Greenwood Trails Camp?s owner and director Owen Langbart firmly believes that all kids?especially today?s generation of cell-phone addicts and video gamers?need the quintessential camp experience. With more than 100 wooded acres at the foothills of the Berkshires and a staff of friendly counselors that specializes in orienting first-time campers, his one-, two-, four-, and six-week camps aim to do just that. Winding paths and hiking trails lead young guests aged 7?16 to the many amenities that cover the grounds, including a larger-than-Olympic-size swimming pool, an indoor climbing wall, a water trampoline, a batting cage, and a pottery studio. These same paths lead to the cozy cabins that house up to 12 campers and two counselors with all of the comforts of home: electricity, bathrooms, showers with hot and cold running water, and an old man in a recliner who won?t let go of the remote even if he falls asleep.
Regardless of age, Greenwood Trails lets campers choose the activities in which they?d like to take part in daily, such as pottery, photography, or outdoor cooking. Participants also engage in cabin activities that encourage bonding among bunkmates, such as swimming together in the lake or joining in an untieable human knot.
For more than 50 years, the Wolfs have run Bloomfield Bicycle & Repair Shop, outfitting cyclists with the bikes best suited to their customers’ needs such as Schwinn mountain and Jamis street bikes. They can even pair up couples with tandem bikes and the pedal-weary with electric bikes. Besides slipping cyclists into bike shoes, gloves, and vests, they also mend and maintain all kinds of bikes, from traditional two-wheelers to electric bikes and scooters.
As a 12-season veteran of the United States Cycling Federation who also holds a master’s degree in philosophy, Bicycle South Windsor LLC owner Peter Di Pietro takes a thoughtful approach to cycling. Discerning in the curation of gear, Di Pietro pilots a shop that carries new, used, and rental bicycles by brands such as Masi, Haro, Schwinn, and GT. He also oversees and performs same-day repairs and tune-ups that carry a service guarantee for a full calendar year—a generous timeframe that allows riders to cruise confidently over the course of the spring, summer, fall, winter, and bike-jousting season.
The technicians at Cheshire Cycle know bikes inside and out, not only because they repair them on a daily basis, but also because they spend hours and hours riding them. The adventuresome crew even sponsors a road-racing team that took home more than 50 top finishes in 2012 alone. They couple this insider knowledge with advanced technology to perform like-a-glove fittings and offer services that range from basic tune-ups to total overhauls. Their shop stocks reputable brands, including bikes by Scott, Jamis Bicycles, and Stolen BMX and clothing by designers such as Louis Garneau, Fox, and Pearl Izumi. Whatever bikes or equipment the staff don't have on the shelves they can order from a catalog supplier or have the elves in the backroom make from scratch.
Baseball is alive all year-round at All Star Indoor Batting Range Baseball & Softball Academy. Started in 1991 by three baseball fans—Kevin and Brian Gilroy and Frank Rizzo—the facility gives players the chance to practice no matter how many inches of snow or packs of rabid umpires are flurrying outside. The 15,000-square-foot sports haven boasts seven tunnel cages for practicing all aspects of the game. Other elements, such as stadium benches and 7,000 square feet of artificial turf, give the academy the feel of an indoor diamond. To help players take their skills to the next level, the academy also offers private and semiprivate lessons, and maintains a pro shop stocked with essential gear.
Founded in 1905 by the store's eponymous "CK"—Charles Klarsfeld—the shop has seen many bikes roll through its doors over ten-and-a-half decades. Today, the current owners continue to scuff up the floor with the tire tracks with the latest and greatest velocipedes, stocking more than 500 bicycles from brands such as Schwinn, Raleigh, and Trek in its subterranean storeroom. In the upstairs show room, cycles from everyday commuters to specialty BMX and mountain bikes flaunt their shiny frames amid cycling apparel from brands such as Garneau and Massimo. Meanwhile, trained techs in CK Cycles' onsite service shop perform a range of services, from doing yearly tune-ups to rectifying the faulty, albeit supercharged modifications made by sitcom tool-show hosts.