Monday, April 21, 2008

Monterey, Carmel, and Big Sur Long Weekend

The 2008 Sea Otter Classic was all it's cracked up to be...and more. It's truly the Woodstock of cycling in the U.S.

Sooooo, Mari and I did "participate" in the multisport race...but things
went awry!

Team DART-nuun teammate Mari and I, along with Donato from Team Dirty Avocados, laid down a nasty pace from the gun. sprinting ahead of the pack on the opening 2.6 mile run. UNFORTUNATELY we were waved the wrong way at an trailhead intersection and wound up running 40 minutes instead of 15. Youch! Embarassing!

We ran back to transition, jumped on our bikes, and I rode the bike segment with Mari at a steady but not race pace. Before we finished the bike I managed to break my chain (!) on the final climb. I told Mari to finish without me, as it would take 5-10 minutes perhaps to fix the chain.

While fixing the chain all I could do was laugh at the nightmare of a race. I had flashbacks of Ironman Wisconsin 2003, when my seatpost binder bolt broke during the bike. Sometimes the law of averages kicks in and you're struck by lightning when you least expect it! All you can do is prepare better the next time, with closer attention to small details.

After the bike there was a fun obstacle course with high-steps through tires, hurdles, a low-crawl under a cargo net, some more under and over hurdles, some weird shapes cut into boards we had to climb through, a log-pull, some balance beams, and finally a high-wall with a rope ascent. My military experience paid off as I flew through the O-course!

Once across the finish line I withheld any comments regarding course markings and instead just rapped with the other competitors. It was tough to explain to the reporters why DART-nuun, known for ace navigation and winning races, got lost on a marked course. I don't think I'll ever live this one down.

FYI Mari wound up 2nd woman overall, even after running ~24 minutes extra on the run and taking it relatively easy on the bike.

The rest of the weekend I worked the GenR8 Vitargo booth. As an Endurance Sports Ambassador for GenR8, I was able to share my Vitargo experience with cyclists and adventure racers. It was interesting to note which racers and at what level were interested in learning more about Vitargo. 90% of the interest came from Expert/Pro level cyclists and adventure racers. The other 10% came from folks who may not be competitive but pay close attention to detail and want the best fuel available for their bodies.

What you won't see in the Velo News coverage of Sea Otter is how windy and cold it was in Monterey. Low 40s in the morning, highs barely touching 50, non-stop gusts blowing dirt in your face ALL DAY! By noon each day we were covered in dirt! No matter how many layers you put on, it was just COLD.

On Sunday my lovely and talented co-pilot Lisa and I drove south on Hwy 1 through Carmel, Big Sur, and Cambria, snapping photos the entire way. I definitely need to come back here in the summer-I was blown away by the number of isolated, cliffed-out beaches only accessible by kayak.

Check back for a link to the Picasa site once they are uploaded. It was a beautiful day to make this drive south on Highway 1, I hope the photos give you an idea of the majesty of this coastline.

If you have never seen the central coast south of Monterey, put it on your list! It truly is the most beautiful coastline on the west coast.

Today's song is Someone Great by LCD Soundsystem

1 comment:

DARTvg said...

Glad to hear you still finished with a smile on...would not expect anything else from you. Nothing you can do about the mis direction.

Funny about the weather...that is the underround story of Sea Otter, always something with the weather. Last year it was monsoons and mud baths.