Another Sea Otter is in the books. I’m parked in front of my brother’s house in Marin resting up for the long drive home. Thoughts:
– Sea Otter is a big, crazy thing. I was fully pinned and overwhelmed the entire time, and I didn’t even touch the XC and road scenes. Anyone remember when they used to race inline skates around the track? Did you see me on skates in full Lycra? No, not me!
– There are lots of cool people. It’s great to meet and catch up with folks from NorCal, the industry and the extended llb/pump track family. It’s hard to get anywhere in the village, because you keep running into people you know, or people you admire and just have to introduce yourself to. “Hi, my name is Lee and I like bikes.”
– It was great hanging out with Lars from Trail Head Cyclery. He was my first real sponsor, and he’s still a great friend and supporter. Like me, he also appreciates a floppy hat. Somehow, he always ends up working on my bikes. Thanks for the trailside fork tune, dude!
– There are also some jerks. People who steal your hose, run over your hose couplings, unplug your wires, leave trash on your pump track … but I suppose that’s humanity. The good outweighs the bad.
– Brian Lopes is no longer driving a Lopes 55 Sportsmobile Sprinter van. He’s back to a big, gnarly Sportsmobile Ford van. Why? “I wanted to drive something more bad ass.” OK, so you you know what that means: The Sportsmobile Sprinter bike hauler is now called the Lee 11. Yes, this van goes to 11. The one I’m sitting in right now.
– Lezyne makes some beautiful tools and packs. I got some goodies to try out. Stay tuned.
– The folks at Hayes are super loyal and supportive. They dialed my new Enduro with fresh Strokers and 8-inch rotors. Tasty.
– The dual slalom is always challenging and fun. I enjoyed practice, and I’m super bummed I didn’t get to race (I was working at the pro pump track).
– The downhill is also challenging and fun. I’m glad I got to practice, but I’m not bummed I didn’t get to race. I was busy with pump track interviews, and, besides, I’m way too tired to race DH effectively or safely. And may I whine about a $85 entry fee for Cat 1? Sheesh. Motocross is cheaper!?!
– Mick Hannah won DS with an awesome display of power. Jared Graves won DH; I heard he was laying down massive HPs at the start, and I assume he kept that up until the finish.
– The pro pump track event went off super-duper awesomely. I couldn’t have hoped for anything better, except better scheduling. Many of the best riders didn’t race because they were focused on DS and/or DH, but most of them came and sessioned the track. Big ideas for next year include: minimizing conflicts with other pro events, multiple tracks with racing for all classes, pursuits and night racing. You know I want a masters class …
– 16-year-old pripper Troy Brosnan of the Monster team hit the pump track after his DH run. (He didn’t do as well as he wanted, and he had 30 laps of penance.) I asked him what he thinks about, what makes him so fast on the pump track. He said: “I just think about being smooth. Making sure every section flows into the next.” Nice. You can’t find a stand of strain in his riding style.
I’ll post photos and more video when I get home.
Great seeing everyone out there. Pump Track Nation!