Monday, April 9, 2012

Strava Commercial and School Visits

The last week has been particularly exciting.  In the beginning of February, I spent a day filming a commercial for the company Strava.  It was an amazing experience in and of itself.  The whole set-up and shoot was extremely professional with a crew of about thirty people working to film me mountain biking in Santa Rosa, CA.  There was a sprinter van with seating and a screen with the live feed of footage.  I literally felt like I was a movie star for the day minus the make-up.  Actually, it was the opposite of the typical glamour cover-up.  I was specifically ordered to go ride through puddles and get really muddy.  It was really a dream come true!  We filmed from sunrise to sunset.  I rode over technical rock gardens, climbed up grassy fields, ripped through corners, and high-fived trees.  It was actually not at that unlike a typical mountain biking training day except it was broken up into twenty second segments.  The director even wanted me to ride faster directly at his very, very expensive camera (I was a little weary of this).  The first try at this particular shot, they didn't get the camera speed quite right and I ended up skidding to a stop with my face inches from the camera, laughing.  All in all, I'm extremely grateful that Strava picked me to represent their company because this day filming was a once in a lifetime experience.  The TV spot will be playing every single day during the Tour de France and it also debuted last weekend during the Tour of Flanders.  It's all incredibly exciting.  Please check out the commercial and the behind the scenes footage here

Here is one of the vantage points from the Strava shoot
Here's part of the crew prepping for a shot

This past Thursday and Friday, I spent both days in Monterey, CA visiting elementary schools talking about being a professional mountain biker, trying to recruit more girls for our Little Bellas Sea Otter Camp, and getting more kids to come out to the Sea Otter Classic.  It was an absolutely amazing experience.  My efforts were combined with trickster, Chris Duncan, who really got the kids excited by doing tricks and even jumping over the school principal.  At every school, we had at least four hundred eager and excited kids.  I had a stack of two hundred 'hero cards' that were gone in about two minutes, and I met the most excited five year old I've ever seen about the Little Bellas.  She jumped up and down and exclaimed about riding her bike, meeting me, and the Little Bellas for ten minutes straight.  It was awesome.  I was a bit disappointed to tell her that we only take seven year olds, but she had enough enthusiasm (or maybe enough mountain dew in her system) to last two years at least.  My absolutely favorite part of the all of the visits was when four hundred kids in unison screamed, "good luck Lea in Belgium".  With that send off, I have everything I need for a successful trip to the second world cup in Houffalize, Belgium.  It's the second of four Olympic qualifiers and I'm really excited.  Now, I just have to catch my plane! 
Talking to the kids in my 'super hero' outfit

Chris Duncan pulling his rad tricks for the kids
I definitely underestimated the amount of cards I needed