Sea Otter 2016

Enjoy this read from Travis Boucher on his Sea Otter Odyssey...

Day One 4/14
My family and I went to Sea Otter Classic on Thursday. We arrived in the afternoon and spend the day sight seeing in the vendor area. I also rode the pump track by the Specialized tent about 800 times. Once our half day at Sea Otter was done, we went back to the hotel to change and go out to dinner at Bubba Gumps for my birthday dinner. I didn't feel any different about being 12 but I thought one thing 'I'm a pre-teen.'

Day Two 4/15
Friday was another day mostly in the main, vendor area. We all left our bikes in bike valet, sadly for me. I had an autograph signing with Danny MacAskill, crazy BMX stunt ride (look him up on YouTube). After that I was walking around and saw Ryan Hughes under the RynoPower tent so we stopped to talk to him a little bit. I also got to talk to Howard Grotts, 2015 MTB National Champion with Specialized.

Day Three 4/16
Saturday, my dad and I pre-rode some of the course.After that, we put our bikes in bike valet for the rest of the day. We watched Sara and Janell race CX. They both did really well. When I picked my bike up from bike valet the front tire had a flat. My dad just put a tube in it.

Day Four 4/17
Sunday was race day and it felt like I could have ridden 50 miles with all of the nervous energy that I had. As I got to warming up, I started to think about the start and where to be. I was stressed and trying to find the little post that said 'Junior men 13/14'. Once I found it, I was Johnny on the Spot and on the second row. I saw a kid that I had raced at Bonelli. I had beaten him at Bonelli but he was faster at Sea Otter and in the 13/14 age group. My start position helped me because I was on the outside and then the inside, like I had wanted to be. I was in the second pack and kind of desperate to reach the front group. Two kids' bike chains seized simultaneously at the start of the gravel uphill. I immediately thought about my front tire but then pushed the thought aside.

I hit the road and went into turbo mode to chase a group that wasn't too far ahead of me. I was trying to catch them when a girl passed me and I hopped onto her wheel. We really had to put some power down to keep up. We both bounced back and forth off each others wheel until the single track.

There was a lot of brutal climbing at the end of the course. Luckily we rode down Hurl Hill - named that for a good reason. The hills at the end were very steep. On the last hill I spotted Ayden, a kid I race at Granite Bay, and I pushed hard to try and catch him. I came down the Laguna Seca racetrack and sprinted my heart out.

Overall, I finished 20th out of 48 and was the first kid in the 11/12 USA cycling age group. I was happy because I finished in between two kids that finished 8th and 11th at Nationals in 2015. Thanks to Roseville Cyclery for the sponsorship, bike tune ups and gear. Also, thanks to Julie Young for the training that's gotten me where I am.