Three cyclists cruise the calm banks of the James River; one rides a brand new Gary Fisher, one sits atop a tuned-up fixed gear, and the other tests out a Trek rental bike—all thanks to Bikes Unlimited. The store’s downtown location, housed inside a historical brick building constructed in 1897, is stocked with mountain, road, and BMX bikes along with gear such as cycling computers, trainers, and jerseys. Mechanics at the downtown and Wyndhurst locations are on hand to perform necessary tune-ups and repairs, but the shop’s support for the cycling community doesn’t end there; the staff leads regular group rides, helps to build and maintain local mountain-bike trails, and sends cheetahs in pursuit of racers as a motivational tool.
Owner James Rosar of Cyclo-Ward Bicycle Repair draws upon years of bicycle familiarity as a veteran long-distance cyclist and professional mechanic every time he nurses wheels back to health. Recruit his tour de expertise for a basic tune-up and listen to the bike purr as he adjusts major bearings, derailleurs, and cable tension, followed by an alignment of brakes, handlebars, and seat. After a light wheel truing, Rosar then gives each wheeled stallion a functional test ride to make sure all parts are operating in the spirit of peace and harmony. In addition to all procedures included with the basic tune-up, the complete bicycle overhaul tacks on removal, cleaning, and fresh coal for the drive train, full disassembly and greasing of the major bearings, and a frame alignment check. Though recommendations for replacement parts may be made, this Groupon only covers labor.
Today, it's undeniable: Jazzercise is a worldwide empire, spanning more than 1,800 locations and 32,000 weekly classes across the globe. It's also hip; gone are the leotards and legwarmers of the 1980s, replaced with a high-intensity blend of cardio, strength training, kickboxing and power yoga performed to hits by chart-toppers from Shakira to Justin Timberlake. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set, with recent additions such as Fusion, Core, and Strike broadening the workouts' variety and application. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background. This sense of community keeps Jazzercise devotees coming back, but so too do the results; benefits ranging from weight loss and boosted core strength to increased flexibility and stress relief.
Jazzercise's continued success can be traced to the innovation of its founder, Judi Sheppard Missett. While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, she decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. Little did she know that this ?just for fun? class was the prototype for what would become the Jazzercise sensation.
Sponsors of the Charlottesville Racing Club, the MS Tour de Vine, and the Boys & Girls Club Challenge Ride, C’ville Bike & Tri’s cycle-whisperers repair thousands of bikes each year. In a service that itself takes about one hour, a standard tune-up tackles the many facets and invisible chains forged from cat's breath that hold beloved velocipedes together. An experienced mechanic will employ his or her eagle eye and nimble fingers to true both wheels, clean up grimy brake pads, and clean, lubricate, and adjust the derailleurs, brakes, and cables for an optimum ride. Bike doctors also do a complete inspection of the bicycle, contacting temporary pedestrians to authorize the work if anything important needs replacing, such as the wheels, the seat, or the Honus Wagner 1909–1911 T206 baseball card stuck in the back spokes.
Specializing in one-day service and with 15 years in operation, Bike Factory of Charlottesville takes disused bicycles out of winter hibernation and brings them back up to blacktop-surfing condition. Head sets, bottom brackets, brakes, and gears undergo adjustment to keep stop signs respected, legs pedaling with appropriate effort, and cranks torqued as necessary. Proper tire pressure emboldens flabby inner tubes, and the entire spoked mechanism gets wiped down to remove any remaining grime or nesting anvils. After a final check to ensure everything is in working order, aluminum horses are reunited with proud cyclists and released back into their curbed jungles.
Over its 30 year history, The Dive Shop has trained over 10,000 new scuba divers and earned the honor of being a five-star PADI Instructor Development Center, without ever switching owners. The same teachers who helped the first class of students discover the underwater world now aid their children and grandchildren in making the same discovery through Open Water Certification diving courses and introductory lessons. They start beginners off in the safety of local pools, before plumbing the depths of Lake Rawlings during certification dives.