Depending on what kind of cyclist you are, the Sea Otter Classic is a lot of things to a lot of different people. Virtually every form of bike riding and racing can be found at Sea Otter, an event that has grown to become the universal start to the riding season. Some come to compete, some come to sample all the new products, some come to catch up with old friends, some come to watch some of the most talented bike athletes in the world, some come to leave with a bag-o-swag and some simply come to hang out and have a good time. And when it comes to the latter, the folks at Blackburn Design know how to have a good time in proper fashion.
On Wednesday evening I joined up with the Blackburn crew who loaded a propane grill, tri-tip, a bunch of adult beverages, a stuffed dog and a BB gun on their bikes, and we pedaled out into Fort Ord to set up a sunset party spot with incredible views of the Salinas valley. After a much needed wet winter, the hills surrounding Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca are as lush and green as I’ve ever seen them, and after a few days of torrential rain, the clouds parted and gave us perfectly sunny skies for our evening bike adventure.
Depending on how long you’ve been riding a bike for, all of us go through an evolution. For me, riding as a kid with a BMX bike was first and foremost about adventure; getting out in the woods, getting lost and exploring. Then after getting my first mountain bike at 13 years old came the competitive urge to race, which dominated my life for a few decades. But now that I’m approaching 40 rotations around the Sun, my desires on the bike have gone fully back to adventure and celebrating the experience of getting out there and getting lost, preferably with great company.
Last night I made some new friends with folks who are passionate about those same values. There was no product launch, no Earth shattering new “game changer” of an innovation and no press release. It was simply a mini-adventure into the woods on bikes with trailers to hang out and enjoy an amazing sunset on a gorgeous spring day. It was the best opening day to the Sea Otter Classic I’ve ever had. So good on ya Blackburn, and here’s to another incredible season of adventures by bike.
This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2017 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.