Bike repair stations in Western Mass.
Grab your bike and head out to the Berkshires this summer, but don’t worry if something goes wrong. Alex Platt, a former BLX bike competitor and now the general manager of the Southfield Store in Western Mass., has installed The Fixit, a free self-service bike station with all the tools you need to make minor repairs, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. After fixing your bike, fuel up for your ride with homemade ice cream, a sticky bun, or the store’s renowned Sunday brunch (try the challah French toast with local apple compote or huevos rancheros). You’ll also find The Fixit repair stations in Great Barrington and Williamstown. 413-229-5050.
Visit this rural NH distillery
Take a road trip to New Hampshire for a tour of Tamworth Distilling, situated on sprawling grounds beneath Mount Whiteface in the Waterville Valley region. The distillery uses house-milled grain, White Mountain water, and herbs and botanicals from the property’s woods and garden. It also incorporates other wilderness-to-table ingredients including wheat, rye, apples, corn, and malt all harvested within a 150-mile radius, to create its unique spirits. Enjoy tastings by the river Sundays through Fridays noon to 4 p.m. or organize a private cocktail class, when staff offer a hands-on workshop and guide you through creating three unique cocktails. The distillery also hosts a Garden Infusions Cocktail Workshop Aug. 14, 6-7 p.m., and an Outdoor Cocktail Class Sept. 18, 6-7 p.m. $30 per person for classes/workshops. 603-323-7196, www.tamworthdistilling.com.
Mountain bike the Grand Canyon
Bring your family to Nevada and enjoy pedaling along the rolling terrain of the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. Escape Adventures now offers a five-day camping and mountain bike adventure that includes riding singletrack to Monument Point, hiking on backcountry trails in the canyon, pedaling across the Kaibab Plateau with its towering ponderosa pines, and tackling the Rainbow Rim Trail, considered to be one of the world’s most scenic mountain bike paths. Stay in public campgrounds with scenic views and indoor showers or in backcountry settings with portable toilets and private solar showers. Enjoy healthy homemade meals throughout the trip. Prices start at $1,195 per person through Oct. 4, which includes transportation, most meals, guides, some gear, and all permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations. 800-596-2953, escapeadventures.com.
A full-service RV adventure
Rent a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van and take to the road this summer. Blacksford RV Rental Company, a new Bozeman-based RV rental business, now offers these Winnebego-modified overland adventure vehicles with an all-inclusive package that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, free Wi-Fi, a free annual pass to national parks, 24-hour roadside assistance, and bedding, bath, and kitchen supplies. Blacksford can also create road trip experiences, recommending campsites, guides, and worthwhile destinations. Rent for a day, a week, or multiple months and experience van life. Vehicles available from airports at Las Vegas (which has seven national parks within an 8-hour drive) and Bozeman, one of the gateways to Yellowstone National Park. Rentals start at $199 per day; for an extra fee, the company can also stock the van with your choice of food and other provisions. 406-384-6758, www.blacksford.com.
Try this comfortable, protective face mask
Outdoor Research, an outdoor apparel company, now makes face masks for the public that incorporate a replaceable filter. The Essential Face Mask Kit comes with an adjustable fabric face mask and a three-pack of proprietary filters that protect wearers from airborne bacteria and submicron particulates. The highly breathable mask works for everyday use and outdoor activities, from walking around the block to hiking, biking, and other adventures. The masks, which have been treated with HeiQ NPJ03 to provide resistance to microbes and germs, can be machine-washed up to 30 times and still be effective. They have adjustable ear loops and a nose wire for extra comfort and a secure fit. Keep an eye out for the company’s cold-weather face masks, due out this fall, including a tube neck gaiter and balaclava in lightweight and midweight versions. $20 for the Essential Face Mask Kit. 855-967-8197, www.outdoorresearch.com.
Tools for roadside emergencies
Road trips don’t always go as planned, but you can be prepared for unfortunate breakdowns. Eton’s Road Torq — backed by the American Red Cross — works as an emergency roadside beacon and flashlight. Two minutes of hand cranking fuels the rechargeable lithium-ion battery and produces 15 minutes of flashlight and flashing beacon power (or recharge the unit by USB before leaving home). Once charged, open the device’s three reflective legs and flip up the LED flashing beacon for oncoming traffic to see. Use the flashlight to change a tire or check the engine at night. The company also makes Aqualite, a clever solar-powered water bottle lantern with built-in SOS and strobe lights, a smartphone charger, a flint-and-steel fire starter, and an emergency whistle. The collapsible silicone bottle also comes with a hand crank (in case solar charging isn’t possible); crank for one minute to get 10 minutes of light. The included purification straw ensures that you have clean water in a pinch. $19.99 per product. 800-872-2228, www.etoncorp.com.
Kari Bodnarchuk can be reached at email@example.com.