Going Green at Sea Otter

Praticing on the Skunkwrx

Sea Otter Classic is by far the best week of the year. There are no words to describe the pure ______ (like I said, no words) of this event. I’ve been racing cross country there since I was 10, but this year was the first time I took on downhill. The enduro team had just got our new green iXS kits, and I was stoked to start riding in them. They weren’t pink, but they were definitely the next best thing!
The first day of practice I was on Jackie Harmony’s bright pink Grammo Skunkwrx. The thing rides very nice and is insanely snappy and pedal-able, but I got super out of control on the loose, fast sections and had a few near-death experiences. I did a few runs and felt fast but pretty sketchy.

Race run

For day 2 of practice, I was on Scott Punt’s Morewood Makulu. That bike immediately felt better for me on that course, and I think I took a good ten seconds off my practice times. I’m not a very good jumper but I can pedal like the cross country racer that I am, so I felt pretty confident. My class was the very first to start on Saturday morning, but the heat had already hit hard. I was sweating before I was even in the start house. But as soon as the last beep went off and I was pedaling like crazy, I barely noticed the heat. Coming out of the first berm was a long jump section, and I stuck to what I was told and pumped through them. I hit the big pedaling section in a huge gear with a lot of speed, and I barely lost any momentum going into the steep section. I got super loose and almost washed out the back, but I held it together and let go of the brakes for the last straight. By this time I had caught the girl that started in front of me, and even though I yelled out I doubted she could hear me. I had to brake into the final table so I didn’t hit her, and I barely got around her by the finish.

2nd place, on the podium!

 I pulled my helmet off and heard the announcer yelling. I was the new leader.I was a little shocked, only because I had no idea where I’d stack up here. I held the lead until the very last girl. So close. I was super stoked with 2nd in Open Cat 2 Women, and to be on the podium at Sea Otter in downhill! A huge thanks to iXS, Unique Sports, deity, the pros who gave me advice, and the rest of the team for all the support.

Keep chasing…

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