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The success of our grand opening was, in part, thanks to Karen's quick action in getting us a write-up in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Her work and support made a difference.
— Rebecca Clinger, owner, The Crafter's Studio

"Thank you! You were awesome. Your recent Facebook seminar helped me formulate a vision for how to position my business within the social media space. And you left the crowd feeling good, which is a great skill to have."
Frank Horath
Registered Investment Advisor Representative, Clientfirst Financial

"Thank you, Karen, for the great telephone class on LinkedIn. I have joined at least five new groups, have expanded my connections, and re-established the LinkedIn toolbar in my Outlook, all thanks to your audio session. Good stuff I was able to put into practice immediately!"
Kennerly Clay
Executive Recruiter/Trainer and Business Development Director

"You have given me the basics and the confidence to charge forward and embrace Twitter and LinkedIn."
Sue Brooks, Santa Cruz, CA

"You are so informed and vibrant. Great energy! Thanks again for the Twitter lesson. Your handouts are a good way to get started, so no excuses for me."
Sloane Devoto
Realtor, Coldwell Banker

“Thank you again. Your social media talk was a real hit! Well done and much appreciated.”
Bill Tysseling
Executive Director, Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce

"There was a considerable amount of goodwill surrounding your presentation...You have a lot of positive energy and great ideas."
Bonnie Lipscomb
Director of Economic Development and Redevelopment for the City of Santa Cruz, CA

"Good presentation this morning at the Santa Cruz Chamber’s Caffeinated! It deserves at least a half-day workshop. I learned at least 20 new things this morning alone!"
Carol Skolnick
Clear Life Solutions

"It was a great talk, thanks! It was helpful to watch you manage your account on the big screen."
Traci Tompkins
ABC Sedans & Limousines

"Your talk was great. You had a tough job, especially because the people there ranged from newbies to experts."
Tom Honig
Armanasco Public Relations

"Congratulations! You brought us back up to a 5-star rating again for our marketing meet-up. And there were zero no-shows. I would like to get you on the schedule again."
Maggie Barr
Maggie Barr & Associates

“Fabulous class! I never know how much I don't know until I start to learn what I don't know. Thanks again for the great class!”
Carmen Richardson Rutlen
Author

“You have a clear, easy-going style of teaching that I found very effective. What a great talent you have!”
Carol Siegel
Employment Manager, Santa Cruz Seaside Company

“I attended Karen’s workshop on social media and would attend again whatever she presents. It was well worthwhile. She knows her subject and communicated it well.”
Donna Rankin Love
Author

“Thanks for the great class. I really got a lot out of it, and feel others did too. In fact, I went onto LinkedIn and began to set up my account!”
Paula Mahoney
Writer and Producer

“Your class last Saturday was amazingly helpful! In addition to having a lovely persona, you have so much useful information to impart. I am full of ideas as to how to proceed regarding how the get the word out about my present novel when the time comes.
Janice Wittenberg
Author

“Being a complete novice about the business of social media, I was anxious to take her class recently at Capitola Book Cafe. Passion to share what she knows would describe her; I highly recommend her classes!”
Jane Parks-McKay
Writer and Voice-Over Actor

“Just wanted to say thanks again for a very informative presentation this morning. It was very helpful, and I thought you did a great job of giving us a general overview of Twitter in a short period of time.”
Sonia Potts
Bookkeeper

“With so much to cover I appreciated how organized you were and how you stayed on track. Taking the approach of showing how the mechanical features of Twitter could be used for positioning and building our business was particularly helpful.”
Charlie Zimmerman
Publisher, The Wedding Companion


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Feature Articles

Head for the Hills

Her Sports  + Fitness Cover

March 2007

Her Sports Fitness

by Karen Kefauver

At the U.S.A. Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships held last summer in Sonoma County, Calif., a crowd of Spandex-clad women pedaled to the start of a two-hour event. But it wasn't a race. They had come from across the country to attend a mountain bike clinic hosted by two of the biggest names in the sport: two-time national downhill champion Marla Streb and three-time national cross-country champion and former Olympian Alison Dunlap.

Here Streb and Dunlap share their tips for tackling a gnarly trail's corners, ascents and descents with ease.

Cornering

Hit the brakes before the turn. "Corners are tough," says Streb. "It's natural to want to grab the brakes to help eliminate your fears, but don't do it while you're in the turn."

The time to reduce your speed is when approaching the turn. Hitting the brakes during a turn can cause the tire to slip. Instead, gradually apply pressure to your brakes before the turn, while you're still traveling in a straight line.

Weight the outside pedal. To stay balanced during a turn, place weight on the outside pedal. For example, when turning left, your right foot should be as close to the ground as possible, with your weight pushing down on the pedal to help stabilize the tire and maintain contact with the ground during the turn. Your left leg should be bent at the knee, with the pedal in its uppermost position.

Keep your head up. Your body will follow your gaze. As you approach a turn, keep your chin perpendicular to the ground rather than looking down. Having your head in this position helps maintain balance and also enables you to scan the trail ahead.

Up hill

Keep a straight line. As you approach a steep climb, pick a direct path to the top with the fewest obstacles. Once you start climbing the hill, keep your wheel pointed straight up towards the top rather than letting it veer left or right.

Sit forward on the seat. To battle gravity on the uphill, scoot forward on your seat so you're sitting near the nose of the saddle. Moving your weight forward helps ground the front of the bike.

Lean forward. With your weight forward on the seat, angle your torso over the handlebars to attack the hill. Keep your elbows dropped down and your head low, but look toward the top of the hill. "All these elements help your traction going up steep ascents," says Dunlap.

Descending

Look to the exit. "It's an instinct to stare at what you don't want to hit," says Dunlap, "but that guarantees you'll hit it." Instead, focus on the "exit" -- the point at which you end the descent and it levels off. Avoid staring at rocks, roots and ruts.

Don't sit on your seat. On a descent, stand on your pedals and hover a few inches above or behind your saddle, with your legs bearing your weight. The steeper the hill, the farther back you'll want to move your hips. For the most extreme descent, your hips should be so far behind the saddle that you're nearly on the rear tire, while your arms are stretched out to grip the brakes.

Keep your pedals up and even. On a straight descent, if one pedal is extended all the way down it could hit a rock or a root and pitch you forward off the bike. Keep the pedals at even levels so they clear the ground.

Practice the downhill position. Find a gentle slope where you can practice the descent position without being afraid of falling. "If you practice enough, you'll be able to go over a three-foot drop-off and not go over your bars," says Dunlap.

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