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Category Archives: Sea Otter Classic
The pictures with today’s post are courtesy of Brother Chris. They both show action shots from last Saturday’s Sea Otter Classic downhill races. Today’s header is a panoramic that shows Chris, the Sea Otter village and some of the downhill racers.
Downhill racing, sometimes called free-riding, generally sports two riders on two parallel tracks. Each track is equipped with humps, dips and curves, all laid out as an obstacle course. Each racer rides a heavy full suspension bicycle, with lots of travel and disk brakes. Each racer is equipped with a lock-jaw helmet and an armadillo suit. The two racers race against each other and the clock, both striving to be first to the bottom of the hill.
Through the course each rider jumps each of the all too fast approaching bumps, launching themselves into the air and then crashing to ground, compressing their bikes springs and then launching themselves again. The banked curves are taken nearly horizontally. Air time while impressive, only slows you down, disengaging your drive drain from the ground it wants to churn.
Downhill is sometimes called free-riding because when it is done in the summer at ski resorts, the riders get a free ride back to the top of the hill via a chair lift. This was not the case at Sea Otter. After each run, each racer had to push themselves and their bike back to the top of the hill. Insulating helmet and armadillo suit ensured that sweat flowed freely in the bright California sun.
It is sunny and bright here in CA. Sun screen is not optional and a ball cap isn’t either, unless it is a Niners cap and then fergetit. Chris and I went to the Sea Otter Classic at Laguna Seca in Monterey, this morning. Just stepping out of the car Chris met a former co-worker who is now running an Internet charity fundrasing website. I’ll have to check it out to see if it will be helpful in fundrasing for the MS-150 ride or for Jay’s walkathon. We watched the start of the mountain bike cross country races and then we watched some downhill free riding. Except since there was no chairlift. I guess then you can’t call it free ridding. The cyclists sweaty cyclists had to push their bikes back up the hill after each downhill ride. They started the MTB x-country races on the Laguna Seca track. The best part of the starts was the announcer’s jokes. Afterwards we shopped at the bike expo village, which was full of lots of good deals, lots of interesting gadgets and way too much to see. I got two of the Sea Otter t-shirts (his and hers), ten pairs of socks (ownership to be negotiated) and a pair of handlebar grips for me. Anne are you willing to put that spectacular pair of socks that you are knitting on the table?