training for a marathon or trying to go from lying on the couch to running a 5K during commercial breaks. Group runs depart from the storefront every Wednesday at 6:45 p.m.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, 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.