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  1. #1
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    Sea Otter Classic 2019


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    Enduro still on Thurs, so I probably wonít race this year. Should be working full-time by then so I wonít have unlimited vacation time anymore.

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    wouldn't miss it. haven't missed it in like 22 years. same awesome camp spots up in Grand Prix. can't wait.

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    I've never been, but I would like to go this year and maybe race the enduro. What are the recommended camping spots?

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    Cue the long and unnecessary story- I had a nightmare bad experience this year with booking my Sea Otter, and even though I say every year that I'm not going, seriously, I think this is the year. I'm depressed, heavily, by the thought I will have to miss my annual re-up of clothing and socks. The rest I can live without. I'll miss you FC!!

    I was online, 9am, way back in June waiting for early camping to open. I sat there refreshing the page for an hour or more, and was so bummed out when SOC finally opened the site, at which point, every campsite was booked. I immediately emailed Julie the camping rep with SOC calling foul play and was relegated to the wait list. Weeks went by and I politely reminded them I was waiting to hear back and radio silence ensues. Finally after a month, the director gets back to me explaining how Julie, the old rep was no longer with the event (she's been there for years and years) and the new person was to be appointed within weeks. More waiting. In November, right before general camping opened, I begged them one last time to "please don't make us camp in the gravel or the asphalt" as we've done for years. No luck. After all these emails, and finally poking at SOC crying favoritism of industry over regular Joe's, I was defeated. I walked away from it disappointed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    Enduro still on Thurs, so I probably wonít race this year. Should be working full-time by then so I wonít have unlimited vacation time anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Cue the long and unnecessary story- I had a nightmare bad experience this year with booking my Sea Otter, and even though I say every year that I'm not going, seriously, I think this is the year. I'm depressed, heavily, by the thought I will have to miss my annual re-up of clothing and socks. The rest I can live without. I'll miss you FC!!

    I was online, 9am, way back in June waiting for early camping to open. I sat there refreshing the page for an hour or more, and was so bummed out when SOC finally opened the site, at which point, every campsite was booked. I immediately emailed Julie the camping rep with SOC calling foul play and was relegated to the wait list. Weeks went by and I politely reminded them I was waiting to hear back and radio silence ensues. Finally after a month, the director gets back to me explaining how Julie, the old rep was no longer with the event (she's been there for years and years) and the new person was to be appointed within weeks. More waiting. In November, right before general camping opened, I begged them one last time to "please don't make us camp in the gravel or the asphalt" as we've done for years. No luck. After all these emails, and finally poking at SOC crying favoritism of industry over regular Joe's, I was defeated. I walked away from it disappointed.

    FWIW, the camping reg stuff was more messy this year than in prior years...but it's always messy. We (we have multiple people in our party online trying to get spots at the 9am start time)...the pages were frozen for like 40 minutes...I sat there hitting 'refresh' that whole time and finally got my spots. I don't think it's a conspiracy...I just think their system isn't designed to handle the onslaught of MTB'ers scrambling for spots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by riderup View Post
    I just think their system isn't designed to handle the onslaught of MTB'ers scrambling for spots.
    Ha!! What? You mean I'm not the only one trying for Chapparel B with full hook ups and a view of the Expo!? LOL riderup, definitely can add that factor to the equation.

    I'm not even in the slightest bit bitter over it. 20+ years of Sea Otter-ing.. I'm well seasoned

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    Been registered for Old Man Enduro, DH and Dual Slalom since it went online. It may be a massive sh1tshow, but it's our massive sh1tshow!

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    Thursday Enduros are rough - I can't ever get there til late Wed night and have to pick up number plates Thurs AM and WHAM - pretty much all day on the bike with no practice to speak of except maybe 1 trip down the DH and DS courses. A lot of beers that evening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    Been registered for Old Man Enduro, DH and Dual Slalom since it went online. It may be a massive sh1tshow, but it's our massive sh1tshow!
    What is old man enduro? I got whooped by Jordi Bago in cat 2 40+*slalom last year.
    Last edited by twowheelmotion; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:40 AM. Reason: oops

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    I've never been and always say I will but something else always comes up...like a trip to Cabo or Hawaii or Fruita. It's always something. I'm not too fond of "regular" camping and would despise camping with 10,000+ of my closest friends 10 feet away from me.

    If I'm staying off-site, does anybody have any advice of where might be the best area to stay? I realize it's in Monterey but would traffic be better coming from the North vs the South for some reason? Or any other advice related to beat traffic? I'm guessing it might be like trying to get in any special event and a zoo in the mornings or trying to leave after the last race?
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    What is old man enduro? I got whooped by Jordi Bago in cat 2 40+*slalom last year.
    I meant Old Man 50+ everything

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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    I meant Old Man 50+ everything
    Ok yeah. Right. All hail Ye Olde Dudes

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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Cue the long and unnecessary story- I had a nightmare bad experience this year with booking my Sea Otter, and even though I say every year that I'm not going, seriously, I think this is the year. I'm depressed, heavily, by the thought I will have to miss my annual re-up of clothing and socks. The rest I can live without. I'll miss you FC!!

    I was online, 9am, way back in June waiting for early camping to open. I sat there refreshing the page for an hour or more, and was so bummed out when SOC finally opened the site, at which point, every campsite was booked. I immediately emailed Julie the camping rep with SOC calling foul play and was relegated to the wait list. Weeks went by and I politely reminded them I was waiting to hear back and radio silence ensues. Finally after a month, the director gets back to me explaining how Julie, the old rep was no longer with the event (she's been there for years and years) and the new person was to be appointed within weeks. More waiting. In November, right before general camping opened, I begged them one last time to "please don't make us camp in the gravel or the asphalt" as we've done for years. No luck. After all these emails, and finally poking at SOC crying favoritism of industry over regular Joe's, I was defeated. I walked away from it disappointed.
    If you think they're bumping out consumers of long-time camp spots and giving it to bike industry sponsors.... tis true.
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    I've never been and always say I will but something else always comes up...like a trip to Cabo or Hawaii or Fruita. It's always something. I'm not too fond of "regular" camping and would despise camping with 10,000+ of my closest friends 10 feet away from me.

    Are there nearby hotels that you can walk to the event from? If not, does anybody have recommendations on where to stay off-site? I won't be racing and will mostly be going for the "experience" and of course Industry Row!!
    Technically, you could walk from anywhere on the continent, but the answer for 99.999% of us is "NO". You'll need to drive or ride a bike into the site. Look for a motel in Montere, Seaside, Marina, or even Salinas, but expect places to be pretty booked. You could also stay in Carmel Valley (your most chill option), a few miles over the hill. No one said this was easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    Technically, you could walk from anywhere on the continent, but the answer for 99.999% of us is "NO". You'll need to drive or ride a bike into the site. Look for a motel in Montere, Seaside, Marina, or even Salinas, but expect places to be pretty booked. You could also stay in Carmel Valley (your most chill option), a few miles over the hill. No one said this was easy.
    You could also stay in Carmel By the Sea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    You could also stay in Carmel By the Sea.
    I want to stay in Carmel by the Sea, too.... You know, since I'm not camping..

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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    I want to stay in Carmel by the Sea, too.... You know, since I'm not camping..
    You can find some cheap deals there......I'd rather stay near great restaurants and the ocean, and drive an extra 15 min.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    You could also stay in Carmel By the Sea.
    I didn't mention Carmel on purpose. It's too precious and $$$ don't you think? I went to Carmel High School.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    You can find some cheap deals there......I'd rather stay near great restaurants and the ocean, and drive an extra 15 min.
    What is 'Cheap'? Just curious. $250 a night minimum I'd guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    What is 'Cheap'? Just curious. $250 a night minimum I'd guess.
    Nope. Check Orbitz you might be surprised. However, many of the less expensive small inns and cottages are gone during those dates. Might be good to book now for 2020!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    Nope. Check Orbitz you might be surprised.
    Ok compared to the Lodge at Pebble Beach, which is $1000 a night, yeah, the Carmel River Inn for $179 a night IS cheap. But compared to something on Hotel Row in Monterey, that's significantly more expensive. Makes 4 nights of terrible camping in the gravel look like what it is for $210..

    Remember when MTBR used to rent a house and throw parties!? Mountain bikers.. Parties... Mountain Bikers...

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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Ok compared to the Lodge at Pebble Beach, which is $1000 a night, yeah, the Carmel River Inn for $179 a night IS cheap. But compared to something on Hotel Row in Monterey, that's significantly more expensive. Makes 4 nights of terrible camping in the gravel look like what it is for $210..

    Remember when MTBR used to rent a house and throw parties!? Mountain bikers.. Parties... Mountain Bikers...
    Also you can get a room with two beds.....share the cost....

    Rave in Nisene?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    Also you can get a room with two beds.....share the cost....

    Rave in Nisene?
    I'll make sure to tell my wife she's sharing the cost of the two beds and tell her you said to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    Nope. Check Orbitz you might be surprised. However, many of the less expensive small inns and cottages are gone during those dates. Might be good to book now for 2020!
    I did. The River Inn has 1 room for cheap. With fees and taxes you would be extremely lucky to find a multi-night stay under $250 a night in Carmel proper. Which is normal these days - I'm not complaining. I have a spot in the Valley, but if not, and I couldn't camp, I'd probably end up in Salinas by the train tracks. Which i have done when I used to go to alot of motorsports at Laguna Seca.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    I did. The River Inn has 1 room for cheap. With fees and taxes you would be extremely lucky to find a multi-night stay under $250 a night in Carmel proper. Which is normal these days - I'm not complaining. I have a spot in the Valley, but if not, and I couldn't camp, I'd probably end up in Salinas by the train tracks. Which i have done when I used to go to alot of motorsports at Laguna Seca.
    So can we rent your place in the valley and have a huge rave there? I'm about to press the button on that River Inn room, my wife is sharing 1/2 the cost!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    So can we rent your place in the valley and have a huge rave there? I'm about to press the button on that River Inn room, my wife is sharing 1/2 the cost!
    Thou Shalt Not Rave!! The good thing about the River Inn is the flat short bike ride to the excellent Rivermouth Beach and Carmel point. It's not in downtown proper but would probably be a good spot! go for it!

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    [QUOTE=DH40;13897964]

    Thou Shalt Not Rave!!
    Thou Shalt Not Rave!!
    Thou Shalt Not Rave!!
    Thou Shalt Not Rave!!
    Thou Shalt Not Rave!!

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    [QUOTE=twowheelmotion;13897966]
    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post

    Thou Shalt Not Rave!!
    Thou Shalt Not Rave!!
    Thou Shalt Not Rave!!
    Thou Shalt Not Rave!!
    Thou Shalt Not Rave!!
    Ha! I stole that from a graffiti writer in SF in the 90s - it was everywhere. That, along with the less-common 'The puppet is aflame'

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    my wife being the 14th degree black belt in internet Kung-Fu that she is, somehow fought through that shitshow debacle of registration and got us our beloved RV spot. last year we were surrounded by industry people with kick ass setups and endless food and booze. did I mention the treager that got brought in to cook a huge BBQ with ribs, chicken and tri-tip? lol such a good time! Here is to hoping those guys are there again this year!

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    Quote Originally Posted by conoat View Post
    my wife being the 14th degree black belt in internet Kung-Fu that she is, somehow fought through that shitshow debacle of registration and got us our beloved RV spot. last year we were surrounded by industry people with kick ass setups and endless food and booze. did I mention the treager that got brought in to cook a huge BBQ with ribs, chicken and tri-tip? lol such a good time! Here is to hoping those guys are there again this year!

    Hey! We paid for that endless food and booze!! Where is mine?! Actually it's pretty easy to freeload on the industry's tab at the good old SOC! Right fc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post

    Remember when MTBR used to rent a house and throw parties!? Mountain bikers.. Parties... Mountain Bikers...
    The good old days!

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    I'm going, but this will be my first time. I am ****ing clueless as to what is going on...

    How bad is traffic getting in? I volunteered at a MotoGP weekend and showed up on a motorcycle, lane sharing for what felt like two hours to get out of there! Guess it might be time to get that KLR650 with a bike rack I've been thinking of?

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    I'm going to there to ride ebikes. Why else would you go there? There's not much else.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by conoat View Post
    my wife being the 14th degree black belt in internet Kung-Fu that she is, somehow fought through that shitshow debacle of registration and got us our beloved RV spot. last year we were surrounded by industry people with kick ass setups and endless food and booze. did I mention the treager that got brought in to cook a huge BBQ with ribs, chicken and tri-tip? lol such a good time! Here is to hoping those guys are there again this year!
    Which spot are you referring to? Asking for a friend...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I'm going, but this will be my first time. I am ****ing clueless as to what is going on...

    How bad is traffic getting in? I volunteered at a MotoGP weekend and showed up on a motorcycle, lane sharing for what felt like two hours to get out of there! Guess it might be time to get that KLR650 with a bike rack I've been thinking of?
    Bring a car, man. Or some sort of vehicle to stash ample stuff inside. Not that riding in on a moto is unheard of, but the weather at SOC has been way too nice the last few years and we are way overdue for a rainy weekend. As for traffic, it's not too bad. They route all the inbound traffic through the annex entrance (General Jim Moore) to South Boundary and in the back way. Andy Frain, the traffic control company, will go nuts if you try to come in the front way without credentials... I personally like to show up Wednesday afternoon and roll out Monday. Let the sh*t show ensue whilst I'm schwaggin or riding. Some would argue that Wednesday and Thursday is the best, and only days to even go. Fox Tent on Saturday afternoon is in-sane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Bring a car, man. Or some sort of vehicle to stash ample stuff inside. Not that riding in on a moto is unheard of, but the weather at SOC has been way too nice the last few years and we are way overdue for a rainy weekend. As for traffic, it's not too bad. They route all the inbound traffic through the annex entrance (General Jim Moore) to South Boundary and in the back way. Andy Frain, the traffic control company, will go nuts if you try to come in the front way without credentials... I personally like to show up Wednesday afternoon and roll out Monday. Let the sh*t show ensue whilst I'm schwaggin or riding. Some would argue that Wednesday and Thursday is the best, and only days to even go. Fox Tent on Saturday afternoon is in-sane.
    OH man! so true. we barely even go into the festival on saturday! Thursday is for swag and super cheap discount bins of clothes before all the good sizes are gone and
    Sunday is for trying to score free shit from all the vendors you've spent the entire weekend trying to become BFFs with!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by conoat View Post
    OH man! so true. we barely even go into the festival on saturday! Thursday is for swag and super cheap discount bins of clothes before all the good sizes are gone and
    Sunday is for trying to score free shit from all the vendors you've spent the entire weekend trying to become BFFs with!!!
    Still waiting to tell my "friend" what spot you and your smoker are camping at : )

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    It's Spot #GTFO_7 in the NotA****ingChance paddock!

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    Quote Originally Posted by conoat View Post
    It's Spot #GTFO_7 in the NotA****ingChance paddock!
    Got it. The one by the RV. Good times!

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    I checked hotels for that weekend in Salinas and there are plenty of sub $200 per night places available...even a couple that were sub $100.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I'm going, but this will be my first time. I am ****ing clueless as to what is going on...

    How bad is traffic getting in? I volunteered at a MotoGP weekend and showed up on a motorcycle, lane sharing for what felt like two hours to get out of there! Guess it might be time to get that KLR650 with a bike rack I've been thinking of?
    Iíve never had an issue with traffic going in/out. Iíve waited in longer lines at the In N Out drive through before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I'm going, but this will be my first time. I am ****ing clueless as to what is going on...

    How bad is traffic getting in? I volunteered at a MotoGP weekend and showed up on a motorcycle, lane sharing for what felt like two hours to get out of there! Guess it might be time to get that KLR650 with a bike rack I've been thinking of?
    Drive to the parking lot, park, take the Veteran's charity golf cart down to the venue (or ride your bike), tip them well. No issues at all.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    I checked hotels for that weekend in Salinas and there are plenty of sub $200 per night places available...even a couple that were sub $100.
    Just so you know - Salinas is to Carmel as Compton is to Beverly Hills.

    The other folks were speaking specifically of Carmel-by-the-Sea. I'm ghetto AF and can deal with Salinas, but you cannot compare the 2 locales - there's a reason for the price delta.

  46. #46
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    Going. year 10 in a row.
    We have family in Carmel so it makes the trip easy. Don't know what I'm going to race this year.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

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    enduro, DH and XC for me! while this might cut into my beer drinking time, I feel like at my age it's the only way with all the beer drinking I will still be able to fit into my pants!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    Just so you know - Salinas is to Carmel as Compton is to Beverly Hills.

    The other folks were speaking specifically of Carmel-by-the-Sea. I'm ghetto AF and can deal with Salinas, but you cannot compare the 2 locales - there's a reason for the price delta.
    That's good info. Thank you. If I go with my wife, we'll stay in Monterey for sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Bring a car, man. Or some sort of vehicle to stash ample stuff inside. Not that riding in on a moto is unheard of, but the weather at SOC has been way too nice the last few years and we are way overdue for a rainy weekend. As for traffic, it's not too bad. They route all the inbound traffic through the annex entrance (General Jim Moore) to South Boundary and in the back way. Andy Frain, the traffic control company, will go nuts if you try to come in the front way without credentials... I personally like to show up Wednesday afternoon and roll out Monday. Let the sh*t show ensue whilst I'm schwaggin or riding. Some would argue that Wednesday and Thursday is the best, and only days to even go. Fox Tent on Saturday afternoon is in-sane.
    Good to know, thanks. I'm only going to be there for the XC race, I don't plan to hand out before or after. I'm just hoping for good sleep the night before and minimal snags getting to my race.


    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    Just so you know - Salinas is to Carmel as Compton is to Beverly Hills.
    Works for me! I'll take the cheap room!

  50. #50
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    Iíve been for the last six years and will go again. Last year I stayed in one of the cheap hotels on Fremont St and I think thatís the way to go (previously have stayed in Casa Munras as necessary to have a pool for my daughter, or at the airport Best Western). Itís an easy ride back from the venue to Fremont St so I can stay longer if my wife wants to bail with the car. Since I want to get some real riding and a race in here I need a bed and a shower, no camping for me. Plus, I camped at Laguna Seca in the rain once and donít care to repeat it.

    Last year I spent 3 full days and it wasnít enough time. What with watching the Pro XC races, riding the course, racing the amateur XC, and talking to people I didnít have time to check out all the booths.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  51. #51
    J-Flo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Good to know, thanks. I'm only going to be there for the XC race, I don't plan to hand out before or after. I'm just hoping for good sleep the night before and minimal snags getting to my race.
    To me, the XC race is not a very good race, but is good as part of the overall experience because itís so massive. The course is pretty meh, with some terrible downhill fire roads and two pavement descents, although I still enjoy it (in part because it is one big loop, no laps). If you havenít been to the festival youíd be doing yourself a disservice by missing it.

  52. #52
    Not helpful.
    Reputation: Finch Platte's Avatar
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    When I worked for a designer in Carmel, I would spend the night in her storage unit with all the furniture, then drive to SO in the morning. Someone needs to rent a storage unit for a month (or a week, if they'd let you) and let people throw down their sleeping bags and hang out. Mucho profit to be made.

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    What's wrong with him??

  53. #53
    Track Junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    ...I immediately emailed Julie the camping rep with SOC calling foul play and was relegated to the wait list. Weeks went by and I politely reminded them I was waiting to hear back and radio silence ensues. Finally after a month, the director gets back to me explaining how Julie, the old rep was no longer with the event (she's been there for years and years) and the new person was to be appointed within weeks...
    Julie's gone? Damn. She was good at her job, which i imagine is largely thankless and stressful.

    This is my 24th consecutive year attending (first in 1995).
    I get paid to ride shotgun.

  54. #54
    Hella Olde
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    Would poop-buckets be provided?

  55. #55
    Moderator Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Mucho profit to be made.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    Just so you know - Salinas is to Carmel as Compton is to Beverly Hills.

    The other folks were speaking specifically of Carmel-by-the-Sea. I'm ghetto AF and can deal with Salinas, but you cannot compare the 2 locales - there's a reason for the price delta.
    I grew up in Salinas, if your staying there lock your stuff up and keep it out of sight. Salinas has a good side but with no hotels. Best western in Monterey is awesome ask for room 30 or one very close to it, they are on the end and single storie and easy to get your bike in and out of.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    Would poop-buckets be provided?
    Ha! The storage units where my boss had one had nice restrooms. No showers, tho.
    What's wrong with him??

  58. #58
    Rides all the bikes!
    Reputation: Sidewalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Bring a car, man. Or some sort of vehicle to stash ample stuff inside. Not that riding in on a moto is unheard of, but the weather at SOC has been way too nice the last few years and we are way overdue for a rainy weekend. As for traffic, it's not too bad. They route all the inbound traffic through the annex entrance (General Jim Moore) to South Boundary and in the back way. Andy Frain, the traffic control company, will go nuts if you try to come in the front way without credentials... I personally like to show up Wednesday afternoon and roll out Monday. Let the sh*t show ensue whilst I'm schwaggin or riding. Some would argue that Wednesday and Thursday is the best, and only days to even go. Fox Tent on Saturday afternoon is in-sane.
    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    Drive to the parking lot, park, take the Veteran's charity golf cart down to the venue (or ride your bike), tip them well. No issues at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    Just so you know - Salinas is to Carmel as Compton is to Beverly Hills.

    The other folks were speaking specifically of Carmel-by-the-Sea. I'm ghetto AF and can deal with Salinas, but you cannot compare the 2 locales - there's a reason for the price delta.
    Quote Originally Posted by J-Flo View Post
    To me, the XC race is not a very good race, but is good as part of the overall experience because itís so massive. The course is pretty meh, with some terrible downhill fire roads and two pavement descents, although I still enjoy it (in part because it is one big loop, no laps). If you havenít been to the festival youíd be doing yourself a disservice by missing it.
    Part of my racing goals for this next year. I'll go back another time to hang out. 2019 is about my XC season only (so I have to limit my vacation time and funds for racing only).

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