Teams of recreational combatants assemble in tactical formations across the fields at Southern Maryland Paintball, using obstacles and fortifications to their advantage as they engage enemies in fast-paced matches. Six fields with three distinct styles present diverse battlegrounds—from the wooden partitions that dot the open space at the Castle field to the menagerie of inflated obstacles and out-of-work parade floats that populate the Airball field. Players that excel in stealthy maneuvers will thrive at the Village field, where tiny huts obscure ambushers approaching from multiple angles. Each match is regulated by an experienced referee who shouts down those who shirk the rules. Southern Maryland Paintball keeps its fields mired in a barrage of colorful ballistics year-round, and also offers nighttime play on lighted fields on the weekends.
Away from the frenetic pace of organized matches, guests can soothe itchy trigger fingers and practice their marksmanship at the paintball-shooting range. Southern Maryland Paintball also encompasses a mini-golf course for those who prefer to compete in a game where their only enemies are subtle slopes and territorial windmills.
Since 1958, Bicycle Pro Shop has helped find a matching mount for everyone from little kids just learning to pedal to United States presidents. The staff of experienced technicians—all avid cyclists themselves, including the owner, Serge, who spent 10 years as a competitive cyclist in France—oversees a stock of hybrids and road bikes from brands such as Cannondale, Scott, and Giant. In the service center, mechanics tighten up loose screws with thorough tune-ups and perform meticulous adjustments of minor yet important details such as the angle of the saddle and the crispness of the baseball cards in the spokes.
In 2001, husband-and-wife team Todd and Anne realized two of their biggest dreams: they started a family and opened The Bike Lane. Throughout the store, bikes by Trek, Electra, Felt, Mirraco, and Surly lean on their kickstands alongside accessories such as water bottles, bells, or high-heeled spokes for date night. Certified staffers leap down from their stationary penny-farthings to perfectly match riders with new bikes through fit services that are free with purchase of a triathlon/TT, road, or mountain bike. In the repair shop, mechanics with 40 years of combined experience service bikes, overhauling brakes, installing parts, or custom-fitting wheels. To stay connected with its network of riders, The Bike Lane organizes educational safety events, advocates for bicycle-friendly communities, and sponsors more than 50 cycling events per year.
The Tennis Zone keeps players smashing aces and ripping forehand winners in style with name-brand equipment, apparel, and racquet restringing services. Stop in for a new tube of tennis balls on the way to a match, or consult the knowledgeable staff for advice on selecting a new pair of shoes or shorts capable of concealing second and third racquets. While tennis is the primary focus, the shop also caters to other racquet sports such as squash, badminton, and racquetball.
As the the Tennis Zone's network for recreational play, Smart Tennis puts tennis lovers in contact with like-minded players of similar age and ability, and then lets them set up matches at mutually agreeable times and places. Newcomers simply enter their age and skill level?recreational or advanced?into the website and then contact other users with similar court credentials. After finishing off their sets and shaking hands, the winner then logs back on to report scores and earn points that can be exchanged for prizes?which are just the icing on the cake and second to the true prizes of friendship, camaraderie, and the aroma of brand new tennis balls.
Run by three generations of DC locals, Bike and Roll sends pedalers into the nation's modern and historical capitol. Sightseers are outfitted with ETs with maps so they can undertake self-guided tours along the National Mall, which is lousy with landmarks. To break with the hustle, cyclists can explore one of the city?s many meandering bike paths including the Capital Crescent Trail and Rock Creek Trail. The company?s line of tandem bikes and Trek comfort hybrids make for smooth rides along the flat terrain of the capital.
For a more itineraried experience, guided tours spirit groups through the historic sights. Local story-tellers regale cyclists with tales about the Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and Mount Vernon, the home where George Washington lived after hatching from the egg incubated in the Statue of Liberty's torch.
Bike and Roll's professional mechanics also repair bikes, including fixing flat tires and performing regular tune-ups. They can even loan patrons a new Trek comfort hybrid bike to use while their bike is in the shop.
It all started with a deflated basketball. Though longtime friends Mike Kennedy and Eric Martin scoured downtown Boston for an inflating needle to fill it, no shops in the area carried one. They were frustrated—and they realized that other Bostonians looking for athletic gear were likely frustrated too. So in 1983, they opened City Sports, a shop stocked with all the footwear, athletic apparel, and sports equipment that the metropolis had been missing.
Nearly three decades later, Mike and Eric's neighborhood business has expanded to 20 shops across the East Coast. In addition to stocking popular brands such as Vibram, The North Face, and Patagonia, the store engineers its own CS by City Sports line. Shoppers include yogis, cyclists, and tennis players—anyone seeking to outfit active lifestyles, whether they're playing a team sport or braving the hike up the world's largest gumdrop. In addition to footwear and apparel, the staff stocks fitness equipment such as kettlebells, lifting gloves, and dumbbells.