Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ales and Trails jumping limbo

IMBA Ales and Trails event was a total success. Didn't have my camera, only my phone, so when I acquire the images from the 15 ladies we did skills drills with, and 13 that went for an adventurous bike ride on the trails - I'll post more. An exceptional group of ladies ranging from total beginner - never ridden a mtn. bike - to night riding experienced dirt riders and competitive roadies trying to convert to the dirt! Great attitudes and bravery and smiles!

Set up a SLaB Lounge area complete with comfy chairs and a carpet, was a nice shady rest spot! I LOVE BOYS! I can't thank my husband Terry, and Rob Connelly enough  for their dedicated help on the trail and at the event site! Also, BOYS play and play and practice - see the images below of the creative competition that erupted. Boys will be boys, and can't help but smile at them!

The SLaB skills drill of doing the Limbo - soon was taken over by skilled extreme riders! They converted the limbo into a jump challenge. It was so entertaining and fun to watch. The last thing I packed in my truck before leaving at 6 that morning, was the limbo fence stakes & bamboo "bar". 

Fantastic illustration of how boys will play - an inspiration to us women who think riding is to go out for a point "A" to "B" loop, when we might learn more from staying in one area and playing on our bikes to learn balance, compression and wheelie lifts etc. I was food deprived, sun dried and with only my iPhone camera and a beer at this point in the day. Big smiles all around!

World Class rider - National and World Champion - Shaums March- Demonstrated not only how good he was, but how hard it was, as they pushed the limits on this little contest! No prizes, just competition erupting from a creative twist on the limbo! Nobody was hurt during this exercise.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

5th annual ALES and TRAILS

SLaB is excited to be donating it's time and hosting a free clinic during the IMBA fundraiser this weekend. We are big believers and supporters of the good work that the IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) does for maintaining trails, trail access and advocacy.

Come help support IMBA, and say hi to SLaB - we'll be starting at the Paradigm Cycles Booth - look for our jersey's and logos about the picnic grounds - and say hi to Bev and Terry and Robco if you see us!

SATURDAY, JUNE 28th: Beginning-Intermediate Women's Skills Clinic and short ride starts at 9:45 a.m!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

wheel ups vs up chucks

Rachel spins the Tibetan prayer wheel -
Well the last thing Rachel and I did before we left Sun Valley yesterday was to spin this Tibetan prayer wheel. I finally was back from the dead it seemed - and able to escape towards the airport for home, a day late. This close up of the wheel I took because it looked colorful, upon uploading my images just tonight, I noticed the theme. Hmmmm... maybe I should have spun this wheel before I came to town? Or was this an Omen that I'm done tossing pretty things out of my mouth. Strangely appropriate.

Turns out things still are not back to normal colon wise, and looking up info last night on the internet... and it appears to be e.Coli .... yup... more than just an average food poisoning... as I had some curious symptoms that I'll resist sharing. 

I'll just assume it was tomatoes... who knows. Went to my Naturopath today, and took some magic dust herbs that immediately calmed my tummy. Life is looking better everyday!

Glad to not be up-chucking - and wish I could have done the 2nd day of my bike clinic -  and done wheel ups - wheelie drops... etc etc.

I have lots of pretty photos from the start and end of the weekend, and luckily nothing to share from the middle. I'll post the Dirt Series mountain biking images soon!

Don't forget to come join SLaB this weekend at China Camp in San Rafael - for the IMBA ales and trails event!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Food poisoning sucks

Got halfway through my Dirt Series mountain bike skills camp- then started suffering like my friend Mark who's trying to keep things in after Chemo sessions. My first blog post from my iphone- will post happy pictures from my one day with the ladies when I finally make it back to an airport and home. I'm lighter- not stronger- well I take that back my abs got a good workout. But I can say life is more beautiful when one finally gets Immodium.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Running Errands

I love the satisfaction of not taking my car out for days. 

Even owning a hybrid car, it still is not only less efficient driving in traffic with signals & parking lot dramas, but even just a 2 mile jaunt on my bike puts me in a better mood & hopefully sets a good example. 

We've timed errands to destinations on Steven's Creek; The Oaks Shopping Center, Hobee's, Coffee Soc., or Whole Foods, barely 2 miles. Try it sometime, & see that it doesn't take much longer! Your options are to wait a few times, in a running car, to cross Steven's Creek & be stopped at signals---> or to carbon freely cut through Memorial Park on your fun bike! Both options get you to the corner of Whole Foods at the SAME TIME. 

I don't have to fight the insane parking dance that goes on - with what seem to be angry and sometimes privileged deserving hurried car drivers. I roll right up to the door, with my blood pumping for the opposite reasons than when I drive there. Im repeatedly frustrated with the lack of parking skills in our community, so much that I've left notes... & even hollared out the window for said driver to get off her cell phone & try to back out of her friggin spot with TWO hands. What is it that putting your car in reverse--> that means put the phone to your ear? I just don't get that. Call after you are rolling down a straight road... not while maneuvering out of a parking spot... I digress. Sorry.

So here are shots of our ENORMOUS, largest Whole Foods in the West, 63,000+ feet of restaurant/prepared foods, lots of organic...yada yada. The envy of most my friends as I live so close & have access to fresh produce year round... within a 25 minute walk or 12 minute bike ride, or under a 15 minute drive.
My purpose is to encourage more to run errands on bike, but report accurately my hopes for some convenience updates needed in our community to make it even safer and easier for more of us to do so!

Let me repeat: Largest WF in West, 
seating for 200, 63,000 sq ft

CAR PARKING: over 300 at my guess.

BIKE PARKING: maybe 5 or 6? Outrageous!

In theory could hold 8 bikes. But location makes last rack impossible to reach, or hazardous to your bike/scratch safety. Each circle pole had one bike on it already, and I am not far off by assuming they were employee bikes. Many times a week, always the same bikes, & I've seen employees come or go from those racks. What does that leave a customer. ZILCH!

I lean my bike against the wall - I could snuggle up against one of the employee bikes there, but it is extremely hard to get my heavy cruiser around the picnic tables, and past the handlebars- without some embarrassing & potentially scratching tip-over. I'm not worried about theft, just want an out-of-the-way place, that maybe I can lock my wheel to the frame for no easy roll-away theft potentials. So I choose the wall next to, and overlapping the rack. See image- my RED cruiser with white basket is overlapping rack of 3.

Secondary bike rack is to the right of entry door, and has it's capacity pretty well filled w/ 2 bikes. The racks are not against the long empty wall by the windows to the culinary school area- but perpendicular, & overlapping with shopping cart storage, so a bike can't get in & out safely again.

My hope is that I can encourage other shoppers to put in a suggestion box, or email at: & ask them to give their employees separate bike parking that is secure - to motivate more of them to ride to work!

Afterall, Whole Foods is the mainstream example & brags about being local, more sustainable & responsible than most others! THEN improve the parking in front of the building to encourage and increase the number of spaces for SHOPPERS!

The only other few seconds of a drawback on my fun commute - is the weird West Bound lane crossing in front of the OAKS shopping and to the 85 overpass. There is a 35mph note on the street - with a dotted line where a cyclist is supposed to cross the traffic that wants to zoom at least 35, across a lame pedestrian cross walk with no light, then enter the Freeway. 

You have to put your arm out, be aggressive, then split the lanes like a motorcyclist. There is a BIKE LANE there after you  move over... and nice white thick lines to mark it... and I've never had a problem once I enter the lane. Sometimes getting to the lane is confusing for the drivers... they don't know what to do with us cyclists... cause there are not enough of us out there! Let's teach them!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Don't beat yourself up club

I'm officially trying to take my own medicine now. Yes I haven't had stamina for any nice sized bike rides. But sometimes just getting on your bike and riding down a flat'ish road, to a coffee shop & back, are the first steps to getting off your duff!

So Friday I did that, then Saturday I attempted the standard Freemont Older mountain bike loop w/ my husband. Unfortunately the gigonormous-steep-long fireroad to the top to start the ride was a reminder I'm not in my form. For the first time since I moved here... I had to stop and catch my heart rate up to my ambitious legs and mind. In the shade of a huge powerline tower - I found it hard to start up again. Wanting to feel STRONG LIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL... and forcing myself to say I am SLAB... with the aid of looking at the stickers I've strategically placed on my GT Zaskar kick butt mtb... I got on again. I did make it to almost the top, where I convinced Terry to take a different route to Toyon Trail. After a nice single track section which ended with a steep up... I rested again... content to wait for him to go off on another section and return to my spot... then both go home. 

It takes some mental power to be proud of yourself when you have done more trail before. But the way we have to look at these things is that you have to start somewhere. Take the first step of getting your gear on... bike ready... and off the driveway. Be proud and have maybe a small goal of 15-20 minutes out then the same back. This mountain bike ride was hard, but it was nice to see the trails again, and get the views. I'm glad I put my stickers on my bike. It helped to remember what I would say to encourage a beginner rider.

I'm starting a club... it is the "Don't Beat Yourself UP" club... otherwise known as Strong, Light and Beautiful! You can join us anytime!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sustainable "green" fair - and a bike ride

I'm over the "Green" term... but "am" by definition - as I choose greenly. (Maybe the next bumper sticker huh?! CHOOSE GREENLY - folks will think it is political... hmm)

Steven's Canyon was beautifully green Sunday - we rode to it's end after attending the "Greenfair Silicon Valley". Below are highlights from both the convention center and bike ride.

The fair was a great place to source materials and contractors & services that you hear about - but can't find so easily. There were exhibitors from non-toxic house-cleaning services to solar companies, renovation materials and construction contractors. Very worth the few hours we squeezed from our weekend and house guests. Should have gone the day before and spent even more time. This was my element for sure!
Steven's Creek
Bev & Plastic-bag-man. He recently was kicked out of San Franciso.
Convention center is a "fabric" style building. Glad there was a decent turn-out, and I was surprised it was not all "the choir" - and some new to being "GREEN" were there... not just us green junkies. That's what we need - to reach the nay-sayers or naive.
Solar powered with nice fans that ran - made me think I need one for home... that my husband can use outside the house... snicker snicker.
Made an appointment this week from these guys- they harvest your rainwater from your roof - and you can hook that up for various usages - including watering those pesky lawn and gardens!

Terry and I overheard a father telling a son that was excited about the product... telling him "we only get 14 inches of rain a year... doesn't work for us". Well aalllll be darn, dad thinks he knows everything doesn't he? Imagine 14" of rain times the square footage of your entire roof?! Ticked us off... but decided not to try and solve the smarty pants family issues there.
Gorgeous counter and kitchen and bath products made from recycled and sustainable materials. Been fantasizing about our remodel with these products - for years now. I'm ready to just do it... and not wait another month/year/decade!
Ed Begley Jr. and Bev have a discussion about who they both know in the bike business - and how they both want to go for a ride! My goal.... get his lovely wife Rachelle to go riding... and maybe wear one of my SLaB shirts or jerseys! ;-) He was super nice, and gave a fantastic talk on what you can do to be sustainable in your own life. Spoke of alternatives, or choices we make - from as small as a light bulb - to whole house solar and more. He doesn't preach, but feels strongly that it is not so hard to d0 - and is living proof! 

Most interesting was that he thought his house was pretty energy efficient... until he had an energy efficient inspection done. Where they have infrared lights and I think these blowers to find the drafts - the leaks - where your heat and cooling are disappearing. Hopes in the room were for future required inspections like this - in all real-estate transactions.
Only a couple motor scooter and bike vendors - was surprisingly low number of displays regarding transportation... maybe next year.

After the fair we went for a bike ride up Steven's Canyon Road - perfect end to a nice earth friendly day! Here is a nice recycled bike frame gate. Some of the other gates are not as welcoming or pretty in this canyon - but we found the good stuff.
Terry, Amy and Kirk - going up canyon. From my phone camera while riding... too fun!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Living with Ed - Silicon Valley Green Fair

More on this later this week - but 4 of us went to the Green Fair today! It was a kid in the candy store for me. I've been thinking and trying to be sustainable where I can make the choice - since before the term "Green" back when Kermit was just a frog! Look for full posting later - with some very cool cool finds. Things you and I can do! Now ride your bike to work at least once this week will ya?!

Friday, June 6, 2008

From an older "Red Envelope" catalog... fabulous isn't it?! Imagine a group of men doing the same ;-) Nice visual huh?!

Women's retreats - why we need them!

Sister Cathy and me after a great spin towards the lake.
Yup... 73 year old Mom - on a GT mountain bike! Wonder where my sister and I get our adventure from? ;-) You should see her and dad canoe down a river and fly fish also!
Cathy and Bev find an appropriate turn-around spot on the fire-road.
This building is where a large group of women, mostly from 
Reno and the e-women network - hung out last weekend. La Porte California, where cell phones don't work, no internet access, and about 5-6 hours from my home~

We laughed and laughed, ate great food, drank great wine, and painted our faces like we were in Junior High. Average age was probably 50+. I think we were from 37 to 74 yrs old. Menopause jokes and many many amazing lives - with tragedies overcome, cancers survived, litters of kids to be proud of, business successes, feats accomplished - lots to share and learn about ourselves -  to reach more goals in our life still coming!

Friday to Sunday - and on Sunday morning.... laughter turned to tears of appreciation. You would never see this at a man's retreat. Hugs, sharing, growing, and admitting to deep secrets, fears and pain that have been masked and kept to one's self. 

I just love women, being one, being around them, and the fact that they are so interested in growth, change, learning about them-selves and others, and can express the emotions to go with. I think some men privately do so, but this sort of critical mass of energy - only comes from a multi-day women's retreat. This is the whole essence of why I started SLaB. I knew that women learn different, and have fears that while near or with their counter-parts - male or female - that the learning curve and bravery are muted. 

When we separate ourselves from our other identities - we allow for room for compassion, bravery, guts, fears to release, and glory!

Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Jill Kintner is Olympic bound!

(Jill is first girl on left- can you imagine even holding your bike in that position for the start?!)

We are so excited that SLaB honorary member and clinic/coach - JILL KINTNER made the Olympic team! Let's keep cheering her on - as she is simply FABULOUS!

Jill Kintner is the only American girl who will represent BMX in the 2008 Olympic Games!

"I am proud of myself considering how much I have had to overcome to make this happen, and that less than a month ago I was under the knife getting part of my knee fixed." - Jill

Her news had mixed emotions, as her friend and room-mate at the training center was who she beat by 1 point overall - to get the position for the US team. Tears for Arielle's loss came first... but soon tears of joy will hopefully take over for Jill.

Check out these links for more information: 

For the half-dozen SLaB members that got to meet and ride with Jill at the Sea Otter, this is even more exciting! We realize how special she is, and were so lucky to get advice from her as we did a riding clinic. Learning from an Olympic competitor!