Archive for Biking
Inspired by the beautiful weather and my Twitter friends, I decided to go on a bike ride today. If you are not an avid roadie or a hard core Mountain Biker (like Celia) then this kind of ride is for you. A nice, mellow, beautiful ride around Sausalito.
The most challenging part of my ride today was getting my bike on top of my car. I live up a really, really steep hill and am too chicken to ride down that hill and way too out of shape to ride up it. So I needed my car to get my bike the 1/2 mile down the road. I’m short, the bike rack is tall, getting the bike in the rack is challenging, but I did it! Yes, I really am short. For some reason, my virtual friends always assume I am tall and are surprised when they meet me in person. My avatar must look tall or something. I’m 5’3″.
I started my ride on the new Tam Valley bike path located along Tennessee Valley Road.
I then found myself surrounded by flowers on the Mill Valley Bike path as I headed toward Sausalito.
Did you know about this little secret beach in Sausalito? Why did I not discover this place when the kids were little?
I pedaled along the water front path that winds in and out of Sausalito and the boardwalk and happened upon this fun work of art. An art car!
Then I found the entrances to this cool neighborhood. The people who live here must be cool with mail boxes like this!
Found more beautiful flowers along the public boardwalk in Sausalito.
Glanced over and saw San Francisco being wrapped in fog. Glanced away before I spent too much time remembering tomorrow is Monday and I have to be on the other side of the Bay early tomorrow morning. Brought myself back in to the present moment of appreciating all the beauty surrounding me.
I turned around and started heading back home, noticed Mt. Tam in the distance and thought of my friend Maria who inspired this ride by all of her beautifully written blog posts about Mt. Tam and biking.
As I headed back on the path I stopped to take a few more shots of Mt. Tam.
One last shot before I headed home to my empty nest to make some kale chips to eat while blogging.
Thank you to all of my Twitter friends who inspire me everyday to get off of the computer, get up and move!
Mountain Biking Marin is holding the last all Women’s cross country mountain bike clinic of the season on August 28th! They’re keeping this clinic small so if you are interested please fill out the assessment form here and contact Celia at Mountain Biking Marin for more information!
This clinic is Women Only – All Levels and LOTS of FUN!
Read about one of their past all women’s mountain bike clinics here: http://mountainbikingmarin.blogspot.com/2010/06/hot-mama-mountain-bike-clinic-was.html
So what are you waiting for? Go for it!
This was my view today: a cyclist riding over the bridge at sunset.
What a great day for a bike ride!
Dr. Michelle Gannon (aka @DrMichelleXO) is another Twitter friend turned real friend. She’s great! Michelle is very active on Twitter and Facebook, I love meeting professionals that “get” how social media works (ie. tools to build relationships, not just to broadcast yourself). Besides being a successful Psychologist, a wonderful mom & wife, and a super fun person, Michelle is a fitness freak inspiration.
Because of her expertise in relationships and exercise I asked her to share some fun fitness things to do around the Bay Area (with or without your partner). ~Sally
Dr. Michelle Gannon is a Psychologist in private practice in San Francisco working with individuals and couples for the past 20 years. She is also a founder of Marriage Prep 101, Award Winning Couples Workshops for Engaged, Newlywed and Seriously Dating Couples that she has led with her husband, Dr Patrick Gannon for the past ten years. The Gannon’s recently won the SF Bay Guardian Best of the Bay Award for Best Couples Counselor for the 6th year, and are often featured in local and national media. Michelle loves what she does, and she tries to practice what she teaches…
Below Michelle shares some fun ways to exercise in the Bay Area.
Hi Sally, It has been such a treat to meet you. As you know, I am a big believer that all of our relationships benefit from us taking good care of ourselves. For many of us, physical exercise makes a significant difference in our mood, and emotional and physical well being. For those of us who live in the San Francisco Bay Area or Marin, we have some great options for exercise. I am happy to recommend some of my current favorites.
Also, I wonder: If you are in a relationship, are you someone who likes to exercise with your partner? Or would you prefer to exercise on your own? I have tried both options. Since my husband and I both like to be fit, I thought it would be fun to exercise together. However, our different personality styles come up when we exercise. When we run or bike together, he actually wants us to be completely quiet. He likes his exercise routine to be meditative and introspective. No surprise to you that I like to chat if we are together. What’s the point of exercising together if I have to be quiet? Ha! So over the past sixteen years together, we have decided to do our regular exercise independently, and then come together for the occasional hike or bike ride. Also, since we have children, it has worked out well for me to get up early and exercise without him! When I spoke with the coaches at my current favorite gym, Tamalpais Cross Fit, they reported, “Exercise builds camaraderie with their spouses. Working out together gives new dimension to their conversations and how they spend their free time. They even felt closer after they exercised together”.
What about you Sally? Do you and Celia like to mountain bike together? Um, no.
Or do you have better times hiking? Exercise together or apart? I prefer to hike with my dog. She prefers to bike without the dog. We occasionally come together for a hike or a mellow bike ride along the bike path of Mill Valley & Sausalito. ~Sally
What are your favorite running, hiking or biking routes?
I live in Marin, and like to hike with my golden retriever, Max. The loop around Phoenix Lake in Greenbrae is one of our favorites. It only takes an hour to walk around the lake so you can easily squeeze it in no matter how busy you are. You can also make the hike longer by following any of the uphill trails. My office is located in Presidio Heights in San Francisco. One of my favorite running routes starts with a jump over the Presidio Wall, then a twisty run through the Presidio and along the Marina Green and Chrissy Fields. I enjoy passing by the Palace of Fine Arts, beautiful Pacific Height homes, and finishing by running up the Lyon Street Steps. It is indeed a challenging San Francisco route rewarded by breathtaking views of the city.
In terms of biking, we like to bike out to China Camp along San Pedro Road in San Rafael. In San Francisco, one of our favorite routes is to bike from the city, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and up the Marin Headlands. Of course, biking in Sonoma or Napa from winery to winery is another good way to spend an afternoon.
What is your favorite yoga studio?
I have a Sunday morning ritual of yoga and coffee date with girlfriends. We really like the classes taught at Yoga Works. Originally, I went to The Yoga Studio, and was hesitant about the change in ownership. The Yoga Works studios in Larkspur and Mill Valley have both kept their commitment to offer excellent yoga instruction in an inviting setting for all levels.
Any other exercise recommendations?
Every couples of years, I like to try something new for fitness. Two months ago, I began the most challenging workout program ever: CrossFit. Coaches Michael, Corey and Meshelle at Tamalpais Cross Fit encourage, motivate and support us in small group classes. They deliver an hour long high intense, constantly varied workout utilizing weights, gymnastics, plyometrics, running, rowing, kettlebells, pull up bars, and more. My fellow cross-fitters are the kindest, most encouraging fellow exercisers I have ever met. The coaches are also available for personal training, but I like the group support. We can moan and complain out loud here, and not get in trouble for talking!
Please consider making time to exercise as an intentional way to become more physically and emotionally fit. As an intentional way to work on your relationships, please consider Marriage Prep 101 or call Michelle at 415 905- 8830 for therapy, workshop or reading recommendations. You can also follow her at Twitter.com/DrMichellexo, Facebook.com/MarriagePrep101 or read her blog at DrMichelleGannon.com.
I’m writing this post as I am trying to catch my breath after riding/walking my bike up a VERY STEEP hill. The hill is only .5 miles but it feels like 50 miles to me when I’m pushing my bike up that long, hot, steep, windy road to my house.
The point is I did it! It was not easy and to be honest it was not fun.
One night a few Twitter friends and I were having a conversation about the oil crisis that is going on. One friend said she was going to commit to riding her bike at least once a week to work and she challenged me to ride my bike to all the places I check in on Foursquare. Of course, my first reaction was, “you have not seen my hill!”.
For the last 15 years I’ve lived up this VERY STEEP hill, I’ve always dreamed of biking but never thought it was possible for me (the wimp) to get up and down that hill. Besides the strength (lung and leg) needed to get up that hill I have a serious un-rational fear of riding downhill. But this oil mess really got to me. I felt helpless. I didn’t feel comfortable just blaming BP and boycotting or blaming the politicians. In my heart I know it’s not any one person or one company’s fault; it is all of our (oil consuming) faults. So here I am knowing I’m partially responsible and using my hill as the excuse I had to continue driving everywhere.
Then… I had a light bulb moment. I realized I go hiking every single day up and down steep hills on the trails behind where I live so why on earth could I not hike up and down that one short (steep) hill to my house.
It just so happened Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito was having a big sale that weekend! So… I went and got my bike. I got great service from Brian who asked me questions about what kind of biking I was going to do and showed me the different bikes he thought would work best for me. I found my dream bike! The color and everything was exactly what I had been visualizing. I picked out my bike, Brian took it to the back and had the mechanics check it out and then it was ready to go! I went for my first ride on my new bike right out of the store along the Sausalito bike path all the way to the water. It was such a beautiful day!
The first week I started out driving my bike up and down the hill but I soon got tired of putting the bike in and taking the bike out of the car so I decided to overcome my hill fear and just go for it! I figured I’m a great hiker I could walk this hill no problem if biking was too difficult.
Friday night I rolled/walked my bike down the (very steep) hill and headed to Mill Valley Beerworks to meet my Twitter-turned-real friends for a beer. Mill Valley Beerworks was happening! We squished 11 people around a 6 person table. (Blog post coming soon).
Fortunately on Friday night I got a ride back up the hill but today… I was meeting someone for coffee in downtown Mill Valley and just couldn’t justify driving my car there and back so I went for it. Today was my first day coming up the hill on my new bike. It was not easy but I did it! If I can ride a bike, so can you!
I’m not fully giving up my car. I will still drive places but I do plan to bike more and drive less.
I challenge you to ride your bike more and drive less. I would love to hear about your biking stories. Please leave a comment below.
*I always wear a helmet when I bike… I just took it off for the photo.
Mountain bike enthusiasts lots of fun activities coming up in June!
Saturday, June 5th – 8 a.m. – Mill Valley Bike Swap
Saturday, June 5th – 6pm – Women of Dirt: The Film
A great night of Film, Fashion, Food and Fun!
Women of Dirt: The Celebration
Fairfax Women’s Club,
46 Park Rd., Fairfax, CA, 94930
Celebrating the mountain bike while celebrating the women who love them!
A special screening of Awesome Land: Women of Dirt. A Bicycle Fashion Show-featuring some of the best bike fashions in the west, by Sheila Moon Athletic Apparel, LUNA Sport clothing and My Alibi Clothing. Q & A with bike celebs, Marla Streb and Rachel Lloyd. Come on down and party, have a brew and wine, sponsored by Lagunitas and Peleton Cellars, and tasty food treats. Also, raffle-drawing and local live music!
A party and fundraiser for Access4Bikes, your local voice for trail access in Marin.
$20-donation advance tickets $25- donation at the door.
For more information visit http://access4bikes.com/events.htm
Sunday, June 6th – Tamarancho Dirt Classic
Wednesday, June 16th – Coed Special Downhill Clinic – Youth Only with Mountain Biking Marin
Saturday, June 26th – Coed Cross Country Clinic with Mountain Biking Marin
Every year in April thousands of bikers (road cyclists & mountain bikers of all types) descend upon Monterey for the Sea Otter Classic. I’ve attended many times as a spectator. (It’s hard work being a spectator!)
This year Brian Popplewell, the lead instructor for Mountain Biking Marin competed. Congratulations Brian! He did great and this shot is awesome!
Read more about Brian’s Sea Otter adventure here.
Marin Moms & Dads: If your sons or daughters are getting in to Mountain Biking you might want to check out Mountain Biking Marin. They offer individual and group bike skill training clinics where safety is emphasized.
It’s mountain biking season!
Disclaimer: I do not mountain bike but I agree Spring is a great time to mountain bike in Marin County.
Full Discloser: I talk about mountain biking a lot here on this blog because the owner of Mountain Biking Marin is my honey.
If you are the type that likes to mountain bike or wants to learn how to mountain bike (unlike me) then this announcement is for you!
Mountain Biking Marin is offering bike skill clinics starting in April. All levels!
In a fun and relaxed environment, the Mountain Biking Marin team will review bike skill techniques from basics on how to mount and dismount your bike, how to balance your body, how to go uphill and downhill to more advance techniques including pedaling, braking, gearing/shifting, climbing and descending, switchbacks, and even “air techniques” for those more intrepid riders (not me) wanting to learn how to launch, drop, and jump. And they will also learn about trail etiquette and go over basic bike fit and maintenance.
They offer a 1:4 instructor:student ratio in their group clinics. Each session is a half day and starts at 8:30 am. (Note: They also offer private mountain bike clinics and tours). All levels welcome! The group will be split into beginner, intermediate, and advance levels.
So if you are the more adventuresome type… why not try something new this Spring? If you live in the Bay Area or are visiting you really should try mountain biking. I’ve tried it! It’s beautiful out there and you can see so much more than you do when hiking (but I still prefer hiking).
And right now the wild flowers are just starting to bloom! Imagine what you’ll see in April!
Click here for more information about the upcoming mountain bike clinics in Marin.
Become a fan on Facebook to hear about upcoming clinics and tours.
From guest blogger: Celia Graterol of Mountain Biking Marin
Bikes & Beans, formerly located by the 7-11 near China Camp, has moved to a brand new and bigger location while still close to China Camp thus being very convenient to stop by before or after riding China Camp. In particular if you like coffee, bike talk with knowledgeable people, and good deals on bikes and parts.
100 El Prado, Suite 2 (near China Camp State Park)
San Rafael, CA 94903-2857
Check them out!
I like stopping by to get my coffee fix since I am not drinking beer these days. The stores offers a cozy place to hang and yummy coffee and I keep hearing great reviews about the Commencal and Jamis bikes Justin (the owner) sells in his this store.
I also like the selection of cool hip bike clothing… I have gotten a pair of cool shorts that made me feel like a hot shot
And the best of all, I like it that Justin kept decorating the shop with local artist work (some of his own work!). This mural is right by the bike mechanic shop area!
As you may or may not know my neighbor Amy and I are pretty dedicated hikers. We go out every morning (6-7 days a week) with our dogs for a hike. However on super rainy days we do not go. This is problem because hiking is what we do for exercise. I decided instead of being a wimp on rainy days I’d go out and buy some rain gear so at least we could still get out when it is pouring rain, even if we didn’t go on the trails we could walk up and down the winding hilly streets of our neighborhood.
I wanted good quality rain gear but I didn’t want to spend the money I would have to if I went to REI. Instead, I went to the Sports Basement in San Francisco. The Sports Basement is an awesome place for getting great deals on quality brand name athletic clothing. A few years ago I bought a big puffy down Northface jacket from the Sports Basement. I called REI first to compare prices and it was $50 cheaper at the Sports Basement.
The Sports Basement in the Presidio is located in one of the most beautiful spots in San Francisco. It’s right across the street from the Crissy Field Beach located below the Golden Gate Bridge. The views are breathtaking. You can see the bridge, Alcatraz and the city skyline. We were lucky because when we got to the store it was not raining so we took a walk on the beach before doing our shopping. The boardwalk was full of happy people walking, jogging, rollerblading, biking and playing with their dogs.
It’s fun to shop at Sports Basement. It has a very casual friendly feel. There are couches throughout the store and they encourage you to hang out and chat. There is even a play area for kids. Lot’s of community stuff going on there. I found a great rain jacket and a pair of convertible pants I love! We’re back to walking or hiking everyday and it feels great!