Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jill Kintner takes Bronze in Beijing. SLaB takes over the local BMX park

Written by Janet LaFleur, -Mountain View 
(photos by Cindy Mueller, -Saratoga)
“When I rolled up to the BMX area, filled with guys of all sizes, flying across the jumps and doing acrobatic moves, I almost said it out loud: "There's NO WAY I'm going in there." I felt conspicuous enough just riding down the sidewalk looking for the SLaB girls.”
While Jill Kintner was flying toward Bronze in BMX at the Olympics, I was barely edging out the 5-year olds at Calabazas Park.
Occasionally, I let my curiosity trump my dignity. When I told Beverly and my buddy Jill that yes, I'd try this pump track thing, it seemed like a good idea. So I  threw my flat pedals on my mountain bike, grabbed my skate shoes and drove down to Calabazas Park, feeling confident cause I knew my friends would be there. But when I rolled up to the BMX area, filled with guys of all sizes, flying across the jumps and doing acrobatic moves, I almost said it out loud: "There's NO WAY I'm going in there." I felt conspicuous enough just riding down the sidewalk looking for  the SLaB girls.

I find Beverly and her friend Cindy with the camera. The Channel 11 truck was just leaving, and the young BMXers were out in force, checking out the media--and checking out the "old ladies" who ventured near their play zone. Before long, Jill and Elizabeth showed, as did a few other SLaB women. Two saw the scene and immediately turned tail, claiming to be on their way to Fremont Older. But Joann, a 50+ beginner, pushed herself out of her comfort zone and stayed for the ride. You go girl!
After Beverly's friend Shane from Evolution Bike Shop arrived, it was time for us to ENTER THE PEN. Elizabeth suggested we move away from the crowd and warm up on the berms on the other end of the park. So we rode past all the youthful eyes, attempting to find some privacy. Little did we know that the boys would follow us down to watch.

Author, Janet, enters the berm section of the park.

Despite the unwanted attention, the berms were great. You'd come down a tabletop, swoop one way then the other in a series of links. Shane had some suggestions: bend your elbows more, put your weight here, push here, lift there, but I was content just to see if I could get through the series without pedaling too much or having to brake. A good start.

Then it was time to go back to the main area for the rollers. More instruction: Bend your arms on the upside, push down with your legs on the backside. Or was it something else? I forget. The idea was to pedal as little as possible, but I was once again content just to not stall out on top of the rollers.

“More instruction: Bend your arms on the upside, push down with your legs on the backside. Or was it something else? I forget. The idea was to pedal as little as possible, but I was once again content just to not stall out on top of the rollers.

We played until it started to get dark, and then talked until it got really dark. Oh, and we took a photo with all the BMXers for Jill Kintner. I'm sure the good vibes we sent helped her in the race.

What impressed me the most about the BMX park was the healthy, safe environment it provided for the risk-taking that comes with youth (and for some doesn’t end at youth). Every neighborhood should have such a place.

So while I'm not going to buy a BMX bike anytime soon, or seek out time at a pump track, in the end I was glad I came. I got to try something new, I got to support an American female athlete in a sport dominated by males, and I got to visit a new bicycling culture.

Go Jill Kintner. Go BMX. Go Olympics for recognizing this sport.

Go Beverly and SLaB for organizing a great event.

-Janet Lafleur
Mountain View

Friday, August 22, 2008


From Jill's Blog:

Insane insane insane. 3 was my lucky number all day, lane 3 every round, finished third every lap, number 33,third overall, and USA took home 3 of 6 medals in BMX. my bronze, mikey's silver, and the Don's bronze. I am mid media blitz but will write more after this settles down. This experience has been incredible and to walk away a champion is something else. I'm very happy to be able to give something back to everyone who has supported me along the way. Think my dad was shining down on me today. Big thanks to Coach g, Bryn, mom, Paul, chris powell, kinger, USA cycling, Gt, red bull, Oakley,team sponsors, amy Stanton, Arielle, OTC, Steve spencer, Steve "mf" Bamel, Katie k, pete d, RM 59, Leigh d, Smapril, April lawyer, Anthony t, randy roberts, e-dub, mike raich, and everyone back home who has supported me through this!!!
We are so happy for you Jill - and proud of the entire BMX team! YAYAYAYAY!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rain in Beijing - today is BMX

Yesterday's (Thursday in China) BMX was postponed to Today (Friday in Beijing). Well if my calculations are correct... at 9 a.m. Beijing time (it's currently around 2 a.m. there), then we have 7 hours to Jill's start time for the 2nd Heat... she is #33... Think about her and send some SLaB energy!

Jill got our Rally picture... and above her email response.

Below is a shot of the ramp with Kyle Bennett 2nd from left.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Photo Galleries of Olympic Rally

I haven't edited the galleries yet - and had to post one camera (SLaBber Cindy M's awesome images!) and my little camera separately. Enjoy!

BTW, all the American's made the finals! YIPPEE!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Olympic Rally for USA BMX team!

Calabazas Park riders joined in the enthusiasm, as SLaB riders got lessons from Evolution Bike Shop - on how to navigate and pump over the BMX bumps! NBC11 did a story complete with live footage, interviews including our own... SLaB founder Bev, and the story aired several times tonight with various edited versions. We are so excited and proud and inspired by Jill Kintner and her Olympic teammates - Donny Robinson from Napa, Kyle Bennett & Mike Day!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Behind scenes at BMX training center with Jill

Support America's BMX sweetheart, and the rest of Team USA! Come show spirit tomorrow night (TUESDAY AUGUST 19), and pose for a photo to send to Jill and her team-mates! 7 p.m. at Calabazas park. San Jose/Cupertino - just off 85 and DeAnza! 

Bring your bike and helmet - and let's play on the track a few times!

BMX park fun, prep for Tuesday Rally

Friday, August 15, 2008

Jill Kintner is in China now

Check out her first impressions on her blog - Day 1. Very interesting! Thanks to Slabber Alex - she keeps me up to date on Jill's blogs. The group of us that rode with Jill at Sea Otter, are simply giddy about "knowing" her or getting to ride with an Olympian!

Next Wednesday is the first race, then Thursday the BMX Finals!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

No Shoes, houseboats & Rattlesnakes

Slab took her shoes off for an extended weekend. Houseboated (or House docked as we like to say - since we stayed put) - kayaked, swam, drank and laughed for over 4 days!

I'm trying to post a video of 2 rattlesnakes that we watched get crazy close to our bow of the boat - on the lakes dry - low water level banks. Stay tuned - will figure out this blogger and .avi compatibility!

We'll put our biking shoes back on, and my new LOOK pedals - for some group rides and a Skills clinic September 6th it looks like~!

Keep checking back for more calendar data!

Jill rides in one week! Let's group ride next Wednesday for her!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

( 8 8 8 ) tomorrow

Beijing Birds Nest Stadium - 08 08 008

The Olympics are here! I glimmer that Summer isn't over yet, and nostalgia of all the Olympics we'd wait to watch on NBC and think maybe someday we'd get to go, even fantasize that we'd participate in some sport. They never did add Roller Skating to the menu, so my chances were slim! The Road Race is TOMORROW and ends passing under the GREAT WALL OF CHINA! How cool is that?!

Be sure to watch (just to name some of my favorites):
Levi Leipheimer and George Hincapie, 
Taylor Phinney, Jason McCartney, 
Christian Vande Velde, David Zabriskie, 
Mike Day, Kyle Bennett, Todd Wells - 
...just to name some that I recognize.

And of course... the Ladies!
JILL KINTNER (our SLaB girl!) in BMX, 
Mary McConneloug on Mtn xCountry
Christine Thornburn and Kristin Armstrong - road/track

Check this fabulous site out for details :

PS - Congrats to Lisa and Chris on their commitment today - 8-08-08

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Gotta be good luck~!

I just took this picture minutes ago in Cupertino, CA. 180 degree rainbow, and at the end the pot of gold is SLaB! To the non-local reader this is a very rare moment, as for at least 5 month's out of the year we don't get clouds, nor rain. Fog, which burns off, otherwise the weather is somewhat boring, and I miss the vibrant skies of Colorado, or the thunderstorms of Connecticut. It was simply beautiful!

(By the way, this was taken with my iPhone)

Monday, August 4, 2008

33ish mile road ride to Cowgirl Creamery

A beautiful Sunday in Marin for a 33 mile road ride (felt like 45). We left Fairfax to Nicasio then to Point Reyes Station. Ate a bazillion calories at Cowgirl Creamery (my favorite dessert-Affagato), and road back via Lagunitas, including bike path portion to Samuel B. Taylor park, a nasty pavement section, then back to our faithful fruit stand. SLaB colors were flying with Rachel and Bev in our jersey's! Terry & Jim waited at critical spots, drafting helped when we could keep their wheels, as it was Wiiiindddyyy on the way out from Nicasio!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

SLaB Stickers - so Euro!

You can decorate your car, bike box, bike rack, garage, bike... refridgerator and more with these super hip EURO style stickers! Get yours at Strong, Light and Beautiful's stationary store in

Note cards (see shop!) and stickers remind us that we are all Strong, Light and Beautiful! Great gifts for your fellow cyclists friends!

All Cycling apparel, jersey's etc., on the shop page. Enjoy!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Great Friday, rockin' in new gear too!

You know you are feeling better both mentally and stronger physically - when you can get up and go walk a 5ish mile hiking loop with a friend at 6:30 in the morning, create a new proof of an ad for a client, then dash off and go rock climbing for most of the day! 

I used to rock-climb somewhat semi-frequently in my College days and a few times afterwards. 20 years later I've met some friends that are willing to take me under their belay wings - and encourage me to try it again. Today I was mentally on... especially when I also decided to get myself a present of brand new climbing shoes. This will hopefully increase my frequency of joining the group! I think I'll go take a class again - to be more able to set up the gear, and refresh so I can confidently return the belay favors! Strangely - gear does motivate me for these adventures! 

With these little hush-puppies on, I felt so SLaB!