Touchstone Blog Archive
Friday, August 29, 2008
  G.W.P.C. offers Yoga on Saturday Morning
Join us Saturday mornings at 11AM for yoga at GWPC. Shy Sayar is the instructor and founder of Upeksa Yoga, a style of yoga that perfectly balances the alignment and safety of Iyengar, the strength building of Ashtanga, and the deep flexibility achieved by Bikram Yoga - all with no need for a heated room. Pronounced “oo-payk-sha”, the term literally means “balance” or “equanimity”, and it captures the style’s focus on perfectly balancing both practitioner and practice - physically, psychologically and emotionally. This invigorating, challenging, safe and fun style often also draws on the healing power of Tibetan Heart Yoga, the subtle energy work of Shadow Yoga and the fun and loving kindness of partner yoga.

This class is open to all levels and is FREE to members, $12 for non-members.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008
  G.W.P.C has new hours.

Beginning September 2, GWPC will open at 6:30AM. This will allow more of you to do an invigorating morning workout before heading off to work.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008
  Kent Gets Olympic Training

Long-time Sacramento Pipeworks bike club member Kent Gillis has recently been selected for a special one week Para-Cycling Training Program to be held at the Olympic training facility in Colorado Springs! Training will begin September 23rd. Being one of only 30 people picked in the country, as well as one of merely 8 hand cyclists, he can now officially be regarded as a cream of the crop athlete. Congratulations Kent!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008
  Give Your Feet More Credit

Give Your Feet More Credit!
Here’s an exercise that can help you get more from your feet during your next redpoint effort:

· Get on a vertical or even slabby wall and start traversing. Try to focus all of your attention on your waist, hips, legs, and feet.

· Think of every sequence of moves as “foot, foot, hand, hand” instead of “hand, hand, foot, foot” the way a beginner often does.

· Exaggerate the lower body movements and keep as much of your focus there as you traverse back and forth.

By overdoing this aspect of your climbing for a few sessions, doing it right when you’re back on routes will come naturally. The patterns and habits will already be there.

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Friday, August 22, 2008
  10 Excuses for Not Biking to Work
1. I’ll be all sweaty and gross when I get there.

Find a way to clean up in the bathroom, use the shower on the next floor, keep spare clothes in your office, or find some other way. The benefits are worth it.

2. It’s too far.

Your subjective sense of the distance may be skewed if you haven’t really given it a serious try. Leave some extra time and try it out for a few weeks. You’ll be surprised at how the distance seems to shrink as you get used to it, and as you get into better shape. For most people, riding as much as 8-12 miles each way to work can be enjoyable.

3. There are too many hills.

What if you thought of hills as the best part of biking. Nothing feels more primal and satisfying that digging into the pedals and clawing your way up a hill and then the feeling of self-sufficient accomplishment you have at the top.

4. I feel like a dork riding my bike.

What is this, the 8th grade?!? Besides, being a dork is the new cool, dating all the way back to Devo.

5. It takes too much time.

The chances are that if work is less than 12 miles, you can find a way to get there on your bike that actually takes equal or less time than driving. Bikes don’t sit in traffic; they can use alleys, bike paths, and other short cuts. (We didn’t tell you to run any red lights.)

6. I’m too tired in the morning/after work to ride.

Have you ever gone to work out, even when you feel tired and crumby at first, and then felt worse later? No way – you always feel better. And, once your fitness level comes up, you’ll be shocked at how much more energy you have overall. You’ll be leaping out of bed and onto the bike.

7. There’s no place safe to put my bike.

Could there be a closet, an unused corner in your office, or a storage room? A bit of space for a hook on the wall? Could the boss put in a bike rack or help you find a solution?

8. My work isn’t very bike friendly.

That sucks. We sympathize. But what if you do it anyway, and others notice and follow your lead? (We didn’t tell you to cause an uprising.)

9. Bad weather.

This bites. But there are buses, trains, and subway options for going in or coming back when the weather suddenly turns bad. Sometimes the fear of bad weather is worse than the real thing. Sometimes it’s not so bad once you’re out in it. And you can take a perverse pride in your suffering.

10. I telecommute.

You have a point there. Ok, you’re pretty much off the hook.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
  10 Climbing Faux Pas
  1. Fighting with your girlfriend or boyfriend at the cliff.
  2. Cutting into line on a route.
  3. Rushing up behind a party and crowding the belay ledge on a multi-pitch route.
  4. Bring the boombox to the boulders and playing loud music.
  5. Unruly dogs off the leash at the cliff.
  6. Unleashed dogs begging everyone for food at the cliff.
  7. Offering unsolicited beta or advice.
  8. Poor belaying.
  9. Talking incessantly about your gear.
  10. Talking incessantly about grades.

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Friday, August 15, 2008
  TRS3 hits Sacramento

In its fourth and final stop before the grand finale, Touchstone Roped Series 3 will be at Sacramento Pipeworks on Friday August 22nd from 6 to 10pm. Temperatures are sure to be hot, but the climbing action will be even hotter with well over 100 people expected to compete. You can look forward to food, liquid refreshments, a t-shirt and even an icy treat or two. All ages and abilities are welcome, so come join the fun!

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008
  Track Your Runs & Rids on Your New Iphone
With the introduction of new applications for the iphone, there have been numerous fitness based apps appearing in the iTunes store. One of these is RunKeeper, a $9.99 training assistant, that allows you to track your runs & rides by keeping GPS. It keeps track of:

- Duration
- Distance
- Pace
- Speed

It even plots your route on Google maps.

Here is a demo:

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Monday, August 11, 2008
  A Climbing Taxonomy
Our non-climbing friends are still confused. So here are the kinds of climbing again:

Free climbing does not mean soloing (without ropes). “Free” means not aid. When we free climb, we climb the rock without pulling or stepping on any equipment--pitons (does anyone use pitons anymore?), cams, slings, or whatever, to make forward progress. The rope, harness and gear are there for backup against falls.

Aid climbing is the opposite of free climbing. Here the climber puts nuts, cams, or other gear into the rock and then actively uses that gear for forward progress. When climbing was in its early days, this was the only way people could climb long, hard walls like those in Yosemite. Now lots of those aid routes have been freed.

Bouldering is short, hard climbing with a bouldering pad and a spotter, but no ropes and no other safety gear. It’s safest when kept below the height you can comfortably jump down from (although lots of bouldering routes push this limit considerably.) Newcomers to climbing often think that because the bouldering walls are short, they must be easier. Quite the contrary, the hardest climbing routes in the world are usually bouldering routes. What they lack in height they make up for in finger destroying, overhung intensity.

Solo climbing is climbing by yourself, either with or without gear.

Free soloing is climbing by yourself with no gear. Unfortunately, this seems to be what lots of non-climbers think climbing is.

Roped-soloing is climbing by yourself with gear placements and a rope and harness for backup.

Solo-aid climbing is climbing by yourself, using gear placements for forward progress.

Deep water soloing is climbing without a rope, harness, or gear (shoes are ok), over deep water. Falls mean big air, lots of screaming, and plunging into the surf or lake below.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008
  Using Your Lower Body for Optimal Climbing

Are you using your lower body to assist with your hands and arms as much as possible when you climb? One of the things that’s immediately obvious when you watch someone good climb is how integrated their footwork, leg movements, and hips are into their climbing.

Beginners usually look just at their hands and what’s in front of them.

Often intermediate climbers look down with a little more care.

Expert climbers actually lead with their feet. They will move into a sequence knowing what they are going to do with their hands, so they position their feet before they get into the hard stuff for optimal assistance.

Knowing this might give you an edge on your next redpoint effort. When you’re pumping in the crux and that solution hold is just 6 inches out of reach, the mistake you made was actually a couple of moves ago. That is, before you got on the tiny, pumpy holds you’re about to fall off of, you should have set your feet up high and on the footholds that would give you that extra bit of reach when you got there. Maybe you should have put them higher when your hands were on the jug below, or maybe you should have set up for the backstep to give yourself some extra reach. Or maybe a little extra pull with your toe, or a shimmy with your hips would have put you into position to reach through.

Your legs and feet are strong. Your forearms will burn out long before them. So efficient climbing shifts as much of the overall work to them during all the moves (even the easy ones) to save your forearms. See our tip “Give Your Feet More Credit!” for an exercise that can help build up your footwork finesse.

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Monday, August 4, 2008
  Bear Valley Adventure Sports Festival

Make plans for the Bear Valley Adventure Sports Festival that is coming up on August 16-17, 2008. This two-day event celebrates the thrills of human powered recreation through competition, education and community. On the activity menu is rock climbing, bouldering, mountain biking, road cycling, trail running, disc golf and flat water kayaking. It doesn't matter whether you regularly "pull, peddle or paddle", or simply just want to try a new outdoor sport in a safe and supportive environment, the Bear Valley Adventure Sport Festival has something for everybody, including the kids.

Festival Highlights:
Bear Valley Boulder Bash – outdoor bouldering contest for all abilities (V0-V6+) with cash prizes.
Ebbetts Pass Century Ride – 101 miles & 12,800 feet of climbing; 1st 100 entries gain automatic access into the 2009 Death Ride.
Grizzly Challenge Mt. Bike Race – 3 divisions with cash prizes.

For more information please visit or call (209) 753-6556 ext. 1 – We love to talk about our work!

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Friday, August 1, 2008
  Yoga for Detox

Mission Cliffs

Sunday Aug. 3rd 10:30am-noon
Cost: $20

Detoxification is essential to maintaining a healthy body and clear mind. In this Vinyasa flow class, we will twist and sweat in order to activate the body’s natural cleansing abilities. Appropriate for students experienced with vinyasa flow yoga.

Please note that registration for this class is through only or at the door. Please bring your cash donation of $20 to the class.

All proceeds from this class will go to City Slicker Farms.

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