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Sea Otter Recap 2016

Tuck this lil’ buddy away until next year, because Sea Otter 2016 is a wrap!!

This cute lil' guy.eric in tent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, the van is unloaded (and dust-free, thanks to our tech-specialist, Eric Hockman), with everything is back in it’s place.  Ahhhhhhh.  Nothing like that feeling you get as a collective company when you look back on an event like Sea Otter and know it’s been your best one so far.

Upon getting back to Colorado, many people who’ve never attended Sea Otter ask what it’s like.  The usual reply that you’ll get from any company that HAS been there is this: “It’s so much better than Interbike.”  Don’t get us wrong.  Interbike is great for many reasons.

But Sea Otter is:

  • Not Vegas. And it’s outside. Enough said.
  • Surrounded by every type of bike racing you could imagine.
  • A chance to catch up with industry friends and cycling folks from all over the place.
  • In California, where it’s 80 degrees vs. Colorado where last week here it was like this:

spring blizzard

 

But all those points aside, here are a few notable high-lights from the Feedback Sports side of things:

 

  1. The Bicycle Leadership Conference Feedback Sports’ founder/President, Doug Hudson has been attending the BLC for the last 5 years.  In a our weekly company meeting Doug explained the significance of this annual event. “The BLC continues to be one on my favorite industry events of the year.  The keynote speakers, learning sessions and networking are invaluable.  The morning rides along the coast are incredible.  The networking started as soon as I landed in Monterey when I was able to share an Uber ride with former pro racer Tim Johnson who was also on his way to the conference.   I leave the BLC each year with new ideas and inspiration to make Feedback Sports better than ever.”
  2. We unleashed the Feedback Sports Scorpion–our newly acquired product.  This was a huge hit among consumers, media and dealers alike.
  3. The Omnium made it’s Sea Otter debut as well.  It was so fun to talk with the general public and watch their eyes light up when they realize just how bitty and light-weight the Omnium can be.
  4. Primal Wear’s Women’s Mtb Clinic: Saturday morning, Lisa and I got the privilege of demo-ing two Yeti’s from our Colorado neighbors (literally, Yeti Cycles is about 500 yards away from the Feedback Sports headquarters) and take to the trails with some very rad women. Breakfast and coffee, first of course. PLUS a question/answer session with Sonya Looney, Karen Jarchow, Feedback Sports’ own racer, Caitlyn Vestal and Kasey Clark.  More sightings of strong women who crush it on and off the bike abounded throughout Saturday into the afternoon.  Team Luna Chix, Courtenay McFadden, the Stans NoTubes-Pivot women, the ladies from Raleigh Clement, the list went on and on.  #morewomenonbikes #heckyes
  5. NICA Omnium Raffle: Speaking of more people on bikes, let’s talk about NICA for a second.  The National Interscholastic Cycling Association is a mighty, happy force. Their mission is to develop interscholastic mountain biking coast-to-coast by 2020.  YES, PLEASE!!! We love being a sponsor and want to do everything we can to get more kids on bikes and spread the NICA word.  Saturday we were able to do just this and raffle off an Omnium to one very excited young man.  Check NICA out and see how YOU can help them reach their goal as well.

And on top of that, there was riding, camping, racing, laughing and maybe an escaped Octopus incident.  Still not sure on that last one.

So a huge THANK YOU to those of you who stopped by and said hello, those who offered us their hospitality (MTBR) and kindness and of course to our dealers and customers. It truly made this the best Sea Otter so far!!

mtbr party

*For our full facebook photo gallery, CLICK HERE!

For additional gorgeous images (courtesy, Eric Hockman) CLICK HERE! 

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Feedback Sports Field Tests the Omnium

If you’re reading this blog right now, chances are you love bikes just like we do.  You might even race (just like we do).  In fact, some of us here race quite fast; you may have heard our western sales manager’s name (Tim Allen) being called out at Cx races. But what you might not know is that Feedback Sports also sponsors a local racing team with around 40 people.

van sky end of race

Within our team, we have quite a variety. The ages range from 12-65, and the racing style of choice is just as broad.  We have BMX, XC Mtb, DH, Enduro, Cx and even a few who race via their daily commute.  There are many benefits to having a team: one of the more obvious is that we always have great people to ride and race with. But from a company stand point, this gives us the opportunity for plenty of field testing.  We’ve appreciated our team’s instant input on our storage items, our wash and work stands and now…the Omnium trainer.

Since we’re about half-way through the Cx season, we thought we’d focus on how the Omnium has worked it’s way into our team’s season so far with two of our fastest members.

Let’s start with our aforementioned western sales manager, Tim Allen.  Tim races at a national level in both single-speed and the men’s open/elite.  Tim has been with Feedback Sports for 4 years but racing for 5. And it’s possible that with each year, he’s gotten faster. Here’s a little peek inside Tim’s world from his most recent personal blog:

“I’m trying to find a balance. A life balance that inspires ikigai – the Japanese concept meaning, “a reason for being”. Ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”. It’s easy to get caught up in day to day stress, but enjoying life and living it to the fullest is essential to finding ikigai. Raising a family, working 8-5, and racing cyclocross creates quite the hectic schedule. It’s challenging and rewarding at the same time.”

Tim and Everett

He must be doing a pretty good job at this since within the last few weeks, he won the local 3 day “Cx of the North” Omnium race and last weekend placed 9th at the US Open of CX in Boulder, finally earning a UCI point. Tim credits his family, his job, his sponsors, and his racing community as strong contributors to his success.  And…coincidentally, a product he’s gotten to know quite well from work: the Omnium.

“I thought it was ironic that warming up on the new Omnium Trainer was vital to my success in winning the Omnium at Cross of the North. I’ve never really been much of a “trainer/roller” guy much less a “warm up/cool down” guy. When you have a trainer as smooth and easy as the Omnium, there is no excuse not to! It folds up smaller than my duffle bag and weighs less than 14lbs. It utilizes a rear wheel roller platform that easily adjusts to any wheel base and will accommodate essentially any fork mount on the market! With our universal fork mount and the free floating roller platform, you don’t need to have any balance – so that gives me some time to keep trying to find mine!

The internal progressive resistance is a magnetic system that is built into the rollers and is unlike anything else on the market. As you increase wattage, the resistance gets harder – it’s about as close to riding the road without the actual road. Needless to say, I was thoroughly warm for all 3 race starts. Cooling down afterwards, with a cold one and my son was the best way to cap off the weekend! I’m pretty sure I’ve found my ikigai…”
Tim racing in grass Tim and Danny S

Now let’s move onto a female power-house on the Feedback Sports team: Caitlyn Vestal. Caitlyn races in the women’s open/elite category and has had a smashing season thus far. When asked about her success, it seems like she is channeling ikigai as well.

caitlyn racing

“I have surprised myself (a little, because I work really freaking hard!) with my results this year. I knew that I felt strong but getting podium at UCI races is the break I have been waiting for. I don’t have a coach- I have been racing since I was 13 and it seems I finally have the years, miles and experience in my legs to get the results I know I am capable of. I work full time with a long commute, so being able to race and work and get these results has been really gratifying.”

Caitlyn is the very definition of someone you would want representing your company out on the bike.  Sure, she’s very, very fast.  But she’s also positive, helpful, kind and enigmatic.  Recently we got the chance to send Caitlyn to race Charm City Cx with the Omnium.

“Racing in Baltimore for Charm City cross was awesome because I grew up in Pennsylvania. I ran into tons of friends from the past when I was racing full time in the mid Atlantic region and abroad. I felt great but had to dig deep because I got in at 2 AM Friday night and then had to race all out Saturday and Sunday. I had a 4th row call up so it took a ton of energy to power up to the front of the group and then keep pushing so I didn’t lose any spots. Very pleased with my results and so happy to hear people cheering for me out there.”

How does Caitlyn like the Omnium? It’s safe to say that if she is racing, you’ll see her warming up and cooling down on the Omnium, just like she did when she got 4th place both days at the recent US Open of CX in Boulder.

caitlyn warming up caitlyn flowers

“The Omnium is a fantastic trainer. So much more easy than having to take your rear wheel off. Feels more stable. The front of my bike is upright without the extra typical front wheel holder. Not to mention that it’s so easy to transport! Everyone who sees it loves it.”

What’s next for Ms. Vestal? Between now and Nationals, (in addition to the local CO races) Caitlyn will be traveling to CX LA (November 20-22nd). 

“My main goal has just been to get more UCI points, since I started the season with just 2. Recent UCI results will help me have a good start spot in nationals, which I’d like to place top 10 in. I have been setting goals as I go and when a race goes well I ask myself “Okay, what’s next?” I have had great support from the CX community, our team and my husband and friends/family.”

Watch out for both Caitlyn and Tim (and the rest of our small, but mighty Feedback Sports team) at the races, on the trails and the road.  And feel free to ask any one of of us (sporting the red arrow) about any of our products and we’ll sing like birds.

Tim Omnium podium

*The Omnium will be available in January 2016 (perhaps just in time for CX Nationals).  Ask your local bike shop to pre-order you one today!