Sea Otter Classic 2024 (Schedule)

I merged your new post with the existing one you made earlier this month.

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I don’t even know all the threads I created :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I giggled a bit at that as well :rofl:

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Calling out the increase in mileage of the Fuego XL from 68 to 70 miles. Kind of hoping that the change is flipping the start from counter clockwise up T5 to Entry to Trail 47 over to Clockwise start that enters the course at Turn 9. That would thin out the pack before hitting Trail 47 to 48 and back onto 47 (Couch Canyon)

You’d only have to do that at the start, heck you’d only want to do that at the start, but I think it would be worth considering just to make the funnel on to single track less crazy.

What they might be doing is what @Jolyzara mentioned in the Leadville 2024 thread and going up 49S instead of 50. That would add some distance for sure, but takes out Lookout ridge 49 drops you out on to Pilarcritos which is parallel to Lookout. :thinking:

The XC “short” course drops to 21-ish this year (last year was longer than advertised so who knows). My conspiracy theory is they don’t want to mark multiple courses (it is why the “gravel” race is also on the XC course) and the XL will be three laps on the same course rather than two. Which would make the race that much more brutal climbing up to Leguna Seca an extra time. They change the course every two years and so we are due. But who knows…

100% they don’t want to mark multiple courses.
Yeah I did the gravel race last year and going down 44 & 82 on a fully rigid gravel bike was brutal. At least I had a dropper.

Last Year’s XL course that had the big chunk with Trail 67 & 69 for the first time. I’d kind of expect that to still be in place this year too. I could do without 3 times up 50S/Lookout though…

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Props for not crashing. It is sketch going full speed through the sand and ruts, let alone with a wheel right in front of you… and that was on a full squish!

Yeah it also made descending both of those on a full suspension XC bike SO much faster. There are a couple of sections of 82 where you just have to send it no matter what bike you’re on. 700c/29 WILL roll those sections as long as you drop the post and get your weight over the BB.

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What are the better Youtube videos of the area/ course? Any local shredders I should be looking for to learn more about conditions?

I live in the PNW which is very different from those Cali trails and could use any insight I can.

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I’ll post my outings on YouTube

Most of what I record are the fast technical downhills. Lots of ruts and bumps that can catch you out.

50 north downhill, 80 downhill in particular can throw a surprise to the unprepared.

Also temperature can catch people out. Even this Saturday we had a 22° F difference on course.

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Fort Ord is not “technical” but as mentioned has tons of ruts and pretty much sand everywhere. Sand is on pretty much every turn. For practice? Go ride in sand. Dry deep sand, wet, hard sand, practice sand on turns. Everything going good, hit a rut, sand and wash out. https://www.facebook.com/flobikes/videos/ruth-winder-crashes-at-sea-otter-classic/1544738882586900/

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They actually flipped that section for the XL. You go up that instead of down.

You go up that, come out on a fire road for a short stretch then on to 75 up hill, which is it’s own giving gift before rocketing down Jack’s and the hard left on to gravel after you’ve done 40+

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This may help:

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added some more videos from yesterday’s ride. Sorry about the breathing, I use a bite mount as it is a great gimbal and get’s what I want in the frame. I don’t mute the audio as hearing the traction and braking chirps is informs where I made dumb mistakes or where there’s just no traction.

Not sure if the sand at Fort Ord being wet is better or worse. I did PR a bunch of segments but overall felt much slower. I’ve been running a 34t up front and I think that I need a 32t if I want to keep the spin up on the longer climbs.

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Also scored this while climbing up 50 South to Lookout Ridge. 100% would have missed it going down hill on the same trail.

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Just a PSA for anyone who may venture out to Fort Ord:

Yes, trails are multidirectional… and yes, downhill riders should control their speed and yield to those going uphill… but please be careful climbing 50 south (and 50 North for that matter). Locals normally climb 49 and descend 50, often at high speed as there are not many “downhill trails.” Sight lines are minimal and even at controlled speed someone can come around a corner and not have time to stop.

My friend is a firefighter in Monterey County and there are many accidents on those trails. Personally I wouldn’t risk it and take the road that parallels the trail, especially in the winter when trails are busiest.

Anyways, just wanted to spread awareness. Be safe everyone!

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I see people coming UP 50 North and I just can’t… It’s a technical descent it’s not on my climb list like… Ever. It would be like climbing 82. Why?

I start my XL lap from East Garrison & Barlow no later than 830 am. I get to the climb up 50S and have yet to encounter folks coming downhill. If I start later the odds get much worse.

@Jolyzara I’m going to give a 32t up front a try next time out. I can do a lap on a 34t, but lap 2 would be more painful than it needs to be. The only place I spin out the 34 is on Skyline between Couch and 44. Thoughts?

My practice laps are never going to be as fast as race pace purely due to me holding back. You never know who’s going to be coming the other way. Yesterday I encountered the same two trail runners twice and an older couple on 95. I run a small flasher up front and a timberbel as well as keeping my eyes peeled.

Make the most exciting enrty in a first responder’s log “washed the truck/car”

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I ran 34 last year and will likely go 32 this year. The climbs are short, punchy and steep; the downs more of the same. Like you said, I am not really spinning out anywhere. Skyline is so short I have to think it’s more prudent to optimize for the majority of the course. If nothing else, it is a good spot to recover after climbing out of Couch.

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Beer and Pizza is still kicking my ass. It just has no places to recover at all until you hit the 1st long DH in couch. Segment for those that don’t know it by name. The entry is bumpy AF, the first 0.4 mi roll and kick along with some technical chop. The drop to the bottom starts with insane braking bumps and the run is concealed by tree cover, so while you CAN send it, your brain drops one of those “well I’m not 100% sure even though you’ve been here many times…”

The climb out pitches up in a couple of places and the track has a distinct V shaped wear to it. Pair that up with sandy-ish dirt and you almost just have to suck it up, run in the middle, and hope you don’t get balked. You can rest on the 2nd Couch Downhill.

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The Fuego XL has only been a thing for two years. First year was 80k, 2nd was 100k-ish, route could change again this year, and this is one of the bonkers versions I came up with.

We’ll see how close I am on February 8th.