Sea Otter Gran Fondo

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  • 01-27-2013
    solidfish
    Sea Otter Gran Fondo
    I'm considering participating in this years Gran Fondo race at Laguna Seca (the one open to the public). It says its 20.2 miles with 4700' elevation gain. It doesnt seem too difficult, but wondering how conditioned one needs to be to finish the course in reasonable time.

    For those who have run this before, how difficult was the course? And about how long does it take to complete?
  • 01-27-2013
    Froride1
    I did it last year. The course is the same as the Cat 2 race course. It's not technical but it is 20 miles. The climbs are not difficult but some, like the fireroad back to the track are long. Last year it was hot, mid 90's, which is unusual for Laguna Seca. The heat made it a tough ride. You'll need to be able to ride the distance comfortablely, if you can you shouldn't have a problem riding it. Remember its a ride not a race so don't get sucked into going all out, if you do it'll be a long ride.
  • 01-27-2013
    NoBalance
    If its the same course as the race, it should be more like 3500 feet tops.
  • 01-27-2013
    grumblingcrustacean
    For a challenge, do it on a singlespeed :thumbsup:

    If you want extra humiliation, do the CAT2 race on a SS...you end up passing tandems and then have a bunch of high school youngsters that have no appreciation for their elders (on SS) on the trail ahead of them.
  • 01-27-2013
    ziscwg
    It's work, but not too hard. It's not a race either except for the first 20 or so guys that ride it. So, if you need a break, there are rest stops.

    if you can do the double loop at Demo or ride Skeggs to the bottom and out with some bonus tracks, you'll make it.
  • 01-27-2013
    allthatisman
    I did it last year, and while it was a lot of climbing, it's not impossible. It was really hot last year, and toward the end of the trail the water was all sitting in the sun... so nothing was cold. I signed up again this year with a better bike, and I'll be in better shape. It's nothing terribly technical, but it is a lot of climbing, so be prepared for that.
  • 01-27-2013
    solidfish
    Thanks for the responses. I mostly do short rides under 10 miles, less than 3 hours, so I'll have to try conditioning for some longer rides. Been searching some youtube videos and the hardest parts seem to be in the sandy areas.
  • 01-28-2013
    Stripes
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Froride1 View Post
    I did it last year. The course is the same as the Cat 2 race course. It's not technical but it is 20 miles. The climbs are not difficult but some, like the fireroad back to the track are long. Last year it was hot, mid 90's, which is unusual for Laguna Seca. The heat made it a tough ride. You'll need to be able to ride the distance comfortablely, if you can you shouldn't have a problem riding it. Remember its a ride not a race so don't get sucked into going all out, if you do it'll be a long ride.

    The weather during the Sand Otter can really vary. Last year it was a million degrees with no shade and the heat comes off the asphalt. I had to bail because of my asthma from the heat. Other years it's been nice, and then their are years you're stuck in a freezing cold rain. Be prepared for anything.

    It's a lot of fireroad riding, and they do the fun trails uphill instead of down. There are better rides at Ft Ord you can do for free that are more fun IMO.

    What you get: a few rest stops, SAG if needed (used it last year because of the heat), and a chipped number card to know your time.

    While the Grand Fondo is just a ride, but so many people treat it like a race and are so proud of their placing. :rolleyes:
  • 03-19-2013
    solidfish
    About what finish time is considered respectable for the Gran Fondo? Under 3 hours?
  • 03-19-2013
    sparkyJay
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    While the Grand Fondo is just a ride, but so many people treat it like a race and are so proud of their placing. :rolleyes:

    This really cracks me up! And just watch, it will happen again this year.
  • 03-19-2013
    Stripes
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sparkyJay View Post
    This really cracks me up! And just watch, it will happen again this year.

    Yeah, because it means so much to surpass your time and beat everyone else.