Our professional rider Aaron Hodgkin sent us a note about his experience at the 2011 Sea Otter Classic. Aaron was hauling our Vexx down the trail and pushing hard, but unfortunately, he got injured during one of his practice runs. He didn't let that stop him from having some fun in the sun...
From the moment I got the call about racing at Sea Otter, I knew it was going to be an eventful time. Unable to sleep the night before the trip, I packed my gear bag and anxiously waited for the morning to come. At 9:00 AM, Dwayne (Pricepoint Marketing Manager) pulled up with a truck jam-packed full of gear, and we headed out on our journey.
After a long drive, and much conversation in between, we still managed to beat Brian and Scott who were driving the rental truck equipped with all of the supplies for the Pricepoint show booth. To make things more exciting, and to cause more attention, Dwayne busted out his DJ equipment pumping up the jams! Meanwhile, Brian and Scott were winging free Pricepoint water bottles and sette patch kits to the people passing by.
As the days rolled in, I walked around the venue checking out all of the new product, and ran into old friends I had not seen in years, such as Randy Spangler, Aaron Chase, and Cameron McCaul. All the talk about riding got me anxious to go out and shred. Gearing up back at the tent it was awesome to see all the guys helping all the people interested in the Sette bike line.
On the hill- After getting a few slow practice runs in, I decided it was time to do a run with someone who knew the course well and that could help me familiarize myself with the new layout. I figured there was no one better than my good friend Elliot Jackson from the Yeti camp. Getting a little too comfortable a little too early, I lost my line, getting cross-rutted in the steep section, which caused me to high side and slammed me onto my left shoulder. After a few more solid practice runs, the pain in my arm began to grow more uncomfortable. Soon after, I called it a day and headed back to the Sette tent to clear my head.
Even though Dwayne had his hands full taking home the win in dual slalom, it didn’t slow him down from getting me a fresh new sponsor from the great people at Profile racing. This was something that has been a childhood dream since I first laid my eyes on their legendary 3-piece crank set.
When Sunday morning finally came, I knew the time for my race was soon approaching. With much anticipation, I came up to the starting gate reminding myself to go out and just have fun. Hoping this would keep the nerves to a minimum and help keep my mind off the pain of my dislocated shoulder. With all the cowbells ringing on the sidelines and the high energy of all the screaming fans, it was hard not to have a great time down the hill, even though I could hardly hang on to the handlebars by the time I crossed the finish line. A sure reminder of why we all ride with the natural high of adrenaline flowing through your body!
The Sette crew, with all smiles, burned faces and chapped lips, packed up the trucks and headed for the long trip back to southern California. Exhausted, and not sure if we had enough energy to make it home, Dwayne threw out another surprising curve ball and said he wanted to meet up with an old friend for dinner along the way. After putting my name in for a table at the restaurant, in walks Dwayne with the one and only 2002 X-Games gold medalist Allan Cooke and the Haro crew. Just one last thing to make this years Sea Otter trip one we will never forget, leaving us with excitement to see if we can top it next year.