Davison at Sea Otter, but not to race

Pro mountain biker Lea Davison was at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California, but she wasn't there to race. The Maxxis-Rocky Mountain team rider is currently injured and on a break from racing while she awaits surgery. However, that didn't stop her from being part of a different sort of Sea Otter action.

Davison was spotted on a bike with her sister Sabra and a flock of young girls on mountain bikes just before Saturday's short track. The two sisters run the Little Bellas program to promote mountain biking among girls. At Sea Otter, they are hosting three mountain bike day camps.

"It's been a wild success," said Lea. "Sure, it's been a handful because this is a chaotic event anyway. but we've had a great response. Some girls who signed up for one day have come back for more."

Riding around with the girls, Lea said she's heard a lot of comments along the lines of "I've never seen that many girls in one place on bikes before."

The sisters have several camps scheduled for across the country this summer. Sea Otter is the first stop, and there will be others in Wisconsin and Vermont, where they live.

"We've had 10-15 each day here at Sea Otter and we have 20 every Sunday all summer back home in Vermont," said Sabra. The girls range in age from 7 to 14, depending on the particular camp.

Lea will be sidelined from racing for most of the 2010 season. "I'm nursing a hip injury. I tore some cartilage in my left hip, so I need surgery. Sometime this winter, I was mis-diagnosed, then I got an MRI and they figured it out."

"My surgery will be on April 30, and it's about a three-month recovery period. I'll be fresh for cyclo-cross season. Maybe I can do some races at the end of the season. I'm signed up for the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival."

"I'll be at the World Cup and World Championships because they're in my backyard, but it will be tough to be there and not to be racing though I've almost accepted it."

Instead of racing, Davison helpd co-announce the elite men's and women's short track on Saturday afternoon, offering insight into the racing action based on her own experience.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.