Well there's nothing quite like a good kick in the teeth like Sea Otter to jump start the race season. I've done this race after a couple races and like this year a first race of the season. Both are hard but oh boy the legs like to be warmed up first.
Smooth travel down and got reunited with the Norco Factory team in Monterey. Been a while since most of the team had been together so it was nice to get right into the team bonding rituals like trying to outdo everyone else's meals and outlining our many first world problems.
I was also happy to just be riding a MTB outside on trail even if the race course consisted of paved road descents and singletrack climbs. It was still nice to get aboard the new revolver, the biggest change this year has been the full parts swap out to Sram XX1. Not to shabby I love single rings and riding a groupo designed to be run as one is a nice treat.
Day 1 of racing was the short track, an even better way to start the season. Got an good callup to be 2nd row for the start which is always nice. Guthrie got into the lead group off the start so i hung back in the 2nd chase group (thats my story) it was good I rode smart and clean. And ended up in a sprint with MA Nadon. Probably my best sea otter short track to date so ill take it.
Off the race course Sea Otter is its own trade show with all the big companies coming out to unveil their latest and greatest bikes, gear, gizmos etc. 2014 also marks Norco's 50 year anniversary which they celebrated with a display of bikes over the years. My personal fave is the 3 speed cruiser with the shifter on the top tube.
Always a pleasure to spend time in the Norco pit with some of our Gravity brothers and sisters. Learning we aren't that different afterall.
Day 2 of racing was back to the old school 2 lap XC, though on a shorter course than "back in the day" either way the 2+ hours caused quiet a stir and riders organizing picket lines and sit ins on the start line.
Actually this turned out to be a blessing for me as the start did not go as to planned and before we hit the third turn on the race track i found myself with my rear wheel locked alongside 3 other guys doing the same thing not sure how but none of us went down but this shot us right to the back of the 70+ field of riders before exiting the race track onto the course. I put down some hard efforts but barely managed to get back into the low 60's before the first singletrack climb where naturally everyone decided that climbs aren't a place to go hard or race but to relax and cruise till the next open paved descent.
Eventually we hit the open climbs at the end of the lap and I was able to start picking of groups of riders. By the end I managed to gather in a few numbers but finished up wishing for more time.
Sunday was a day off for us XC'ers but the Dher's had a go of their course while we had a little fun. I finally after 6 years a factory Teamates got to meet a legend Ryan Leech. Not sure if i was more impressed with is skills on the bike or the super dialed custom show pieces that all fit into a 8x10 trailer.
A composite Nortrekluna team got challenged to a game of hockey, they had some skills but i have a feeling our Dh'ers hit harder. We'll say it was a draw.
Weekend was capped off with a sand bag highland games, not gonna lie i felt like a bit of a target but thanks to my cat like reflexes i avoided any direct hits.
Heading back to the great white north, heard there was some snow or something?? naaaaa im sure people are just joshing me.