Outdoor gear shop opens at city farmers market
PARKERSBURG – Lapping the Couch Adventures LLC is providing vehicles for land and water recreation and transportation.
John Wiseman and Kim Coram recently opened the Parkersburg business at one end of the farmers market near the Point Park floodwall.
The business sells and rents the Jackson line of kayaks and paddle boards. The rental fleet includes paddle boards, sit on top kayaks, sit inside kayaks, children’s kayaks and a two seater sit on top kayak.
Lapping the Couch also sells and rents Fuji and Breezer adult and children’s bicycles. The shop offers rental, sales and service for bicycles.
While the shop offers trail bikes, its focus is on comfort bikes and commuting bicycles, Coram said.
Breezer bicycles have received the honor of producing the number one commuter bike for four consecutive years, Coram noted.
“Folks looking for comfortable bikes with big seats and coaster brakes and no or few gears will find wonderful bikes at our shop. Folks looking for bicycles that are designed for grocery shopping, replacing their auto and being a ‘commuter’ bike will find an impressive line with us,” Coram said.
The bikes are assembled by a professional mechanic and they will receive continued maintenance and help as they need it, Coram said.
People looking for high-end carbon road bikes can find those at the shop. “Our first sale was a top of the line carbon road bike,” Coram said.
The shop has a bicycle it sells and uses that has a belt instead of a chain, the Breezer Beltway. The local business offers baskets, bags and supplies in support of commuters.
“We rent high-end equipment so that our clients can have the best experience possible,” said Coram in an email. “We sell and rent Stohlquist water gear, Bending Branches and AquaBound paddles, and Nutcase helmets (only dealer in West Virginia).”
The new business carries Seattle Sports and used gear and equipment on consignment, which brings in an interesting and diverse inventory into the farmers market shop, Coram said.
Lapping the Couch is open Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For those who want to rent recreational equipment outside these hours, Wiseman and Coram will be available by appointment.
Coram said the shop is adding Jackson Fishing kayaks. “They have a much sought after line of boats in the fishing market and we will stock them and have them available for rent,” Coram said.
The shop will be carrying Cogburn bikes, which cater to fishing and hunting (bow and gun) and provide attachments on their bikes for gear transport.
Coram said they are looking to add more paddle boards, which are in huge demand. Recreational equipment dealers are working to bring a fleet of boats and bikes to the shop during the Parkersburg Paddlefest on Sept. 12-13 so people can try out the equipment. The paddlefest will be from Point Park to Blennerhassett Island with camping available on the island.
The shop owners use a trailer on a bicycle to get their boats to the Point for use on the rivers.
Coram and Wiseman said they opened the shop in support of West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s work toward starting the first public bicycle mechanic’s school in the country.
“They need a retailer to help them interface with the public initially and we decided to support their effort by opening a shop to facilitate that need,” Coram said. “The school’s mechanic program is still under development and we look forward to supporting their needs as they arise,” she said.
Once Coram and Wiseman made that decision they decided to add a paddling component based on their love for the sport and her many years of work with Adventure Pursuit and kayak instruction and guiding there.
They also work for North Bend State Park and teach Introduction to Adventure six months out of the year that includes biking and paddling instruction.
“Owning our own shop that provides support for our many activities in the community has already been amazing. We have a wonderful front porch on the shop and ‘couches’ inside and many folks have already come by and sat with us awhile,” Coram said.
A supporter of the shop donated a giant “Jenga” game made from 2 by 4’s and they have spent hours enjoying that, Coram said.
“We want the shop to be the community home of bicyclists and paddlers, a place where people who share similar interests can meet and enjoy being a part of the active adventure recreation scene,” Coram said.
“With the wonderful food at the Point Park Market Place, Friday evening live entertainment and the North End Tavern bringing their beer for the Fridays at Five events at the market we look forward to many more conversations at the shop,” Coram said.