Sea Otter Classic and a Spring Cross Race

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by Byron on Apr 22, 2012 at 5:38 AM

After a crack o’ dawn flight, a drive from SFO to Laguna Seca, and straight to the media center to get credentials, first bike I see is a Raleigh with a Bud in a Lezyne carbon cage. My kinda party! I was here to race and see what was going at at the season opener in the States.

As seen on Instagram

Quick Race Recap

Racer in a banana suit took out Etheridge (SSCX champion) into turn one, bars got tangled up, then lots traffic. Rode through that in 85° heat to finish on the lead lap and place somewhere.

I raced on Rutledge’s (Redline) “Arctic Fox” shown below. A custom spec’d Conquest carbon in an enthusiastic field of about 50. Earlier races in the day had about the same turnout, including a world champion and other old, fast dudes.

Custom spec’d Redline carbon

A Spring Cross Race?

You know that first hard effort, race of your season? Yeah, imagine that 6 months early on a course that seemed thrown together just before our start. Highlight was the beer garden hand ups over low barriers, hard turn, and back onto the Laguna Seca straightaway.

More beer you drink, harder this is to drive

While us pasty-white Seattleites hid in the shade, I fiddled with the Magneto setup. My concerns about the lens getting covered in sweat we’re unfounded. There are two positions on the strap dots and mid-race, I pushed the lens back onto the rear position and was good. A clever sunglass/helmet interface with magnets, means you’ve got to set your straps and Rollsys right.

Best BBQ in town

After getting up early to fly in and race, ended the night early at the Salinas City BBQ. It’s Yelp ratings proved accurate. Then I watched Papillon in a budget motel. Guess the shot I had before the race was caffeinated, cause I was up late with achy legs.

A Unique Event

What’s unique about Sea Otter is it brings all the bike disciplines together into one venue, including a Fondo.

Event tents filled with bikes

Walking the grounds as the day ended, I decided this was a new annual event for Bike Hugger. Will stay at the Laurel Inn again too. It’s got character, like Sea Otter.

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