The next time you're on the roof of a five-story building, look down at the ground, and you'll get a rough idea of just how high people climb at Touchstone Climbing. The gym's seven locations feature lead walls that rise as high as 50 feet off the ground, though height isn't the only dimension that makes the space feel immense. Each spot has at least 11,000 square feet of climbing terrain, not to mention as much as 3,000 square feet of bouldering.
To prevent newcomers from feeling intimidated by the magnitude of the environment, the gym holds introductory classes. During these sessions, participants learn the basic techniques they'll need if they want to conquer the gym's crack systems and boulder problems. The classes are also an opportunity for students to scope out the terrain features at each location, such as Diablo Rock Gym's steep prow, which juts out crookedly like a thumbs up from a dizzy ballerina. While they're at it, the visitors might notice something else: the social nature of the gym. As the San Francisco Chronicle recounts, the fact that lead climbs require two people means that climbers are constantly asking around for new partners and chatting back and forth as they ascend.
Each location also boasts a weight room, cardio machines, and a studio space for everything from yoga to spinning to core classes.
The Berkeley Bikes & Skateboards team keeps skate and bike wheels steady with a comprehensive offering of components, accessories, and maintenance services. Specialists are on hand to adjust brakes, derailleurs, hubs, and bearings in professional tune-ups, and they keep riders safely equipped with a supply of Continental tires, Kryptonite U-locks, and Kali helmets to prevent injury from unexpected downpours of cats or dogs. In addition, the shop carries a full line of custom West Art skateboards hand painted by artists Ian and Adahn Stewart. The colorful decks showcase rhythmic, surreal, and chaotic scenes ideal for displaying on walls or boastful refrigerators.
The savvy staff at Recycle Bicycle carries 13 years in passionate service and cycle surgery to treat your two-wheeler to a refreshing, comprehensive tune-up. They'll use healing hands and dependable tools to check and adjust your headset, bottom bracket, and derailleurs as needed. A thorough cleansing and lubrication of the chain, cog, and chain rings of your drive train leaves the engine hydrated before long charity races through the Rust Belt. After restoring balance to the bike with a truing of the wheels, the dashing specialists will wash the frame and wheels, leaving your iron traveler looking shiny and sleek.
A chalky hand swings over the top of the wall, grasping onto the red hold embedded in its surface. After a tense moment, a second hand swings up, pulling the rest of the climber's body up with it. Having successfully scaled 18-foot top-out boulder, the climber scurries back down the wall she has just conquered, swapping places with her spotter below.
This cycle repeats throughout the day at Bridges Rock Gym, spurred on by a crew of climbing enthusiasts and instructors who initiate people into the low-altitude sport of bouldering. That form of climbing emphasizes solving climbing problems and chasing archaeologists through ancient caves. The gym unleashes visitors' inner mountain goats with their well-maintained climbing facilities, including an overhanging indoor-climbing cave that thoroughly punishes muscles into growth and top-rope climbing walls that help beginners get the hang of scaling the crag.
While specializing in the art of ascents, Bridges also bolsters patron fitness. Yoga and fitness classes, as well as a fleet of cardio equipment, facilitate heart-strengthening workouts. Waves of free WiFi allow mountaineers uninterrupted access to videos of their pet rocks, best enjoyed with a fresh house-made juice or sandwich in the gym's lounge.
When Lori Shannon first announced her intent to run a marathon, people responded with more than a hint of incredulity. Lori had no experience and, at 5’3” and a size 16, she didn’t cut the form of a typical distance runner. Even so, she set to work and completed the 1993 New York City Marathon, proving to herself that with the proper training and dedication, she need not live life as a spectator. Since crossing that first finish line, Lori has never looked back; she has since run multiple marathons, competed in triathlons, and ridden her bike cross-country.
Seven years later, Lori founded See Jane Run in San Francisco, hoping to empower women to test their limitations and bolster their own fitness and self-confidence. The female-operated fitness company has since grown to encompass four West Coast locations that sell women’s running gear, including shoes, sports bras, and aerodynamic shower caps. At its four retail locations, like-minded runners come together with free weekly run clubs, giving them a group setting in which to train to meet their own individual goals or prepare for one of See Jane Run’s half marathons or 5Ks.
To increase the number of safe cyclists with bikes meeting the state's night-riding requirements, the EBBC plans to give away and install bike lights at the August 4 screening of Ratatouille, a part of the waterfront summer movie series at Jack London Square. The EBBC encourages attendees to bike to the event so they can take advantage of the opportunity to equip their bikes for a safe, visible ride home that night after the screening. Secure bike parking will be provided at the event.