The Garden State Rollergirls, New Jersey's premiere all-female roller derby league, boasts a roster of over 40 skaters during their seventh season. Equipped with four-wheeled skates, the athletes crush competition during bouts of two 30-minute halves. While designated jammers—typically the fastest skaters—attempt to lap opposing rollers, blockers use a lethal combination of shoulder and hip checks.
The New Jersey Children's Museum immerses its visitors in more than 30 interactive exhibits that encourage hands-on exploration and learning, a philosophy that helped the facility secure a place within (201) Magazine's Best of Bergen 2011 series. Adventure intertwines with education within the dinosaur cave, where kids can make cave drawings or dig up fossils of prehistoric sports mascots. Heads turn as flashing lights and the warning cries of an approaching locomotive fill the air at the giant train set, and news stories break at the television studio. In addition to its many curiosity-inducing zones, the award-winning facility also hosts birthday parties with themes such as fire trucks, princesses, and dinosaurs.
In Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, narrator Sal Paradise has this to say about New York’s most famous river: "If you drop a rose in the Hudson River at its mysterious source in the Adirondacks, think of all the places it journeys by as it goes out to sea forever—think of that wonderful Hudson Valley." At Mountain Valley Guides, the kayaking team allows customers to heed Sal’s thoughts and explore the river's expanse of open water, marshes, islands, and cliffs. Kayakers paddle to the base of the Storm King Mountain, explore the castle on Bannerman's Island, search for bald eagles in Moodna Marsh, relax on the beach at Little Stony Point, and end the evening with a Hudson Valley Sunset.
Helmed by a team of passionate climbing coaches, both of The Gravity Vault's locations surround climbers with more than 13,000 square feet of climbing space. Walls tower past 35 feet, mimicking such natural rock formations as overhangs, keyhole arches, and slabs, and bouldering areas challenge climbers with a latticework of problems that—unlike most of life's—can't simply be solved with dynamite and a pair of roller skates. Visitors can choose from up to 60 top-rope stations, trusting either the trained staff or a certified fellow climber to man the ropes while they scramble to the summit. When not dangling from a hold or saving lost kittens from a rappel ledge, members can bulk up in the cardiovascular-training area.
Danbury Ice Arena's professional skating instructors introduce students to the fine art of figure-eighting with weekly classes based on the curriculum of the Ice Skating Institute. Children as young as three years old can begin instruction in the Tot 1 course, which is designed to instill a sense of comfort and confidence on the ice through techniques such as marching in place, falling properly, and getting up. As skaters expand their abilities, they may continue with progressive course levels that build upon each other. Both adult and child introductory courses focus on beginning techniques such as marching and stopping, which provide a foundation for techniques learned in advanced levels such as performing one-foot glides, making snowplow stops, and evading goalies who have grown tired of being senselessly bombarded with pucks.
At Tread Bike Shop, a team of cyclists and professional mechanics unite patrons with their perfect two-wheeled soulmates. Two employees are masters in the art of Body Geometry Fitting, in which they adjust handlebars and saddles to account for riders’ comfort, efficiency, and safety while maintaining their ability to outrace cheetahs escaped from the zoo. Further catering to customers’ individual needs, the staff helps to select bikes from brands such as Cannondale and Dohan and prepare them for test drives. Throughout the store, a vast inventory of accessories and apparel equips riders for any biking situation, and a repair center tunes up frames and erases evidence of collisions with car doors suddenly painted on brick walls. The shop also rents out both comfort and sports models for abbreviated excursions through the city’s streets and parks.