Reflections on getting Sea Ottered
by Sarah Hansing
Well, I don’t know about you all, but I can say with confidence that I have been Sea Ottered. Which is to say, I am still a little sunburned and a lot tired from an epic weekend of sunshine, bike races and scoping new product at Laguna Seca.
Now I don’t want to mislead anyone into thinking I was racing, because I wasn’t. I was actually working at the Bosch booth with Gazelle for two days of the event, and wandering semi-aimlessly with my wife for one day. (Well … kind of semi-aimlessly. She was very determined to find a sock vendor that would appeal to her fashion sensibilities, and I believe that quest can be deemed a success. We actually had to make an extra trip post-purchase to drop off all of the socks, as there were too many pairs of them carry or fit into our backpack.)
But in spite of not racing, I did see some amazing dual slalom action, some windy road racing, and a lot of vendor booths. As with a lot of industry gatherings, I was also stoked to reconnect with old friends and exchange the 3 W’s of the bike industry with them: Where are you living? Who are you working for? What are you doing?
The cool thing about this is that even though someone has switched companies (and hats and t-shirts), their stoke level about this awesome industry remains intact. There is just something about bikes that breeds enthusiasm for life and the outdoors that simply can’t be denied.
It’s now one week past (affectionately nicknamed) Ocean Weasel, and I am back pedaling instead of people watching and product scoping, booth working and people mingling.
With every ride, it feels like I’m getting back to my roots, and to exactly WHY I chose this path, in this industry.
Because outdoors is good. Because earning your beer feels great. Because the people we surround ourselves with and find ourselves surrounded by are similar creatures, with similar intrigues. Fresh Air, Bicycles, Smiles and the Occasional Shenanigans make for an industry made of — and supported by — people who refuse to grow up all the way, in the best way possible.
Thanks to everyone out there who makes my world and this world a better place, by pedaling along — however you do it, wherever you do it, and whatever you do it on.
Let’s get out and ride!