With Sea Otter, it is what you make of it. Communicate, get involved, compete, and let loose for optimal enjoyment. Float around, focus on the traffic, and complain about the crazies for a negative experience.
For me, with this being my first Sea Otter, I approached it with an open mind. Fortunately, as the event approached, I was in contact with GU Energy Labs about working in their rocking booth. After assisting GU at Interbike Outdoor Demo 2015, I had been waiting for another opportunity to support the swift and upbeat company.
Friday, April 15:
Hurry up, wait. Drive. Hurry up, wait. Drive. Traffic. Park. This is why camping is rad! Entering the Laguna Seca Raceway was done and dusted for the weekend. Let the festivities begin.
|The GU booth was constantly flowing.|
|It was a pleasure to work with Roshelle (left).|
|Casual Salty the Yeti spotting.|
Saturday, April 16:
Early to bed, early to shred. Saturday included a 5 a.m. alarm for a 7:30 a.m. Gran Fondo start. It was insane to roll the Gran Fondo with my pops, Yuri, Blair - President at GU, Eric Benson - Owner at Art's Cyclery, Jason, and Von. New and old friends joined together for a great day in the saddle.
Unfortunately, Brian Vaughan - CEO at GU, was not in attendance. A startling crash on Friday did not allow him to start on Saturday. After many rides with Brian, I felt his missing presence throughout the day. Fortunately, we still had the opportunity to share many wonderful conversations at Sea Otter.
During the Gran Fondo, our crew pedaled through rolling hills, over five hours, while holding stops to Formula 1 standards. Time seemed to evaporate, as we enjoyed a quality day on the bike. At one point, when Yuri was peeling off the front, I looked over and mentioned "it is good to be on your wheel again, Yuri," before pulling through. Friendship is powerful and not to be taken for granted.
|Yuri, Eric, me, and my pops (left to right). Post-Gran Fondo.|
|Post-Gran Fondo. Mother and son. Much love!|
|An outstanding group of GU employees led to a quality Sea Otter weekend.|
|Jeremy Powers (right).|
Up and at it. Sunday morning included closing shop on the weekend camping plot, before venturing down for a quick 1:30 hours at the GU booth. During this time, GU tattoos were applied to calf left and calf right for my afternoon collegiate road race. Awww yeah!
The Collegiate A Road Race at Sea Otter, which was hosted by Cal Poly Cycling, was sweltering and speedy. Over three hours, I went through eight bottles and was reminded that A's fields do not mess around. However, my afternoon was brightened when Colin Patterson, a Cal Poly teammate, bridged up to me and took victory in the Collegiate B Road Race. Solid work, Colin!
In the afternoon, I managed some final hangout time at the GU booth. After early mornings and plenty of riding, I could not help myself. Celia, Brian, and Bridgett provided another hospitable and upbeat environment during Sea Otter's closing stages.
Reluctantly, I said my goodbyes and proceeded to finish packing the trusty Honda Pilot for another road trip home. Cal Poly teammate Ray and I shared Sea Otter tales on the drive home.
|Sunday night taqueria stop.|
To GU, thank you very much for welcoming me with open arms. I am extremely thankful for the opportunities that you have provided me, in addition to the humbling support.
To my Cal Poly Cycling mates, thank you for the campfire conversation and road trip memories. I look forward to many more adventures in the near future.