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  1. #1
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    what's going on with the seaotter XC course?

    there seems to be confusion as to what the XC course looks like. does any body know if the map on the website is reliable or not, because it seems a little unclear

  2. #2
    Tre1nt
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  3. #3
    arrogant sandbagger
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    I prerode the course yesterday.

    It seems like the designers wanted to come up with something different. Many of the popular trails are used in reverse. Descents are on fire roads and climbs are up the flowing parts. Not all of the course is laid out that way but I noted a few sections like that.

    I heard some people talking about using a cross bike. That would be a bad idea.

  4. #4
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    I rode the fondo (basically the Cat 1/2 course), and registered to race Cat 3 XC, but decided not to race it because of just how badly designed the course was. Honestly, who wants to climb up all of the singletrack just to descend fire and paved roads?

    There was only one fun part of the course, which was Goat trail...which the Cat 3 route skips.

    Instead I'm up in Aptos about to go out for a ride in the redwood forest.

  5. #5
    arrogant sandbagger
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    I raced it today. Some of that is true -- many of the flowing downhills were used as climbs. And there was a lot of congestion on the singletrack ascents from slower riders in the earlier start times. I did hit 40+ mph on one section of downhill paved roadway.

    It seems as though the course designers tried something new and it did not work as well as planned. Oh well. I had fun racing.

  6. #6
    ballbuster
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    I dunno... I race it today (CAT2SS) and I was expecting to hate it, but it was actually pretty nice. I could do without all of the paved descents, tho. I don't know what they were thinking there.

  7. #7
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    2013 course was far better in my opinion. This course had too much pavement followed by climbing single track with fire road gravel descents. Hopefully next year they switch it back up. All in all it is a great event and you are not going to please everyone.

  8. #8
    bike wisperer
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    The first 2 single track climbs were a disaster. Slow riders causing conga lines of up to 20 riders. There was no way to pass and no way for the slower riders to make room. Just a slow moving single file. At the spot where the Cat 3 riders joined the Cat 1/2 course near the end of the race, again a slow moving continuous conga line.
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopaka View Post
    The first 2 single track climbs were a disaster. Slow riders causing conga lines of up to 20 riders. There was no way to pass and no way for the slower riders to make room. Just a slow moving single file. At the spot where the Cat 3 riders joined the Cat 1/2 course near the end of the race, again a slow moving continuous conga line.
    i know we just had the race yesterday, luckily i started late so i didn't have to deal with those people. but there were still plenty of lines for hills and single gnarly track, not to mention the loose gravely double track, all the riders that didn't really need to brake at certain parts did and made massive brakes bumps and forcing everyone else to slow down

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by manosteel View Post
    i know we just had the race yesterday, luckily i started late so i didn't have to deal with those people. but there were still plenty of lines for hills and single gnarly track, not to mention the loose gravely double track, all the riders that didn't really need to brake at certain parts did and made massive brakes bumps and forcing everyone else to slow down
    All the single track sections were congested (apart from the flat single track section at the middle of the race) and passing was very difficult, especially when you are starting 25 min after your group, you have the legs for a top 3 (Strava/Garmin to prove it to myself O )
    I like the course , not the way it was managed.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by manosteel View Post
    i know we just had the race yesterday, luckily i started late so i didn't have to deal with those people. but there were still plenty of lines for hills and single gnarly track, not to mention the loose gravely double track, all the riders that didn't really need to brake at certain parts did and made massive brakes bumps and forcing everyone else to slow down
    The braking bumps were there the day before, but were probably made way worse by the fondo that took place on the same course on Saturday.

  12. #12
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    After watching my friends finish the XC race Sunday morning, I'm really glad I did the Gran Fondo on the day before. With the mass start and the long ride on the track and roads before you hit single track, the people who wanted to set a good time had sorted themselves to the front of the group. This meant that I only got held up on one climb (after the feed zone) for the whole ride.

    And yes, outside of the Goat Trail descent on the Cat 1/2 loop, I think the course was less than inspiring. I was pretty disappointed after I rode the Cat 3 course on Friday.

  13. #13
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    i started late as well and knew what it was like, they couldn't really have done anything to manage it any better, plenty of people were itching to get passed

  14. #14
    One by Nine is Fine
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    Last year's thread, but I note they are using the exact same route this year, at least for Cat 2-3. Apparently last year's comments didn't get through to the organizers. Perhaps we need to be a bit more vocal?

    Did anyone hear a rationale for why the course has so much paved downhill, and singletrack -- TIGHT, no-passing singletrack -- climbing? It's the exact opposite of what you'd expect from a "won on the climbs" XC race route.

  15. #15
    bike wisperer
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    Quote Originally Posted by EddyKilowatt View Post
    Last year's thread, but I note they are using the exact same route this year, at least for Cat 2-3. Apparently last year's comments didn't get through to the organizers. Perhaps we need to be a bit more vocal?

    Did anyone hear a rationale for why the course has so much paved downhill, and singletrack -- TIGHT, no-passing singletrack -- climbing? It's the exact opposite of what you'd expect from a "won on the climbs" XC race route.
    +1 Perfect assessment. There is time later in the race to work the climbs, but the potential of getting seriously dropped in the first third of the race makes the whole thing a total crapshoot.
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopaka View Post
    +1 Perfect assessment. There is time later in the race to work the climbs, but the potential of getting seriously dropped in the first third of the race makes the whole thing a total crapshoot.
    Wow,
    I'm glad I started riding enduro. The last time I rode it was 2012. I never found the course fun compared to Downieville or Enduro series.

    Why is Sea Otter such a big race again??? It does not appear it's because of the race itself.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  17. #17
    Lusus Naturae
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    Looks like they changed the course for the last part where you come back into the race track. My guess is the last sandy dirt climb behind the track is taken out and you make a sharp left before that to climb up onto the track, finishing ON the track.

  18. #18
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    4th year running this race, and this might be my last. The course is not fun in any sense. I understand the need for pavement descents (let faster traffic pass), but going uphill on the best single track on the course only to get stuck behind slower riders/tandems is ridiculous.

    Halfway through my race Sunday morning I lost all motivation because I wasn't enjoying the course.

    I'll be writing a letter to the race organizer in the morning to voice my disappointment.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktaylor15 View Post
    4th year running this race, and this might be my last. The course is not fun in any sense. I understand the need for pavement descents (let faster traffic pass), but going uphill on the best single track on the course only to get stuck behind slower riders/tandems is ridiculous.

    Halfway through my race Sunday morning I lost all motivation because I wasn't enjoying the course.

    I'll be writing a letter to the race organizer in the morning to voice my disappointment.

    Agreed.

  20. #20
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    Exactly what is wrong with SO XC. They need to figure it out, because "doing the Sea Otter" used to mean you rode the XC race in your age/cat. some for fun, some to place well/win. Pretty soon they will lose that. I think. Maybe the sign of the times? The Enduro was sold out months ago and from everyone I talked to was super fun.

    I have raced XC since 2003 (cause I am a local). I did not race this year, but my son did. 1. he ran into (thankfully not literally) Enduro guys pre-riding descending 82 while he was pre-riding ascending. if you are going to post the enduro and XC course on the website make sure you don't have 2 races using the same single track one up, one down. blind corners etc. this did not impress me or my 12 year old. sketchy. 2. he crashed on a single track climb during his race, because a person decided to stop in the middle of the trail and with no where to go fell off the trail. he finished with a frown and road rash. avoidable stuff. he does not want to race the XC again. he's over it. Enduro/DS/or DH he says.

    rant over.

    Q

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by quicklaps View Post
    2. he crashed on a single track climb during his race, because a person decided to stop in the middle of the trail and with no where to go fell off the trail.
    Just to clarify was the fall because other racers, also racing in the XC stopped in front of him? Or was it someone not involved with the race that stopped?

    How would you propose the race or schedule be changed to be avoided?

  22. #22
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    I too think the course needs a revamp. We sure rode some nice single track, too bad it was uphill. Thinking about doing the Enduro instead of the XC next year.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucdengboss View Post
    Just to clarify was the fall because other racers, also racing in the XC stopped in front of him? Or was it someone not involved with the race that stopped?

    How would you propose the race or schedule be changed to be avoided?
    Yes, climbing 82, single track, blind corners, with 4 40+ women categories going off right in front of the 13-14's it was inevitable that they would run into these groups. I have nothing against the ladies, but there were multiple walking on 82 from what my son said. the fastest 13-14's finished in an hour 15 or less (which is fast). they should have been sent around groups closer to their times. its like sending the tandems in front of all the cat 1's? ? just makes no sense. especially if you are going to have all single track climbs. I told my son he needs to look ahead etc etc... but he made a decision to avoid running into someone that popped out of her clip right in front of him making a charge, he crashed, climbing, racing accident, she apologized, whatever, ruined his race in his mind.

    How to improve:

    Send out the XC groups based on total average times, not just gender or age. or a mix of both, just like other races do... I have raced SS at the SO a lot and cringed every single time I met batman and robin walking a 100 pound tandem on a single track climb, and it happened every year.

    I may not be a smart man but how about single track descents? wide jeep trail ascents? The SO XC loop left something to be desired this year and I feel like it has been steadily getting worse every year. We knew what we were getting into, but I like to support as I love the event from experiences from my past.

    it is what it is, I get it... and don't get me wrong, fun weekend all in all, I just think it could be improved. I don't think I was the only one with this opinion.

    Q
    Last edited by quicklaps; 04-28-2015 at 06:36 AM.

  24. #24
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    I think the angry single speeders assessment of the XC loop is spot on, and now I understand the BLM pressure, but come on...

    The Angry Singlespeeder: Has Sea Otter gotten too big? - Mtbr.com

    Q

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