The Best of Silicon Valley 2012

Best Sports and Recreation Shopping

mel cottons MEL COTTON'S Nature red in tooth and claw can be tamed at the expansive sporting goods and outdoor store. Photograph by Jen Anderson

Best Outdoor Gear

Mel Cotton's

1266 W. San Carlos St., San Jose. For more than 60 years, Mel Cotton's has been feeding the valley's need to get back to the country, with all the basics in tents, sleeping bags and camp stoves as well as the latest advances in compaction and efficiency. The store is deeply involved in community and youth events, and the window displays are as good as a natural-history museum diorama.

Sports Basement 1177 Kern Ave., Sunnyvale

Any Mountain, multiple locations

Best Bike Mechanic

Mark SanfILiPpo

Hyland Cycles, 1515 Meridian Ave., San Jose. The most difficult part of cycling is, of course, proper component choice. You need a professional on your side who knows why a Campagnolo Record 11s shifter isn't compatible with a XL Primal Wear jersey. It takes a professional who's honed his or her skills for years. Luckily, Mark has the capability to resolve the most challenging questions in cycling, and he'll repair your fixie as well.

Eric Olsen, Bicycle Express 131 E. William St., San Jose

Caleb Fowler, La Dolce Velo 1280 The Alameda, San Jose

Best Skate Shop


108 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose. Don't let the compact size of Circle-A's shop mislead you. The store carries plenty of custom decks for serious skaters.

Ohana Board Shop 3567 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose

Mojo's Surf & Skate Shop 198 Great Mall Dr., Milpitas

Best Bicycle Shop/Maker

Hyland Family Bicycles

1515 Meridian Ave., San Jose. A family-owned business spanning several generations, Hyland caters to cyclists at all skill levels, ages and price points, with mountain bikes, cruisers and all the add-ons that make a good bike a mobile entity.

Eric Olsen 131 E. William St., San Jose

Mike's Bikes 201 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos; 3001 El Camino Real, Palo Alto

Best Motorcycle Shop

San Jose Harley-Davidson

1551 Parkmoor Ave., San Jose. It doesn't take the popularity of Sons of Anarchy to reinforce the permanent place this Harley-Davidson brand holds in the American psyche. And San Jose Harley-Davidson is the epicenter of the valley's Harley culture.

Road Rider Motorcycle Accessories 2897 Monterey Highway

House of Thunder 16175 Condit Road, Morgan Hill