It was 43 degrees and very windy at the early 7:55 AM start time of the Sea Otter Classic Cross Country race on the morning of Saturday, April 19th. Not the best conditions for an Orange County rider who always rides in perfect weather. The start line had about 35 other racers in my division. With hundreds in other divisions in front and behind me, it would have been like finding a needle in a hay stack to spot any other Team Velo Sport riders.
Having never ridden the course, I was surprised that for about the first mile of the race it was sort of road racing action in a tight pack. Out of my element I was falling behind fast. Looking ahead at the tight group racing handlebar to handlebar, I was watching out for a crash that would knock us all down like dominoes.
Finally, we got to the dirt and I was able to pass a few riders. Most of the trails reminded me of Laguna Canyon or El Moro because of the sandy consistency. There was a lot of single track. The wind was blowing like crazy at the top of a long ridge and it felt like it was catching my 29er wheels like an open umbrella. At the time, I was wishing for a fat rider to ride along side of me to block the harsh beating I was taking.
The event was great with tons of other events to watch from BMX to Dual Slalom all within a quick walk. I would recommend racing this event if you get the chance.