Though flat and polished to a brilliant gleam, the floor at Miami Beach Ballroom is as much a springboard as it is a dancing surface. Students from the school have taken the steps learned in the ballroom and gone on to compete on some of the biggest stages possible, from the US Grand National finals to the sets of So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars. Instructors take students step-by-step through the tango, rhumba, salsa, and other popular styles.
Big Wheel USA doesn't kid around when it comes to bikes. Its storefront showcases more than 300, each from top brands such as CamelBak and Crankbrothers. Far from limited to adult-sized bikes, Big Wheel USA stocks plenty other wheeled rides, including Trikkes, exercise bikes, and skateboards.
Don't fret if nothing in the store strikes your fancy—Big Wheel's certified mechanics can customize your very own bike, complete with as many training wheels as it takes to make you feel safe. The technicians also conduct bike fittings and repair malfunctioning parts. Big Wheel also sells plenty of bike-related shoes and apparel, and keeps patrons abreast of the latest local rides and events.
On Biscayne Bay, halfway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, a wild wonderland awaits. Oleta River State Park is Florida's largest urban park, brimming with bike paths, native wildlife, and a river that practically beckons to boaters and manatees in disguise. Luckily, the Blue Moon Outdoor Center lends adventurers the right tools for exploring the park's untamed beauty. The store's bike, canoe, kayak, and board rentals offer several different ways to travel, and the nearby Blue Marlin Fish House?once featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives?helps visitors to recharge after a day of trekking.
Before they set foot on Zombie Charge's 5K obstacle course, participants have a choice: remain human or join the undead. Hordes of ghouls chase runners navigating 8?12 challenges?such as climbing walls and tunnels?set up throughout woodland trails, open fields, and muddy swamps. Those crossing the finish line with at least one belt flag still attached are counted among the 5K's survivors; handlers stand by with antidotes for less fortunate racers. Afterward, a Survival Party lets participants unwind with games of tug of war and corn hole, live music, or photo ops with some of the event's undead.
The mad scientists behind The Challenge Mud Run spend their days playing with mud and surfing the Web for the ideal throwing axe. All that hard work will pay off when they host an intense 5-mile race that challenges the mind and body. During the race, entrants crawl through a dark, semisubmerged and smoke-filled tunnel, swing on monkey bars over a quicksand pit, answer a series of brain teasers, and of course crawl through mud while pretending to be the primordial life form that preceded the crocodile.
The organizers of Out-Fit Challenge, the first national LGBT mud run obstacle course, aim to spark new friendships between its runners by creating challenges that require not only personal perseverance, but the occasional helping hand. Obstacles such as barbed wire crawls or mud pits force racers to get dirty, and tandem climbing walls make runners rely on each other to progress.
After making it to the finish line, participants mingle with newfound friends or long-lost parents at the after-party. After showering, racers can don their finisher?s award with pride. Each participant can pick up their complementary beer from one of the bars, before mingling, dancing to live music, or chowing down on the food vendors? grub.