Sea Otter Classic ’06

The weather had cleared out just in time for the Sea Otter Classic; I was going to do the Cross Country mtb race, together with the Ayatola, on the same day the Hell of the North opened its gates 6000 miles from here. The field in our class was over 100 riders strong, just as in many of the other classes, each starting about five minutes after the other. This led to the typical congestion of the course on the more technical and narrow sections, accompanied by heated efforts in overtaking and cutting people off – but that’s all part of the fun. Also part of the fun were the half dozen or so mud pits that created quite a challenge to many unsuspecting riders, including yours truly. The neverending rains this spring left their mark, though in general the course at Fort Ord held up pretty well (the area has a sandy soil). The two steep sandy descents that we knew from our pre-ride(s) were actually quite entertaining – not touching the front brake lever was the mission here.
Overall I liked the course better than last year’s. And the mud definitely toughened it up – I witnessed some spectacular mudhole-endo’s; luckily the Ayatola and myself came out pretty much unscathed. Details and results can be found on the official website. I’ll suffice to say that the best have won (not counting the sandbaggers, of course).
On the photos you can witness the Ayatola finishing as well as us doing our apres-race analysis. Early in the afternoon it started raining again and we hit the road, so this time I’ve got no photos of the mountain cross or downhill.

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