Blogs

Fat Tire Tuesday: Déjà Vu

Fat Tire Tuesday: Déjà Vu

Back to basics … back to SMILES By Sarah Hansing Mountain biking. It’s damn straight something to smile about !! Sigh.   And here we are again. It seems like a terrible case of déjà vu, sometimes, really. Get fit. Get stoked! Get injured. Get *ahem* slightly (but seriously – let’s be realistic here. It’s WAAAYY more than “slightly”) unfit.   Get bummed.   Get avoidant about riding (cause getting back on the bike is gonna hurt, let there be no doubts about THAT).   Get determined.   Get BACK on the bike (even though you KNOW it’s gonna hurt). Get a reality check. Really REALLY dislike that reality check.   And now comes the really really important parts: decide what to do about that reality check. It’s kind of hard to separate action and consequence from mental fortitude, sometimes …  but it’s important to try. We can tend to blame ourselves instead of...
Mountain Monday: Beneath the Shade of the Big Trees

Mountain Monday: Beneath the Shade of the Big Trees

Hiking through the sempervirens and swimming in the Stan By Meggan Wenbourne Could it be Abraham Lincoln? Many Sempervirens have been named throughout the park. Sometimes all you really need is a trip to the mountains to swim in fresh water. I am biased, I much prefer fresh water to salt water. I like being able to open my eyes underwater and enjoy seeing shorelines covered in trees. There is something special about swimming up high in the mountains in the summertime and this weekend was no exception. My partner and I found ourselves up in the mid-elevation Sierra playing in reservoirs and floating in the Stanislaus River. With ospreys circling overhead and little fish nipping at our toes, we were in complete heaven and could have stayed for a few more weeks. 😉 To me, this area has always held a special place in my heart. It is...
Fat Tire Tuesday: Staying Upright

Fat Tire Tuesday: Staying Upright

Keeping the wheels rolling forward, nice ‘n easy  By Sarah Hansing Wilder Ranch State Park (Bruce Dorman). Well, I hit my head again.   No surprise I suppose, but this is the third (or fourth?) helmet I’ve cracked in 14 months, and this time it rattled me. And by “rattled” I don’t just mean it addled my brain. I mean it shook me to my core, emotionally. It scared me. And because of concussion number three (four? I can’t honestly remember) … because of the frequency of hits to the head, I took a pretty long break from the trails. It was with great trepidation and a lot of coaxing from friends and co-workers that I finally put tires to dirt again recently.   I’ve been creeping along the trails. I mean REALLY picking my lines carefully, and trying to not do anything that falls into what could be defined as...
Learning to Fly: Entry Log 4

Learning to Fly: Entry Log 4

Presentation is key By Sequoia Schmidt I have found that tunnel time (indoor skydive center) is the best way to train my body. This morning starts out with two minutes in the wind tunnel. My natural reaction when exiting into high winds is still to move my hips backwards rather than push them forward for my arch. Tunnel time helps support this maneuver. It’s not simply my hips that I need to work on today; in order to pass level three of the Accelerated Free Fall program I must demonstrate two 90 degree turns to my instructors. The roar of air pushing through the fans of the tunnel commences as I step into the human-created wind. My form is improving. There is more stability in my movement compared to my previous wind tunnel session. When you have incredibly high winds blowing right at you, your ability to control your...
Mountain Monday: Trinity River Adventure

Mountain Monday: Trinity River Adventure

A weekend on the river moves time only as fast as its current By Meggan Wenbourne Yours truly, descending Hell Hole (Serendipity Snapshots). A couple weeks back, my partner and I found ourselves driving through the night from Santa Cruz to Big Flat in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. With an alpine arrival (ha, I just made that up) of 0230, it was all we could do to actually find our sleeping bags, let alone crawl into them along the banks of the Trinity River. Four hours later we were up and looking forward to a day on the river. This particular section of river is a Class III river with five or six rapids of that class and a handful of other awesome rapids within a six mile distance. Several companies guide on this section of river and coexist with one another quite nicely each season. With one hard shell...
Learning To Fly: Entry Log 3

Learning To Fly: Entry Log 3

The Dollar Bill Method By Sequoia Schmidt “Just think of a dollar bill between your butt cheeks,” Rom tells me confidently. “Excuse me?” I say, a little embarrassed. “When you were in free fall last time, you were not steady because your hips weren’t down. Keep your hips down. The best way to do that is to squeeze your butt cheeks together just like you are trying to hold a dollar bill between them. This will level you out and allow you to stay stable.” As a woman who wears high heels and prides herself on being able to show off her feminine curves, I tend not to push my hips forward. After many years of adapting and perfecting my “high heel wearing” posture, it feels unnatural to cast that aside and throw my hips as far forward as possible. The thought of pressing my hips that far forward...
Learning to Fly: Entry Log 2

Learning to Fly: Entry Log 2

OMG I’m going to die … By Sequoia Schmidt Class #2 of the Accelerated Free Fall program began with an examination of the steps and procedures we learned in session one. Once again to a small classroom with a table and three chairs we went and toward the back of the room, I glanced up at the two harnesses still precariously suspended from the ceiling. We commenced with chanting a familiar aviation mantra: Look red grab red peel, pull look silver grab silver peel, pull Questions were being tossed in every direction: “What happens if you can see the sky through a hole in your parachute?” Perform emergency procedure “You are coming close to landing, when do you flare your toggles (breaks)?” 10-12ft before landing “What altitude do you pull your chute?” 5,000ft “What do you do when this happens?“ A picture is held up in front of me...
Learning to Fly: Entry Log 1

Learning to Fly: Entry Log 1

Reflections and connections By Sequoia Schmidt Why does someone want to learn how to jump out of airplanes? What generates and motivates this desire to be one with the skies no matter what the danger? I’m not quite sure how to answer these questions since I suspect everyone has a different reason. My own interest was sparked when I was about eleven years old. We were back home on the North Island of New Zealand. In an attempt to encourage my adventurous nature, my father took me on a tandem bungee jump just outside of Lake Taupo. I distinctly remember standing on the edge of the 30 meter (90 feet) bridge that towered over the Taupo River. A large lump filled my throat, and my mind was buzzing from all the pinging thoughts and feelings you get right before you are about to do something a little bit...
Fat Tire Tuesday: An Experiment in Doing Nothing

Fat Tire Tuesday: An Experiment in Doing Nothing

Justifying a bad decision to be a slacker By Sarah Hansing This is exactly the sort of awesomeness one misses when one opts for binging on Netflix over riding one’s bike. Sayin’.Photo: Bruce Dorman Hi. My name is Sarah, and I am a tremendous hypocrite.   It’s not intentional, mind you. But nonetheless, I’ve been TOTALLY remiss in practicing what I preach, so to speak. I want to have a “rah rah and huzzah” message this week, but the reality is, I was a complete and total slacker ALL WEEK. I didn’t ride. I didn’t want to ride. I didn’t have an epiphany that made me go ride. And I didn’t have a come-to-jesus moment on the trails, due to the fact that I didn’t ride on them this week. I’m not proud of myself, you know. It’s just …  I just felt shattered this week – totally ready...
Mountain Monday: The Inaugural Broken Arrow Skyrace

Mountain Monday: The Inaugural Broken Arrow Skyrace

See that mountain top? Run to it. By Meggan Wenbourne The starting point of the Vertical K. I recently found myself at Squaw Valley Ski Resort outside of Lake Tahoe, California for a good ol’ fashioned footrace up the mountainside. This would mark my first race at elevation and having now completed it, I do not think it is going to be my last. This race series is the type of event you would expect to see in states like Colorado and Wyoming. However, with the increasing popularity of trail running in the Sierra, the Broken Arrow Race Series made an incredible debut in this mountain community and seems to have been very well received. Arriving at the village at Squaw, we were suddenly surrounded by giant mountains with snow still on their summits. With a rainstorm the morning of my race, I felt my confidence level dropping and felt...
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