Events: The Weird, The Won­der­ful and the Wacky: The 2015 Sea Ot­ter Clas­sic

The 2015 Sea Ot­ter Clas­sic

Mountain Bike for Her - - Contents - Words by Joh Rath­bun

Drawing over 10,000 ath­letes and 65,000 spec­ta­tors, the Sea Ot­ter Clas­sic (SOC) was on the week­end of April 16-19th at the Mazda La­guna Seca Race­way in Sali­nas, Cal­i­for­nia. Now in its 14th year, the SOC has be­come the open­ing event for the moun­tain bike sea­son. Lo­cated in­land from scenic Mon­terey, the SOC is an event that has with­stood the test of time, and has mush­roomed into the big­gest cy­cling event on the West Coast.

Con­sist­ing of al­most any type of bike event imag­in­able, they of­fer dual slalom, down­hill, cross-coun­try, group fun rides, kid’s rides, ladies’ lounge and, this year, the SOC topped it it­self with a new event— the Gran Fondo—92 miles around the “scenic Carmel Val­ley and Mon­terey Penin­sula.”

The Weird So much weird here, and that’s why we love the SOC. It’s like the Burning Man of the bike world. New prod­ucts are rolled out, brews are in­gested and folks are flam­boy­ant in their dress and be­hav­iour.

Pro down­hiller Amanda Batty’s course walk for her Prov­ing Pos­si­ble cam­paign--only be­cause the four women cho­sen to race the SOC DH at the first DH didn’t show up for the course walk with Amanda. If you had a chance to learn from one of the best, wouldn’t you? Weird!

The Won­der­ful Catch­ing up with Ride SFO--a trav­el­ing bike shop based out of Potrero Hill—Ride SFO is over 10 years old and has given the Best Coast events like AT’s Show­down, The SF Bike Expo and the Red Bull Ride & Style. Check out their web­site to stay up-to-date on their events!

The Gold Rusch Tour—with an all-star cast of MTB Mama’s that in­clude Lind­sey Vor­eis, Kat Sweet and many oth­ers, Re­becca Rusch hosted

both round ta­ble events and leisurely rides. Lind­sey is in­cred­i­bly inspiring and leads the life she preaches—”Ride bikes. Be happy.”

Girls Rock out of Santa Cruz teamed up with Spe­cial­ized Bi­cy­cles Com­po­nents, and Olympic ath­lete Lea Dav­i­son was gra­cious enough to coach the begin­ners while the in­ter­me­di­ate gals trooped around the fire roads.

The Wacky Con­sist­ing of al­most any type of bike event imag­in­able, this year’s SOC topped it it­self with the Gran Fondo—92 miles around the “scenic Carmel Val­ley and Mon­terey Penin­sula.” While there’s a 52-mile road ride and 24-mile moun­tain bike ride, those 92 miles are placed firmly in the wack­i­ness crown front and cen­ter.

Meet­ing—and flirt­ing shame­lessly with— Aaron Chase. While wait­ing for Amanda Batty, Aaron Chase showed up with a small pro­duc­tion crew to film for The World of Adventure. Meet­ing and ex­chang­ing bawdy lines with Aaron was cer­tainly wacky, but worth it.

Lastly, the wack­i­est thing I saw was a young friend of mine—16-years-old dressed as a Fox Girl. It breaks my heart to see her be­ing val­ued for her beauty when she has so much more to of­fer. It un­der­val­ues her, and women on the whole. While she was happy to rep­re­sent, I cried silently be­hind my sun­glasses. Way to go Fox, on min­i­miz­ing women, and their con­tri­bu­tions the sport. There’s noth­ing wack­ier than un­der­valu­ing a per­son in this sport, re­gard­less of their sex.

From the SOC web­site: Fu­ture Sea Ot­ter Clas­sics are sched­uled for the fol­low­ing dates: April 14-17, 2016 April 20-23, 2017 April 19-22, 2018 April 11-14, 2019

Photo Credit: Adrian Mar­coux Photography

A group of rid­ers take part in the SRAM Gold Rusch Tour, one of the won­der­ful things about the Sea Ot­ter Clas­sic.

Photo Credit: Adrian Mar­coux Photography

Lind­sey Vor­eis is in­cred­i­bly inspiring and leads the life she preaches— ”Ride bikes. Be happy.”

Photo Credit: Joh Rath­bun

Petal Power’s stick­ers: weird, yet, eye-catch­ing at the same time.

Photo Credit: Joh Rath­bun

Even Sumo Wrestlers en­joy check­ing out Sea Ot­ter!

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