During afternoons at Together in Motion, children, accompanied by their parents, safely crawl through tunnels, practice somersaults, or explore a Parthenon made completely out of padded building blocks atop a cushioned floor. Evenings, however, turn the tables, allowing grownups to take over the space to fling dodgeballs at opponents or rehearse martial arts strikes in time for their kids' Bring Your Ninja to School Day. Weekend nights find thumping dance soundtracks traveling through the rooms, as black-light parties for teens and tweens celebrate birthdays and raise funds for nonprofits.
Though they admit disparate age groups, these classes and events provide a venue for guests to connect through movement. Together in Motion's facility rents its rooms to independent organizations—Social Boston Sports and Arlington Martial Arts among them—that encourage exercise and camaraderie. From the Latin-inspired beats of adult-centric Zumba classes to the musical motor-skill activities of Movin' Groovin' Tots, all of the programs foster both communal support and a healthy sense of self-confidence.
Bike Boom functions as a fountain of youth for cycles that pass its threshold. Its technicians take in used and vintage models for renovation, transforming them into street-safe vehicles for all types of terrain. They track their makeover efforts on the shop's blog, highlighting retro specimens such as an overhauled Shogun Easy Street from the mid- to late ’80s and a ’70s Schwinn Collegiate Cruiser. Visiting guests can peruse the menagerie of multi- and single-speed road bikes, mountain bikes, and city bikes, which are designed for everyday trips around the block or up the walls of skyscrapers. Riders with a specific vision can also commission a custom-built cycle.
The professional mechanics in the repair shop perform tune-ups and install new parts. Shelves of accessories and gear—including helmets, locks, lights, and handlebar tape—equip pedalers for their commutes, and the staff readily orders items that aren't in stock or easily harvested from the derailleur tree in the backyard.
Red House Martial Arts wants to help its clients—both adults and children—learn to defend themselves with martial-arts moves. With classes for all ages and skill levels in Brazilian jujitsu, muay thai, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts, this no-nonsense martial-arts academy teaches students respect and discipline while burning calories and building lean muscle. Clients kick, spar, and jab on the center's red padded floors, led by certified instructors, as they learn defensive and grappling moves in small group classes.
Within both MetroRock locations, visitors ascend via bouldering walls and rope-climbing walls or take to aerobic exercise machines and fitness equipment to build strength. With this setup available to climbers of all skill levels, the founders of the climbing arenas achieved their goal of creating a community where scalers can congregate, share their passions, and hone their climbing skills.
During indoor and outdoor classes, instructors create lessons that help each climber reach their goals. Indoor courses help instill students with basic climbing skills, rescue techniques, or the brute strength needed for bouldering or to intimidate mountains out of their lunch money. Outdoors, American Mountain Guide Association and Single Pitch–certified instructors teach alpinists skills that include how to secure top-rope anchors and how to climb ice or scale for sport. The centers' founders and their teams also organize climbing-centric programming that includes youth climbing teams and team-building events that challenge groups while forming bonds.
Years before Dan and Maria founded DBC City Bike design, the duo resolved to reduce their dependence on gasoline. This resolution led the couple to Europe, where they hopped aboard Dutch bicycles that redefined how they thought about comfort on two-wheeled mounts. When Dan and Maria returned stateside, they began importing and selling these revolutionary rides through their new store, The Dutch Bicycle Company (The DBC). However, the hills, long-distance commutes, and stairs that define many American cities revealed many inconveniences in the unmodified Dutch model, so DBC added City Bike design to its name and they began building their custom Swifts, calibrated to handle the rigors of urban, bike-riding lifestyles. Today, the founding couple and their design staff build these bikes to order, modify existing rides, and provide tune-ups that, like prison-gang relay races, keep chains moving smoothly and swiftly.