By Julie Hudetz, Team Dean
Today, instead of “Jammin’ with Julie: Back in the dirt,” it was more like “Hurtin’ with Hudetz: Off the back in the dirt.”
Have you ever had one of those days when it’s like, “What is wrong with me? Why won’t my legs go fast?” You check your bike over and over, hoping to find your brakes rubbing or a slow leak in a tire to explain why you feel like crap. But to no avail – your bike is in fine working order. On top of that your wonderful support person tells you, “Oh, by the way, I lubed your chain with White Lightning today to make sure you go extra fast!”
Today, during the six-mile time trial, was one of those days for me. I sucked. It’s like that old Michelob jingle, “Some days are better than others.” In fact, it just might be that for me, “tonight was made for Michelob.” If only they were one of the sponsors and were handing out free samples at the expo today!
One of the fun things about Sea Otter is the sports expo, also known as the “world’s largest outdoor trade show.” (Their marketing guys are good, huh?) So, since one thing I have learned in racing is that life is too short to let a bad race ruin your day, I got over my pathetic time trial and headed over to the expo to check out the scene (and look for free beer samples).
I was very happy to find the medical tent with a big sign that said “Sports Chiropractic.” Free adjustment? Count me in! The chiropractors-in-training were from Palmer West School of Chiropractic. I grew up next to Davenport, Iowa, home of the original Palmer School of Chiropractic, known to be the best chiropractic school in the U.S. However, the school finally got wise and opened up a Palmer West branch. Now those in pursuit of the best chiropractic training do not have to live in Davenport, Iowa, for four years. Kevin gave me a nice crack and sent me on my way. Maybe that will help me tomorrow!
Next I cruised around the vendor booths, said “hi” to sponsors and signed up to win some free stuff (really, I just wanted to receive another 100 junk e-mails a day about how I can win the lottery, buy drugs online, and increase the size of my “whatever”). I stopped to say hi to the guys at the VeloNews booth and picked up the latest issue. I introduced myself to Chris, who was working the booth, and listened to him deal with some guy who was complaining about the size of the print in the magazine. Go figure. This guy comes up to the booth wearing glasses about an inch thick and then goes off on Chris about the print size. First, I don’t think Chris is the one in charge of the font size, and second, does this guy have any idea how hard it is to work one of those booths all day? I have worked expos before, and it is a thankless job. You stand on your feet all day answering the same questions over and over, and almost everyone who comes up to the booth asks, “What’s for free?” As I was standing there listening to Chris be a very friendly and diplomatic VeloNews employee, I told the guy, “At least the pictures are big!”
After that, I thought it was only right to go pay my respects to some of the people who sponsor my team and help make it possible for me to race. I stopped by the Honey Stinger booth to say thanks to Rich for their sponsorship, and he sent me on my way with some bars and gel. I also said hi to Dan at Giro and Kevin at Crank Brothers. Gotta love those sponsors!
Next year when I come back I want to bring my 5-year-old daughter. There is a ton of things here for kids to do. She would love jumping in the inflatable castle! However, I will keep her away from the shooting game. What is with these games that encourages kids to shoot guns? There was actually a line at the gun-shooting game! Isn’t there enough violence in our country without putting guns in children’s hands, even if it is just a game? I know I am going off on a tangent, but I am a mom. And in general, the Sea Otter Classic really does do a good job of making this a family event.
If you were reading this article to get a detailed report on the time trial, I apologize if I did not satisfy your curiosity. So here is a quick synopsis. The race went up, it went down and everyone rode hard. How exciting is it to write about a time trial? If you have any specific questions feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org – just don’t write me to complain about the font size!
For coverage of the time trial at the 2004 Sea Otter, click here.
If you have a comment, an opinion or observation regarding anything you have seen in cycling, in VeloNews magazine or on VeloNews.com, write to email@example.com. Please include your full name and home town. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.