The staff at Island Bicycle Company keeps its fleet of bikes, surfboards, kayaks, and cruisers ready to traverse surf or sand with the help of their in-house service department. Recently added to the store's fleet, A2B Metro electric bikes buzz along the beachfront and harbor via maps included with self-guided tour packages. Metal detectors and binoculars help beachgoers find buried treasure or spot incoming ghost ships. In addition to rentals, the store sells two-wheelers from brands such as Electra, Sun Bicycle, and more.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
What makes your business stand out?
Houston B-cycle is the only bike share program in the city. We have 28 stations that allow Houstonians to explore, travel and make their own adventure by bike everyday with just a credit card.
What inspired the owner to start this business?
Our program started from the City of Houston Office of Sustainability. They recognized Houston could use another viable and sustainable means of transportation. We were very fortunate to get sponsorship from Blue Cross Blue Shield.
What is your most popular offering?
Annual membership—access to all of the bikes and stations for 365 days—or the 24 Hour pass—access to all of the bikes and stations for 24 hours. Membership starts from the first time you check out a bike, not when the pass is purchased. Both memberships include unlimited 60-minute trips. Each time you remove a bike from its dock, the first 60 minutes of your ride are included.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
We get a lot of excited customers—especially once they realize how cheap, easy and fun the program is to use. The most memorable reaction would have to be from a lady who rode a B-cycle after 25 years of not being on a bike—it's true what they say, you never forget how to ride a bike! She was ecstatic to get on and ride around!
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Knowing that I am providing a service that helps make people's lives easier, while at the same time providing them with an activity that is both good for them and the environment.
Handicap Accessible: No
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Reservations/Appointments: Not offered
Most popular offering: Bike share annual membership
Tour de Cure raises money to benefit the American Diabetes Association by sponsoring bike tour events in 44 states. Events include rides of various lengths ranging from 7 to 100 miles and support riders with rest stops and snacks to keep them fueled. Riders with diabetes get to wear Red Rider jerseys and lead the events through farmland, down city streets, past waterways, and over daunting hills. At the finish line, festivities include live music, lunches, vendor booths, massages, and activities for kids, depending on location.