Sea Otter is a peculiar event in that, you either love it or you hate it. I love it. There is no way to explain it’s magnificence. You just have to be there and understand what a beautiful thing it is to have an event, large enough to fill the Laguna Seca Raceway, solely for cycling.
I arrived in Monterey on Wednesday evening with the infamous Dorothy Wong and friends. We went straight to the race venue to pick up numbers and set up our team booth. After that we cruised on over to our questionable rented beach house, which turned out to be unquestionably GORGEOUS! Right on the coastline of Pacific Grove. I still don’t know how Dot pulled it off…
Thursday I pre-rode the course and was delighted with the route; lots of climbing, fire roads, a sandy descent, and killer single track.
I relaxed for the rest of the day, not too much walking around in the expo because I had to rest up for Friday’s Category 1 15-18 Women XC (cross country mountain biking, for those who don’t know)! Friday morning rolled around and I had to force myself to sleep in until 8am, pretty pathetic considering I’m a teenager. Dot came back to the house at around 11:30am and we carbo-loaded on pasta. I put my sexy Jamis on the roof of her car with my brand spankin’ new Reynolds Mtn T Carbon Tubulars. As Langin Sr. would say, “Those babies are sweet!” We got to the raceway at around 1pm, kitted up, warmed up, and took off at 2:27pm!
Race Narration by Yours Truly:
Rolling along the paved raceway. Riders jockeying for position. Coming up to the corkscrew climb. Grace Alexander moves to the front. Alexis Ryan follows suit. Grace hits the dirt first. Grace hits a dip and bobbles for a second. Alexis passes into first place over the bumpy fire road. Passing through the gate Alexis bobbles, puts foot down, but is still in the lead. Through the corner and up the first fire road climb. Grace passes into first position. Sofia Hamilton passes into second position. Each girl pacing off the other. Grace, Sofia, and Kate Courtney jump to the front for the first fast bumpy fire road descent. Alexis moves into third position in front of Kate. A gap opens between Grace and Sofia. Gap lasts for a couple rollers. Alexis shoots the gap on the WALL and catches Grace. Grace and Alexis are in the lead. They open up a gap and no one else is to be seen. They drop onto the SKINNY single track. Grace can’t drop Alexis. They come up on a single speeder. Rider will not let them pass. Grace finally gets by. Alexis is stuck and watches as Grace disappears. Frustrated, Alexis finally gets by single speeder. The gap is too significant. Alexis rides solo for the rest of the race to take 2nd place.
I guess what I learned from this race is… SHOOT THE GAP! I hung out in the expo for the rest of the weekend, got serious sunburn (even on my lips!), and did the Specialized Gran Fondo on Saturday to represent for Team TIBCO.
I want to thank everyone who supports me: The TEAM, Team TIBCO/To The Top, Jensen USA, Shimano, and many more :)
My Household Companions: Dorothy Wong, Jeff Herring, Jay Kwan, Robert Llamas, Stephen Messer, Ben Bertiger, Alexander Vaughn-Ruiz, Cody Phillips, Kevin Ryan, Anna Fortner, Raymond Fortner, and Jenny Fortner.
THANKS FOR READING!