So I just got back from California...the trip was bad ass!! I had such a great time! When I got to Santa Cruz I spent the entire first day building up my three new bikes...a Demo 8, a SX Slalom and a Safire. My friend Andrew/Schwillis/Danza/Marky Mark/Motherfucking Danza at Cycle Sport in Scotts Valley was the man and offered to let me build up my bikes in the shop. It was a mission to get all of them built but it all worked out. We had quite a bike building party...thanks boys!!

I am not really into the whole Easter thing....but as far as I'm concerned any holiday is reason to have some extra fun. My brand new carbon fiber Safire was put to good use on Easter Sunday when I went for an epic XC ride with a massive crew up at UCSC. The ride was promptly followed my a visit to the Taqueria. Followed by a beach berm sesh at Sunset. I love California.

If I didn’t live in Whistler I would totally live in Santa Cruz. The trails are so good, the weather is good, the food is good and there are loads of pinners.

Yah so after building my bikes and shredding a bit I headed south to Monterey for Sea Otter. Sea Otter is always a bit freakish when it comes to weather. Sometimes it pisses rain. Sometimes it blows mad wind. Sometimes its just plain cold. This year it was high 90’s/37+. Gnar. It was so nice to be so hot after freezing my ass off all winter.  There was no rain, there was no wind, there were no was scorching, for like the first time ever.

I raced downhill and slalom at Sea Otter. The downhill track is flat and pedally but it has lots of fun jumps on it and it is the perfect track for Sea Otter. Its a bit of a social track if you ask me. Lots of trains. Lots of chats midway on the course. Lots of catching up with people in lines. I had a great time! I have never been able to pull out a decent result at Sea Otter so going into it I set myself a top-10 goal for the downhill. I achieved it with an 8th place finish so I was pretty happy about that. Slalom didn’t go so well for me. I was loving the course. Come qualifying I washed out in a corner but managed to qualify 6th. We started the day with a round of 16. I won the first run by the max 1.5 second advantage. On my second run I got a little  too excited for flat corners at the top and washed out. I might have been able to recover but I twisted my stem when I crashed....ohhh that sucked so bad!! Oh well. I learned from that experience so I guess thats whats important.

I did lots of riding at Sea Otter but I also mingled loads....I went to massive 8-course meal with Race Face, all of which was cooked by Julian. I went freestyle bowling with the Pink Bike crew. I went to the Post Office Jump jam. Good stuff.

After Sea Otter I went back up to Santa Cruz where I shredded some more with the boys for like a week. I also made a trip out to the Specialized headquarters to check things out...that place is so sick.

The trip ended with a sweet trip home....a three car caravan! Curtis Keene and Amado Stachenfeld are moving up to the Great White North for the summer which is so sick!

Yah so all in all, it was an amazing trip!!

Fuck I love summer!!!!!!

Katie Holden