This year’s Sea Otter Classic was one for the record books! Get a behind-the-scenes look at a student-athlete’s race experience, learn a record-breaking statistic about the LUNA Chix Pro Team, find out who received some major love from Feedback Sports, and discover which pros were spotted playing the #NICAsockgame!
Inside A Salinas Cowgirl’s Sea Otter Experience
Having lived less than a mile away from Mazda Raceway for the entirety of my 16-year life, the Sea Otter Classic was no more than something that worsened traffic and brought my bike-
centric uncles into town each spring. However, in the past two years, my view of Sea Otter has changed radically. I’m relatively new to the bike community – I’ve only been riding for a year-and-a-half, and Sea Otter welcomed me to the world of cycling with open, tan-lined arms. Being surrounded by thousands of bike enthusiasts deepened my appreciation for the sport.
This year was a milestone one for me as a racer. It would be the first time I’ve strapped a Sea Otter race plate onto my bars. I came into the race, while still competitive, looking for more fun than pain. While Sea Otter is one of the biggest races of the year for some riders, I felt little pressure racing on my home trails. “I’m just racing to have fun. I don’t care if I do well, I just want a smart, safe race,” I told everyone, especially myself, as I waited for my category to be called. I repeated this mantra so much that it worked, and lining up at the start with all the Category 2 women was more enjoyable than my usual pre-race nerves. The start was quick, and the first quarter of the race flew by. Before one of the larger climbs, I heard a familiar voice belonging to a fellow NorCal racer. This strong freshman girl and I decided to work together. Suffering with someone else makes the race go by faster. Switching off pulling each other on the climbs and drafting on the downhills, she eventually dropped me on the final stretch and scored an amazing fifth place. I placed seventh. This may not be my best documented result, but mentally and emotionally I’ll remember this as one of my greatest races.
Racing Sea Otter could have easily been a sufferfest; I’m thankful for the support of my fellow racers, coaches, parents, and teammates who got me through it. For anyone considering racing at Sea Otter, do it. Take advantage of this supportive community. -Steph Garibay
Did You Know That 25% Of The LUNA Chix Pro Team Are Current Or Past NICA Student-Athletes?!
Sea Otter was the final hurrah for giving away socks, and we sure gave them away – check out all of these happy folks! We also spotted the socks on a few pros in races and on podiums — thanks Todd Wells & Chloe Woodruff! We have a very, very, very limited quantity of these socks left, which you can order here. When they’re gone they are never coming back!
Feedback Sports Delivers…
One of the nice things about Sea Otter is the opportunity to catch up with bike industry sponsors for fun events. This year we teamed up with Feedback Sports to give out a bunch of cool stuff to our NICA family while Feedback was so generous to raffle off one of their new Omnium trainers! It was great to see the look on Ben’s face when he found out he was going home with a new piece of training gear! Ben rides with NICA’s first (and only) Indy Team with Camas Bikes, based on the north side of the Columbia River. Congrats Ben!