Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
Austin Cycle Camp's studio is the sweaty seam where science meets spandex. For the first part of the test, you'll receive a complete body-composition analysis, parsing out your ratio of fat to lean muscle mass and the likeliness of razor-sharp claws springing out of your knuckles. Then you'll undergo a sub-max VO2 test to measure your body's ability to process oxygen and fuel exertion; this is a major indicator of your overall fitness level. While you crank out a 90-minute workout, the experienced staff will monitor your heart rate and record patterns and aberrations. When you're done, you'll sit down with an experienced trainer and hash out the results. They'll help you interpret your body's signals and apply your individual attributes to a straightforward, effective training regime.
Barton Springs Bike Rental outfits fun seekers for bike rides across Austin's historic pathways and scenic landscapes. The shop dispenses single-speed beach cruisers to riders along with lights, baskets, locks, and access to roadside assistance in the event of a flat tire or never-ending parade of ducklings crossing the road. The crew's routes include the 90-minute Peace, Love & Zilker Tour—an easy jaunt past sights such as the Auditorium Shores, the old railroad bridge, and Barton Springs Pool—and the Congress Avenue Bat Tour, an evening trek to witness the world's largest colony of urban bats. Guides narrate the history and significance of local sights, giving guests plenty of opportunities to stop and snap pictures or refill their bicycle’s feedbag.
For a city so far from the coast, Austin has a lot of waterways. Austin Paddle Sports takes advantage of this, setting up shop on Lady Bird Lake in Downtown Austin. There, they offer sales and rentals of stand-up paddleboards from the likes of Riviera Paddlesurf and Quickblade Paddles.
For those new to the quickly growing sport, Austin Paddle Sports uses entry-level stabilized, user-friendly equipment for beginners, and specialized displacement hull race boards for the experienced paddler. Staff is always available for a few tips to keep everyone upright and dry.
The mechanics at Lake Travis Cyclery tune bipedal transports in a well-stocked shop that supplies competitive road cyclists, mountain bikers, and casual riders with apparel and accessories. During each tune-up, technicians ensure the safe and effective stopping power of brakes using tool-equipped hands and intimidating crossing guards. The cycle physicians then adjust shifters and derailleurs and outfit chains with fresh layers of grease to create smooth gear transitions. After cleansing drive trains of gunk and grime, mechanics true all wheels as needed and expel any loitering dirt particles or hitchhiking chipmunks to reveal pristine frames.