"Earlier this morning, I fell to my knees and kissed the ground," Crankbrothers' marketing director Christina Orlandella commenting on the good weather at this year's Sea Otter Classic. Festival goers enjoyed dry, sunny weather on Thursday with temps expected to reach the low 70s by Sunday.
Not everyone was quite as thankful to the weather gods. "It's actually warmer in Chicago right now than here. Why is that?" asked Brian Koff, creator of Chicago-based Zym.
Patrick Overturf, a rider on the GT Show Team, practices for the GT Air Show, catching some air off a ramp on Thursday morning.
Rosy Castañeda, marketing coordinator for Ritchey Design, said business has been brisk despite the economy, thanks in part to an upgrade parts kit that has fit in well with the current "year of the upgrade" trend the bicycle market is experiencing.
"From retailers we have gotten a slight feel of a little bit of hesitancy to stock up, but they’re still buying. It’s not so many of the larger bulk orders that we’re getting, but we’re getting a lot of smaller ones and all the retailers have said that business hasn’t really slowed for them that much. So it’s kind of trickling in a little bit later than we had expected. Usually last month is one of our bigger months and it was a little bit slower than it has been in the past, but it’s just starting to wake up," Casteñeda said.
Santa Cruz Bicycle's Scott Turner said it seems as though consumers still have the discretionary income to spend on high-end bikes even during the recession.
"Even people coming around looking at the new carbon bikes—and they're expensive—and they say,'How much is this bike right here?' I kind of sheepishly have to go, 'Oh, that's $6,000.' They go, 'Oh, that's not bad.' I'm like alright. Cool."
Santa Cruz is showing two new carbon fiber mountain bikes at Sea Otter, the Blur XC and the Blur LT.
Cannondale mechanic Troy Laffey couldn't help but notice BRAIN web editor Jason Norman's Bearcat beanie. And with good reason. Laffey is a Cincinnati Bearcat grad from the mid-90s, competing for the men's rowing team, in fact. He actually had a class or two with a couple future NBA players in Nick Van Exel and Corie Blount. "Yet another reason to buy a Cannondale," Norman commented.