In 1987, Brian McInerny was careening around Italy in a four-wheel, multipassenger Surrey cycle. An avid cyclist, he fell in love with this quirky contraption that he'd never seen in the United States and he immediately sought out the manufacturer and purchased a crate of them. Wheel Fun Rentals traces its origin to this very moment, as Brian changed his surrey-distribution company into a rental and tour company that spans the nation. In spite of a general suspicion of unicycles and their ulterior motives, the company's corporate philosophy espouses "Supporting active healthy lifestyles for our customers and maintaining a healthy environment for all." Wheel Fun's fleet of rentals now includes bicycles, multipassenger Surreys, scooters, surfboards, and paddle-based watercraft. They also promote green communities by offering free rentals to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Though they've only been leading paddling tours for a few years, the certified guides of Stand Up MN have already helped thousands of people explore the Twin Cities' local waterways up close. After equipping their guests with standup paddleboards, personal flotation devices, and ample training, they embark on trips along the quiet stretch of the Mississippi River that cuts through their urban landscape.
From St. Paul, groups glide under bridges and pass idyllic natural areas—and from Minneapolis, they can take a break from paddling to high-five low-flying birds from a rope swing over the water. Stand Up MN also leads extended paddling tours to Taylors Falls, where state parks and tumbling waterfalls abound. These excursions are complemented by the company's special events, which include speed-dating events at which participants spend most of the time hanging out while paddleboarding.
For most of the year, the outer concourses of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome fill with the aromas of hot dogs and grilled onions to feed hungry fans during Vikings and Twins games. But from November through April, the smooth concrete floors of those same concourses become the skating surface for the Rollerblade RollerDome. Skaters have taken over the Metrodome every winter for decades, including in 1993, when Jonathan Seutter set a Guinness World Record there by skating 271 miles in 24 hours. The half-mile concrete loops provide the ideal conditions for speed skaters and beginners alike. On the upper level, experienced skaters get a cardio workout with separate alleys for speed skating and leisurely coasting. On the lower level, kids and novices can take their time while skating along to music spun by onsite DJs and really hip spiders.
The Urban Assault Ride challenges cyclists to speed from obstacle course to obstacle course across their city during eco-friendly scavenger hunts that benefit local charities. Teams draft a road map to try to thwart the competition and be the first to complete the race, pausing at a series of checkpoints, where they must surmount such active roadblocks as slip 'n' slides, bike jousting, and reciting the Iliad in Pig Latin. The first team to conquer each challenge and cross the finish line is declared the victor, but all participants celebrate their efforts at a lively after-party stocked with snacks, beer, nonalcoholic drinks, and prizes.
Since 1998, ProCamps Worldwide has bridged the gap between pro athletes and their fans with a variety of instructional youth camps and fantasy camps for adults. More than 100 professional and Olympic gold-medal athletes have lent their wisdom during camps conducted across the country. For instance, the NBA's leading scorer, Kevin Durant, dishes details on his skills at a camp in Oklahoma, and Super Bowl champion and Packers linebacker Clay Matthews teaches the careful choreography of backfield disruption in Wisconsin. At fantasy camps, John Calipari and Bill Self—the two coaches who squared off in 2012's NCAA title game—give campers tours of their programs' hallowed halls.
Current and former military and law enforcement officers comprise the staff of instructors at Blue Line Defense, who aim to increase firearm awareness and the training level of the general public with each class they teach. The course list runs the gamut from introductory defensive handgun lessons to women's self defense and advanced group training classes. The site also provides firearm-related resources for the community, such as familiarization with use-of-force laws, firearm-sales intricacies, and gun-naming dos and don’ts. Blue Line also regularly participates in fundraisers and charities to help give back to the community.