Monthly Archives: August 2012

Going Local

Sports Basement is proud to support local businesses, we go there for all our playtime balls, bats, bases, and all the other fun summer stuff. Here is a note from them:

From your town to our shelves, we support the Bay Area’s local businesses

by Clair McDevitt, Interim online community manager

We like supporting local businesses, and we’re guessing that you do, too. But did you know that our line of locally-made products goes far beyond well-known brands like The North Face and Clif Bar? Here’s a peek at some of the other Bay Area-based products in our stores.

Beljum Butter: This Mill Valley company makes an all natural chamois cream that’s paraben, petroleum and fragrance free. Ride (or run or swim or hike, etc.) chafe- and chemical-free.

Cute Tank: Lucas Ringhofer and Sports Basement Bryant Street store manager Eden Slezin created these based-in-San Francisco tank tops after an exhaustive search failed to turn up any well-fitting and good looking men’s tanks. They’re available at our Walnut Creek and San Francisco stores.

Monkeylectric: These Berkeley- based bike lights make any bike a rolling work of art. They’re manufactured near our Sunnyvale Store and delivered via bike messenger!

Sheila Moon: Based in Emeryville, Shelia Moon bike apparel is mostly designed for women, though they do have a small line of unisex and men’s apparel. The unique patterns and bright colors are eye-catching off the bike and keep you visible on the bike.

Timbuk2 This Mission District-based manufacturer of messenger and commuter bags has been a staple in our stores for years. They’re indestructible.

Western Mountaineering: Founded more than 30 years ago by Northern California mountaineers to create quality sleeping bags, Western Mountaineering’s San Jose factory now makes 30 different sleeping bags, bag accessories, and down outerwear.

WTB: The Marin County founders of WTB were looking for a way to make durable, reliable mountain bike equipment for the early mountain biking community. WTB grew out of that need, and now makes MTB-specific saddles, tires, wheels and some components.

EAT FRESH!

campbell farmers marketThe Campbell Farmer’s Market opens every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
All year long!

Location: East Campbell Ave at Central Ave Campbell, CA 95008

It is full of luscious, ripe, sweet, fruits and vegetables.

Look for beautiful greens and organic produce and huge selection.
You will learn more about your food and the growers.
If something is new to you, there are samples to try. Other shoppers may share recipes on the best way to cook something.
It’s not just veggies and fruit, there are spreads, cheeses
pates, and small meals. You’ll love the variety.

The “Growers Certificate” hanging at the farmer’s stand is issued by the County Agriculture Commissioner authorizing the farmer to sell only the certain crops listed and grown by them.
You can gather some food and then head to a local park to throw down a blanket to
enjoy some of your purchases.

YELP about Campbell Farmer’s Market.


Information about other Farmer’s Markets.


PARKING Link for Campbell – this will help!

The Mighty Redwoods

redwood treesIt makes its home here in Northern California (from southern Oregon to Monterey) – The biggest tree with the smallest seed it is —Sequoia Sempervirens, it needs fog and the milder summers to survive and thrive.

Redwoods develop the greatest reported volume of living matter per unit of land surface. In regular words, that means they are huge with a rather slender trunk compared to height.  The Giant Sequoias, cousins to the Coast Redwoods, grow larger in diameter and bulk, but not as tall. Coast redwoods survive to be over 2,000 years old—perhaps half the age of giant sequoias—and average probably 500-700 years. The living tree has no known killing diseases, and the insects associated with it cause no significant damage. Fire is the worst natural foe, but usually to young trees which lack the thick bark protection. As with most conifers, redwoods lack a taproot, and their broad shallow root system sometimes provides inadequate support for the massive trunk. Wind topples many mature trees. The trees often grow in circles with roots intertwined and this does add to stability in a wind storm.

There is another unusual redwood that is at Filoli, from China, it is the Dawn Redwood. Filoli Gardens received 2 seeds from China for this beautiful lacy deciduous redwood directly.  The seeds came from Shezwan, China in 1947 where this redwood was thought to be extinct. The trees have the typical redwood cone, however, the leaves are more delicate, the trunks are straight and tall and in the winter they lose their leaves.

Redwood trees are so tall it is difficult to get a sense of their grandeur. try zip-lining at Mount Hermon. You can really see the trees, and you are up 150 feet, things look different at that altitude!  The redwoods look so majestic from the platforms it’s like being in the very best treehouse you could imagine.  They even rent go-pro Helmets! (A go-pro camera is attached to a helmet and it enables you to take a video, from your viewpoint.)

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park – Nearly across the street off Hwy 9. A highlight is the very accessible 3/4 mile trail loop near the main entrance through the old growth redwoods. Also miles of trails along the San Lorenzo River. Camping available.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park: Fall Creek Unit – Sssh! This park is usually a local secret! Most don’t even know it’s there. Amazing hikes along Fall Creek. Stone lime kiln ruins to explore. Lots of Big Leaf Maple Trees, which showcase themselves with beautiful Fall colors (hence the creek name!)
Big Basin Redwoods State Park – A bit of a drive up the San Lorenzo Valley, but well worth the effort. Big Basin was California’s first state park. Lots of room to explore. If you have more time, try the local favorite Skyline-To-The-Sea Trail down to Waddell Beach.  Camping available.

For additional Fun in the Redwoods, try these areas:

Big Basin Redwoods State Park – A bit of a drive up the San Lorenzo Valley, but well worth the effort. Big Basin was California’s first state park. Lots of room to explore. If you have more time, try the local favorite Skyline-To-The-Sea Trail down to Waddell Beach. Camping available.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park – Nearly across the street off Hwy 9. A highlight is the very accessible 3/4 mile trail loop near the main entrance through the old growth redwoods. Also miles of trails along the San Lorenzo River. Camping available.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park: Fall Creek Unit – Sssh! This park is usually a local secret! Most don’t even know it’s there. Amazing hikes along Fall Creek. Stone lime kiln ruins to explore. Lots of Big Leaf Maple Trees, which showcase themselves with beautiful Fall colors (hence the creek name!)

Filoli Gardens, Woodside, CA – This beautiful place has so many places to explore. They have several special programs each year, Spring Fling (a riot of bulbs, 10s of thousands blooming), Fall Festival (the bounty from the orchard, pears, apples, honey), jazz on summer Sundays, and wine strolls. They also have a thriving garden, garden tours, nature education hikes and classes. Their incredible diversity of landscapes and plants and nature trails offers the visitor many choices.

Go Outside and Play!

kickballKickball is a great sport and the rules & equipment are simple. It’s summer, go play!
Here are the most basic rules, there are adult leagues and those rules are more stringent. These rules will get you started!!

• The official kickball has a pressure of 1.5 pounds per square inch and 8.5 inches in diameter.
• Games end after six (6) full innings or 50 minutes. One extra inning is played if score is tied and time remains. A game can end in a tie if tie.
Pitching / catching
• A pitch must roll on the ground when passing over the plate.
• Strike zone is 1 foot inside and outside of home plate. Bouncing balls are balls.
• The pitcher must stay behind the pitching strip until the ball is kicked. Failure to abide by this rule results in a ball.
• No player may field in front of the pitcher other than the catcher, they can also field directly behind the kicker
• A pitch outside the strike zone is a ball.
• Balls must be pitched by hand.
• A player’s foot or leg must make all kicks.
• All kicks must be behind home plate. The kicker may step on home plate to kick.
Running
• Runners must stay within the base line.
• No sliding or running into a fielder. No contact is allowed…
• Fielders must stay out of the base line. Runners hindered by any fielder within the base line, not making an active play for the ball, shall be safe at the base to which they were running.
• No leading off or stealing. Runner can only advance after the ball is kicked
• One base on an overthrow into foul territory. This rule is a restriction on the runner – not an automatic right for the runner to advance.
• Running past another runner is not allowed. Any runner passed by another runner is out.
Strikes
• Three (3) strikes is an out.
• A strike is:
• A pitch within the strike zone that is not kicked;
• An attempted kick missed by the kicker inside or outside of the strike zone
• A foul ball is a strike
Balls
• Three (3) balls walk the kicker to first base
• A pitch outside of the strike zone as judged by the Umpire where a kick is not attempted
• An illegal bouncing pitch
• Any fielder or pitcher advancing on home plate before the ball is kicked
• Any catcher crossing home plate before the kicker or failing to field behind the kicker
Foul ball
• A foul counts as a strike
• Three (3) fouls is an out. (1 foul after having two strikes is an out)
• A foul is:
• A kick landing in foul territory;
• A kick that goes foul prior to passing 3rd or 1st base & not touched by a player.
Outs
• Three (3) outs by a team complete the team’s half of the inning.
• Three (3) strikes, three (3) fouls, or fouling with 2 strikes
• Runner touched by the ball while not on base & the ball is in play;
• A fielder can throw a ball at a runner below the shoulders. Runners hit in the neck or head with the ball will not be out unless they were ducking to dodge the ball…Play stops and the ball is dead after hitting a base runner and being declared out.
• A kicked ball (fair or foul) that is caught in the air
• A ball thrown to fielder touching base beats the runner who is forced to run;
• A runner off of his/her base when the ball is kicked;
Play ends:
• When the pitcher has the ball in control and on the mound.
• A runner intentionally touches or stops the ball (the runner is out)
• Interference is when any non-fielder, runner, dog or non-permanent object touches the ball. Any time there is interference, play automatically ends and runners proceed to the base to which they were headed.
Let’s have fun rule:
In the name of playing the game and making sure that the players / teams have fun the coaches may make minor changes to the rules if both coaches agree and the intent of the Kickball Rules are followed. (For example: A coach may choose to allow another team to use an unregistered player provided the player pays the league single game fee to league prior to start of the game)

Hiking and Ayurveda

ayurveda spices We have different bodies, and ayurveda medicine acknowledges these differences by suggesting different foods and spices to make each person more comfortable and healthier. This concept can also be used during hiking, by looking at the different attributes of each person constitution.  You can achieve better balance by knowing yourself.

Consider this please:
For Pitta – You may suffer from the heat and should not hike in the direct sun or at midday.
Use the Sitali (cool Breath) yoga technique to feel cooling in the body and stomach.
Drink LOTS of cool water, stay hydrated.
Stay calm.
Protect yourself from the heat, using hats, ventilated shoes, and light shirts.
Rest in the shade.

For Kapha – You may suffer from lethargy or allergies if you are not balanced. Both of which can be common on a long hike, or on a high-pollen day.
Use the Bikram Pranayama breath technique to feel ready to enjoy the hike.
You have great endurance which is lovely while hiking.
Keep a measured pace, there is no rush.
Rather than hurry to keep up and feeling exhausted, just keep hiking at a moderate pace.

For Vata – You may feel impatient while waiting for the hike to begin, however take enough time to stretch and prepare. Relax and focus.
Use the Nadi Shadhana (alternate nostril) pranayama breath technique to enhance your enjoyment of the hike.
You have strength and will start out strong, however, you energy may flag later, if you do not pay attention to what you need.
Stay hydrated with room temperature water.

Thanks to Dr. Rucha Kelkar, BAMS, MPT for assistance in creating this page just for our yoga hikers!  There is so much information that could be included here on hiking and Ayrveda, this is but a small start.  Her contact information is www.ayurbliss.com, info@ayurbliss.com phone: (949)293-2950.

Enjoying the Outdoors!

Settling In!

Set your intention, decide to commune with nature
Be Still. Use the surroundings as a “role model”
Allow your thoughts to slow down
Take three deep breaths
Repeat a relaxing phrase, we’ll use:

  • I am awake
  • I am alive

Find or create a boundary from the busy world to the beginning of the hike (i.e. transition to the dirt path)

Now that we are starting to get in tune with the natural world…
We’ll do a relaxation exercise
Count slowly from FIVE to ZERO
With each count let go of more tension (may be repeated)
Release again from the outer layer of skin to central organs, notice your breath
Slow stretches, neck rolls, shoulder shrugs
Notice the tension drain from the face and neck, core, gluts – out the fingers and toes

Castle Rock, hikes and distances, notes to plan with

Service Road – from Skyline Blvd. to the Campsites 1-5 is 1.2 miles, it is hilly and sometimes steep, the road has gravel patches and loose soil. This road is gated, ranger use only, however, you can walk through the hiking entrance and walk down the road.
From the Castle Rock parking lot to Goat Rock is 1.4 miles
From Goat Rock to the Campgrounds 1-5 is 2.2 miles and takes about one hour to hike
Poison Oak is abundant on the trails during the summer!
There are miles of trails here, and even trails that connect to the ocean
Some short sections of trail are steep, and there are portions of Saratoga Gap Trail that require brief scrambles on narrow exposed paths with sharp drop-offs.  Hiking poles help.
The trail to Goat Rock has stairs on part of the trail.
Some trails involve climbing up short sections of rock & boulders.

Click on the HIKE Category in this site or use the SEARCH TOOL to find out more about Castle Rock.

Info on Plants and Poison Oak is also available!

Plants at Castle Rock

Depending on slope exposure and moisture, you’ll see several types of terrain, plants and rock formations. Wind, water and soil make a big difference in the way each trail and hillside appear.
There are Oak -Bay woodlands throughout the park. California Bay is a common tree to this area and is known by many names, Bay Laurel, Oregon Mytle and others, you can identify it by it’s pungent smell.
On south facing slopes, where it is dryer and hotter, you’ll see chaparral-studded hillsides with few trees.
Forested areas, California Bay, Madrone, Tanoak, and Douglas fir are abundant and provide shade. The fascinating sandstone rock formations known as Tafoni look pitted and sponge-like along the trail.

Caution – there is poison oak on or near the trails. We have even found it hanging in the trail from taller branches!

YOGA for Hikers!

planet granite yogaMove slowly. Stay in each asana 5-10 breaths. Keep your face relaxed. Focus on your breath. Maintain a soft gaze or close your eyes. Move slowly and mindfully between poses.
These are my favorites:
Awakening! (when you are sleeping outside, do these on your sleeping bag!)

  • Cat –Cow
  • Child’s pose, really breath into and open your back
  • Upward and Downward Facing Dog –
  • High Lunge to open your hips
  • Seated Twist – It feels so good!
  • Thread the Needle – ahh, loosen hip joints after hike

Hiking puts a strain on joints and sometimes those aches and pains are hard to overcome. Try these before your next hike. If you are a beginning hiker, build up to longer hikes. These are my favorite asanas:
Strengthening! (pre-hike)

  • Mountain Pose
  • Chair Pose
  • Standing Forward Bend
  • Warrior I, II, III
  • Plank
  • Chaturanga Dandasana

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

A beautiful hike for the summer months. It’s best to stay together on this one, since you’ll be crossing several small streams.
Distance: 8 miles out & back
Elevation Change: 1000 Ft.
Difficulty: Challenging

This is the perfect hike to get the MOST out of our summer! This is a hike and swim, and we will be doing just that. There are 2 stream crossings without a bridge, which means you WILL get wet.

Henry Cowell 1Henry Cowell 2

You’ll find out why this park is so loved. It’s green and glorious. You’ll love this hike, it’s one of the ones we enjoy the most.

*Bring along firm soled water shoes, or shoes you don’t mind getting wet. Traction is important. Hiking poles can help.

*This is a WET hike. Think hard about quick drying materials and packing some dry-off stuff

*There are elevation changes and the streams have lots of boulders. You’ll really appreciate good footwear with solid tread. Do not wear heels or Flip-Flops!

*Be sure to bring lots of water, snacks, and extra layers.

*Pack a lunch for when we stop on a sandy river bank around noon

*There is a $10 day use/parking fee. Carpooling is recommended. You may park outside the park on the street and walk in or connect with other members there and drive in with them. (It’s a half mile walk past the ranger kiosk to the parking lot.)

More about Redwood Trees, click here.