Saturday, October 16, 2010

Brand new blog for travel and cycling!

(photo by Mark Blacknell - see more of his perspective on this trip at,, and he and I both will submit stories to

So a new adventure deserves a new blog.
I've been meaning to post that here - as folks are missing out on my Taiwan Cycling Festival adventure. Sponsored by Taiwan Tourism Bureau - I'm one of 5 lucky cycling evangelists from the States and Canada to be on the trip. 10 days in Taiwan, jammed packed with showing us all it has to offer, a new hotel every night, and attending ceremonies and cycling advents. Additional - activities include a LOT of riding! Some river rafting and more!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

INTERBIKE! Beautiful shiny (sustainable) transportation!

I've been meaning to post pictures here, instead of just on Facebook - of all the fabulous products I saw at Interbike last week. Reconnections at many booths of all different brands were made as my history in this industry runs deep. So fun to see familiar faces, a tad older, but still in love with the machine, the lifestyle, the industry.

Bicycle boxes/baskets and carriers to help promote bikes for transportation, not just recreation. Fashion shows

Colnago had at least one classic steel w/ gorgeous lugs, the rest was carbon and likely stunningly awesome bikes, but the soul and paint jobs that made them famous, are gone - which made this girl sad.

Colored rubber tires to spice up the whole look.

$80,000 carbon/titanium/magnesium electric "bike" that went up to 50+ mph. Not my thing, but there it was. Apparently another sister bike to the left that was nicer looking w/ white accents is Jay Leno's. Still, didn't feel like a bike, but it was transportation that is not a car!

The only electric bikes that I've ever liked the look of so far! Italian and retro stylings that were truly attractive! Solex! I think one of the designers/founders is the son of the Stingray bike designer. Who's name slips my mind right now - doh!

NuVinci hubs with groovy instruments that show you your gears according to the cutest little rubber icon going up or down a hill.

My new favorite - Organic Bikes! Bamboo accessories and top/down and seat tubes! *sigh*. On top of my wish list now!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Letting go - to leave room for new adventures

I think.

Kayak anybody?

It's time to give this antiquated vessel to somebody who will use it! Last time it was in the water, my friend Cyndi was alive & her husband Arne tried to paddle around their lake in Fairfield CA. 2002.

It's been on fun adventures (houseboat trips), and scary adventurous ones (class 4+ rapids on the Cache La Poudre River Colorado).

Originated in the East - I bought it used in 1986 from CSU student who climbed & river rat'ed in CO (yes "rat"). (also bought a climbing rope from him).I took it out East w/me & kayaked in Long Island Sound in winter... Breaking ice & snow inside marshlands. Of course I paddled it in the warm summers as well.

Clearly a sentimental item that represents my past life of river ratting, raft guiding on the Dead & Penobscot rivers in Maine. And a now- somewhat tamed personality- of "no fear". Hate to say this... But I think I need a keel, an either sit-on-top or sea, kayak - now for my adventure level.

No spray skirt or float bags, or paddle (keeping my gorgeous Mitchell wood paddle).

I mourn the letting go of this symbol of my past, but realize it's nearly a dusty trophy - trying to prove to myself & backyard tours that I WAS this person in the past. Perhaps someone will breath life back into it's hull... & it will open up a space for a shiny new adventurous toy to enter my world.


Friday, July 9, 2010

East Palo Alto Salvage Firm May Be Forced Out

My favorite home salvage place! It's in trouble. If you can help find a new location, please send it to them!

I've recycled windows, doors and plumbing here by donating it. I've purchased all sorts of lumber, doors, and other creative items for my renovation needs.

Re-purpose, recycle... sustainable living!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Support Matching. It should be a law...

Donate to Palin's agenda, donate to gulf clean up. Balance.

I think it should be a law that when you donate to support a political candidate or party, that you have to match that donation to a charitable cause.

For instance, the millions of dollars going into supporting your "family values" candidate, could be another pile of millions to counseling, family planning, adoption, health care, orphanages, fostering and so on. We can call it:


Just saying.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Raw attempts!

In an effort to eat more organically and with full potential of all
enzymes & nutrients available... I'm drawn to the "raw" eating ways.

Stay tuned as I learn to "sprout" beans, seeds & maybe even
reintroduce my sensitive system to nuts. It's a good thing I make lots
of collandars in my pottery creations!


(Cathy, left and Bev at Emerald Bay rest stop)

Sometimes life forces us to reverse rolls, and roll with it! Two weekends ago was "America's most beautiful bike ride" on June 6. A 72 or 100 mile ride route around Lake Tahoe. Your choice. Or if you are me... and realize you haven't ridden beyond 20ish in over a year, and need to resist the urge to join the Team-in-Trainers, the novice riders, the "never ridden this far before" crowd, and stop at a designated point... you do 30 miles.

Now I know that I'm supposed to be proud, and I know I would coach and preach the positive aspects of the fact that just under a year ago I was in a wheelchair, but it still hurt. The most wonderful part of that weekend, was seeing my sister, a working out healthy woman, that hasn't ridden much on the road, and never ridden beyond 20 miles herself in one batch... successfully go around the lake spontaneously. We had planned to both ride to "Sunnyside" -30 miles from our Condo in South Lake, and she was so strong... with tears in my jealous eyes of desire to be the leader, the coach, the advocate for going beyond ones limits, resisted continuing, and encouraged her to reach a goal that she didn't know she could reach. My nice friend Louisa was already on her way to play SAG (support and gear) vehicle, and come rescue me at said Sunnyside stop.

Now before we parted, Cathy and I made it up the Emerald Bay climb to the most stunning view of Lake Tahoe out there, (tied with the Flume trails view of Sand Harbor). After we summited, Cathy was able to reach for her water bottle and drink while still riding. A skill that many road riders don't have - and like an experienced touring or racing goddess, with giggles of joy that she crossed that line, after a tad of coaching from myself - this win was a big one. Previously we needed to stop on the side of the tour, and drink while "parked". This is the type of skill I try to emphasize is important for safety, health and hydration, and basic bike handling skills that are important. This was a win for both of us, and now she is unstoppable. Seriously - she just kept going!

Like the tortoise and the hare, the rest of our fast century-riding-group of guys averaging 18miles per hour for the 100 miles of high altitude, w/ 2 large hills, would see her at rest stops, think she was me (as at this point she was riding my bike now, and still wearing her SLaB jersey)... to realize that smiling woman was my amazing sister!
Even though I'm the younger, I'm used to being the encourager for bike adventures... and now I'm am the one forced to listen to my body and physical therapist, and not push my knee and ankle beyond it's recovery limits. Grrrr. A tough mental space to be in, but a joyous one to see what is possible, and see not only my sister, but novices of less fitness than either of us, with good causes in mind such as raising funds for the Leukemia Society - carry the inspirational torch for a bit. It's my turn to get encouraged and see the inspiration, not my turn to inspire.

Weird reverse in my life. I'm trying to keep my eye on the future, and continue forward, and take note of the advances, not the backwardness of it all. After all, that is what SLAB is all about isn't it?!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What products we use that are made from OIL...

In the wake of this catastrophic disaster in the Gulf. I find myself again pondering what else I can take out of my life to lessen the desire for oil. I drive a hybrid, ride bikes (which surely use oil to make - but burn less in the long run)... Bee's wax candles if any... Try to buy clothing that's non polyester - bike jersey's are hard to find - but we should change our ways there.... Organic plant based toiletries...etc etc...
A Brown Pelican sits in heavy oil on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast Thursday, June 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Taken from: (WikiAnswers).

Q: What products are derived from crude oil?

A: Crude oil is feedstock for just about everything under the sun. When crude oil is refined, its various chemical parts are separated and some become gasoline, some lubricants, some asphalt, and others the raw materials for plastics and rubber and many more things. Here are some examples of what can be obtained from petroleum (crude oil, natural gas, and/or viscous or solid forms):

Fuels - like gasoline, diesel, propane, heating oil

Heavy bottoms - like asphalt, bitumen, tar

Petrochemicals - used as a feedstock for many everyday products:

  • plastic gadgets, tools, bags, toy, plastic bottles... plastic plastic...
  • candles
  • clothing (polyester, nylon)
  • hand lotions
  • petroleum jelly
  • perfume
  • dishwashing liquids
  • ink
  • bubble gums
  • car tires
  • ammonia
  • heart valves
  • and many more

Crude oil is refined and used to make all these products:

  • Ethane and other short-chain alkanes which are used as fuel
  • Diesel
  • Fuel oils
  • Petrol
  • Jet fuel
  • Kerosene
  • Liquid petroleum gas (LPG)
  • Natural gas
  • Alkenes (olefins) which can be manufactured into plastics or other compounds
  • Lubricants (produces light machine oils, motor oils, and greases, adding viscosity stabilizers as required).
  • Wax, used in the packaging of frozen foods, among others.
  • Sulfur or Sulfuric acid. These are a useful industrial materials. Sulfuric acid is usually prepared as the acid precursor oleum, a byproduct of sulfur removal from fuels.
  • Bulk tar.
  • Asphalt
  • Petroleum coke, used in speciality carbon products or as solid fuel.
  • Paraffin wax
  • Aromatic petrochemicals to be used as precursors in other chemical production.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tour of California landed in Santa Cruz today!

Lots to report on for this world class event in our neck of the woods. I'm running on wine, beer and coffee - so I'll post this final corner for the top 3 riders today - then post more tomorrow!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Life is good when Bicycle infrastructure exists!

Just and example of a small investment the city can make - and did here in Cupertino, at one intersection. This is brilliant, as this street is a lower traffic street crossing a huge 6-7 lane DeAnza Blvd - and if there are no cars, one can't stay as a "vehicle" - but needs to find a pedestrian cross walk at another intersection. Bikes are vehicles more often than they are "pedestrians".

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

French Polynesian Transporation photos

A little taste of Bora Bora for you. From our Beautiful transit boat designs inspired by American wooden boats of Jackie O days, to our Land Rover tour and bicycles for sale and rent. My favorites were the stylish boat ride and the previous post with the hotels work bikes.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Le Taha'a workers bike

In the French Polynesian Islands, this La Taha'a resort's work bike was a fantastic design! Housekeeping, room service, and landscapers all used them. Many had no pedals left, only the spindle, but employees didn't seem to mind!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Landscape project using recycling

Been working on a renovation project for about, well 7ish weeks on the master bathroom/bedroom project. However that said, the "Stage 1" of said project was to add a courtyard landscaping/hardscape outside the side of our house, a precursor to inside upgrades. Now I must say that almost EVERYONE that I know, meet, chat with... warn against renovating. Horror stories of contractors gone bad, fights with spouses. Double the time and double the costs predictions. All of these have kept me dreaming - but kept me from starting said projects. As a graphic designer and creative gal in general - I have been designing upgrades for our Ranch style 1950's house for years now. Sketches, drawings, some in my head, and many on paper or in the computer have been occurring since I married and moved in with my husband late 2002. One year we actually worked with an architect friend Jean, and she designed a STUNNING-earth friendly-sustainable-gorgeous-contemporary or "transitional" renovation for us. Fee's were costly but worth her time and input. Got a construction estimate and everything halted. I think it was over 4 or maybe 600k. Yes, we could rebuild an entire house for that. We had tried to utilize several existing walls attempting to retain our tax base. Well years went by and we even occasionally went to open houses in a charming nearby town of Los Gatos.

Eventually I got fed up with how dark it is in our house, an
d purchased "Solar Tubes". Awesome skylight-esque product that pulls sun into refelective tubes - to a flat/flush light like glass panel in the ceiling, and creates a "beam me up Scotty" feature which brings incredible life to our living room! Therefore saving electricity as no lights are needed until much later in the evening. Well one little project here and there, including redoing a shed for bike storage and some handicap upgrades to prepare for my leg surgery led me to really wanting to do this Courtyard on the side of the house. I've been fantasizing and designing a way to connect our bathrooms to the outdoors. Visually expanding the house without affecting the foundation or square footage. I wanted privacy for a sunny garden area with an OUTDOOR SHOWER! One thing led to another... and wa-la. My husband agreed to (and he's a slow decision making and slow to change, let me tell you) the idea and said "why don't you build it?!"

I'm a bit of a DIY'er and HGTV addict along with growing up in a family with a machine shop and DIY attitude. Caveat is I don't have tools, am cripple w/ crutches or wheel chair at the start of this - and could only participate with design drawings, direction, purchasing and waitressing skills.

Before: side yard sand box, start of footing.

We started in September, could have been October - but I was coming off my surgery and pain meds - so I'd have to look up the dates. Who built it? A handy-man builder fellow we met thru our neighbor handyman who had contracted him to help with landscaping. Juan. Juan is the sweetest builder contractor, and works alone, and is loyal, talented and knowledgeable. His favorite medium is Stone. Well after he built a footing for our wall that could withstand not only earthquakes but I think building a skyscraper on top of it - we started my design. I got to thinking it might be dark in this 5ft deep courtyard with 5.75ft tall walls. Oh... the creative juices got churning then. I had been saving blue glass bottles (mostly from "Blu Italy mineral water" - for another recycled salvaging sculpture project I wanted to do some day). I though instead of waiting for that bike-parts-mixed-with-glass chandelier project that I don't even have room to hang anywhere - let's put them IN the wall now! (imitating Earthship construction ideas). So in the wall is what we did.

Stage 1 complete: Shower with bottle design and stucco wall. Wall was finished in January.

Cutting the bottles in half, chiseling thru the wall - putting two "butts" or ends of bottles together with duct tape and toothpicks (don't ask), and next thing we know, we have a gorgeous art piece a
"Hundertwasser"esque design installation verses a simple landscape project! I'll post more on the projects growth - but wanted to start somewhere with the evolution of what is now my master bath overhaul!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bicycling Basics for Women's Confidence and Comfort

Class coming up next week!

Bicycling Basics For Women’s Confidence and Comfort
Keys to Safe and Confident Bicycle Commuting
Learn how bikes and biking equipment differ for women’s geometry; how to increase confidence and self-sufficiency, and helpful riding tips for commuting, errands, or fitness. We’ll consider specifics like:
What do I need to start? Basic “must haves” vs “nice to haves”.
1. What kind of bikes are available now and which ar
e appropriate for me?
2. Where can I practice bike skills for safer and more enjoyable riding?

3. What’s keeping me from riding regularly? (We’ll address most common barriers with practical solutions.)

4. Who is out there to help and to ride with, and how do I find them?
How do we deal with personal safety issues and common women’s concerns?

Instructor: Beverly Garrity, bike skills coach, owner of Strong, Light and Beautiful (Women’s Cycling Skills), and Jane Rothstein, LCSW, HIP Coordinator of Environmental Behavior Change

Monday, 3/8 Time: 5:30-7:00 pm

Location: HRP-Redwood Building, Rm T116 STAP/EA Funds: YES Fee: $30

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Spring Fever! Sight Seeing.

Oh how I want to ride everywhere again!

(Friend Helena photographs local humor)

Turns out - when you go the speeds I'm able to pedal - you see an awful lot more of your surroundings! I couldn't stop saying... "look at that mossy rock"... "nice mailbox"... "did you see that cave or hole in the rock next to the river?"

I've started at least one ride on the weekend, and have been finding my limits. An easy road ride is it. Flat... any hills are really strenuous on my atrophied leg. My knee and ankle swell immediately after dismounting the bike, and any obstacle that I want to more properly navigate by getting up off the saddle - tweaks my ankle. This is a lesson for me.

The lesson is that these super weak legs of mine - can't hold my body above the saddle. When I'm coaching cycling skills to beginners I try to have them hover above the saddle as long as possible. In general while mountain biking you rarely sit and "ride" the bike, but are with bend knees and hover forward - back - side to side unless it's a climb. I realize now that if somebody has been inactive - as many of my students are, or maybe overweight or simply haven't built up the "S" in Strong, Light and Beautiful... that your time is limited for getting off the saddle. Baby steps for all of us I guess. I am now more sensitive to this and will modify some coaching or length of a clinic potentially, to not wear out future cyclists!

This picture is from a week ago - going up to the end of Steven's Canyon. Normally it's a slow ride that you forget is not level - other than the "going slow" part. Then when you turn around at the end you fly back to the Pierce Rd/Steven's Creek junction with such speed you realize you were climbing that last 1/2 hour! For me... this "climb" actually had me traversing at times. Terry (my husband) had to do the ol' push trick - and put his hand on my back and help me up the steeper little bumps. I think I need to do some more "really flat" rides before trying this one again. As my knee and ankle let me know my limits- and poofed up.

Needless to say, just the act of suiting up - and breathing fresh air, increasing the heart rate, and yapping with friends while sight seeing up a local canyon - has lifted my spirits.

I'm thinking of modifying or purchasing a bike for commuting - to increase my cycling frequency thru potential rains - and get me out for any journey under 3 miles from my home. My current stable is full of more aggressive bikes for a workout, other than my beach cruiser- which is too heavy and not versatile enough for be to make runs to the local stores and get back "up" the mild inclines to my house. YAY... an excuse to get another bike!

Let's not forget... I'm supposed to ride a CENTURY in May!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Still treating ankle and knee

Aaah, a post surgery update for you all!

Even though I felt like progress was accelerating - I'm finding my
limits. Glad to be starting stationary bike and even tried a real bike
ride. Twisting my foot to get in, or most important- out- of my pedal
cleats is not happening properly. I'd say mostly me knee... but
strength is clearly an issue. No, or limited weight baring is my only
option at this point. If this crazy weather passes, I'll get back in
the pool!

I'm so happy to be pushing my limits further, and accept this message
of swollen knee and forced rest.

Acupuncture is part of my recovery- thanks to Steven @ Pacific Healing
Arts in Los Gatos
and Raymond Himmel in Mill Valley when I make the
trek. Even more so Curtis Cramblett of Revolutions in Fitness Physical
, and his fellow P.T. Susan, for their ongoing care, hard work
& advice!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First ride in 19 weeks. Happy 2010!

(here is a link if the post doesn't work

Well my Birthday was likely to be quiet after losing our sweet sweet cat, and travel to New England for Christmas. We thought we'd celebrate New Years Eve w/ a cocktail... maybe a couple friends walk to the closest bar for another... then back home for ringing in the new year and my Birthday. One neighbor led to another... and we partied like it was 1999. This postponed my New Years Day goal of riding a bike again. I finally am able to pedal on a stationary trainer at the gym. Range of motion for both flexion and extension are still not 100%, but enough to adjust the saddle height and do a full pedal.

My friend Helena stopped by my house on a gorgeous California January day - the first 60's, sunshiny-blue-bird of a day for some time now, via her glamorous "dutch bike" (made in Belgium). Fenders, locking system, lights, basket the works. She noticed I had my "cruiser" on the back patio. Still a fun bike, no competing necessary w/ hers; a basket, Cherry Red, fat tires and flat pedals. I had hoped to ride it New Years after lowering the saddle to feel safe, as my leg doesn't extend fully yet.

Anyhow... she said "no time like the present". And away we went. Lowered the seat... and it was like I never left cycling. Sure... I didn't push hard w/ my left, a little timid w/ my new ankle and recovering knee. But if felt FANTASTIC! She made this amazing video that makes it look even more spectacular than it was. Disclaimer... I never recommend riding w/ no helmet. It was a down the big wide, no traffic street I live on... but still no excuses. That bad example aside... this was a beautiful moment and I'm so happy to know I can pedal again. Now time to increase the length rides, and exertion and frequency my friends! I. Am. Back!~

I am Strong, Light and Beautiful and Happy! SLaBh?

Thanks again to Helena for making this lovely tribute to the occasion!