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Some Thoughts while Gearing up for the 2023 Sea Otter Classic…

Sea Otter CheersPhoto c. R. Frazelle
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Today, I’m packing and getting ready to head out to another Sea Otter Classic, and it dawned on me, that I still get really excited, you wanna know why?

Because bikes and bike people, that’s why. They are two of my favorite things. That, and hand-built, lugged, steel frames… but that’s another post altogether.

This bicycle industry that I’m fortunate enough to work in, has always seemed very small to me. I would think when compared to other industries it is small… I mean, everybody seems to know everyone else, which is cool. And let me tell you, it is chocked full of some of the best humans I’ve ever known.

Tyler and Zach
Zach and Tyler, always working. North Shore of Tahoe working the last Interbike. Photo c. R. Frazelle

Honest. Hard-working. Passionate. Talented. Crazy. Focused. Strong. Creative. These are just some of the words I can use to describe the people in this fascinating industry.

Like me, most of ’em are, without apology, absolute freaks about the bicycle.

They are totally and proudly wearing their bicycle obsession like the badge of honor that it is, embracing what they are, complete bike nerds.

Sea Otter Bike Parking
Bicycle parking at Sea Otter

The bicycle is the glue that bonds us, it’s the common ground for all of us to stand on. I believe 99% of us love being in this industry. And there is so much power in that…in that like-mindedness…like, change the world kind o’ power.

Sea Otter Echos booth
In the ECHOS Comm. Booth at one of many Sea Otter Classics

Lifelong relationships are forged in this industry. This might be the case in other industries as well, but I don’t really know much about “other” industries.

It’s a pretty unique industry. Every trade show, race, get-together, and group ride is a reunion of this family I became a part of back in the olden days of 1995. It is at these gatherings that we are reminded how special each of us is. Reminded of our strengths, weaknesses, where we need to improve, and where we stand in our current position, all without judgment from our peers.

Sea Otter entrance
Tire Bridge Entrance on the opening day of a Sea Otter.

And though I see a lot of you only a few times a year, I hold all of you very close to my heart. When we see each other we start right where we left off. And that’s pretty amazing, all through the simple love of the bicycle. Wow.

Matt and Dave at the Dam

I guess I just wanted to say cheers to the bicycle lovers….all of you. Both in and out of the industry. I wanted to lift my hand off the handlebar and wave to you as you pass. Raise a frothy pint of brew to you, and to your style of riding. Nod my head to your discipline of choice and your efforts being put forth. The thinkers, tinkerers, inventors, enthusiasts, pros, amateurs, the shop guys, the wrenches, the game changers, the fellow retro-grouches…all of you.

We are, after all, in this together. See you out there?

seaotterclassic.com

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Luis Hernandez
Luis Hernandez
1 year ago

Cheers! Love bicycles but I don’t work in the industry. Maybe I should!

Trento
Trento
1 year ago

Great write up Ron. Maybe I’ll run into you at sea otter. If I see lil buddy Zach, he better expect a hug.

Mark R
1 year ago

Yes, the gathering of the tribe that is Sea Otter is wonderous, and I am extremely bummed that I will not be able to attend this year and see all my friends in the industry. Maybe next year…

(Psst. I think you meant to type “dawned” when you typed “donned”… 🙂

Mark
Mark
1 year ago

Right on Ron! Great article Bro. Have a great trip Sir. Cheers!

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