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  1. #1
    ballbuster
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    WTF happened to the CAT2 start this morning?!?

    There are a lot of pissed off people out there, I tell ya!

    I somehow read on the website that the start time for CAT2SS was at 7:00 or 7:30... just like it was every year for the past zillion years. I get down there, and there's nobody there, except the road racing women.

    I go and look at the schedule board near the fair entrance, and it says 9:00. Oh, crud. Oh, well. Maybe I'll go back to camp and get another bite to eat, put my nice watch in my car since I forgot to take it off, etc.

    I decide to ask around. I go to a race official, who was sort of a deeick about it. I ask him, 'What's the official time? Some say 7:30, the schedule says 9:00.' He tells me if I bothered to read the website, it was there. 'So, 9:00?', I ask. 'What does the sign say?' 'Uh, 9:00'. 'Then, that's the time, ('dumbass!' I added that because the dude took a way snarky, nasty tone with me)'. What an Asshat. I'm just asking because your shiz is unclear.

    Well, turns out he was way off. Not only was he a deichk about it, he was wrong. I happened to see the sign that the volunteers hold up for the racers to line up behind. It said, 'CAT2SS 8:17 AM'.

    oh, crud. Glad I saw that. I lined up, raced, and did better than I usually do... which usually results in a next-to-DFL. I usually finish at best like around #60 out of 65 racers.

    During the race, folks were talking about the confusion, and how half the field missed the start.

    Afterwards, I saw the race results. Only 35 racers finished... about half of the usual lineup for CAT2SS. I got 23rd with a finish time of 2:18:22. Woo Hoo!!

    I think a lot of folks are going to demand refunds. Or, at least they should.

  2. #2
    Is this thing on?
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    WTF happened to the CAT2 start this morning?!?

    Yeah, I finished 4th in Clydes, 5th did the course 15 min faster than me. He missed our start time. It was tricky to fined but if you went to the reg site there was a PDF with the actual start times. We went off on schedule at 8:49.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    There are a lot of pissed off people out there, I tell ya!

    I somehow read on the website that the start time for CAT2SS was at 7:00 or 7:30... just like it was every year for the past zillion years. I get down there, and there's nobody there, except the road racing women.

    I go and look at the schedule board near the fair entrance, and it says 9:00. Oh, crud. Oh, well. Maybe I'll go back to camp and get another bite to eat, put my nice watch in my car since I forgot to take it off, etc.

    I decide to ask around. I go to a race official, who was sort of a deeick about it. I ask him, 'What's the official time? Some say 7:30, the schedule says 9:00.' He tells me if I bothered to read the website, it was there. 'So, 9:00?', I ask. 'What does the sign say?' 'Uh, 9:00'. 'Then, that's the time, ('dumbass!' I added that because the dude took a way snarky, nasty tone with me)'. What an Asshat. I'm just asking because your shiz is unclear.

    Well, turns out he was way off. Not only was he a deichk about it, he was wrong. I happened to see the sign that the volunteers hold up for the racers to line up behind. It said, 'CAT2SS 8:17 AM'.

    oh, crud. Glad I saw that. I lined up, raced, and did better than I usually do... which usually results in a next-to-DFL. I usually finish at best like around #60 out of 65 racers.

    During the race, folks were talking about the confusion, and how half the field missed the start.

    Afterwards, I saw the race results. Only 35 racers finished... about half of the usual lineup for CAT2SS. I got 23rd with a finish time of 2:18:22. Woo Hoo!!

    I think a lot of folks are going to demand refunds. Or, at least they should.
    Yeah, no ****.
    I was registered to race cat 2 40-45.
    I checked the time last night, their website said 9:00.
    So, I get to the start at 8:50, figuring I will probably start at 9:15.
    Most cat2 were gone. My group was gone for 25 min ! . Oh, also, they changed the course since when I pre-rode it last week-end and missed a turn ( Yeah I am a dumbass on that one) and rode an extra 2.5 miles and lost another 10 min
    Pretty lame

  4. #4
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by fabe View Post
    Yeah, no ****.
    I was registered to race cat 2 40-45.
    I checked the time last night, their website said 9:00.
    So, I get to the start at 8:50, figuring I will probably start at 9:15.
    Most cat2 were gone. My group was gone for 25 min ! . Oh, also, they changed the course since when I pre-rode it last week-end and missed a turn ( Yeah I am a dumbass on that one) and rode an extra 2.5 miles and lost another 10 min
    Pretty lame
    Geez.... how many people were standing around going, 'WTF guys?!?'

  5. #5
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    We confirmed our times upon check in on Saturday. They were posted where you pick up your race number. This morning I saw quite a few who missed the start time in the cat 2 category. Bummer.

  6. #6
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    Many many many people missed the start. How hard can it be to get such a simple thing so wrong.
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fabe View Post
    Yeah, no ****.
    I was registered to race cat 2 40-45.
    I checked the time last night, their website said 9:00.
    So, I get to the start at 8:50, figuring I will probably start at 9:15.
    Most cat2 were gone. My group was gone for 25 min ! . Oh, also, they changed the course since when I pre-rode it last week-end and missed a turn ( Yeah I am a dumbass on that one) and rode an extra 2.5 miles and lost another 10 min
    Pretty lame
    Exactly what happened to me...I raced 45-47 cat 2 and missed my group by 20+min. Showed up with plenty of time to warm up before the damn posted times on website and official race sched of 9:00am. Had to jump the fence and take of with last group of sport. Then got held up forever behind all the cat3 racers that converged on our last 10miles or so of race due to their short course option. So pissed at the incompetence. I don't think I'm coming back. Course was stupid too... Prob 60-70% fire road and pavement (by length). Could've used a cx bike...

  8. #8
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tillerman1 View Post
    We confirmed our times upon check in on Saturday. They were posted where you pick up your race number. This morning I saw quite a few who missed the start time in the cat 2 category. Bummer.
    I missed that,

    ... but like I said... I actually asked a race official the morning of the race, right at the starting line, and the race official actually told me 9:00, like it said on the posted schedule.... and he was a diick about it.... as if I was asking him to do something other than his frickin' job.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 04-14-2014 at 04:04 PM.

  9. #9
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    I drove down from the Bay Area on Sunday morning, on Saturday night I rechecked the website for the 100th time to confirm that cat 2 started at 9:00 am. Fortunately for me I'm habitually early to these sorts of things and when I got there my teammate told me to get my rear in gear since I was way off on the start time. So, made my start with just enough time to warm up a bit (thanks Ken!).

    I get that there is an "official notice board" but in an age where you can update a website from your smart phone how hard is it to put a notice on the website too? Especially when so many people are thinking they can get reliable information there?

  10. #10
    more skier than biker
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    WTF happened to the CAT2 start this morning?!?

    These Cat 2 start have been on the SOC website for awhile. http://www.seaotterclassic.com/userf...rt%20Times.pdf

    But it seems like there was conflicting information elsewhere?

  11. #11
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    Thanks for posting that. Indeed, I just found that link as item 7 in the list of "Additional Information/All SOC Races" section. That is a nice detailed list. The conflicting information comes when you click the "Racing Schedules" link in the "Maps & Schedules" tab in the information bar at under the page header. The "Racing Schedules" page has a link to "Cross Country Schedule" which pretty clearly says Cat II/III/Tandems start at 9:00 am. But it does not break out the individual category times.

    The lesson learned by me is to be sure to check the schedule at registration just like they say to do!

  12. #12
    arrogant sandbagger
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFBayLaser View Post
    The "Racing Schedules" page has a link to "Cross Country Schedule" which pretty clearly says Cat II/III/Tandems start at 9:00 am.
    From what I saw at the finish line, many racers based their arrivals and warmups on this information.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    These Cat 2 start have been on the SOC website for awhile. http://www.seaotterclassic.com/userf...rt%20Times.pdf

    But it seems like there was conflicting information elsewhere?
    Good find. I'm not sure how you got to that link. I am sure that if one digs around on the website they can find the correct start times, as you have done. But there are multiple places where the correct information could have been listed but is *not* listed. For instance, if you start at this page: Subaru Sea Otter Classic - April 10-13, 2014 | Maps & Schedules | Racing Schedules

    You can click on the "Cross Country" "Sunday" or "Download/Print 4 Day Schedule" links; not a single one shows the correct start times for Cat 2s.

    http://www.seaotterclassic.com/userf...t%20Sunday.pdf
    http://www.seaotterclassic.com/userf...%20CX%20SS.pdf
    http://www.seaotterclassic.com/userf...0v%20JAN24.pdf

  13. #13
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFBayLaser View Post
    Thanks for posting that. Indeed, I just found that link as item 7 in the list of "Additional Information/All SOC Races" section. That is a nice detailed list. The conflicting information comes when you click the "Racing Schedules" link in the "Maps & Schedules" tab in the information bar at under the page header. The "Racing Schedules" page has a link to "Cross Country Schedule" which pretty clearly says Cat II/III/Tandems start at 9:00 am. But it does not break out the individual category times.

    The lesson learned by me is to be sure to check the schedule at registration just like they say to do!

    ... and don't trust what a volunteer says to you, no matter how sure of themselves they seem. Oh, and don't trust the posted race schedule?

    Uh, no.

    SOC needs to get their shiz together, and train their volunteers and officials. If they don't know something, they shouldn't make it up. The race officials should have an official schedule nearby they can reference, and if they don't know, they should be able to point us to somebody who does know.

    What... we're expected to websurf to the SOC site the morning of the race?

  14. #14
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    That PDF isnt even right. I saw the 9am on the website forever, when I picked up my plate the list said Cat 2 45-47 was going off at 8:27. I think we went off at about 8:35. I mentioned it to the person working registration and they didnt seem to care. I also asked the question on the Facebook page but nobody responded. To add to the the "WTF"..I was running in the top five of CAT 2 45-47, coming off the first pavement section turning on to the single track climb, I was in the lead of a small group when I hear something really loud to my inside, I look to my right and see at Tandem in full speedway slide, trying to cut inside of me, I have to let them go being they are like three times my size and mass, I get stuck behind them on the climb and lose touch with the leaders of my group, then they fall trying to pass a slower rider and I get held up like another 30 seconds. Where the Fu( did the tandem come from?? I didnt see them on a start list at all...they cost me a top five for sure as I ended up 10th/53 off the podium by 3:30.

  15. #15
    arrogant sandbagger
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    It says Cat 2/3 9am on two PDFs in black and white:






    and here:


  16. #16
    MK Skidright
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    Same here, missed my start time. Worse still, registration told me to start with a later group as the electronic tag would record my start and end times correctly, which turned out not to be true. Posted result is 30 minutes slower than actual time. This is the event I've been training towards for months, ruined by Sea Otter logistics fail. I hope they figure out a way to make it right but so far I'm not getting any response besides a promise of a discount code for next year's race, which is kinda worse than nothing.

  17. #17
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    Every volunteer seemed to know I needed a wrist band. None of the volunteers seemed to know any correct information about race times.
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

  18. #18
    arrogant sandbagger
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    I would not expect the volunteers to know all of the race times. That's just too much information. However I would expect the information to be readily available on the website.

    It just isn't easy to find race times. Even the road event start times are a challenge on those PDF pages. (To make matters more complicated some Circuit races were on Friday, others on Saturday.)

    Why not add a "What time does my race start?" tab? It could be as simple as a drop down menu with a list of events. Or it can be similar to the Registered Rider Search page.

    To make things easier on site, they might want to put up a few kiosks with start times throughout the Mazda Raceway.

  19. #19
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    I'm so pissed! How could this mistake happen at such a large event? Mis posting schedules? Why were they only using the speakers for the start line and not the raceway speakers?

    I checked the "schedule" page 100x's, showed up "early", warmed up, then went to the start line to have them tell me cat2 ss went off " like 40mins ago, bro".

    Im pissed, because i trained hard for months, i raced well, and never had a chance.

    Has anyone got contact info for someone we can write emails to? There is obviously more then a few of us.

    God im still pissed!!

  20. #20
    MK Skidright
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    Quote Originally Posted by BayAreaSS View Post
    Has anyone got contact info for someone we can write emails to? There is obviously more then a few of us.
    Send emails to Frosty@seaotterclassic.com. I'm not having any luck with my complaints but perhaps if more complain they'll come up with a better response. I'm also filing a complaint with USA Cycling. If they won't correct my time, I want it removed and a refund.

  21. #21
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenu View Post
    I would not expect the volunteers to know all of the race times. That's just too much information. However I would expect the information to be readily available on the website.

    It just isn't easy to find race times. Even the road event start times are a challenge on those PDF pages. (To make matters more complicated some Circuit races were on Friday, others on Saturday.)

    Why not add a "What time does my race start?" tab? It could be as simple as a drop down menu with a list of events. Or it can be similar to the Registered Rider Search page.

    To make things easier on site, they might want to put up a few kiosks with start times throughout the Mazda Raceway.
    We were at a racetrack in camping conditions on a bike you're about to go race on. To most, the internet is not 'readily available', especially close to kickoff time.

    You race with your iPhone?

    But yeah, you're right. That is too much info for every volunteer to carry around. The needed an official list kept near the starting line that the volunteers can point to, and help folks look it up if needed. If an error like this happens, they need to put signs up next to the boards with the error, make repeated announcements over the PA system, and let all of the volunteers know about the error so there are no surprises.

    IMO, the SOC organizers were asleep at the wheel. They must have been aware of the error days before, but they didn't do anything about it. No effort was made to correct anything, or let the volunteers or racers know.

    Heh... I was wondering why I placed so unusually well.

  22. #22
    arrogant sandbagger
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    We were at a racetrack in camping conditions on a bike you're about to go race on. To most, the internet is not 'readily available', especially close to kickoff time.

    You race with your iPhone?

    But yeah, you're right. That is too much info for every volunteer to carry around. The needed an official list kept near the starting line that the volunteers can point to, and help folks look it up if needed.
    I think we're on the same page.

    When I say that the information should be readily available on the website, I mean that once someone gets to the website the information should be easy to find. Instead it is the opposite. Some start times are really hard to find on the website. And the incorrect start times are posted in two different places on the website. I put links up and screenshots in this thread that show the wrong info is on their website.

    I also think that the events and start times should be printed out and posted at a half dozen places around Mazda Raceway. They could be posted at registration, the information kiosks, near awards, on the side of every bridge, and maybe even on some of the portable toilets (the ones on the end of the row).
    Last edited by Xenu; 04-16-2014 at 01:43 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesbrowndog View Post
    Send emails to Frosty@seaotterclassic.com. I'm not having any luck with my complaints but perhaps if more complain they'll come up with a better response. I'm also filing a complaint with USA Cycling. If they won't correct my time, I want it removed and a refund.
    Thanks for the info! I will be writing an email today. Ive already posted this thread to the SOC facebook page too.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BayAreaSS View Post
    Thanks for the info! I will be writing an email today. Ive already posted this thread to the SOC facebook page too.
    Yep, plain stupid and inconsiderate.
    And $75 +$10 is not cheap to be f...up.
    OK to delay the start, but not to move early.
    Been racing in Socal for 13 years, cat 3,2,1 then back to 2 at Sea Otter this year after a couple or year off.
    Would have won it ...if had nor started 25 min late plus traffic jam...Garmin tells me. Call me sand bagger. Whatever I am dead last at Sea Otter.

  25. #25
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    Start times were posted at the Info tents at least the day before....that's how I found mine...

    Sent from my LG-LS970 using Tapatalk
    http://Theclydeblog.org Big guy cycling product tester

  26. #26
    arrogant sandbagger
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    From facebook it looks like Sea Otter is trying to make right on it.

  27. #27
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    So I was one of the Cat 2 guys that didn't get the memo for the earlier than posted start time. Checked it the night before and the morning of and was warming up as the Cat 2 SS guys were taking off. So I started about 45 minutes late and rode half the course off trail in the passing lane. After 100 people of passing I stopped counting. I was the ******* on the black ss riding in the tall grass bumping bars while riding in the chunk the whole time. Sorry if I pissed anyone off but I was a bit pissed at the race organizers. Got 1:40 still but all the conga lines and hard passes really reeked havoc on my time. Yeah I should have raced Cat 1 but I have no liscense And don't need one as racing USAC events is long over for this old guy. Sucks that the course was thrown back into the Cat 3 course in the end as we were like oil and vinegar in the end. Will I do another SO race again? Most likely I will but I will be sure to let the RO know what a F up it is to change stat times without posting it on the website in the right area. No one told me of the change at check in

  28. #28
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    I just got an email offering a discount for next year...better be half off or more.

  29. #29
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    I got an email back today as well, offering me a discount for next year. i still paid $80 for a group ride, i dont know if i will race at the SOC again, feeling burnt.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeSS View Post
    So I was one of the Cat 2 guys that didn't get the memo for the earlier than posted start time. Checked it the night before and the morning of and was warming up as the Cat 2 SS guys were taking off. So I started about 45 minutes late and rode half the course off trail in the passing lane. After 100 people of passing I stopped counting. I was the ******* on the black ss riding in the tall grass bumping bars while riding in the chunk the whole time. Sorry if I pissed anyone off but I was a bit pissed at the race organizers. Got 1:40 still but all the conga lines and hard passes really reeked havoc on my time. Yeah I should have raced Cat 1 but I have no liscense And don't need one as racing USAC events is long over for this old guy. Sucks that the course was thrown back into the Cat 3 course in the end as we were like oil and vinegar in the end. Will I do another SO race again? Most likely I will but I will be sure to let the RO know what a F up it is to change stat times without posting it on the website in the right area. No one told me of the change at check in
    its funny, I saw you out there as well. Thought to myself, yup he missed the start too. Sure was good practice if you are uncomfortable with passing. Ha

  31. #31
    MK Skidright
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    I've traded a bunch of emails with SOC admin about this (my last one pasted below), and while their responses are a bit tone deaf, I honestly think they're doing what they can. If you were affected, email them and let them know, just so that they can really understand the extent of the problem and why its such a big deal to us, otherwise I'd say lets do our best to help them get it right next time. Forgive, forget, take your own learnings as an athlete, move on...

    Next year lets start a mtbr forum with a link to the correct starting times as early as possible for one thing see you guys at shasta lemurian

    ---
    Last email to SOC:

    I don't get upset about things very often, and I've been trying very hard to understand your position here but I am failing.

    The link you post below is buried within the site. The primary links that are available from the site navigation all show 9am as start time for the Cat 2 race. Myself and dozens of others believed the race started at 9, and I've read many race reports where riders found out mere minutes before the race and had no time for warm up, as well as many examples like mine where we missed the start entirely. Further adding to the issue is incorrect information being given by SOC officials onsite, both regarding start times as well as incorrectly describing the impact of starting late.

    I received an email on April 09 with my bib number. This would have been an awesome place to put race start time, or link to race start time. There was nothing in any of the communications that listed a correct start time, or linked to the page you reference below. Multiple primary links upon entering the SOC website display 9am start time.

    My increasing frustration here stems from your continuing insistence that basically we as athletes got it wrong - you say 'sorry for the confusion', which is not an apology for displaying incorrect start times that significantly and negatively impacted a large percentage of the Cat 2 racing population, but instead implies that the athletes did not refer to the right location on the website. If you read the MTBR post, Cat 2 racers like myself have been preparing for this race for months, its historically a fantastic race and we base a large amount of our personal pride on the extreme efforts and improvement we show from year to year. Its a testament to the awesomeness you guys have created with Sea Otter that makes a mistake like this so hard for us to take. This did not impact just a few racers - it impacted large swathes of the Cat 2 field.

    The blithe responses around this issue thus far indicate a general disrespect for the effort made by the athletes to spend an entire weekend driving down for the race, as well as the weeks and months we spent preparing for it. An appropriate response would not be "sorry for the confusion, here's a discount for next year's race," it would be "We understand how deeply you as athletes care about this competition, and we failed you in communicating vital information about the race. We apologize for the mistake, and hope to make it up to you in future years. As a token of our ongoing appreciation, please accept free entry into next year's Sea Otter race, and we hope to see you again."

    If you had said this to me, I would understand and move on. I would love it if you removed my incorrect time from the posted results and gave me a refund, but I would have settled for a response like the above. The insinuation that the athletes screwed up here and general reluctance to make a real apology and make it right to the many athletes affected is what continues to frustrate me. Send an email to the Cat 2 racers, comment on the MTBR forum, just generally do it better. Come on man.

  32. #32
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    Each year that I have done SOC I've found it hard to find the start time info, but I always found it... except this year. I missed my start too and ended up with the CAT 3 riders and had my slowest time ever. My recommendations are: 1. Include your start time with your registration confirmation email, and every follow-up email they send you. 2. Post the detailed start time chart in several prominent locations on the web site. 3. Post the detailed start time chart in the festival guide. I contacted frosty@seaotterclassic.com and received an apology and a promise of a discount on next year's event, which I may or may not register for. In 30 years of bike racing, this was the only time I missed my start.

  33. #33
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    One solution might be to line up for the 7:30 start regardless of your cat or age group. You might just earn a time that has you finishing before you started.
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

  34. #34
    arrogant sandbagger
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    Quote Originally Posted by American Flyer View Post
    Each year that I have done SOC I've found it hard to find the start time info, but I always found it... except this year. I missed my start too and ended up with the CAT 3 riders and had my slowest time ever. My recommendations are: 1. Include your start time with your registration confirmation email, and every follow-up email they send you. 2. Post the detailed start time chart in several prominent locations on the web site. 3. Post the detailed start time chart in the festival guide. I contacted frosty@seaotterclassic.com and received an apology and a promise of a discount on next year's event, which I may or may not register for. In 30 years of bike racing, this was the only time I missed my start.
    If you decide against registering you can forward that discount code my way

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