Keeping the business in the family for more than 50 years, the sons of Conte's Bike Shop founder Charles R. Conte run the collection of cycle-centric shops with attention to personal service and a constant stock of top-notch bikes and equipment. Conte's technicians specialize in Body Geometry fittings, in which they observe how skeletons work in tandem with cycling movements and demonstrate how to avoid typical discomforts. Holding true to an individualized focus, the team also understands how to fit bikes for women and provides detailed guides that help cyclists choose the right set of wheels. A full-service center, the shop also provides cardio and fitness equipment and executes services such as bike tune-ups, drivetrain overhauls, and brake adjustments that ensure riders can stop on a dime, pick it up, and buy a Chiclet without ever dismounting.
Open seven days a week, Seashore Bikes & Fitness caters to a cyclist's every whim. Rows upon rows of mountain, hybrid, BMX, and children's bikes await to grace walkers with newfound mobility, with models from brands such as Jamis and Free Agent. For those who are already married to the cycle of their dreams, the shop ensures no anniversary is forgotten by stocking shelves with a wide range of cycling parts and accessories, ranging from replacement seats to UVA- and UVB-blocking shades from Serfas. They also provide expert tune-up services to help keep bikes in top working condition and singing on key.
In business since 1981, Pedal Power boasts a team of bike geniuses that can make a customer's rust-riddled beater ride as smoothly as a hoverboard. Services start with a front- and back-wheel truing to ensure fast, fluid motion, followed by a gear and brake adjustment that replaces the need for bike-rider counseling sessions to work on communication skills. Mechanics straighten the bottom bracket, headset, and wheel hubs as necessary, and grease the chain to facilitate smooth, speedy shifts. Finally, tires inhale fresh air to balance freshly cleaned frames.
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.
In the front windows of Balance Bike Shop, the mechanics have put a slick collection of bikes on display—bicycles that are positioned in a way one might expect to see sculptures in a gallery. And its this type of love—or, this type of care—for bikes that rings true throughout the shop and workshop area, where mechanics perform all manner of services, from tune-ups and flat repairs to frame preparation and complete builds. For all services, the shop guarantees that every bike leaves the shop in better shape than when it was brought in through or crashed into the front door. To accomplish such a task, the crew uses and stocks various cycling components, accessories, and tools from top industry manufacturers.
Riverside Outfitters works to get Richmond-ers out on the water, up into the trees, and out on the trails with a variety of natural outdoor excursions. The staff helps locals and visitors engage with the area's rich landscape, guiding fleets of rafts, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and innertubes down the James River, which the Daily Press described as having "the only urban whitewater rafting experience available in the country." High ropes courses and climbing seminars teach first-timers how to nimbly break from gravity's embrace, while outdoor summer camps teach kids to engage wildlife without the scratchy fingers that come from texting with tree bark.