My first Sea Otter was pretty darn fun. I flew down to San Jose on the Wednesday before the event and drove in with Katie, which made the trip even better. It was rad to have the on-hand support of the Norco crew during the week. I stayed with the team in a house in Monterey that week, trained every day with Miss Casey Jayne Brown, Zander and Lee (loved that) and got to know the ‘fit kids’ (Hayley, L’Espy and Guthrie) on the team. Was awesome getting to know everyone I hadn’t spent time with before and Pete, Jonathan, Havvy, Dustan and Chris from Norco had us dialed all week.
Because I’ve never been to Sea Otter before I really felt like I needed to work harder than the average bear to dial the course in. The course is pretty easy overall but being fast on it is both fitness-based and dependent on your comfort with letting your bike run fast and loose. The ground is super hard there and it was a fine line between overshooting jumps, two wheel drifting and actually laying on the ground (I did – hard – while towing Casey into the only real jump on the track and scared the sh*t out of myself for a couple o’ days – got the sweet black bruise on my ass and lingering hip flexor injury to prove it).
In the end I pulled a 7th, which wasn’t a mind blower but not embarrassing either. I’ll take it – the field was stacked and that result is satisfying, especially considering the fact that I buried myself like a true rookie by overdoing the laps in training (I averaged about 5-6 hotlaps a day and stupidly did 4 race speed laps right before my race run – I just started having too much fun!). It was awesome to have the on-hand advice from Chrissy (TaG Cycling) during the event; I think I’d have stayed on the ground after that crash on the Friday had it not been for spending the winter crushing weights with coach Jordan and the rest of the crew at Crossfit also. Hah.
The other really cool announcement at the ‘Otter was the release of me and Jill’s cover on Freehub Magazine by Paris Gore. Love it and am thankful for being invited on that trip to Orcas Island with Katie, Strand, Shorty and Jill. We collaborated on the story inside the issue and I thought it turned out pretty well. It’s worth checking it out!
Next up – a big camp on the Sunshine Coast with the entire Norco Team. Looking forward to getting away with the nicest group of people maybe…ever?