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  1. #201
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    Sea Otter is now at a point where there are too many vendors. Someone already pointed out the redundancy in the power and energy drink category. But there are just too many vendors whose products have so little appeal they really have no business being there.

    It dilutes the quality of the expo first of all. In years past, I felt like 90-95% of vendors sold an interesting product. This year, I felt like perhaps a quarter of the vendors were uninteresting.

    Adding all of these new vendors also makes it significantly more difficult to reach certain vendors: particularly those at the end farthest from the entrance. Exploring the expo is starting to border on drudgery now that one has to cover so much distance.

    The rise of uber cheap chinese manufacturing and the never ending expansion of cyber commerce means an endless flow of entrants into the cycling marketplace. Great for consumers up to a point. But it also means an endless flood of metoo can't tell one from the other hawking of goods.

    Entrepreneurship is a good thing, but I got the distinct impression that a lot of what was being offered wasn't up to par quality wise. Before, I felt pretty confident that only credible, established, high quality manufacturers were present, along with non-profit advocacy groups.

    Now it feels more like this:



    Lots of ticked off, bored vendors selling cheap copycat stuff. People who aren't especially passionate about cycling, but can find cheap subcontracting and are willing to risk a few years and a few hundred grand in hopes of scoring big someday.

  2. #202
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    That was my first Sea Otter. I didn't get the chance to check out the vendors like I wanted to, but I did rush through at the end of the day Saturday (I gave my tube to a kid while preriding the course and went looking for a replacement). Being too big is not what came to mind. I've been to Laguna Seca on a motorcycle race weekend, and I've been to other, much larger expos.

  3. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    That was my first Sea Otter. I didn't get the chance to check out the vendors like I wanted to, but I did rush through at the end of the day Saturday (I gave my tube to a kid while preriding the course and went looking for a replacement). Being too big is not what came to mind. I've been to Laguna Seca on a motorcycle race weekend, and I've been to other, much larger expos.
    Agree. So much to see for folks interested in varied cycling segments. The more the merrier.

    Issue though is access, traffic and parking. It's bad. And they are charging an arm, a leg and a torso.
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  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Agree. So much to see for folks interested in varied cycling segments. The more the merrier.

    Issue though is access, traffic and parking. It's bad. And they are charging an arm, a leg and a torso.
    Weren't expo tickets just $15-$20, and parking free? Overall, a fun time and good deal on the Thursday I went (my sponsor friend gave me ticket).

    I didn't enter any races -- is that what you were referring to as expensive?

  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin_sbay View Post
    Weren't expo tickets just $15-$20, and parking free? Overall, a fun time and good deal on the Thursday I went (my sponsor friend gave me ticket).

    I didn't enter any races -- is that what you were referring to as expensive?
    $80 for 4-day entrance bracelets. That seems like a lot. $20 a day too, given that they make soo much money on booth space that is dependent on consumers coming.
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  6. #206
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    Actually if you enter a race you get a 4 day bracelet and can ‘practice’ the course for your race for a couple days and access everything while paying just a bit more than a 4 day expo pass. And you can experience a race. Life is cheap but living’s expensive.

  7. #207
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    I didn’t have any issues with access, traffic, or parking either- get there early and you can drive through the real entrance unchecked. I didn’t care about most of the expo but was pleasantly surprised by many things I saw en route to beer- both the Sierra monopoly and Free Brew. I packed my own cans when appropriate. Looking forward to SOC30!
    Fc - I think you need to race next year. The DH is super chill and the camaraderie is life-altering.

  8. #208
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    Sea Otter Classic 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    Actually if you enter a race you get a 4 day bracelet and can ‘practice’ the course for your race for a couple days and access everything while paying just a bit more than a 4 day expo pass. And you can experience a race. Life is cheap but living’s expensive.
    I heard that is the ticket. Enter a race and get a bracelet. The Gran Fondo used to be cheaper than a ticket so folks would enter that and not ride.

    ‘Life altering’ huh? I love it. Sea otter used to have 10,000 racers and I did a ton. It has transitioned into a trade show and its prolly the top 1 in the bike world now.
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    As long as they keep parking free, I don't have an issue with paying $20 for entry. A movie costs $19 in SF and walking around talking bikes and seeing some racing is way more entertaining!

  10. #210
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    I entered two races, plus paid for my girlfriends pass (her pass paid on site). Next year I am entering 3 or 4 races (Enduro, road race, circuit race, XC), the cost wasn't prohibitive at all in my mind for the entry. And if you bought the entry online in advance, it was even cheaper.

    Traffic sucked on Saturday, but we showed up real late. My friend got there about an hour before me with no traffic.

    My only complaint that comes to mind is they didn't have an awards schedule. The two AG winners in the road race I did didn't show up for the podiums. I tried to tell them that no one knew (I went to multiple information booths) and they didn't believe me.

  11. #211
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    HAHA I went a little hyperbolic there - sry.

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfmtber View Post
    As long as they keep parking free, I don't have an issue with paying $20 for entry. A movie costs $19 in SF and walking around talking bikes and seeing some racing is way more entertaining!
    agreed
    free parking, $20 and I was able to demo a lot of bikes.
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    No poison oak horror stories from this year? I know the enduro courses were pretty clear for the most part, but any XC racers must have been exposed to quite a bit of PO.

    Have to give it up to Sea Otter, I went for an early morning ride on Monday and didn't see a single course marker, ditched water bottle, or littered gu packets. They did an excellent job leaving not trace.

  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    No poison oak horror stories from this year? I know the enduro courses were pretty clear for the most part, but any XC racers must have been exposed to quite a bit of PO.
    I don't think I am allergic to it, so I wouldn't know. But I didn't hear about it from anyone on the Pro/C1 course. The trails were fantastic. No tech, but so much fun to ride at XC race pace (Ben's video footage should look cool).

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    The prices for race entry and gran fondo's seemed spendy. $90 each. If you enter one or the other, it's a great deal. If you want to enter both, not so great. I'm assuming no combo packages as I've never entered a race or signed up for an official ride.

    The bike demo's are a huge perk though. Outerbike costs $250 in comparison. Obviously, outerbike has advantages as there are likely a far larger number of vendors demoing bikes, plus they shuttle riders.

    But this is all nitpicking. What concerns me is that for the very first time, I've encountered attendees and vendors who were severely annoying. The community vibe has been lost. I had to escape to the trails to get my community back.

    I've seen this happen at other festivals. Once it reaches a tipping point, there's no going back. It regresses to the mean once a certain number of people find out about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I don't think I am allergic to it, so I wouldn't know. But I didn't hear about it from anyone on the Pro/C1 course. The trails were fantastic. No tech, but so much fun to ride at XC race pace (Ben's video footage should look cool).
    Your body only reacts to it the 2nd time you are exposed.

    "Most people, but not all, show an allergy to the oil, referred to as allergic contact dermatitis. It usually appears between half a day and 3 days after contact with the plant oil.

    People who are allergic to the oil do not have a reaction until they have a second contact with the oil. The immune system learns to recognize the oil from the first occasion and then reacts to it aggressively on future contact.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people are sensitive to the oil in poison oak, ivy, and sumac:

    When exposed to 50 micrograms of [the oil], an amount that is less than one grain of table salt, 80 to 90 percent of adults will develop a rash."


    You can become largely resistant to the oil. I grew up in the stuff and it didn't bother me my the time I was about 10. 30 years of city-living and I get a nice rash when exposed now. It wasn't too bad this year from what i SAW.

  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    The prices for race entry and gran fondo's seemed spendy. $90 each. If you enter one or the other, it's a great deal. If you want to enter both, not so great. I'm assuming no combo packages as I've never entered a race or signed up for an official ride.
    With a discount code that gets posted online every year the Enduro is less than $50. (Not sure about the other races as I haven’t done them).

    I raced multiple enduros last year where the entry fee was $150-200, and at some of those you still had to buy a lift ticket for practice in addition.

  18. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    agreed
    free parking, $20 and I was able to demo a lot of bikes.
    Right on. Not a bad deal as the expo is spectacular.

    but bring the family of four for 3 days and it's $240. Camping is another $400. It's a lot more than i remember... like Dineeland.


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  19. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Right on. Not a bad deal as the expo is spectacular.

    but bring the family of four for 3 days and it's $240. Camping is another $400. It's a lot more than i remember... like Dineeland.


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    Yikes! That's more than a bit confiscatory! Part of the reason I treat the event as
    "The Flee Otter" these last few years.
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  20. #220
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    One of the best parts, the Danny MacAskill Drop and Roll Show

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    more vendors but seemingly fewer MTB companies offering demos, and some electing not to attend at all, in favor of spending their marketing dollars on MTB festivals is somewhat of a worrying trend.

    Too many bikes hard wired to the ground or stand made it hard to actually get a feel for them. A couple bikes i was interested in, i only spent a few seconds at the booth because the bike was displayed 4 feet high and padlocked to the stand.

    The Spot guys had bikes you could feel and pick up tho. that was cool.

    the Chinese vendors with a generic sign (e.g. "bor chuan ten co."), no props, and one or two horrible looking e-bikes is always a depressing sight. saw this last year too. come on Sea Otter...

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    What's the value of the expo if you can't/don't demo? I suppose you could get a free hat or t shirt somewhere, talk bikes and look at extremely expensive gear. OK, I get it. It's still worth it.

    It was great that there were several organized rides (not the gran fondo's, but free rides). I'd like to be able to find some of the easier trails. I dropped down into some twisty, rolling singletrack which was a lot more difficult than it sounds, since it was so loose and had so much water erosion.

    I think the sedona mountain bike festival and outerbike would be more enjoyable for someone like myself who wants to demo a lot. Then again, outerbike is far more expensive. Especially with additional travel expenses.

  23. #223
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    This guy a savage or what


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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    This guy a savage or what

    That's awesome. jamis portal probably the perfect bike to do it on.

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    That is pretty cool. I need to work on upping my licenses to do that. I'm planning to do two road, two MTB races next year. But on three bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Right on. Not a bad deal as the expo is spectacular.

    but bring the family of four for 3 days and it's $240. Camping is another $400. It's a lot more than i remember... like Dineeland.


    fc
    Hey FC!

    It was great to see you at my campsite!

    Wanted to point out, there was a small deal on the passes.
    This year, the sea otter website advertised the daily pass could be purchased at the event for $20 or could purchased online at $15. I bought 4 online, and picked up when I got there.
    I split them between me and my boy for Saturday and Sunday.
    Ok they charged $6.48 processing fee, so it raised the price up a bit ($1.62 ea), but still better than $20

    Norm

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    2:13 on the DH may not impress a Pro but I’m impressed.

  28. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by normonster View Post
    Hey FC!

    It was great to see you at my campsite!

    Wanted to point out, there was a small deal on the passes.
    This year, the sea otter website advertised the daily pass could be purchased at the event for $20 or could purchased online at $15. I bought 4 online, and picked up when I got there.
    I split them between me and my boy for Saturday and Sunday.
    Ok they charged $6.48 processing fee, so it raised the price up a bit ($1.62 ea), but still better than $20

    Norm
    Right on man. So cool to meet you and the boys!!! What’s the name of the other dude? He post here?
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  29. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    This guy a savage or what

    Really amazing!!!!!! Sid Mackey. Raced all 4 events and filmed them. And edited. Insane
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    Nice run! Excellent effort to finish strong

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    Quote Originally Posted by FactoryMatt View Post
    more vendors but seemingly fewer MTB companies offering demos, and some electing not to attend at all, in favor of spending their marketing dollars on MTB festivals is somewhat of a worrying trend.
    .
    Interesting why you would day this. Wouldn't MTB festivals be the right place for mtb companies to spend their marketing dollars on?

    Would suck if they stopped coming to Sea Otter altogether but if they did, then that would be pretty much the end of Sea Otter.

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    Sea Otter needs to bring back the Omnium so we can see more pros doing this.

  33. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    Sea Otter needs to bring back the Omnium so we can see more pros doing this.
    It’s really just an novelty and the trail quality is not good, except for the DS.

    Sea Otter is more of an expo now
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  34. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfmtber View Post
    Interesting why you would day this. Wouldn't MTB festivals be the right place for mtb companies to spend their marketing dollars on?

    Would suck if they stopped coming to Sea Otter altogether but if they did, then that would be pretty much the end of Sea Otter.
    Sea Otter is now the premier expo in the world with 650 booths and growing.

    Bike Demos are ok because of foot traffic. But the trails are not good for demos

    Logistics and costs are crazy high for demos especially to Monterey.

    Outerbike will be is the go to for demos. Good trails, good access.
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  35. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    It’s really just an novelty and the trail quality is not good, except for the DS.

    Sea Otter is more of an expo now
    You sound like a bit of a trail snob there, fc! For many of us racing, the expo is an afterthought next to where the beer is. I heard a lot of 'who cares' RE: Expo while standing around waiting to ride. I see all the new stuff on (various WebsiteX) and don't really care about most of the new products people are hawking, in fact it's kind of annoying. I did like the plant-based pizza samples from Sweetearth that I sampled for 4 days. I also cooked a 2lb tri-tip and ate nearly the whole thing the night after the enduro. Speaking of which - there were 750 amateur enduro racers - I wonder what the participant numbers are compared to previous years. The trails are meh but everyone has to race the same trails so it's still racing dammit.

  36. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    You sound like a bit of a trail snob there, fc! For many of us racing, the expo is an afterthought next to where the beer is. I heard a lot of 'who cares' RE: Expo while standing around waiting to ride. I see all the new stuff on (various WebsiteX) and don't really care about most of the new products people are hawking, in fact it's kind of annoying. I did like the plant-based pizza samples from Sweetearth that I sampled for 4 days. I also cooked a 2lb tri-tip and ate nearly the whole thing the night after the enduro. Speaking of which - there were 750 amateur enduro racers - I wonder what the participant numbers are compared to previous years. The trails are meh but everyone has to race the same trails so it's still racing dammit.
    Sea Otter Classic 2019-fullsizeoutput_5ba.jpg

    It's definitely fashionable @ the Norcal Board to cast shade on Ft Ord. But, actually, if you're doing something other than a dedicated gravity event, the trails and roads out in Ft. Ord are pretty damn sweet, especially this year with all the wildflowers. I can make a 40 mile majority singletrack ride @ Ord, and at a 10mph avg. speed it's pretty dang NOT meh. Watch Annika Langvald doing the long course event Sunday, then rocketing up Pillarcitos inbound to the finish, and anyone on this board, let me know how long you could hold her wheel on that loop.

    Sea Otter Classic 2019-fullsizeoutput_5d2.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by jms View Post
    It's definitely fashionable @ the Norcal Board to cast shade on Ft Ord. But, actually, if you're doing something other than a dedicated gravity event, the trails and roads out in Ft. Ord are pretty damn sweet, especially this year with all the wildflowers. I can make a 40 mile majority singletrack ride @ Ord, and at a 10mph avg. speed it's pretty dang NOT meh. Watch Annika Langvald doing the long course event Sunday, then rocketing up Pillarcitos inbound to the finish, and anyone on this board, let me know how long you could hold her wheel on that loop.
    You're right. I like the Ord and have been riding there once a week for a while. In 1996(?) I decided XC wasn't for me while racing there and getting passed on that very grade by an 11 year old young lady (who went on to fame in adulthood - but still). There is some really weird stuff just off the trails in a few spots and a lot of cool animals. It's east to bash from a gravity racer perspective, but I'm never sorry I rode there. FC might be getting a little old and grouchy.

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    I raced XC and am normally pretty allergic to PO, but didn't pick anything up.

    Surprising given how much it's been growing.

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    The XC course was beautiful and fun. Nothing I would consider technical, but I won't bash it at all. The boring stuff was minimal, the singletrack plentiful. If that is what the enduro course was on then I can see it not being all that exciting on my E29, but on my 100mm bike it was great. They really should do something about the HC course (Thursday short format) to make it much more inline with what the World Cup racers are experiencing, but the lng course was great as is. The road race on Ford Ord was great too.

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    Where are the easy trails near laguna seca? I've watched several videos of group rides on easy relatively flat fire roads just outside of the expo apparently.

    When I rode out of the expo (side farthest from the entrance), I rode uphill and dropped down into what seemed like endless miles of sketchy singletrack with spectacular scenery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    You're right. I like the Ord and have been riding there once a week for a while. In 1996(?) I decided XC wasn't for me while racing there and getting passed on that very grade by an 11 year old young lady (who went on to fame in adulthood - but still). There is some really weird stuff just off the trails in a few spots and a lot of cool animals. It's east to bash from a gravity racer perspective, but I'm never sorry I rode there. FC might be getting a little old and grouchy.
    I grew up riding ord back in the late 80s early 90s.
    There are some real fun trails there to ride the father you ride away from Laguna. The best trail riding is in toro.
    We were the fri/sat and rode Toro mostly did hit trail 44 and the goat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    You're right. I like the Ord and have been riding there once a week for a while. In 1996(?) I decided XC wasn't for me while racing there and getting passed on that very grade by an 11 year old young lady (who went on to fame in adulthood - but still). There is some really weird stuff just off the trails in a few spots and a lot of cool animals. It's east to bash from a gravity racer perspective, but I'm never sorry I rode there. FC might be getting a little old and grouchy.


    I raced Sea Otter XC for about 10 years. It used to be the event of the world as west half racers really cared how they finished in that race. And then we would compare our times with the 10 best racers in the world who were ALL there!!

    The race course declined in quality year after year. When they lost Rick Sutton, the focus really shifted away from racing. And they focused resources on the expo... and not the racing. It's a good decision though since that's its true opportunity.

    Expert race though... 14 miles. It used to be 36 miles. Daheck? Downhill and Enduro, I have not done but I really do not hear a lot of good things about it. Dual Slalom is the best that still exists but have not heard much this year.

    But I am glad it still exists. Expo... will continue to grow.

    So you do the downhill race DH40?? Do you do the Enduro Race? A couple of really good friends did not give good feedback on that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jms View Post

    It's definitely fashionable @ the Norcal Board to cast shade on Ft Ord. But, actually, if you're doing something other than a dedicated gravity event, the trails and roads out in Ft. Ord are pretty damn sweet, especially this year with all the wildflowers. ...
    I dare you to participate in the XC race JMS and have a wonderful time.

    Just giving feedback, not fashion@norcal board.

    I did it for 10 years. Singlespeed 36 miles was the sign-off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    The XC course was beautiful and fun. Nothing I would consider technical, but I won't bash it at all. The boring stuff was minimal, the singletrack plentiful. If that is what the enduro course was on then I can see it not being all that exciting on my E29, but on my 100mm bike it was great. They really should do something about the HC course (Thursday short format) to make it much more inline with what the World Cup racers are experiencing, but the lng course was great as is. The road race on Ford Ord was great too.
    Good feedback. Wonder how many raced this year.
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    I think a Woodstock meets Burning Man meets mountain biking type event is needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    I raced XC and am normally pretty allergic to PO, but didn't pick anything up.

    Surprising given how much it's been growing.
    I heard they put the race at the 'other' side of the hill, where it didn't have much poison oak invading the trails. 14 mile course.
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  47. #247
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post


    I raced Sea Otter XC for about 10 years. It used to be the event of the world as west half racers really cared how they finished in that race. And then we would compare our times with the 10 best racers in the world who were ALL there!!

    The race course declined in quality year after year. When they lost Rick Sutton, the focus really shifted away from racing. And they focused resources on the expo... and not the racing. It's a good decision though since that's its true opportunity.

    Expert race though... 14 miles. It used to be 36 miles. Daheck? Downhill and Enduro, I have not done but I really do not hear a lot of good things about it. Dual Slalom is the best that still exists but have not heard much this year.

    But I am glad it still exists. Expo... will continue to grow.

    So you do the downhill race DH40?? Do you do the Enduro Race? A couple of really good friends did not give good feedback on that.
    Yes, I do DH, Enduro, and DS. Our main complaint is never the quality of the terrain - that's already 'baked' into the bottom line - but the logistical (and medical - although that's a different thing) delays.

    "Racing is Life. Anything that happens before or after...is just waiting ..."

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  48. #248
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    Sea Otter is now at a point where there are too many vendors. Someone already pointed out the redundancy in the power and energy drink category. But there are just too many vendors whose products have so little appeal they really have no business being there.
    Agreed. There were a couple vendors that reminded me of shopping mall standups. One was hawking plastic bags of gel that are supposed to be for muscles. They had the cute girls trying to engage you in a conversation (I'm guessing they were on commission) and then jump into a scripted sales pitch. "If you buy knee thingy today, I'll throw in the shoulder thing." Five dollars of product for fifty.

    Then there were the muscle simulators. One asked me what I did for pain, which I alternately replied "couch" and "beer". Totally broke his sales pitch, and could hear him calling me a a**hole as I walked away.

    Most, 99%, of the vendors were really cool and in the spirit of the event. Which makes it a shock when you find hucksters.

  49. #249
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    Quote Originally Posted by knobs View Post
    Agreed. There were a couple vendors that reminded me of shopping mall standups. One was hawking plastic bags of gel that are supposed to be for muscles. They had the cute girls trying to engage you in a conversation (I'm guessing they were on commission) and then jump into a scripted sales pitch. "If you buy knee thingy today, I'll throw in the shoulder thing." Five dollars of product for fifty.

    Then there were the muscle simulators. One asked me what I did for pain, which I alternately replied "couch" and "beer". Totally broke his sales pitch, and could hear him calling me a a**hole as I walked away.

    Most, 99%, of the vendors were really cool and in the spirit of the event. Which makes it a shock when you find hucksters.
    Any good expo.... you'll find a mix. If there are no bad booths, usually there will be few good ones.

    The key is to steer clear of the bad ones and DON'T MAKE EYE CONTACT. Usually they're in the fringe areas. At Interbike, they were in the basement. When the basement disappeared, the expo was dead.

    This year, they had that 3d printed bike booth that would stop me at the isles and sell HARD. Pretty ballsy but they got 'the hand' pronto.

    That gel booth was really annoying and tacky. They should be moved to the basement.
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  50. #250
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    I dare you to participate in the XC race JMS and have a wonderful time.

    Just giving feedback, not fashion@norcal board.

    I did it for 10 years. Singlespeed 36 miles was the sign-off.
    My assertion is the trails and riding are better out there than they're given credit for.

    LOL! I remember those days, and you know short stuffs not my thing FC, - I think the Sea Otter XC is a stampede - I've done and won the 2 man, 24 Hammerstein hour race out there @ age 55, on a hardtail, BTW. We did 25 10+ mile laps.
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  51. #251
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    The course was 23 miles, not 14. Which puts it right in the 80-100 minute length of a World Cup race. I think it would be a cool idea for them to add an endurance two lap option for those who want a longer race. But for XCO format racing, the course length is appropriate. 1:23 for the winner (top 5 sprinted for the finish), I was 20 minutes behind them.

  52. #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    The course was 23 miles, not 14. Which puts it right in the 80-100 minute length of a World Cup race. I think it would be a cool idea for them to add an endurance two lap option for those who want a longer race. But for XCO format racing, the course length is appropriate. 1:23 for the winner (top 5 sprinted for the finish), I was 20 minutes behind them.
    Well done. That's moving out there.
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  53. #253
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    The course was 23 miles, not 14. Which puts it right in the 80-100 minute length of a World Cup race. I think it would be a cool idea for them to add an endurance two lap option for those who want a longer race. But for XCO format racing, the course length is appropriate. 1:23 for the winner (top 5 sprinted for the finish), I was 20 minutes behind them.
    23 miles is awesome
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  54. #254
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    Fun Syndicate SOC video here and I'm in it (ever so small, but innit nonetheless*)

    https://youtu.be/yC7MXftBSP0

    *In the yellow jersey at the top of the DS course under the 100% inflatable sign cradling a beer like it's my firstborn. The sticker I put on the sign is there too! Ah the sweet glory, let it wash away the pain.

  55. #255
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    The amount of vlogging this year at Sea Otter was over the top. EVERYTHING was being vlogged. I know there's a waiver for SOC that allows your every move on premises to be recorded and used by Sea Otter but private vloggers were absolutely everywhere as well.

    Pump track, kids track, all of the races, the ebike channels, gravel bike channels, mtb channels, road bike channels. There was a fair bit of vlogging on the trails: some lady started to record me when I was out there. She was nice enough about it, but still.

    I got vlogged for a bike company when they gave me a hat. Fortunately, that hasn't made it on to any of their social media pages. Any time ANYTHING was going on of any kind, there was a vlogger.

  56. #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    The amount of vlogging this year at Sea Otter was over the top. EVERYTHING was being vlogged. I know there's a waiver for SOC that allows your every move on premises to be recorded and used by Sea Otter but private vloggers were absolutely everywhere as well.

    Pump track, kids track, all of the races, the ebike channels, gravel bike channels, mtb channels, road bike channels. There was a fair bit of vlogging on the trails: some lady started to record me when I was out there. She was nice enough about it, but still.

    I got vlogged for a bike company when they gave me a hat. Fortunately, that hasn't made it on to any of their social media pages. Any time ANYTHING was going on of any kind, there was a vlogger.
    All those companies are there to advertise their product/brand, I don’t see what is so surprising about people wanting to get the most out of it by creating videos for social media.

  57. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    Yes, I do DH, Enduro, and DS. Our main complaint is never the quality of the terrain - that's already 'baked' into the bottom line - but the logistical (and medical - although that's a different thing) delays.

    "Racing is Life. Anything that happens before or after...is just waiting ..."

    -Steve McQueen Le Mans
    The DS in previous year had a ton of corners, jumps, rollers, and man made features in general built in.

    Last year they left it more “raw” and it was mixed reviews. But a lot of positive feedback from racers.

    This year it just seemed like a complete lack of effort. 3 berms, 1 jump, and a few rollers. Then they just staggered the flags down a grass hill.

    I have no problem with a course that’s less like a BMX track, but at least they should be doing something to make it look like a world class event and not something high school kids could host at the local park.


  58. #258
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    All those companies are there to advertise their product/brand, I don’t see what is so surprising about people wanting to get the most out of it by creating videos for social media.
    I was in a vendor booth when a youtuber walked in and started blabbing to a camera. It was like watching sausage getting made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    All those companies are there to advertise their product/brand, I don’t see what is so surprising about people wanting to get the most out of it by creating videos for social media.
    The vendors aren't blogging, it's random youtubers creating content, and just random anonymous folks recording their own experience.

    The problem is I can't walk 5 feet without winding up in someone's video posted god knows where. It's annoying and intrusive. How can you not get that?

  60. #260
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    The vendors aren't blogging, it's random youtubers creating content, and just random anonymous folks recording their own experience.

    The problem is I can't walk 5 feet without winding up in someone's video posted god knows where. It's annoying and intrusive. How can you not get that?
    Well maybe you should stay indoors at the privacy of your own home.

  61. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    The DS in previous year had a ton of corners, jumps, rollers, and man made features in general built in.

    Last year they left it more “raw” and it was mixed reviews. But a lot of positive feedback from racers.

    This year it just seemed like a complete lack of effort. 3 berms, 1 jump, and a few rollers. Then they just staggered the flags down a grass hill.

    I have no problem with a course that’s less like a BMX track, but at least they should be doing something to make it look like a world class event and not something high school kids could host at the local park.

    Word on the hill the last 2 years is that the course was the way is was NOT because that's how Keith WANTED it to be. Dark forces at play behind the scenes. DS=Deep State.

  62. #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    Well maybe you should stay indoors at the privacy of your own home.
    First you claim it's manufacturers vlogging when I already pointed out it's youtubers and randoms.

    Now you claim unlimited surveillance is good for everyone and anyone who opposes has to shut up and stay at home.

    Take your basement dwelling trolling somewhere else.

  63. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    First you claim it's manufacturers vlogging when I already pointed out it's youtubers and randoms.

    Now you claim unlimited surveillance is good for everyone and anyone who opposes has to shut up and stay at home.

    Take your basement dwelling trolling somewhere else.
    Hey man, I bet when you bought your expo bracelet or signed up for a race there was fine print about indemnifying anyone who may capture and retransmit your likeness in some way. It's 2019 and it cannot be avoided. I don't care, personally, as my very existence is an affront to any media collection device.

    Off-topic but as someone who heard My Sharona when it was a 45 in the 70s at the local Youth Center, I never realized how risque the lyrix were:

    Ooh, my little pretty one, my pretty one
    When you gonna give me some time, Sharona
    Ooh, you make my motor run, my motor run
    Got it coming off o' the line, Sharona
    Never gonna stop, give it up, such a dirty mind
    I always get it up, for the touch of the younger kind
    My, my, my, aye-aye, whoa!
    M-m-m-my Sharona
    Come a little closer, huh, a-will ya, huh?
    Close enough to look in my eyes, Sharona
    Keeping it a mystery, it gets to me
    Running down the length of my thigh, Sharona
    Never gonna stop, give it up, such a dirty mind
    I always get it up, for the touch of the younger kind
    My, my, my, aye-aye, whoa!
    M-m-m-my Sharona
    M-m-m-my Sharona
    When you gonna give to me, a gift to me
    Is it just a matter of time, Sharona?
    Is it d-d-destiny, d-destiny
    Or is…

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    One of the oddities I noted is how much foot traffic can differ from year to year. Last year, Pivot had a large/r tent and looked to be slammed with lines for demo's and plenty of people browsing through their display bikes.

    This year, I was worried about whether I could find the demo I wanted, potential long lines, etc. Instead, no one. The employees were milling about, or seated, all were bored since they didn't have anything to do. I counted myself fortunate and signed up for a demo right away. They even offered me another demo when I came back and volunteered to answer any questions.

    Meanwhile, Canyon and Specialized were slammed with tons of foot traffic and a steady flow of demo's out of their tents. I tend to suspect their location closer to the entrance was pivotal (no pun intended). Whereas Pivot was tucked away in a small kitty cat corner.

    I suppose vendors pay more to be closer to the entrance? Foot traffic at the very back (with lots of big name vendors) where the pump track used to be, was pretty slow. Some well known names were back there: yeti, yamaha and scott for example.

    I also wonder if the expo can get any bigger? It seems like they are out of space. All they can do now is subdivide the existing space into smaller lots. The only "open" area now I suppose is giant's section which is, well, giant. I guess they like it there all by their lonesome even though it's a bit isolated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    The DS in previous year had a ton of corners, jumps, rollers, and man made features in general built in.

    Last year they left it more “raw” and it was mixed reviews. But a lot of positive feedback from racers.

    This year it just seemed like a complete lack of effort. 3 berms, 1 jump, and a few rollers. Then they just staggered the flags down a grass hill.

    I have no problem with a course that’s less like a BMX track, but at least they should be doing something to make it look like a world class event and not something high school kids could host at the local park.

    I rode it and it was like they built the berms at the top half and then just gave up on the rest of it.

  66. #266
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    Can someone ID the trails for these two group rides? I assume it's the same loop in both videos:


  67. #267
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    Here's the second, 7:40 in:


  68. #268
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    Same trail in both videos, trail 47 (couch canyon/hurl hill). Looks like they missed the best part of the trail though. That’s the closest bit of single track to the venue so it’s often filled with demo riders for the weekend.

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    The Otter seems more like a trade show than a festival. Was not a big fan of the XC course either. A lot of raceway pavement. My last Otter.

  70. #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSkoolMark View Post
    The Otter seems more like a trade show than a festival. Was not a big fan of the XC course either. A lot of raceway pavement. My last Otter.
    What’s the difference? . I’ve been to a bunch of trade shows.


    Definitely a lot going on and growing on all fronts except for the racing. Still the biggest race around though which is crazy after all these decades.
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  71. #271
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSkoolMark View Post
    The Otter seems more like a trade show than a festival. Was not a big fan of the XC course either. A lot of raceway pavement. My last Otter.
    It used to be a treat to ride the race track, but that was when the start/finish line was between turns 4 and 5 in the race track and the start of the race was a half lap to the top of the corkscrew and the the other half of the lap just before the finish. I haven't raced in a long time but it was always one of my favorite races, not because the course but because all the riders trying to race the same course meant chaos/carnage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    Same trail in both videos, trail 47 (couch canyon/hurl hill). Looks like they missed the best part of the trail though. That’s the closest bit of single track to the venue so it’s often filled with demo riders for the weekend.
    I think I missed it. I did find some very narrow, windy, rolling single track. It was beautiful, but I didn't feel like my tires were hooking up so I descended slowly. A lot of riders too.

    I'll look for it next time. Thanks for the ID.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSkoolMark View Post
    The Otter seems more like a trade show than a festival. Was not a big fan of the XC course either. A lot of raceway pavement. My last Otter.
    The sheer size of the expo makes it look as if the racing is merely a cute sidebar or even a quaint throwback to festivals of years past. The number of square feet devoted to demo space is now overwhelming. I actually demo'ed a couple of bikes over the weekend just to navigate the expo area, it was that large. How much larger can the expo get? The race track, south boundary and the parking lot for vendors form clear boundaries for the expo area.

    I'm guessing the promoters will subdivide the current booths into smaller ones and reduce the space for walking paths, so that festivalgoers will be shoulder to shoulder. Five years on, it'll look like a middle eastern bazaar or the streets of New Delhi:

    Sea Otter Classic 2019-wholesale-market-delhi.jpg

    There was also a new, open air food court this year, which will probably make way for new vendors in years to come.

    What's disappointing to me is that so many of the vendors are just trying to turn a quick buck and don't care about bicycling very much, from what I can gather.

    2019 was definitely a down year and I've attended every Sea Otter from 2015 on. It's lost it's homey, community feel. Before, it felt like family. Now, it's taken on much of the cut-throat, dog eat dog feel of the outside world. And that's not good.

  73. #273
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    Hope nobody’s still in traffic

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    Quote Originally Posted by mysharona View Post
    I think I missed it. I did find some very narrow, windy, rolling single track. It was beautiful, but I didn't feel like my tires were hooking up so I descended slowly.

    2019 was definitely a down year and I've attended every Sea Otter from 2015 on. It's lost it's homey, community feel. Before, it felt like family. Now, it's taken on much of the cut-throat, dog eat dog feel of the outside world. And that's not good.
    Unless its raining(literally during your ride) or you're running super low pressure, you'll never feel like you're getting good traction in that sand box of Fort Ord.

    That's a common SO experience most people have, the first few years attending SO can seem like a magical experience but after a few years of it the feelings change and the magic is gone. I don't go every year but I've lived in Monterey for over 20 years. I only care about the racing, Pro DH, Pro DS, and Pro XC, all of which I don't need to pay to enter the expo area to experience.

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