Friday, April 25, 2008

Sea Otter XC part 1

Lyle-Sea Otter
There were a lot of guys at Sea Otter (as usual) but I barely had time to look around before we were off!
The race course starts (also as usual) on the Laguna Seca race track.
I occasionally glimpsed Alex, John McKeen or Jason as we made our way around the track to the climb up and onto the dirt.
Unfortunately John and Jason were forced to abandon the race due to John's previous injuries falling out of a plane and Jason's STDs.
Where was I?
Oh yeah, up the hill off the track and onto the dirt: so I elbowed my way (literally) into a decent position during the drag race to the dirt and was close enough to the front to avoid the bottleneck effect of seventy-some racers all trying to be the first person through 2 tight switchbacks.
After that it was all-out up several rolling fireroad climbs and descents where I could see Blake Harlan (having a good race and on his way to a top 10 finish) but could not catch him.

blakeotter.jpg, originally uploaded by blake.harlan.
As we all entered the singletrack it was pretty much 70 racers, wheel to wheel! It was a hell of a train.
The trail was fast and loose and after going into a corner a bit hot and digging in my front wheel I lost about 6 spots in the blink of an eye. After I realized that waiting for an opening was not an option unless I was willing to wait while 50 or more riders passed I just jumped in, remounting 'cross style. Sorry whoever I cut off, LOL. That was my only dab in the race though and from then on I held my own in the singletrack and descents, even making several passes on an extremely sandy (think "beach") descent where a few riders were so confused they were barely moving.
I fell in with other racers here and there but ended up slowly dropping people as I steadily moved up through the race.
Things were sort of kicked into gear about halfway through the second lap when I looked over my shoulder as we dropped into a rolling singletrack section and saw Alex Boone and a group of about 15 others about twenty or thirty seconds behind.
Nothing lights a fire under you like seeing your own teammate catching you!....

Stay tuned next time for the exciting conclusion to my Sea Otter XC race.


Brooke Warner said...

Good work at Sea Otter!

blakeharlan said...

thanks babe

Lyle said...

thanks babe