May is National Bike Month and Farmville Downtown is Ready

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May is National Bike Month, and downtown Farmville is ready, thanks to Mark and Candi Smith of The Outdoor Adventure Store.

The Outdoor Adventure Store, located at 318 N. Main Street next to the entrance to High Bridge Trail State Park, is full of positive energy and outdoor equipment.

The Smiths opened their business last year. Shiny metal-framed bicycles are lined side-by-side. The walls are covered with a rainbow of high-quality t-shirts from companies such as Marmot, Patagonia and Life is Good. Everything a cyclist could want is tucked neatly into corners or hung on pegboards.

The Outdoor Adventure Store not only sells bikes, but also offers bicycle rentals, as well as maintenance and repair services.

The energy in the store is as vibrant and vivacious as the owners. Candi is excited about being a part of Farmville Downtown. “We believe in what we do,” says Candi. “People are out with families, out to do healthy activities, and we’re trying to promote that. Our vision is to make the store open and friendly.”

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For Mark and Candi, outdoor adventure is more than just a great name for their store; it’s a lifestyle. Mark hails from the Virginia Beach area and Candi was born in South Africa, spending her childhood sailing with her parents in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.  In fact, Candi met Mark while in the Caribbean.

The Smiths married eleven years ago and set off on the great adventure of married life and parenthood. They moved to Southside Virginia in 2004 and began working on the Outdoor Adventure Store last June. The transformation of their historic building is a case study in creative restoration.

The store is located at the former site of a 1950’s Texaco filling station. While renovating the structure, the Smiths broke through the existing walls to reveal the building’s original, beautiful brick, taking it back in time.

Candi is a dynamo. She is raising four small children while overseeing three successful businesses and helping Mark launch a fourth. All of their business ventures supports their love of healthy living and the outdoors, from their log cabin farm-stay at Sandy River Retreat to the challenge of The Adventure Park with over 60 obstacles and 17 zip lines. The couple will soon be offering canoe and kayak trips on Buffalo Creek and the Appomattox River.

May is National Bike Month. Whether you bike for fun, bike to work or school, bike to save money, or bike to preserve your health, this is a great time to celebrate the joy that can be found in biking. If you have never biked, The Outdoor Adventure Store is the place to start. Come on, Farmville, let’s ride!