The old warehouse didn't seem ideal to house much of anything, but the rent was cheap once George Bennett offered to make all his own renovations. Drawing from a background as a builder, he created his own architectural plans, and he and a friend set to work on construction. For months, George arrived early in the morning to demolish old partitions and install lighting and windows. As the transformation neared its finish, the pair mounted new walls, spread mulch floor covering, and set up targets and quivers in the 8,000-square-foot archery range. George invited the National Shooting Sports Foundation to examine his facilities and received a four-star rating.
Now, more than a decade later, arrows sing through the air, slipping percussively into three types of targets. The targets sprout up from a tree-dotted floor under rustic wooden rafters along the indoor, climate-controlled range. Traditional targets stand 45 yards from the shooting area, and computer-controlled moving targets in the form of three-dimensional deer, beavers, and wolves trot across the range, challenging archers to pin them with warning notes addressed to loudmouthed owls. Additional animal targets positioned closer to the shooter's area allow traditional longbow and recurve bow users to test their marksmanship. To prepare for successful shooting sessions, visitors peruse the pro shop's racks of compound bows from the Mathews series as well as Mission gear and Matthews Officially Licensed Products. Quivers brim with Carbon Tech arrows, and George and his staff make other arrows by hand, which George sometimes inscribes with Deer Creek's logo with the care of a painter autographing his children.
Parker Jones worked his way from the ground up to helm Capital Bicycle, which first opened in 1970. He started his career at Capital in 1996 as a once-a-week employee looking to get a good deal on parts and escape the mournful howls of his neglected sedan, but within months he became a store mechanic. A year, he later took control of the entire store, and ultimately, he became its sole owner.
Jones set out to expand the shop’s services in both scope and size, and today, Capital resides in a 4,000-square-foot shop and is one of the region’s first concept stores for California-based bicycle manufacturer Specialized. Customers flock to the shop to purchase Specialized bikes and Bellwether apparel, and they can find their ideal bicycle fit with the help of an in-house certified body-geometry technician. Capital also fosters its own cycling community with a schedule of group rides and helps cyclists to keep tabs on other local events.
Each morning, as the sun stretches skyward and begins to reflect on Chesapeake Bay, crews from the Chesapeake Bay Tours prep their vessels for another day of trips around one of America's most famous bodies of water. During their scenic outings, these seasoned captains lead groups past famous landmarks including Annapolis Harbor, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and picturesquely historic lighthouses. In addition to tour and cruises, guests can also book vessels for parties, adding some nautical flavor to birthdays, anniversaries, or celebrations of a new high score in Burger Time.
Owner Matt Neugebauer, an avid cyclist and self-proclaimed ‘bike nerd,’ brings bikes, apparel, services, and extensive biking knowledge together under one roof at Brandywine Cyclery. His staff of bike enthusiasts—which includes his brother and parents— helps customers navigate the store’s selection of Specialized, Felt, and Colnago bikes. They’ll happily answer questions about the shop’s selection of pedals, wheels, and tools, and offer sage advice on matching apparel with riding habits and weather. Customers can bring their own bikes in for a tune-up from an expert technician or utilize the Body Geometry Fit technique to adjust a bike to their exact physical specifications.
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.