What is Sea Otter? It is the opening to the biking season here in North America.
According to the Sea Otter website, “Co-founders Frank Yohannan and Lou Rudolph hosted the inaugural Laguna Seca Challenge on April 6 & 7, 1991. There was a total of 350 athletes and 150 spectators. Today the event hosts over 10,000 athletes and 71,000 fans. In 1993 the event was renamed the Sea Otter Classic and is now universally regarded as the world’s premier cycling festival.
Known as a sprawling and energetic “celebration of cycling,” Sea Otter is cycling’s North American season opener. Professional and amateur athletes alike make the annual pilgrimage to Sea Otter to participate in some of the sport’s most competitive and enduring events. Hundreds of pro cyclists, including national, world, and Olympic champions, attend Sea Otter to race and meet with fans.
Most of cycling’s racing disciplines are represented including mountain bike cross country, downhill, dual slalom, and short track racing. Road cyclists compete in circuit, criterium, and road racing. Also offered are cyclocross and a number of non-competitive recreational events for riders of all ages.
The Sea Otter Classic also hosts the world’s largest consumer bike exposition in North America. The Expo holds hundreds of vendors who display new products, distribute free samples, and offer great bargains. The four-day, action-packed festival includes an international food court, entertainment, bike demos, stunt shows, and activities for children.”
Slopestyle Sports On the Way to Sea Otter
So what does this have to do with us? I have not raced a mountain bike in a few years, not that I was ever any good. I raced to challenge myself and for fun. Now with a son, that is competitive at downhill and dual slalom events. It has brought me back to Sea Otter for the last few years. The fun nature drives me to get back into the competitive aspect of cycling. I decided that this year I was going to enter the enduro at Sea Otter. Enduro style mountain bike races are multiple timed sections, the number of sections varies at every event.
At Sea Otter, enduro consists of four different sections that are timed, the total distance is about 13 miles. This combines cross country riding with downhill racing, the best of both worlds. This is the only way that I can ride some of the sections that I have seen my son ride. The trails at Laguna Seca are closed to the public the rest of the year, so this is my chance.
This out-of-shape shop owner is training for Sea Otter by improving core strength. I started training doing sit ups every night. The sit ups have increased in difficulty since beginning. My daughter is encouraging me to do more sit ups and add in other types of core training. We both learned the hard way that sit ups after a meal of all-you-can-eat sushi are absolutely terrible. I figure a strong core is a good start to getting into shape. I have about 4 weeks before the event and will document my progress. We are hopeful that the weather will hold out so I can get in some training miles.
Bike of Choice
This is the bike that I plan on riding for the event is the Pivot Switchblade. The Switchblade is set up as a 27.5+, a great all mountain bike. This is particularly great for the enduro at Sea Otter because it covers multiple terrains and soil conditions.
Come by the shop say hi and keep me motivated to get out and ride. The evenings are longer and we have more time to ride after work.