Archive Post from May 18th, 2018
A Weekend Camping Trip To Remember
This past April, six of our Earn-a-Bike youth participants were in for a special treat. We packed the vans and headed down south to Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey for an overnight adventure at 27th annual Sea Otter Classic. Sea Otter is a world-class biking festival, featuring a wide range of bicycle competitions, exhibits, demonstrations, and bike celebrity sightings.
This event served as the first-ever national Trips for Kids Sea Otter Jamboree, providing the opportunity to bring fellow Trips for Kids chapters together from across the country for a weekend full of fun and inspiration with the common purpose of celebrating the diverse world of bicycling. Our Bay Area youth had the chance to interact with and be inspired by other chapter riders, chapter leaders, bike enthusiasts and pro athletes, all with a shared focus on the sport. Earn-a-Bike Program Manager, Rogers Holmes, got to witness the magic first hand and shares his experience in this post.
Here is a brief photo tour of the weekend and a summary of the lasting impact the experience had on the kids:
Once arrived, we set up our campsite at Laguna Seca Raceway shared with other Trips for Kids chapters.
Then we explored the exhibit grounds as a group and talked with industry vendors and sponsors.
Here is a group shot showing youth and chapter representatives from a variety of locations, including: Trips for Kids Marin (San Rafael, CA), Trips for Kids National (Portland, CA), Trips for Kids Midcoast Maine (Westport Island, ME), Trips for Kids Bulldog Riders (San Jose, CA), and Trips for Kids Antelope Valley (Palmdale, CA).
Our kids got to learn helpful tips and tricks and check out cool products from industry experts including our national sponsor Giant Bicycles. At every booth, the kids got free merch including shirts, hats and water bottles.
There was even time for a game of cornhole at the Clif Bar tent.
Next was a demonstration from biking sensation Danny Macaskill as he performed street trials riding. His show included jumps, flips, and impressive tricks.
Danny Macaskill stopped by after to shake hands with Trips for Kids riders which everyone thought was super cool.
One of our youth even got a free swag bag directly from Danny Macaskill.
The day wasn’t just for spectators. Trips for Kids riders got to test out the Pumptrack course on bikes of their own.
Then it was time to view some of the competitive races including the Dual Slalom downhill competition.
We got up close to all the action! The excitement of the competition was contagious.
After viewing competitions, we got to meet some of the pro athletes who participated in the event and collect some signatures.
The day ended back at our campsite where we took in the natural beauty of the coastal landscape.
What camping trip wouldn’t be complete without s'mores around the fire? It was the perfect setting to relive some of the day’s highlights and build lasting memories.
A Lasting Impact
After returning home and reflecting on the event, Rogers Holmes, summarized by saying:
The kids wouldn’t stop talking about Sea Otter. What is really cool is you didn’t have to ask them if they enjoyed the trip. You could tell just by the clothes that they were wearing, that they got from the event. They just wouldn’t take them off. Every-time I see them they’re always sporting something from Sea Otter. It’s the coolest thing ever. They’re just super stoked and they are all invested in building up a nice bike now. They want to race and participate now. It was exciting, just seeing how the exposure heightened their interest in bikes. The timing was perfect to keep kids engaged after, with the nice riding weather and summer around the corner. It couldn’t have been better.
The kids felt the same way:
“Sea Otter was the time of my life. Just being involved in the racing scene inspires me to race next year. Being with the other campers brought me close to the whole experience.” - David, Age 13
“Going to Sea Otter was an amazing experience. This made me grateful for being there. I also saw biking in a different way, like Dual Slalom, Pumptrack, and road racing. I would totally go back. P.S. I love the campsite.“ - Roberto, Age 10
“I had a good time! Going to this race meant the world to me. And my dad told me I was going to be signed up for the Dual Slalom next year, so thank you!” - Blakester, Age 11
“It was fun and exciting. I loved the bike races. I want to learn more about all these riders and more about bikes. It was so much fun. These riders inspire me to be a better rider going down hills. I loved playing with the other Trips for Kids riders. The campsite was amazing with everyone.” - Will, Age 10
With all the fun we had, we can't wait to go back next year to Sea Otter Classic!