Patuxent Adventure Center Offers Gear for Southern Maryland's Paddlers and Pedal Pushers
PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. - Surrounded by water and home to miles of back roads and country lanes, Calvert County is a perfect spot for the area's only combination kayak and bike retail shop- the Patuxent Adventure Center in Solomons. The husband-and-wife team of Trish and Dave Lane own and manage the store year-round, offering both novice and experienced bikers or paddlers a variety of services. Whether buying a child's first bike or seeking an expedition kayak to paddle a thousand miles, the Patuxent Adventure Center has a professional staff with the expertise and local know-how that turns the curious into an aficionado.
Hans Welch, 49, of Leonardtown, is one such enthusiast who has transformed his life - and his body - through biking. "A couple years ago, after years of working like crazy and exercising too little, I found myself out of shape and weighing over 300 pounds," he says. "I bought a cheap little mountain bike at a yard sale for $20 and, within a month, I was up to 10 miles per day. As I got more involved and started losing weight, I bought a better road bike that fit my body size and riding style from the Patuxent Adventure Center and began riding every day. At this point, I've lost 65 pounds and am riding about 70 miles per week. I've even ridden in a number of 100-mile charity rides. It is so much fun and gets you into great shape."
Trish and Dave Lane say there are many people like Welch who use biking and kayaking to enjoy the outdoors, get in shape and find healthy ways to socialize with friends and family. "There are many different bikes and kayaks that are suited for people with different needs. We provide products that fit our customers - both in price and utility," says Dave. "Many stores just want to sell you a bike or kayak and never see you again. I love to watch people enjoy the sport, whether it's riding with the kids or racing at top levels. People have different reasons for wanting a bike or kayak and I love to hear about them all."
The Patuxent Adventure Center's service team is headed by manager and head mechanic Drew Walton who has over six years of professional bicycle mechanic experience. Walton holds a professional bicycle mechanic certification from the United Bicycle Institute. "Knowing all the components and what they do is essential to providing quality service, but it's also about what a person wants to do with their bike that may demand very different service requirements," says Walton. It's easy to see that the enthusiasm really sets this business apart; the Lanes are true enthusiasts of biking and kayaking and provide a wealth of insight for people who are just starting out or those who want to compete at the highest levels of the sports.
As members of the Patuxent Velo Cycling Club and the Calvert Marine Museum Canoe and Kayak Club, they also volunteer their expertise for a number of charitable events around Southern Maryland, including the annual Leonardtown Criterium Bicycle Race in support of Special Olympics of St. Mary's County, the Tour de Solomons bicycle ride supporting the local Solomons Business Association and the Solomons Biathlon in support of the Chesapeake Biological Lab. "I enjoy seeing people excited about the sports and I love when someone comes back from a kayak rental and tells me they saw a Bald Eagle take a fish off the water or when someone finally gets their mountain bike through one of the stream crossings at St. Mary's Lake State Park. I truly love being a part of that," says Dave.
The Patuxent Adventure Center also provides kayak instruction, rentals and guided tours around the creeks and rivers of Calvert and St. Mary's Counties. A family kayak trip or a corporate outing is a great way to get away from the usual and experience something a little different. The Patuxent Adventure Center has kayaks on Back Creek in Solomons for rental anytime from May through October; they also provide kayaks at Greenwell State Park for company picnics or family reunions. For $35 for a half-day kayak rental and package prices for corporate outings, Dave says that kayaking is one of the most affordable ways to experience the beauty of Southern Maryland.
With the holidays approaching, Welch suggests that a kayak or bike makes an excellent gift for someone who wants an enjoyable way to get in shape. "Like any new sport, the first month is difficult. But once you get through that, biking is so much fun and it doesn't beat your body up like some sports can. We live in such a beautiful area and biking allows you to get out and really see our countryside," he said. "The Patuxent Adventure Center is the perfect place to make a first purchase or upgrade your equipment. It's a great family-owned shop with an attention to service that sets them apart - they understand how bikes work and how everything fits together and I think that's what makes them special."
For more information on the Patuxent Adventure Center, visit online at www.paxadventure.com or call 410-394-2770.