PORTSMOUTH — Starting in August, local outdoors enthusiasts will have a downtown location to purchase equipment and exercise gear for their active pursuits.
Through the River City Adventure Company located at the former Bridge Street Carryout on 2nd Street, owner Heith Gray hopes to provide an opportunity close-to-home and not just through online shopping for those wanting to take advantage of the area’s outdoor amenities.
“The community is embracing outdoors and activity, and it’s becoming a big thing and I want to promote that,” the Lucasville resident said. “You have the trails at Shawnee, you got people running and cycling, hiking and camping, and I just want to make sure they have what they need here to do that to make it more accessible.”
Gray said his focus on fitness has been ongoing for the past 10 years, this last year training for a half Ironman Triathlon which consists of a 1.2-mile swim, 56 miles of biking, and the final 13.1 miles of running.
In his training, where he also serves as a health and wellness coach at the Counseling Center, Gray found it difficult to maintain his bicycle- having to travel 50 miles at least to get parts or to do maintenance on it.
“I saw there was a gap down here for that,” he said. “With a lot of studying and visiting other places, I thought it would be a good idea to open one here.”
At the store, customers will be able to find bicycles, kayaks, canoes, athletic clothing, hiking accessories and more. Gray said hopefully by the start of next year that supply chain shortage issues will be resolved and renting equipment will become a possibility. He believes having rental options will be helpful for those just starting.
Those with bicycles in need of repair will also be able to get full service at the location. RCAC also formed a partnership with the running watch company, Garmin, as an official dealer of the GPS-tracking devices.
“We’re going to have nutrition and stuff like that too,” he said. “It will have kind of anything you might need to go outdoors.”
Gray said the community behind RCAC is very strong already, including backing from Glockner’s and PSKC Crossfit where he works out and is an exercise coach.
Adding to that unity and encouraging active lifestyles are among his goals for the store, which he projects will be open Tuesday through Saturday at the 201 2nd St. location. The location will also be a stop for the annual Tour of the Scioto River Valley bicycle ride between Columbus and Portsmouth on Sept. 25 and 26.
“My hopes with this is it will spark more of an interest in health that we have now,” he said, adding later, “I just hope the community embraces and we’re able to keep growing and get bigger and bigger. The store is a fantastic place and I want to stay there, but I want it to be a place where everyone knows they have dependable service and not have to worry about anything.”
Those looking for more information on RCAC can find the latest updates on their Facebook and Instagram pages.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3101 ext. 1931, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter. © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.