One way to get an exceptionally close look at picturesque Alamitos Bay is to ride atop its churning surf on one of Long Beach Hydrobikes's stable, pedal-powered water cycles. The company ensures that renters catch the bay's most noteworthy sights, providing them with a map detailing the location of a bird sanctuary as well as a cove where jellyfish delicately billow in certain months. Avid pedalers generally cruise at speeds of up to 7 miles per hour, exercising bodies with a workout that takes advantage of water resistance to jettison excess calories out to sea. As there is virtually no risk of capsizing, riders may wear anything from a bathing suit to a water-soluble prom dress. The hydrobikes come equipped with storage compartments, drink holders, and a wealth of extra space to invite pets along for the ride, free of charge.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, Inc., he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.
Like that time you rode your older brother's Schwinn into the pool, a triathlon requires you to bike, swim, and run. Tri-Pacific sports outfits athletes for all three aspects, filling its Naples storefront with competition-grade equipment. Racks of bike frames and wheels populate the walls, alongside slick jerseys and aerodynamic helmets. Runners plop onto comfortable couches as they slip on a rainbow of running shoes, searching for the perfect fit. Wet suits and swimwear aid swimmers in slipping through the water with the least resistance. The shop also augments the competitor's most important piece of equipment, their body, with nutritional supplements and energy bars.
The friendly attendants at Cycle San Pedro put patrons in the saddles of rental bikes and nudge them in the direction of LA's many landmarks and attractions. Riders can point their handlebars in the direction of the LA Maritime Museum or the Battleship USS Iowa, or content themselves with a leisurely cruise along the waterfront so they can gather some air in their lungs to keep as a souvenir. Rentals are available by the hour, while tours put a knowledgeable guide in the point position for explanations of the route's sights and sounds.
The atmosphere is charged with energy at the Kinetic Cycling studio, where flat-screen TVs play music videos and surround-sound speakers blast upbeat tunes. Soft lights beam up from the floor, bathing the rows of students pedaling away on stationary bicycles in blue and purple. During classes, an energetic instructor sits atop a bike in front of students, guiding them through the challenging workouts while providing inspiration and motivation.
Since it first set down roots in Venice in 1995, Boardwalk Skate & Surf has equipped adrenaline junkies and tourists with surfing, skateboarding, and biking gear by top brands. Shoppers can fit themselves up with an Arbor, Penny Nickle, Sector 9, or Z-Flex skateboard with a hip design, and then match their new deck to a pair of skate shoes or sandals. The shop also has a department dedicated to rentals, giving patrons the option to take a surfboard, bicycle, or pair of inline skates out for a spin, so long as they return it before it gets homesick.