Adventures by the Sea is owner Frank Knight’s love letter to Monterey Bay. As an avid cyclist, kayaker, and surfer in his youth, Frank decided to share the gift of the bay by providing land- and sea-activity rentals for tourists. But, what started out as a small bike-rental shop frequented by local hotel guests eventually transformed into a four-location recreational company that now offers kayaking, bicycling, SUP paddling, and surrey-carriage rentals and tours.
Bicycle renters can cruise along 17-Mile Drive and the rocky shorelines of Pacific Grove, while surrey-carriage rentals provide a low-key communal pedaling adventure for up to four riders. Patrons can also enjoy the serene environment of Monterey Peninsula as they glide through the waters of Cannery Row and Stillwater Cove—both part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary—on the company’s kayaks and standup paddleboards (SUP). During tours, knowledgeable guides rattle off facts about the area while pointing out its wildlife, such as harbor seals lounging on the rocks and otters snapping pictures of kayakers.
Along with providing land and water activities, Adventures by the Sea helps guests build stronger relationships with one another through their local group adventures, which include scavenger hunts. When customers are ready to invest in their own trustworthy gear, the company’s pro shop helps them stock up on boogie boards, snorkeling equipment, and paddleboards from brands such as Surftech, Naish Hawaii, and Paddle Surf Hawaii.
Trudie Ransom knows just how addictive the sensation of standing above the waves can be. After just a few trips out on her board, she not only began training with the standup-paddleboarding master Andy Whitman from Angulo boards, but also opened up SUP Shack. From her experience shadowing Whitman, she decided the best way to introduce people to the sport was with Angulo's soft, 10-foot boards, which serve as an easy surface to learn on while spending a day on the waves or taking one of the shop's classes or tours. Classes never contain more than six students, allowing each student to have the one-on-one attention needed to master the art of balancing and maneuvering the board. Once pupils are sure of their strokes, the shop's instructors lead guided tours that slip out across the rippling blue mirror and past the sights of the harbor or tackle the more advanced paths past sea-lion habitats. Late-evening tours pause as the sun sets over the ocean, filling the sky with color like somebody inciting peacocks to riot.
Concept Cyclery originated in a Silicon Valley entrepreneur's humble dream of a bike shop that allows novices and experts to efficiently shop in a domain tailored to their needs. The pros at Concept will adjust your bicycle's brakes, derailleurs, hubs, headset, and bottom bracket, all the while resisting the urge to accidentally misplace the Mickey Mantle rookie card callously tucked away in your spoke. For a linear ride, front and rear wheels will be trued and rear derailleur, chains, and cassete will be removed and cleaned. The hawk eyes of Concept Cyclery's wheel wizards will assess wear and tear and determine if any replacements are necessary. For a fresh and clean first ride post-tweaking, your handsome velocipede will be thoroughly wiped down and festooned with a blue ribbon for Best in Show.
Independent and locally owned, the BICYCLE TRIP has enjoyed providing quality sales and service in Santa Cruz County for nearly 35 years. Our commitment to cycling and to the Santa Cruz community spans decades and includes two homegrown bicycle safety and education programs, "Bike Smart" and "Bike Shop At School."
At Spokesman Bicycles, a dedicated staff of 13 helps shoppers mine an inventory of more than 10,000 accessories for mountain, road, and urban cyclists. Tubes ($6.50–$9.99) and tools ($4.99–$29.99) keep two-wheelers running in tiptop shape, while an array of sturdy locks keep bike bandits from running off with your ride ($11.99–$44.99). Saddle bags ($12.99) and lights ($8.99–$29.99) let commuters soup up rides, and riders confused as to why pedestrian passersby won't heed their catcalls can pick up a new hat or pair of riding socks ($8.99–$19.99).
Covewater Paddle Surf brings stand-up paddleboarding to stand-up citizens with its inventory of equipment, accessories, classes, and rentals. Your four-hour rental includes the board, paddle, and an optional "soft rack" car roof-rack to securely hold the board down during your off-road excursion through the local zoo. Wetsuits are not typically required, but available for a $5 additional rental fee. Covewater has a fleet of more than 25 boards for all levels of water-wanderers, and its gnarly staff can help you with basic techniques and great locations worth checking out atop your paddleboard. Hit the waves and feel the feeling of standing over glistening water as office buildings full of accountant-fishes file taxes in the briny deep beneath.