Run by three generations of DC locals, Bike and Roll sends pedalers into the nation's modern and historical capitol. Sightseers are outfitted with ETs with maps so they can undertake self-guided tours along the National Mall, which is lousy with landmarks. To break with the hustle—and should one be so inclined, the bustle—cyclists can explore one of the city’s many meandering bike paths including the Capital Crescent Trail and Rock Creek Trail. The company’s line of tandem bikes and Trek comfort hybrids make for smooth rides along the flat terrain of the capital.
For a more itineraried experience, guided tours spirit groups through the historic sights. Local story-tellers regale cyclists with tales about the Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and Mount Vernon, the home where George Washington lived after hatching from the egg incubated in the Statue of Liberty's torch.
Since 1958, Bicycle Pro Shop has helped find a matching mount for everyone from little kids just learning to pedal to United States presidents. The staff of experienced technicians—all avid cyclists themselves, including the owner, Serge, who spent 10 years as a competitive cyclist in France—oversees a stock of hybrids and road bikes from brands such as Cannondale, Scott, and Giant. In the service center, mechanics tighten up loose screws with thorough tune-ups and perform meticulous adjustments of minor yet important details such as the angle of the saddle and the crispness of the baseball cards in the spokes.
Having played hundreds of tennis matches over the years, Steven and Pete have had to string their rackets more times than they can count. They've learned the subtleties of the art—which strings to choose for durability, which for power, and which for finely grated cheese—as well as how to replace strings speedily. Their pickup and delivery services ensure that players can return to the court without a pit stop. With polyester, multifilament, and synthetic strings from brands such as Dunlop, Babolat, Kirschbaum, Wilson, and Luxilon, their wide variety suits most rackets. The store locations also sell other tennis accessories, from balls to replacement grips.
Trimming the main, tacking, and learning the lingo, tender-footed sailors earn their chops at Washington Sailing Marina along the Potomac River. During classes, adults or kids as young as nine learn to man the tiller on Sunfish or Flying Scots?small boats ideal for beginners. Once students have passed their certification tests, they're welcome to rent out boats with up to five friends.