Post your Sea Otter Race reports here.
Congrats racers. This will be linked from the main Sea Otter Coverage page.
Sport Men 24-29
riding for MTBR.com ;)
Sport Men 50-54
30th at 2:02
First race on a SS. Started all the 50-60+ year old Sports together. I should have used gears and carried over the mud. I was 1/2 mile behind just on the race track. Caught and passed lots of riders on the trail. Never, ever had such severe leg cramps on the pavement climb about 3/4 through. They finally went away so I could finish.
Originally Posted by francois
1:50, good for 38th place.
-Tons of fun, swoopy singletrack.
-Only 2 hike-a-bike sections
-The dude wearing a Hawaiian shirt riding a Surly 1x1 who called out "1:26" about what couldn't have been even half-way. But considering I wasn't timing myself, after hearing that I thought I only had about 20 minutes left, so turned it up a bit and started to pick off other riders ahead of me pretty easily. Turned out to be a lot more than 20 minutes left to go, but it was an invaluable mental boost.
-Approaching the big wide mud bog near the end, seeing everyone peeling either wide right or wide left, and me thinking "oh I've got big wheels I can make it through anything" and cutting straight down the middle. Next thing I knew I was axle and elbow deep in the mud puddle. Padre was nice enough as he blazed by to ask if I was ok...
-Knowing ahead of time exactly how the finishing 3k looked. Pre-ride was again, invaluable.
-Not asking myself ONCE "what the heck am I doing out here" like I have in past years/races, because I was just having so much fun this time.
-The chorizo and egg burrito at Tico's Tacos in Salinas afterwards.
12th beginner clyde out of 43 2:06 time, first race ever, lost a minute or so of ride time being a good samaritan, great course, super super fun.
Passed the guy (all in yellow?) ahead of me on the last hill before the racetrack but frt derailer let me down couldn't get on big ring and he blew by me on the downhill. super fun and I can see myself getting addicted to racing soon.
only went over the bars once so I consider it a highly successful first race.
Here are a few random thoughts:
- great beer and a good group of MTBR folks Saturday night at camp A115. Now, that was fun! BTW, did Nativeson make it back home okay?
- over 2 hours, 64th, so basically as slow as ever on my gearie. :)
- started slow, caught up to a few guys later on, but basically stayed slow throughout...
- did not really preride the course, so I was a bit surprised by the jump at the bottom of the first downhill as I was following some guy. It was quite fun though.
- saw 2 guys endoing within secs of each other right in front of me. They probably saved me from doing the same.
- in the last single track with the little whoops, I was too tired and was not paying attention. On a bump, I forgot to pull the handlebar, flew up, landed on the front wheel at speed and nearly endoed.
Overall, that was an awesome ride, and I can't wait for next year.
Pictures of Sea Otter Cross Country Race, Pros and Amateurs
Liam Killeen (England) won the men's pro race and Gunn-Rita Dahle (Norway) won the women's race.
For my pics of the pros and amateurs in the race go to:
Beginner 40 - 45
after 10 miles I realized that I lost my ankle band. I might not tighten it good; first race's lesson ;-(.
My computer says 2:02 of riding (+ 1 or 2 minutes for not riding).
Sorry I didn't have a chance to stop by the mtbr.com booth; my family wanted to go home in hurry when it started raining (right after racing).
Beg Men XC 45-49
1st time racing
I had a total blast!
I exceeded my goals:
Course was fun & challenging. Nice to have such a variety of conditions. I was glad the rain broke for a few days and held off until I was finished. Despite the number of muddy spots, it could have been way worse. I really enjoyed seeing some of the stronger riders that started after our group work their way through the field. While I felt bad for them having to deal with the slower riders, I found it highly motivating. A number of riders in the Jr. sport division went through making it look oh so easy. There were moments when I wished I had a tow rope handy... Despite the frustration some of the riders must have felt, I found nearly everyone to be courteous, friendly and postively motivating. I particularly "enjoyed" my effort on the long climb out. I recall being passed by just a few riders from the Jr. divisions and a few studettes. I had a consistent pace going and managed to pass scores of riders at this point. I particularly enjoyed passing a group of 4-5 guys that were likely in my group right at the top of the climb before the last singletrack. I'd been moving up on them for some time and it felt great to make it by.
1) The start was more important than I thought. I held off at the start and on the track which put me in the middle of my group going into the singletrack. That slowed me down quite a bit as I couldn't get past guys that had challenges or were walking up the climbs.
2) I was really glad that I pre-rode the course a week or so before the race. It was very helpful to have some idea of what to expect.
3) I wish I had tapered my training a little more the last week before the race. I could have used about 1 more day off/lighter effort as I still felt the effects of my previous hard ride as I started.
4) I rode faster in the pack than I might have solo. It was nice to watch others take/make the line which gave me more confidence on some of the downhills & singletrack sections than I would have had solo.
5) I was too tenative about passing in the 1st quarter of the race. I should have asked politely and moved ahead rather than waiting for things to clear. That cost me a fair bit of time. Watching the experienced riders move through helped me with that.
6) It was eye opening to look through the results and learn how fast the winners are riding. I saw a time of around 2:45 posted for two laps. I also saw SS times for two laps that were under 3 hrs. Amazing. In addition to better training and dropping some weight, I'll probably need another lung to get close to being competitive in my group:)
All in all, it was a great experience. I'm looking forward to the next one.
All the best & congrats to all you studs & studettes that led the way,
Not really a race report, but I'd like to thank Francios & Derek for takin me and Rockcrawler out to lunch saturday, the food was good, and I love the book I got from the raffle :D
I've got my pics all up, but in the Sea Otter galleries there is no place for Dirt Jump photos (hint, hint). but I won't be home to upload them until tonite, probably after the award for Best Photo has been decided. But I feel my best shots came from the DJ competition.
From what I saw, everyone had a blast, nobody (that I saw) got seriously hurt, and my face, neck, and only one hand is sunburned. The other isn't because it was under the camera the whole time.
I raced Sport class like a bonehead.
Originally Posted by francois
I placed 75th out of 114 riders, about where I placed my first SOC in beginner class three years ago.
I pre-rode the course a few times over the last couple of months, and my best time was 2:07, but I raced 1:56! I was feeling like death for the first half, but then it started to fall in to place. The rim braked weight weenie bike held up, and felt great. The brakes didn't even rub on my flimsy 24 spoke front wheel like they usually do.
At some point (possibly even before the race), I bent my deraulleur hanger a bit, and I could not shift into the biggest couple of cogs without getting crazy chain skip, and could not get up the first 'b!tch' without hoofing it. I also stalled on that steep sandy second big climb.
I was also scaring myself on the downs. The first big down I hit 41.5 MPH according to my computer. The second big paved down I hit 40. The ruts smoothed out a bit since I pre-rode it last.
The mud pits were crazy. I started to get a tad of chainsuck from the first mud puddle, so I hoofed a lot of the other mud to not make it worse.
Overall, I did better than I thought I would.
Originally Posted by pimpbot
That's pretty quick. I only hit 39.5 and I'd say I'm pretty quick coming down the hill.
I liked the first big decent...right off that foot and a half drop. We came across one guy who pooched that part...he was off to the side holding is arm in pain....looked like he was in some pain.
What I really enjoyed were all the 'rain run off's' about half way though the race. I couldn't help but air it out on a few of those. :D
Rumpfy, are you me?
I second the "fun factor" for the water bars/run offs -- yeeHaw! I liked the drop on preride day (Friday), but totally forgot about it come race day (was trying to catch the peleton :)
Managed fine over it despite the memory blip. How about that last singletrack section? Catching a few sweet hips before hitting the runway; what a way to finish a ride!
With a slow start & a good finish, I figured I had finished somewhere in the middle; I was 52nd of 104 men beg/35-39, 2:11 with one crash, one pee break and a few dismounts for trafficy hills. Pretty good figuring, no?
1) rear brake only down sandy hills (heard about this trick on the way home, but better late than never)
2) leave the start faster on courses with lots of single track, especially in beginner's class (again, better late than never)
3) running through mud bogs makes more sense than riding through
4) passing across the Grassy Knoll can take a lot of energy.
5) jumping during a race is really fun!
Thanks all for keeping it fun.
Originally Posted by Rumpfy
I know exactly the drop you're talking about. I hit it at speed, by accident, on a pre-run but used it to pass four guys in the race playing follow the leader around it. I heard someone follow me and he let out an "Oh sh!t".
I really enjoyed the jumps on the final single track. Yeehaaaaaa!
On a Saturday pre-ride, my friend Roy flew off the bike on that spot and hit his temple on the ground. He blacked out for a minute and was not coherent until the paramedics arrived. He stayed at the hospital all afternoon. The next day, he looked pretty good but he said he still had a slight headache.
Originally Posted by fred-da-trog
He said he doesn't remember anything between the start of the ride and waking up at the hospital. His techie explanation was his short-term memory was still in a buffer and was interrupted before it could write to disk.
Beg Men XC 45-49
First race ever and I had a blast.
I got to the event early enough to warm up around the parking lot up on Wolf Hill. The vibe up there was great with everyone else getting ready, chit-chatting and warming up.
Felt great on all the hills except for that last one, where my legs gave out to the cramps. I was told there would be two water stations, so I decided not to wear a Camelback. I had one water bottle and a flask of Hamergel. It wasn't enough. I cramped. Next time, I think I'll take two water bottles and use my flask more liberally
My goal was to finish in the top 1/3 and I just squeaked in on that.
~The Arrogant Bastard cheering us on while ascending Skyline Rd. He and the other spectators in the middle of nowhere cheering us on. How cool was that.
~The Mud bogs. Someone at the top of the hill said "you haven't seen any thing yet..."
~Found a pair of riding glasses. I had gone over the bars on a slow bump and when I picked up my bike, I found a cool pair of glasses.
~Using my old tried and true Hardtail for this event. I felt great passing those on their Full Suspension rigs.
I passed over a lot of water bottles, several chains, one Crank Bros. pedal, 2 or three camelback mouth pieces, some gogs from somebodys cluster, and some poor guy face down in the grass hurling.
Next race, I am definitely going to pre ride the course.
I can't wait.
Originally Posted by francois
Ouch, hope he's back to normal now.:eek:
Markatrog: 7th, XC beginer men 45-49 1:57:37
Sport Men 25-29
13th @ 1:35:56
This course was tons of fun, even better while trading lines with Rumpfy mid course. Pre-ride was a must for this. I even made it down those freakin sandtraps they called downhill sections. Some of them were DEEP! Especially for a not-so-technical rider.
Beginner Men 25-29
1:50 9th place
Hitting that drop off at the end of the first downhill at speed even though I had pre-rode the course and knew to avoid it.
Watching a woman in front of me endo into a mud pit so deep that you couldn't see her handlebars at all, much less her front wheel.
Making it through the sand trap downhills without crashing! Gotta love the paramedics stationed at 50 yard intervals on the first one.
Watching some guy who had stopped, flipped over his bike, and was slowly cleaning the chain with a rag. I almost wanted to stop and see if he would give mine a quick service!
Catching my buddy Chris, who had left 5 minutes before me, on the half-way fireroad climb.
Hitting a mud pit on Goat trail that brought my bike to a complete stop, but luckily didn't eject me over the bars.
Making it to the last little climb, right under the campground, only to find some half naked guy in the trail who had one too many beers...
Altogether a blast!
Thats' just too weird, I saw them too. I cannot fathom how they could get dislodged.
Originally Posted by imjps
I am very pleased with my 2:02:14 time. Beg/Sport Singlespeed. Course was great. Much more fun (and harder) than last year.
-having fast guys in front of me going down #50 (sorry to the guy behind me, but we were going fast enough not to get frustrated)
-the paceline of hiking singlespeeds going up #82
-jumps on #11 and #82
-catching a second (or 4th) wind and being able to hammer up #47 and to the track. The cheering crowd helped when one guy yelled "Hurry, there is a girl behind you!" (It was minne mae)
-missing out on my nomad frame by 142 tickets! :mad:
- semi-yaking on skyline rd.
Wow what a great time!! This being the biggest event I have attended I was a bit intimidated by the field. When I lined up for the start and took a look around at the competition it was one of those OS moments. :eek: These guys were studs! They may be clydes and over 40 but many of them were ripped and looked fast just standing there!
Well my plans to at least top 10 quickly changed to hoping to finish in the middle some where’s.
The start was fast and furious and I tried to hang with the front 10 or 15 riders for the track portion. About the time we left the track 10 or so broke away and were off like a stinkin’ rocket. That’s when I felt just a bit of discouragement that I couldn't hang with the front runners. I decided to just run my pace and see how many of the jack rabbits blow up on the hills, it's a long 20 miles.
About the time we hit the single track I some of the slower folks from the previous groups started clogging up the trail. I was glad to get out of the single track so I could start doing some passing and maintain a decent pace.
Saw a lot of biffs and had to take evasive action on several occasions to keep from running over downed riders and bikes, definitely kept you on your toes. It was pretty easy to spot the areas where riders crashed, just watch for piles of water bottles, broken fenders, and miscellaneous other bike stuff.
After the downhill on the pavement section I started catching up with some of the jackrabbits who were beginning to feel the hills. What a great feeling to pick 'em of one by one. This seemed to give me a burst of energy and I actually started thinking top 10 again. By the time the Jacks Road climb came, I had dropped a couple more and now I began to think top 5. Hammer time! Sucked down a gel and a few gulps of water and I was off.
When I Hit Skyline I spotted what looked to be another clyde up ahead in my sights. As I passed him he asked what class I was racing and said he was in Beginner Clyde. He told me there was only one or two other clydes ahead in my class and would I like to work together to catch them. Hell yea! So off we went after a green jersey about 200 yards ahead. I closed within about 50 yards of what turned out to be the 3rd place finisher and could get no closer once we hit the final single track do to the pack of slower riders that were between us. Finally managed to get around a bunch of riders on the final mud climb and broke onto the race track for the final push to the finish. I saw what looked to be a clyde 75 yards up ahead and man did that get the adrenalin flowing! Shifted into the big ring and put my chin on the bars and gave it all I had left. Right at the final turn I caught him and blew by hammering for dear life. Crossing the finish felt so good!
The Beginner Clyde (Paul) I was working with finished just ahead of me and greeted me at the finish pumped that he and captured first place in his class and said I had snagged either 3rd or 4th in mine. I couldn’t believe it! What a day, what a race, what a finish.
The main lesson learned for a big race like this is to get a decent start and just run your race. Sooner or latter you’ll catch up with the riders who didn’t and blew up. It’s a long race and anything can happen.
I was glad I went biff free as I don’t need any more body damage. I have enough aches and pains.
Glad I did the pre-ride the week before.
Helping out at the MTBR booth on Saturday was a blast.
Cant wait until the next race!! :D
ok my stuff..
+40 Open Clydesdale
Originally Posted by francois
9th of 25 (on a Single Speed/29er)
Team Santa Cruz- 01:55:01
I did the +40 Open Clyde race. Saw some familar faces in the crowd. I have to say I was expecting to see a bunch of grey haired, beer gut dudes but no way. Most of the dudes at the starting line after the gun went off came to throw down.
My single speed was as I expected very spinny on the track. I got a great jump at the start but by the time the hill climb began I was almost at the back of the pack! That is until the hill climb. That's when the BIG BOI factor seemed to kick in with a lot of my fellow bretherin. One by one, I began to make up ground. Being 230lbs. I'm definatley one of them, I just probably spend more time climbing hills to make up for it.
Once at the top of the track, and off to the ridgeline speed run, I kept pace with a fellow MTBR member, (his handle escapes me). He and I had pre-rode on a group ride before and I knew that in the beginning I'd be seeing some of him. Sure enough, he and I went back and forth for the first few miles. I'd climb a hill and pass him. He'd descend the hill or hit a flat and pass me. It was a friendly exchange, and we even encouraged one another. Finally on one twisty hill climb, I got past him and didn't see him again.
At least a couple of slower groups got released in front of us as well. I think I was preaty polite, typically, I'd yell the standard "On your left!" wait for a line to pass and go for it.
A couple of times I scared the shite out of some of the female sport riders by getting (in their minds) too close. I never hit/touched anyone though. My way of politely pushing people along was to get behind them and encourage them (let's em know a faster rider is behind em), and typically they would let me pass.
Along one of the first twisty, uphill singletrack portions I started keeping pace with what appeared to be a speedy female jr rider (or maybe she was racing up a class or two). Instead of passing her, I just trailed behind since she was kicking ass and passing alot of other riders. When we'd come up to typically slower guys, I'd announce "On your left, lady coming through!", and folks would make way and we'd buzz on by. I noticed she seemed to be breathing rather rapidly but was still maintaining pace.
Once we got up to the top of the summit, and hit a fire road, and she seemed to have an emotional breakdown. I began to pass her, gave her a pat on the shoulder, and told her she was doing great, and to just stay smooth.
Afterwards I kind of felt like the big bad monster nipping at the heals of an innocent. At the time all I thought I was doing was giving her some encouragement and a chance to lead. Or maybe she was a first time racer, and was just feeling the pressure of the race? Who knows for sure but her.
Oh well, like Forrest said, racing is like a box of chocolates, ...ya just never know what your gonna get.
Anyway, once we hit the mud bog area (right before the 2nd sand hill descent), this other racer in my class on a white Santa Cruz shows up. He passed me giving me some props for riding single. So I tagged long behind him. We kept again going back and forth. I'd clear the puddles cyclo-cross style by running through them. He'd catch me on the downhill areas or the flats with his gears. I'd then pass him on the hill climbs. Finally I got out and ahead of him on Skyline Rd, on our way to the 44.
I made several passes by dismounting and running around folks on the short hills where a lot of people were granny gearing. By the time I hit Jack's Road, my slight scoliosis was kicking in along w my sciatic nerve...pain! Every bump and jarring of the rear of the bike began to echo up my hips and back. Then I got the only 4Km to go voice in my head. Okay, charge!
And about then who would you know shows up, Mr. white Santa Cruz bike dude! Yikes, where did he come from. Oh well, we had some encouraging exchanges. I just kind of felt like, "Oh well take it, I don't care anymore". Then I caught up with him. He noticed our exchange as well. He said,"Same thing all F*ckin race, back n forth with us! (smile)"
Finally on the last hill, with less than a mile to go, I began to taunt him while on his wheel, "Don't let me catch you now big boy!" With that he took off like a bullet. I just smiled and let him go figuring he was long gone. I got to the twisty section of single track right before the entry to the track, and ...there he was...within my sights again. I busted past the tight, uphill right turn cyclo-cross style passing 3 people. Got on his rear wheel and wispered..."I'm baaaack." He looked back and was very surprised. With that we hit the track together in a full sprint passing people left and right. My 29er wheels helped get me down the hill preaty fast, but his gears won out in the end. He beat me by 4 whole seconds! After the finish line, we both exchanged hand shakes and had a good laugh about the whole thing.
Oh well, great race and even better racers. My hats off too everyone who had the courage and the game to enter and finish!
Oh yea, volunteering Friday at the MTBR booth was a blast. Good to finally connect some handles w/ some faces.
-definatley as stated earlier, ride your own race a lot can and does change over 20 miles. Today, I feel like I'm very done with racing...for a while at least ;-)
-all those complementary water bottles at the bottom of the first few hills, they really came in handy, and I had a good time guessing what the flavors were...yummm!
I did the pre-ride on my hard tail, but raced on the full suss. During the race I forgot I was on a full suss and therefor forgot to unweight the back a little when I hit those water bars. Each time the suspension would soak it up then buck me forward a bit. Three really close calls...
Originally Posted by fred-da-trog