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  1. #1
    enter and win
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    Sea Otter "This Is How My Race Went" thread..??

    let's hear it! Me: 1st time racing XC in upper age group cat 2 50+ women. It hurt. A lot. But I powered thru those Godforsaken climbs and finished with a respectable I guess time of 2:18:18, placing me 6th outta 12 girls. I really REALLY would've liked to have ridden more technical singletrack. But hey, it's Sea Otter. Now tell us YOUR story!!!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    Enjoyed my first weekend at home in a very long time. Almost forgot we had a house.

    Mt Diablo wasn't bad either.

    Congrats on the XC result. No DH?

  3. #3
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    I was pleased with my performance. I was in the super small 38-39 cat 2 mens group. I am not sure how many riders there were but I finished in 11th place with a time of 1:42. I passed many people and didn't get passed very much at all. I am still trying to find my "race pace" am trying not to worry about blowing up and bonking. The one thing that threw me was at mile 2 or so my water bottle flew out and I hadn't even taken a sip yet. I had no other water. That stunk because I started to worry about my performance. I had two cups at the aid station and just ate the shot blocks. Lots of friendly people out there and I had a blast. Saw a lot of familiar faces. Good times for sure except for bruised and bloodied hip from the DH. At least I know XC is it for me. Now does anybody have a lightweight bike to sell because I could use one.

    Paul
    They never made the "Slowster"

  4. #4
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    Today was my second race ever (1st place finish OVERALL in cat 3 in Napa last weekend). I upgraded to cat 2 (40-42 menís) for the Sea Otter cross country race, but I got to the starting line about a minute late after my group had already started out. Regardless, I managed to squeak by a good portion of the pack to grab the 17th place spot out of a class of 62 riders: http://www.seaotterclassic.com/racer...2011/XC125.pdf

    Iím not as fond of the Sea Otter course as I am with the Napa Dirt Classic course, since there are too many long and flat sections (should I have brought a road bike???). If they could axe the flat stuff, it would make for a more challenging and technical race, in my opinion.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmarshall
    I was pleased with my performance. I was in the super small 38-39 cat 2 mens group. I am not sure how many riders there were but I finished in 11th place with a time of 1:42. I passed many people and didn't get passed very much at all. I am still trying to find my "race pace" am trying not to worry about blowing up and bonking. The one thing that threw me was at mile 2 or so my water bottle flew out and I hadn't even taken a sip yet. I had no other water. That stunk because I started to worry about my performance. I had two cups at the aid station and just ate the shot blocks. Lots of friendly people out there and I had a blast. Saw a lot of familiar faces. Good times for sure except for bruised and bloodied hip from the DH. At least I know XC is it for me. Now does anybody have a lightweight bike to sell because I could use one.

    Paul
    Dude, you placed 10th out of 29!!!

    I hear you on the water, my bottle went bye-bye on about mile 5. At about mile 16 or so the head guy (sorry donít remember his name) from Team Madcat let me have some of his water, muchas gracias!!! Other than that small water break, my diet consisted of dirt.
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  6. #6
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    I finished 7th of 30 in the Cat 3 XC 25-29 group. First time at Sea Otter, first season racing.

    I lost my 2nd bottle (the one that had all my water left... grr...) with like 6 or 7 miles left in the race so that sucked (at least that's when I noticed. No idea when it actually fell off). Couldn't eat my goo and I was thirsty as hell.

    I didn't get to pre-ride so I didn't know what to expect. Turns out the course was easier than I had imagined. I should have ridden harder during the race... I was saving energy for something that never came.

  7. #7
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    It was a bit boring but I really didn't pay attention to the coarse much I was to busy putting the hammer down playing catch up from the start. I put myself 3 riders back on the start to have good position and that went horribly wrong. All 3 peeled off on the first corner and the rest of the group thought it necesary to leave me out front. I pulled the train around the track not really remembering where the dirt started and on the last corner before the dirt started like 13-16 people all shot past me so I had no idea where I was in the field. Spent a majority of the race fighting back to catch the group that just disapeared out front after that. Kept getting stuck behind groups of Jr. Riders who all seemed to like riding in a conga line making passing a pain in the arse. Ended up taking 4th Cat 2 with a 1:32 time.

    Come to find out after the race the top 3 where supposable Pro/Cat 1 Roadies. After looking at the registered riders on the Sea Otter website both 2nd place and 3rd place riders names didn't show up on the list. To then find out 2nd place was actually registered in the Cat1 race and 3rd place registered in the Pro/Cat1 stage race and registered after the Cat1 race to get into the Cat 2 race. Both I might add have a valid license. I've heard of experts not being able to ride SOC because of not having an annual license but this just looks like complete negligence on the Sea Otters part.

    Chris

  8. #8
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    Nice job WW. Bummer, but thats SOC.

    My race... well, I tried a different approach this year, not to take it too seriously, which meant Saturday consisted of lots of BBQ, lotsa beer, and a big ice cream sundae right before bed. Of course, once the race starts, its hammer time. Started to feel the beer and ice cream going up the first wall. Was able to settle in and ride a decent pace. I was able to catch 2 guys in my group on the last fire road climb, but I didn't have enough to pass them and finished seconds behind. Ended up 7th / 41, Cat 2, 35-37 at about 1:42. 5th would have been nice, but the beers and ice cream were worth it.

  9. #9
    (Ali)
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    My fourth race ever: always Sea Otter Cat 2 SS. (I did not race last year.)

    I am very happy that I advanced to bottom 30% of the pack, from my usual bottom 20%. Yay! Next year's goal: bottom 40%...

    Ali

    P.S. I did not lose my bottles because I have metal cages, which as you all knoware bendable to adjust the tighness of their grip. And I had two bottles, each half full. Eggs in different baskets kind of thing...

  10. #10
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    Didn't race this year, life was just a bit too busy and I *hated* last years course. Sounds like there wasn't as much single track this year?

    I did have fun on some less crowded local trails

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumblingcrustacean
    Didn't race this year, life was just a bit too busy and I *hated* last years course. Sounds like there wasn't as much single track this year?

    I did have fun on some less crowded local trails
    Plenty of singletrack, just too much of that lame-o flat/straight (paved and gravel) service road action tossed in.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker
    Today was my second race ever (1st place finish OVERALL in cat 3 in Napa last weekend). I upgraded to cat 2 (40-42 menís) for the Sea Otter cross country race, but I got to the starting line about a minute late after my group had already started out. Regardless, I managed to squeak by a good portion of the pack to grab the 17th place spot out of a class of 62 riders: http://www.seaotterclassic.com/racer...2011/XC125.pdf

    Iím not as fond of the Sea Otter course as I am with the Napa Dirt Classic course, since there are too many long and flat sections (should I have brought a road bike???). If they could axe the flat stuff, it would make for a more challenging and technical race, in my opinion.
    Didn't know we were in the same group: good job on your placement, I ended up with 1:51 and change good only for 32. Had a good race overall, but lost some serious time, as many others, on the singletrack climbs, getting stuck in conga lines.
    IMHO Camelback works better than bottles at SOC. There were some fun DH and fast flowy sections that made me forget the boredom of fireroads and pavement.
    ZT
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  13. #13
    Uncle
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    (excuse / disclaimer):
    Two weeks ago, I knocked out 8 of my team's 14 laps at Boggs. Since then, I rode a total of 14 miles up into the Oakland hills. That, and lots of lumpia, coffee and down time in the PacNW on a road/train trip. Stopped by I5 Colonnade, but alas, no bike in tow.

    Took it easy enough today to ensure I'd finish without disabling cramps, in Cat 2 40-42. Made sure I was the back of the herd at the start line (why slow folks down, right?), and settled into a good start. Rode the first 2 miles or so swapping place with a late-to-his-SS-start Mark Davidson. Great guy, that Mark.

    Walked up three hills, and down the ugliest beach of the day, and still managed to land in either 46 or 47th place in my group, @ ~2:04 (adjusted results should show up by Friday, said the officials.) I expected to spend about 2:20 on the course since I hadn't ridden much in the last two weeks, so while I'm dissatisfied with my current condition, I'm fine with the results: ~bottom 2/3 like last year.

    OT: We had only 1/2 the campsites full in our lot, and while there were lots of folks in the festival, it certainly didn't feel too full like in years past. Was it just me, or was this a bit of a down year for the event overall? I still had a blast, and found the event a bit more enjoyable this time 'round because you could get around the whole place without having to stop constantly.
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  14. #14
    Laker and a Trail Blazer
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    First event ever. I been riding 2.5 years. I did Gran Fondo which was 20.2mi. I was 18th and did it in 210:30. I didn't even know for sure I was going. I rode under somebody elses name/number who didnt show up. Thats the reason the 64 year old have impressive numbers. Anyways, I was few seconds late and I mostley ride solo in sonoma/napa/lake counties so all these people I thought was going to be kinda lame but it was hella fun. All the wrecks I had to dodge in the beginning and when I realized I wasnt the slowest in the bunch I started passing people. Then I started getting stronger and riding faster and passing people more people and wow! I misjudged this event or events in general. I will be attending more and never missing this. I did way better than I thought because it takes me well over 3 hrs to do 20 miles at locally(annadale). I was blown away!!

  15. #15
    pro leisure tour
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broncstad
    I did Gran Fondo which was 20.2mi. I was 18th ...
    When did the fondle become a race?
    If you see someone without a smile, give them yours

  16. #16
    Natural body armor
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    People, stop littering the planet with your plastic bottles!!

    Go back, pick'em up!!
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    Quadzilla --- Savvy Bike

  17. #17
    Lusus Naturae
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    I liked the fact that the race was mostly different this year.
    It was probably silly for me to race sport but I typically like to do the full course at a race so decided to get my money's worth and sign up for Cat2.

    Well, I got my money's worth when I hit a huge rock that was jutting out of the right side of the trail on the first section of singletrack. Not sure if anyone else noticed it, about handlebar high ... anyway, after slamming it with my fist and forearm, my handlebars twisted completely to the right and I went endo. As I was getting up and out of the way, checking my bike for damage, someone else came through and slammed into it and crashed spectacularly as well.

    At this point the bike seemed OK and I knew I had a couple real bad scrapes and bruises, but felt good to ride, at least til the bottom of the hill. Did a quick check up and everything seemed fine. I had, however, wasted a lot of time and the race kinda slowed down a bit as I tried to mentally recover.

    Once I hit the base of trail 82, I realized my rear D was bent and when I shifted into easiest gear, the chain jumped into the spokes. So no uber-granny gear .. no problem.

    Rest of the race was pretty cool. Trail 36 was great, as expected. Climbing goat was okay and I finished off the climb with a shot of pabst beer -- had to turn down the donut holes tho!

    Felt good after the race too. No cramping, etc. I lost about 8 minutes with the crash and technicals but could have pushed harder. Next time.

  18. #18
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    better bottle cages. They are out there. I use the cheap $3 ones on my other bikes that I don't race with, but for racing, invest $12 if you think keeping your bottles is important. Either that or pick up the next dropped bottle you pass

    climbing goat was fun (not as fun as descending, but having this as part of the race was a good thing). I made numerous passes, and dropped others that didn't have passing skills. Only once was I delayed for about 20-30 seconds, and I used that short time to recover, then made a pass. Thats racing. Passing on the descents is more difficult and frustrating. That definately would have happened going down goat.

  19. #19
    Snowjnky McDreamy
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    First off I wish I had pre-rode the course. I feel much better when I know when I climb ends rather maintaining a lower HR so I don't bonk.

    I had a fun time but I had a hard time on the single track climbs my X9 was a bit funky and would not let me put down full power in the middle of my cassette. I like to mash so this whole spinning thing was really cramping my style. Once I got to the familiar last climb I started to mash, I had way to much energy for this point in the race. I passed a lot of people who passed me earlier while I was getting used to that spinning thing. As I was mashing up the last hill I was thinking two things:

    1. Where is my PBR and donut hole? I managed to get both Thanks dudes!!

    2. I sure hope we are not doing that retarded extra half mile up the old 4x track like last year. To my liking we did not !!

    I ended up mid pack 14th of 27
    Cat 2 1:45ish
    My full race report will be up soon at quadzillaracing.com
    you can read another race report from a fellow racer Jon who placed 4th in Cat 1. You will get tired and have leg cramps just from reading it.

    Weather was spectacular and the vibe was awesome this year. I met a few more MTBR members, what up Tankgirl, and drank too many beers(net calorie gain for the weekend )
    I also got to accompany D-bug in his first SOC weekend ever, I still have a hard time believing he has never been to biking tailhook before 2011
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  20. #20
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    It was my first Sea Otter Classic, and I didnt pre-ride so I didn't quite know what to expect. Started off in the lead group of 10 or so shadowing a few guys from the CCCX
    races. After we hit the dirt I was amazed that I could keep up with the lightweights up the hills. Until we hit the singletrack were we started catching the earlier age group, thats were I got left and lost tons of time. I tried to put the hammer down and use my extra weight on the fireroads to catch up (I even ask a guy to tuck in my draft so we could work together) but the leaders were gone. Finshed 18 out of 69 cat3 35-39

  21. #21
    enter and win
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    Quote Originally Posted by grrrah
    better bottle cages. They are out there. I use the cheap $3 ones on my other bikes that I don't race with, but for racing, invest $12 if you think keeping your bottles is important. Either that or pick up the next dropped bottle you pass

    climbing goat was fun (not as fun as descending, but having this as part of the race was a good thing). I made numerous passes, and dropped others that didn't have passing skills. Only once was I delayed for about 20-30 seconds, and I used that short time to recover, then made a pass. Thats racing. Passing on the descents is more difficult and frustrating. That definately would have happened going down goat.

    Great job Rafael! Guess the early morning Peets did wonders for you as it did for me!

    On the passing: the brilliance of Sea Otter organization continueth with sending off 15/16 year old boys directly behind my class (sport women 50+). LUCKILY.....they're mostly NorCal/NICA racers who've been plenty schooled on the passing etiquette rules. I was happy to say that each racer passing me (which would be like...all those kids right?) called out, waited if the singletrack was too narrow, thanked after passing and most even said nice work, good job etc. which I said right back. Great job NorCal coaches for teaching these kids to be kind while passing during races. Yeah!

  22. #22
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    Gran Fondo had timing chips this year so everything was timed.

    No prizes or anything, was a little annoying that some people were trying to treat it as a race versus a tour.

    And the GF course was definitely worse than last year; at least there was singletrack early on.. this year it was maybe 20-25% of the entire course. Not going to bother next year, I'll either do DH or not even register for an event at all.
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  23. #23
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    It was a perfect S.O.C. experience. Everything went absolutely to plan, except running out of muscular endurance in the second half of the race. I suspected this would happen, since all my training is generally limited to around 1 hour. I went hell for the first hour or so (probably top 10 at some point) and then "pop". That last long climb back to Laguna Seca was my undoing. I'm already working on a new plan for next year. One little personal triumph was that I cleaned every climb and didn't have to walk any of the sections.

    Cat 2, 43-44, 21st, 2:00:24

  24. #24
    aka dan51
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    First ever Sea Otter for me. It's a huge event, even bigger than I expected.

    Cat 2 35-37 was my XC category.
    I sat my ass at the back of the pack where I belong. By the time we hit the dirt the main group was a fair distance ahead of me and a few stragglers.
    I walked the first wall, it seemed to be the thing to do as 90% of riders were walking.
    Got to trail 49, the first real single track downhill, and it was on the brakes. Being as far back as I was I knew I'd get stuck behind guys that don't know how to corner or go downhill. Eventually one guy crashed and another pulled over and then it was racetime, at least for the next hundred yards...
    On the climbs I kept looking back to see if I was slowing anyone down, and would pull over and let them pass. I don't take XC racing seriously and there's no reason for me to mess up anyone else's ride, plus I could use the rest.
    I saw about 4 guys crash throughout the race at various places.
    The hardest part of the race was not turning left onto red rock and having a fun technical DH.
    Okie Dokie passed me on 82, I later caught up to him with chain issues half way up 41. He was searching for a lost quicklink piece in the grass...
    On the final climb I got to a point where some ladies were yelling "2 more hills". At this point I gave it an extra push and passed about 5 guys and peaked to someone yelling "MTBR, we got a beer for you!" I was on the far side and missed it , and just caught a glimpse of the donut holes as I rode by. Next time I'll get some. Though as I rode off I wondered if I'd just puke them up...

    29 of 41 @ 2:00:09

  25. #25
    Laker and a Trail Blazer
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    maybe it isnt...

    Quote Originally Posted by sparkyJay
    When did the fondle become a race?
    Lots of riders with number plates being timed and there was a start and finish line. I thought I was supposed to race pass everyone. No?

  26. #26
    ballbuster
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    I did okay... for me

    I raced CAT2 SS. Finishing time of 2:17, 37th out of 45-ish racers.

    I spun with the group down the track, but got dropped at the first climb. I was pretty much alone for a good part of the race until I caught a couple of riders, or got passed by the gearie riders. I worked like mad to inch past one SS rider on the climb out only to be passed in the last second by him when I chose a bad line through the gopher hole section near the finish.

    Anyway, I hoofed a few of the worst climbs, but managed to get around the track without cramping. I saved too much for the end, tho. I could have pushed harder.

    My number plate disintegrated right after the first climb. I left my bike out overnight chained to my car, and getting soaked by the early morning dew ruined the paper plate. I wish they had those nylon fiber plates, or plastic plates like years past. I saved the RFID strip from the plate and shoved it in the leg of my shorts.

  27. #27
    partsman
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  28. #28
    tandemtoughie
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    Sea otter xc Cat three 50-52 disaster

    We camped way in the back and the first omen was 4 riders carrying thier bikes through camp at 8.30am, bleeding and limping, the bikes and wheels were trashed. The "hole" got them on the descent. I started my race fine, stayed near the front and then made my way over the top feeling good. Flying down the hill, through the ruts and there was 'the hole", a frantic woman and a body. I missed the hole, the rider and the woman, only to huck it over the ruts and endo neatly over the bank. The woman was trying to do her best at alerting riders to the dangers of "the hole". They were flying by. I was winded and banged up, sorted the bike out, no problems there but had trouble straightening the right arm...seperated the shoulder and it was sticking up through my jersey. Bang another rider went down, and then another. She checked me again and said I was the 12th rider down so that made at least 14 crashes there. I declined the ambulance and rode/hiked back up the hill. There were an amazing number of water bottles littering the whole rutted slope. Made it to the medical tent, where the dazed and confused DH guys were staggering around. Got some ice a tri bandage and a map to Salinas ER. I got back to my truck, painfully loaded it all up and drove to Salinas ER......it was mayhem and as I wasn't bleeding or puking I wasn't going to be a priority, so I drove the 4 hours home one handed to Santa Rosa and got treated at Palm Drive Hospital in under 2 hours..awesome painkillers. The bummer was I was feeling really strong after the Sat circuit race...I will have to get wife clearance to ride next year with my son on the tandem...I hope they fix the hole. Great riding though, good to see so many people of all ages stretching their legs.

  29. #29
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    First race ever cat 2 35 to 37 finished 24th out of 41 no walking rode everything 1x9

  30. #30
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    not a great day for me performance-wise.....Cat 2 SS and wasn't at all in shape this year. Cramped pretty badly from mile 17-20 alternated walking riding the last hills
    Ended up at the bottom of the pack but finished with no crashes and had fun....
    I can't believe with all the gravel they spread that they didn't fix the badly rutted area.....

  31. #31
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    Cat 3, 35 plus, 1:59ish

    it was a bummer for me this year!

    I caught the flu mid-last week and was fighting if off during the race--felt terrible! I stopped several times to hack up my lungs and catch my breath...then flatted 4 miles before the end and helped out some other rider with their flat too (lost more than 10 minutes overall). Even in my sorry state, I managed to ride the whole course (albeit very slowly) and finished feeling great that I didn't quite.

  32. #32
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    CAT 3, Fat boy class (29 y/o) 2:06:20

    Time of my life.

    I've been riding since 1996 but this was my first official race in ages.
    The race was a blast. The first stretch of single track was beyond fun. I caught on to the back of another "clyde" (6'3 201 lbs) and we ripped the decent. At some point I got caught up behind some of the vet class riders that took off before us. I stayed to the left on both of the "danger" areas but they didn't seem that bad. The sand dune we had to ride down was a bit sketch but I cleared it. The guy behind me didn't have the same luck as he did a graceful front flip on to his back. I forgot where on the trail the single track climb began but that is when the tread on my shoes came into play. I just didn't have it in me to ride the entire climb. Perhaps its the fact that I didn't go to bed until 1 am, or the fact that we woke up at 6 am in order to race at 9:38! Or the fact that I barley had a cliff bar for breakfast. I let the women and some kids ride by.

    At the feed zone my calves began to cramp. I caught 3 cups of water which I dumped on my head. One guy had cliff bars which I snagged but when I went to put them in my jersey pocket I misplaced my hand and they dropped to the ground. All I had was some gel to get my through the race.

    The last climb up the fire road wasn't that bad. Just one of those times you have to put your head down and suck it up. I felt bad for the guys who were not running clipless. They looked like they were hurting.

    Next, Downiville!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tandemtoughie
    We camped way in the back and the first omen was 4 riders carrying thier bikes through camp at 8.30am, bleeding and limping, the bikes and wheels were trashed. The "hole" got them on the descent. I started my race fine, stayed near the front and then made my way over the top feeling good. Flying down the hill, through the ruts and there was 'the hole", a frantic woman and a body. I missed the hole, the rider and the woman, only to huck it over the ruts and endo neatly over the bank. The woman was trying to do her best at alerting riders to the dangers of "the hole". They were flying by. I was winded and banged up, sorted the bike out, no problems there but had trouble straightening the right arm...seperated the shoulder and it was sticking up through my jersey. Bang another rider went down, and then another. She checked me again and said I was the 12th rider down so that made at least 14 crashes there. I declined the ambulance and rode/hiked back up the hill. There were an amazing number of water bottles littering the whole rutted slope. Made it to the medical tent, where the dazed and confused DH guys were staggering around. Got some ice a tri bandage and a map to Salinas ER. I got back to my truck, painfully loaded it all up and drove to Salinas ER......it was mayhem and as I wasn't bleeding or puking I wasn't going to be a priority, so I drove the 4 hours home one handed to Santa Rosa and got treated at Palm Drive Hospital in under 2 hours..awesome painkillers. The bummer was I was feeling really strong after the Sat circuit race...I will have to get wife clearance to ride next year with my son on the tandem...I hope they fix the hole. Great riding though, good to see so many people of all ages stretching their legs.
    Salinas ER is horrible. Monterey ER ( CHOMP ) is way better.

  34. #34
    tandemtoughie
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    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    4
    Quote Originally Posted by ladodgers
    Salinas ER is horrible. Monterey ER ( CHOMP ) is way better.
    Thanks LADOGERS, I have no intention of going to visit either again. I get sliced and diced next week, Stainless plate and screws, cadaver ligament, the works....hey does that make me a "real" cyclist? I am spinning on the trainer, arm in asling.....crying huge tears....but I will be back (A.Governator).

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