Scenes from a big weekend of crashes, and seeing old friends ...
The Sea Otter Classic has been celebrating cycling in every form for more than 30 years. And over the weekend, Trek’s Driftless athletes — Ruth Winder, Kiel Reijnen and Amity Rockwell — took on the cross country mountain bike 80k Fuego challenge on their Supercalibers as part of a weekend filled with lots of tough-as-nails racing and even more camaraderie.
The racing? Well, there’s an expression: Sometimes you eat the bar …
Crashes in tight fields can wreak havoc in mountain bike races. Winder, unfortunately, had to pull out of the event after hitting the deck hard (she’s thankfully doing OK). Reijnen also fell after touching handlebars with another rider, but he was in good shape to continue after busting out his handyman skills.
“I got to put my multi-tool to good use!” Reijnen said. Sea Otter was just his second mountain bike race ever, and first since 2008.
“After a rough start the rest of the ride was pretty smooth and I got to enjoy the dry California dirt and sand, which was quite a contrast from the rooted, muddy trails of the PNW. The course was not particularly technical, although the sand put a speed limit on some of the corners.
“The Supercaliber was absolutely the right tool for the job. The fast hard pack meant I was using my lock-out constantly but, on some of the faster rocky sections I was really glad I had rear suspension.”
All three riders remained upbeat throughout a weekend that has become one of the best annual traditions in North American racing. As Winder put it: “We’re definitely having a good time when we’re not crashing.”
For Reijnen, the highlight of the weekend was meeting a fan who he had inspired early in his road racing career.
“She had come to watch the Tour of California 12 years ago and had taken a photo with me after one of the stages. She showed me the photo and told me her story,” Reijnen said. “She was inspired after watching the race to pursue a career in the bike industry and is an accomplished racer! How cool is that?!”
Making connections that lead to lifelong passions? That’s what events like Sea Otter are all about. Whether you have a good or bad day on the bike, there’s always an opportunity to grow the community, and make it even better and stronger.
Shots from an adventure-filled Sea Otter below, courtesy of Kevin Scott Batchelor.