CIBK set out this past weekend to compete in its 3rd race of the season hosted by Stanford University despite the fact that it technically it should have been hosted by CSU Monterey Bay since both races were held very near the campus. Although CIBK’s roster was a bit smaller this time around in comparison other races, that didn’t stop the few and powerful numbers we had in Emily, Ondine, Nick, Ismael, and myself from bringing it! In other words, “eramos pocos, pero picantes”, “we were few, but spicy”.

As we began to pack all of our belongings into Emily and Ondine’s cars, we were all a bit thrown off when Ondine rolled out her recently purchased and shredded Santa Cruz Juliana full-suspension mountain bike.We all thought she was going to race on it, but she reassured us that on our way to Monterey, she was going to stop in Santa Barbara to get her super rad Cannondale SuperSix EVO road racing bike. Nick begged and pleaded to bring his mountain bike on the trip, but sadly there was no more room to fit anymore stuff 😦

Prior to really setting out towards Monterey, we all made a stop at In n Out Burger in SB where we all ate lunch as a team. Before heading out of the In n Out parking lot, Nick rolled down the window and yelled “vape naysh!” to a random guy who nodded his head in our direction and proceeded to get into his car.

The drive to Monterey on the 101 Freeway was anything but boring. Emily’s kick ass music playlist got us all pumped and Nick’s Aziz Ansari playlist got us all laughing practically the whole way there. It was one of the best car rides that’s for sure.

About 10 minutes out from reaching our destination in Monterey, Ismael, Nick, Gio, and Emily came across a sight that we had never witnessed before. Here goes nothing:

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“Grab life by the cabbages”

We all eventually made it our campsite at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca venue where the Sea Otter Classic was going to be held in about 2 weeks time. We decided to unload some of our “chucherías” or “goodies” from the cars and head over to the Safeway Grocery store not too far away from the campsite and gather our food. We made it back in time from shopping to catch the view of the sunset which definitely made it all worth it:

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After setting up our tents and organizing our campsite, we began preparing our team dinner. Nick and Ismael were setting up our campfire while Emily was heating up the water on her portable stove to cook pasta while I was getting the sauces ready and Ondine was on the grill:

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No matter what happens, race day is always tense, hectic and crazy. This race was no different. Gio and Ismael’s race was originally scheduled to start at 10:30AM, but it turned out everybody’s races were set back. Ismael’s and my race was now scheduled to start at 12:30PM while Emily and Ondine’s race was scheduled to start at 1:30PM and Nick’s at 1:32PM. What do you do when you have over 2 hours to spare before your race? You drive to Chipotle para comer “tus buenos tacos y burritos” or “your good tacos and burritos” like Nick did, but in the case of Emily and Ondine, taco salads. Ismael opted to go the gourmet route and get Panera while I decided to save his appetite for later.

Two hours later, we all headed back to the race and started warming up for the race, which believe it or not, was in the shape of a hotdog according to the course profile. In yet another turn of events, Gio and Ismael’s race got pushed back even further which meant everybody else’s race got pushed back as well. Eventually, we all got to race. Everybody did very well in their races. Kudos to Ismael and Nick for finishing strong in their respective races considering they never raced road before!

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With all of our races ending in the early afternoon, we all decided to drive to Downtown Monterey and kill some time before heading back to the campsite. Ondine and I were a little bit hungry and decided to get fish and chips and not “el mentado clam chowder que siempre come Anthony mientras que pasa por allá” or the renowned clam chowder that Anthony eats when he is always over there”. It was quite tasty I would say and the view didn’t hurt either:

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Back at the campsite, Ismael, Nick and Emily were in the mood for shredding some more which they did while Ondine took a siesta and I did some homework for one of my classes. We all eventually got together and started our last team dinner before our last race tomorrow. Bedtime came by early since we had to be up super early to take down the campsite, fuel our bodies at the “Golden Arches” and head to the race.
I’ll give Stanford credit for setting up a truly amazing road race course. From rolling hills, to false flats to sweeping descents, this course had it all. It is by far my favorite race I have done this season! My race was first and started at 8:02AM, while Nick and Ismael’s started at 8:04AM and Emily and Ondine’s started at 8:08AM. Everyone did very well and sent it. I was hoping to do a little bit better considering I raced this same race last year in the rain, but a squeaking noise coming from either my bottom bracket or drive train caused me to fall backwards a bit. Despite the adversities, I finished strong and most importantly had a good time.
We all headed back to the car as a team and packed our equipment and headed back to the place we all call home. Thank you to everyone who helped organize and put this entire trip together, it was an absolute blast. Stay tuned on the blog for next time when CIBK takes the Sea Otter Classic! And always remember to “Keep the fun between your legs”.
-Gio Velasco

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