Sea Otter Classic – 2009

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A friend of mine and I decided to dive into mountain bike racing and try our hand at the Sea Otter Classic. I told the CFO about it and we decided to take the whole family and make a day of it.

For those of you that don’t know, the Sea Otter is the largest cycling event in the nation. It’s also the start of the racing circuit for the year, so it gets a lot of press. Man, it was a big event. It takes over the entire Laguna Seca raceway with all the vendors and shows happening through the days of the race.

My two boys also decided to bring their bikes. Brady 9, and Jonah 5. We learned they were to have a junior cross country race and Brady wanted to go for that. There was also supposed to be an obstacle course that the boys really had a good time on. Check out these pics:

Isn’t this AWESOME! Brady is totally handling that man made hill like it’s butta.

And Jonah going for the Teeter-Totter:

What a stud! His bike is SOOOOOO heavy. Really, it’s probably heavier than my bike. We really need to work on getting him some better equipment. He really likes riding.

A picture of all three of the actual racers:

Brady racing in the Junior division:

It wasn’t an official race, with standings and all. It was for anyone under the age of 12. Everyone got a medallion for finishing – it was the shape of a sprocket 🙂 He really had a good time.

Adam and I competed in the Cross Country Mt. Biking race. It was a 19+ mile race that started on the race track of Laguna Seca but quickly exited out into the hills of Fort Ord – my back yard! I love riding in Fort Ord.

Because I was in the 35-39 year bracket, we started about 20 minutes after the pros and younger riders. The race started with pros and 18-24 year old in the first heat. Then it went 25-39, 30-35, etc. all the way back to 60’s. Just in my heat alone there were 89 riders. There was a TON of people riding in this race, it was packed.

Here’s a pic of Adam and me in the midst of our age group:

I didn’t push very hard in the beginning, but I soon realized we were going to be riding single track with all these people, and unfortunately many would fall along the way – including me! Early on I grabbed my bike and hoisted it over my head and ran around a group that had piled on top of each other. By the end though, I was trudging along. Man, it was a long race. Don’t get me wrong, it was great, but long.

Such a wide diverse group of riders. At the end of the race they had a female 8 mile Mt. biking race that cut into our track and rode on the same path as us. Man, it made me feel like a slacker. There were these 14 year old girls all decked out in pink PASSING me. I was having a hard time with it all until someone explained to me they were on mile 4 of their 8 mile race. Getting lapped at all wasn’t easy, but thinking I had ridden for 15 miles and was just now getting lapped by a 14 year old – that wasn’t cool.

Afterward I looked for my family, but couldn’t find them at the finish line. As a matter of fact there were hardly any onlookers, just race finishers. It ended in an odd spot, not near the main Laguna Seca raceway. I ended up making my way back to the main arena and found my kids playing on the huge blow up slide in the center of the arena.

I laid down on the grass and they all brought me trial edibles from all the trail food companies; FRS, etc. It was pretty good. I was so tired I didn’t care what they fed me 🙂

We stayed for about another hour, until all the shops closed down. We got stuck in the traffic on the way out. Took us quite a while to leave Laguna Seca due to everyone getting stuck at the stop lights. The kids crashed:

I can’t say my first race was spectacular, or that I’m going to go pro – far from it. But I can say I enjoyed the scene. Want to spend more time at all the booths next time. Can’t wait to do it again next year.

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