Monday, April 25, 2011

SEA OTTER Saturday - Day 3

After enjoying another delish hotel breakfast, we pile into our chauffeured van { thanks for driving Eric } and we are headed off to the Sea Otter Classic for Day 3 . I will be dodging Poison Oak today. That stuff is everywhere.

The weather in Cali has been a little of every season, every day. The AM is chilly, afternoons it warms up, and around 4PM the wind starts blowing like crazy.

Jim and I headed out about 1230 so I could pre- ride some of the race course. The pro women were racing so I had to watch. WOW those gals can hammer.

Jim and I happened to meet the area's high school cycling coach, whose 16yr old would be racing on Sunday. He gave me a rundown of the course in a language I could understand. Slow and very descriptive. He gave me tips on riding the sand and informed me of the dangerous spots. As I rode the course I was very thankful I paid close attention. I specifically remembered where he said to stay to the left. Apparently several riders were taken out by ambulance. The coach also said, "the race will be won on the white road" He is referring to the 4 mile climb of gravel to the end - Awesome! As Jim puts it, "thats your forte' baby"

The course was not technical - absolutely no rocks or roots. Lots and Lots of sand. And a vicious amount of Poison oak. Let's not forget.... plenty of climbing -2900 ft to be exact.

It was a better day on the Goblin. The gears are getting easier - well... when I remember to use them. It was frustrating to look down after a climb and see I had one or two left. However, I felt more confident climbing today. I kept repeating "Relax, sit down, be patient, spin " - it worked well.

Jim decided to try something new. He hopped on The Warhawk.It's a full suspension 26r. More details to come.Two hours went by and I needed to get back to the Airborne tent to work. The pro guys were already racing on the course back. We had to stop to let the 1st three waves by and then started the small climb. I look over and I was riding with Tinker Juarez- AWESOME!

Thanks to Jim for slowing his roll so he could get this sweet picture of me climbing the white road. Just so we are clear, pictures do NOT do those hills justice. While riding I thought Dirty Kanza!

I had my pic taken with the Official Sea Otter otter.

We packed the pod and headed back to the hotel. There were so many people there it took 30 minutes to get out of the parking lot. We had a special dinner planned on the Fisherman's Wharf.

Jim had decoded to stay behind at the festival. I left him in good hands, or so I thought. I will leave it to him to tell you how he got to the hotel.

Is that.....

Dinner was bitter sweet. Most of the Flight Crew was leaving early the next day. We had such a short time together since we were all practicing and racing at different times.

This is how things turned out for the Flight Crew members doing the downhill course.
McCall got 8th
Marty got 7th
Dan got 6th with a flat!
Jerry got 13th
Neal got 20th

They all have a lot to be proud of. Kevin, Marty, Brent and I would be racing the next day.