Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) was really busy at the Sea Otter Classic this year. I think it was the biggest year yet for us. The weather was the best I have ever experienced in the 13 years of attending the Sea Otter. Lots of fun was had by all of those who attended. How can you not have fun when in an immersive environment surrounded by shiny bikes, pro events and 20,000 of your closest friends?
The success of this organization is a testament to the volunteers and officers who make it happen. No one draws a salary and there are very little benefits to this type of work. At the end of the day it's people like you and I who want to improve mountain biking in Santa Cruz. We do it because of the passion for the sport and we love to ride in Santa Cruz County. There are a lot of people to thank and one concern about a note like this is that someone will be left behind.
MBOSC provided all the volunteer course marshals for the Dual Slalom races and they went off really smoothly. This is a testament to the organization of Megan Zemney who did an amazing job of co-ordinating the volunteers for the DS and the booth. Megan really stepped it up this year to lead many initiatives. She is an effective leader and really took ownership of many tasks and drove them to completion. Not only that but she managed to practice and race downhill and took 4th in her category! That's a podium folks! Thank you Megan for your passion and energy and driving MBOSC in a really fun direction. She also needed some downtime and went off the grid last weekend in Yosemite.
There were so many volunteers on the DS course who really stepped up and represented MBOSC in a very professional and courteous manner. There are too many to name but I would like to give a big shout out and thank you the guys who worked multiple shifts and on the long day on Sunday. This included Dwight Follien, Alan Strahsburg, Kevin Brouwers, Dan Abernethy, Rich Henthorn, Bob Walden, Buff and James Bradley. I would like to especially thank Tracy Cotten for all the shifts on the swaile and stepping up to lead the crew on Sunday when we wanted to give him the day off. That Sunday shift was pretty brutal and went 2.5 hours overtime. We'll make it up to you guys!
The raffle for the Titus El Guapo was held on the last day of the Otter and we successfully met our goals. We raised over $5500 - which is more than enough to pay for the SDSF parking lot project and managed to implement electronic memberships during the process. We are really happy to say that we signed up and/or renewed 27 memberships during this campaign. Thank you all for your generous support!
The raffle couldn't have been executed without the help of some very key people. First of all, Sebastien Praly developed the online payment system and web pages. Things were a little tense when PayPal shut us down for a while and we had to work out some bugs but he managed to get it back on track. Michelle Lamelin did all the posters and graphics and worked closely with Rick Graves at Cluch Couriers for doing all the printing. We highly recommend using Clutch Couriers services for fast, effective printing at a reasonable price.
Eve Davidson did a stellar job of doing the back office work of member, raffle fulfillment and accounting. She is the reason that MBOSC continues to run so smoothly and effectively and she ensures that the organization is compliant and efficient. I don't thank her enough for all that she does and she has managed to put up with my bike advocacy "hobby" for all these years.
There are so many who helped with the raffle in so many ways. Steven Gemelos, Bob Walden, Jo Rathbun and Daryl Breuninger for their work in promoting and supporting the raffle. I would also like to thank our shop partners Lars Thompsen at Trail Head Cyclery in San Jose and Wade Hall and Matt Potter at The Spokesman Bicycles for selling tickets and hosting the El Guapo for all to see. Thanks to Michele Lamelin, Alan Strahsburg, Josh Moore, Jo Mutch, Daniel Abernethy, Marty Abaurrea and especially the man in the top hat Steve Cooper ("Cooper"!) for driving ticket sales during the Sea Otter. It was phenomenal and impressive how much raffle tickets we sold in the last 2 days of the Sea Otter.
A very special thanks to Jason, Jeff and Mike at Titus Bikes who believe in what we are doing and support our goals. We really appreciate your partnership and look forward to the next event where we can work together.
Camping at the Sea Otter was a blast and it was great to get to know our fellow mountain bikers. Initially MBOSC bought 3 campsites and offered free spots to members and volunteers. Camping was pretty sparse this year so we managed to spread out (take over?) 2 additional sites. We must have had at least 35-40 members and affiliates of MBOSC camping with us. I think we have firmly cemented the reputation of Santa Cruz mountain bikers as ones who have the most fun at the Sea Otter campsites. It was quite a party. Firewalking, bonfires, and propane fireballs. Beer and fire probably don't mix but there was never any concerns about safety. Needless to say the cops seem to think that we had the funnest campsites because they kept visiting us... at least charges weren't laid and no one got hurt.
We would like to thank Charlie Meehan, Jason the brewmaster the crew at Seabright Brewery for making sure that at the end of a hard day at work we had enough delicious IPA to make things right again. Charlie has been a loyal supporter of MBOSC over the year and we really appreciate his patronage. The fuel of bike advocacy is great beer and Seabright Brewery delivers the goods.
Finally, there were numerous people who dropped by the booth to say hello, buy raffle tickets and have renewed your membership over the past month. The MBOSC officers and volunteers appreciate your expression of support and we thank you, thank you, thank you! Together we have accomplished a lot of great things to improve mountain biking in this County. We are starting to get some momentum and it's building into something big. There are so many people who are passionate about mountain biking in Santa Cruz and MBOSC represents a small fraction of those enthusiasts. Imagine what we can accomplish if we represented all the mountain bikers who enjoy Santa Cruz County? Tell your friends about us! Encourage them to get informed on the issues. There is so much to grow and there is so much potential. Collectively we can turn Santa Cruz County in a world class mountain bike playground.
Thank you all for making MBOSC a stronger club! Whew! I'm glad that's over. I can't wait until next year.