Today is the day I will almost catch up!
The short of it – I just got home Tuesday from being on the road for 19 days. 19 days, 6 states worth of driving, and over 3,200 miles. I’m normally a high energy person, but today you’ll have to scrape my carcass off the floor. I’m tired.
The last place I wrote about was Santa Cruz. From there, we went to Monterey and set up the Ergon booth for Sea Otter. Sea Otter is the biggest cycling festival in the country (I think). From the racer side, it’s a place where you feel you have opportunity to brush shoulders with some important people and race against some of the best out there. From the industry worker side, it’s fun but a lot of work. I used to try to do both at the event, but 2 years ago I told myself I wasn’t going to do that to myself anymore. This year was a CX race… and next year I think I might have to jump into the CX race in full costume.
Sea Otter is great because I get to see everyone I haven’t seen since the bike season ended the year before. It marks a fresh start to another season, especially in business. Over at the Ergon booth, we released our new saddle – the SM3 and I finally got one to put on my bike! We had very limited stock, but the full line will be out in June. So far, all of us like the saddle – it’s definitely mountain bike specific. Jeff and I tried to sneak in training each day at Sea Otter by riding to and from the event via a particularly hilly route. It’d be about an hour one way. I got up early and did some interval training for a few of the days. One of the highlights of my Sea Otter this year was participating in the SRAM Ladies Lounge as a pro. I was really proud to see so many women. It was so popular, people were standing outside and men were trying to participate. There was a panel of pro racers from all disciplines, and the attendees got to ask us whatever they wanted, plus free food, booze, and a raffle. Does it get better? Wait, it does… it was led by Rebecca Rusch. We also rode the mountain bike Grand Fondo and gave away some product. After 1 day of set up, 4 long(but fun) days standing at the booth, and training, I was definitely beat.
After Sea Otter came to a turbulent close, we broke down the booth and drove 2 days to our next event in Prescott, Arizona. We set up the Ergon booth at the Whiskey 50 expo and worked there during the event. It was really fun to meet people and I was flattered with all the people talking about the Yak Attack! Awesome!
On Friday, my family drove to AZ and watched me race for the first time! Jeff and I worked the Ergon booth all day and we had the fat tire crit that night. I rolled some Continental Race King 2.0s, but there was high stress in the arena for what tires people were running. The skinniest allowed was 1.5 slicks, and there were definitely a lot of those rolling around! The prize of the crit was that if you finished in the top 5, you got a call up for the Whiskey 50(which has a long road start). I didn’t really care about my result since it didn’t mean a whole lot, so I decided to do stupid things to see what would happen. Stupid fun thing 1: Take charge at the start. Nina, Chloe, and I charged forward off the start (plus, there was a 100 dollar prime on the line which seemed to go in one ear and out the other, but I was going for broke anyway). I held my own in the top 2-3 for a couple laps until the inevitable happened – the fuse blew on the dynamite and I couldn’t go fast anymore. I wanted to see how long it’d take me to blow up riding at my limit and I’m glad to say that my high end is starting to come back after quitting XC racing years ago. I’ve started doing some intensity again.
Nina and I leading the charge at the start
Lap 2 attack
After that, of course I went backwards in the field, but I had fun and was really excited that so many spectators came to watch and cheer us on. It made the blinding pain worth it! Stupid fun thing 2: Ok, so I’m going backwards… I see a dude in a gorilla costume. He’s holding a water bottle with a familiar liquid. I reach for it and take a sip… WARM IPA! It was a little too warm… and I took it again on the next lap. I only took tiny sips, but it was enough to make me puke in my mouth. I should have learned from the beer hand ups I took in CX and the PIM (puking in mouth) that happened shortly after, but it never ceases to be funny. On the next lap, I suddenly see Dejay running next to my in his underwear. I decided to slap his booty.
Beer feed. I love the heckler, “Looney! What are you doing back there?!” haha
Photo: Devon Balet
In hindsight, I should have given him the worst wedgie of his life! And then the crit was over!
Saturday, I worked the Ergon booth all day and Sunday morning was the Whiskey 50. Short report on that next.