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Bella Boards > Velo Bella Fun Stuff - Public > Race and Ride Reports > Sea Otter Race Report: Confusion and Surprises in Women's Beginner XC

Sea Otter Race Report: Confusion and Surprises in Women's Beginner XC
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janetrlafleur
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 Posted: Mon Apr 21st, 2008 11:07 pm

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Since last year I finished the Beginner Cross-country race in the bottom half, I registered for the same race category again.  My only goal was that nebulous "do better this year" which meant finishing in the top half. 

My race strategy was simple: (1) find a good wheel at the start so I could get onto the dirt in good position (2) pass as many of the slower ones from the earlier groups on the first fire road to avoid the "conga line" on the singetrack (3) be more assertive in passing people on the singletrack. That was about it.  I really didn't think too far ahead.

It seems to happen every race.  At some point before the race starts I wonder why I ever registered and quietly hope something will cancel it.  Starting that morning and continuing through the whole drive down and into the registration process I was a little disgusted with myself.  Just why am I doing this?  Finally, after meeting up with Cindy Shambaugh and Michelle Perez I started to feel better about racing.  Thank God for Velo Bella teammates!

After we got our bikes and gear in order, we rode to get our friend Harper so we could warm up together. Sea Otter was Harper's first race ever. When we pulled in to her campsite fully kitted out in Velo Bella style Harper's husband Matt blurted: "Wow, you guys look intimidating".  I guess we were light on the flair for this race. Harper was looking great for her first race--calm, collected and ready to go.

During the warm-up on the track we ran into more friends: Bella Elizabeth Rein, Lesley (Code 3) and Holly (LGBRC).  Then we lined up for the start.  Even though Holly told me she wasn't really feeling strong after racing Madera and wouldn't be going out hard I pulled up next to her on the front row just in case.  Didn't want to miss out on the opportunity for a good wheel. 

Then the buzzer and as expected a couple of women shot off, giving me some good choices for wheels--really important since there was a stiff headwind.   I sat in behind one woman and kept an eye on another pair just off to the right.  They were a bit ahead but on a less optimal line so I held tight.  After the hairpin turn the second group got closer so I whispered to the woman in front of me: "Grab her wheel" which she did.

So the first handful or so of the field pacelined along until it broke apart at the bottom of the corkscrew. That final little pitch is where I passed my lead-out woman and where Holly and a Team Hamana racer passed me getting off the track. 
Strategy item #1 complete.

Once off the track, we were funneled through a hole in the fence. Holly slides out and the Team Hamana woman pops off her bike too.  I'm just far enough back that I have a chance to get around, but there was no room.  We all scramble to get back on the bikes and head down the fireroad toward the infamous Misleading Signs Area #1.

We're going pretty fast and I must have seen Holly looking confused about which way cause she said I yelled out "Go left".  On the hill and the rollers that followed Holly and Team Hamana gained ground on me, but I still managed to keep them in sight. This is where we passed a lot of racers from earlier categories. Strategy item #2 complete. 

Before long we're on the Trail 50 downhill singletrack. It's not nearly as bad a conga line as last year, but Holly and Team Hamana were slowed down enough for me to catch them.  Then it's uphill on Trail 50 where they pull away from me again but once again not too far.  Of course there's a bit of a conga line here too and I catch them near the top. But overall I did much better getting around people.  Strategy item #3 complete.

On the fire road leading to the beach there were plenty of opportunities to pass. Unfortunately, I couldn't pass the cute 12 year old before the beach.  She got to the top of it and stopped dead in her tracks at what she saw.  I almost got around both her and the woman who got stopped behind her, but couldn't.  So I ran around her down the first ten feet or so and mounted my bike.  Having tried and failed four times before, I really didn't have a goal of getting down the beach without stopping.  But somehow I cleaned it, passing Holly on the way down.  Unexpected achievement #1!

Then it's the grunt up Trail 82. Not far from the bottom I recognize Lesley's voice (probably letting someone know she's passing).  As she passes, she asks me "Did you go off course?"  I said: "No, you're just fast". I didn't know what she was talking about.

It's so steep on Trail 82 that people are popping off everywhere.  So it's dodge where you can, hop off quick and run around where you have to all the way to the top. Nice downhill, left on pavement, right on fireroad to the feed zone. Eat a Clif shot, drink a bit too.  Then start grinding up Skyline toward Misleading Signs Area #2.

As I approached the turnoff for Trail 44 it was like deja vu from our pre-ride last week where we lost the faster climbers in our group.  I see the turnoff to the left and I see riders climbing Skyline past it. I know that's a mistake and I'm wondering what happened.   Then I get close enough to read the signs.  A red one with a left arrow that says "XC race" with "20 miles" handwritten on it and a yellow straight arrow that says "10 mile off-road tour".  I'm perplexed.  I know the course--I did it last year and even pre-rode it using maps and directions from the web site this year.  But the signs implied that 20 miles was left and 10 miles was straight. 

I knew that going straight shortens the course by a mile or so and that the race officials would never be able to reconcile the mistakes. So I knew the results for many racers would be wrong.  But I decided to not let that bother me and turned left.  Even if the placings are screwed up, at least then I can compare my time vs. last year.  At the bottom of 44 there was a big "Beginner women and clydesdales turn right" sign so I knew that I was on the true course.

Then its up up up the mind-numbing fireroad into the wind. Almost as soon as the climb begins, we are joined by the teeming masses of men completing their long loop. Normally this would be annoying, but in the wind it was a bit of a blessing.  More people to block the wind.  I chugged along, just focusing on keeping the pedals turning. A woman in a red & white kit passes me toward the end of the climb but I pass her on the somewhat technical descent in a relatively tight space. Strategy item #3 again.

A final steep turn to get back on the race track has everyone dismount, run up and remount.  A total cyclocross moment.  Then it's a biggest gear descent on the pavement to the finish.

At the finish I see Lesley there and Harper too. Then in comes Cindy, who started 2 min back and almost caught me and then Holly and Michelle. Then we go to the results and find people with 39 minute times already posted.  Huh?  Obviously some big mistakes cause we know the winners finished last year in about 1:20.  The 40-44 group only shows the first couple of finishers including some 39 min times.  None of us are listed.

So we head for the protest booth, wait with many others to talk to the guy.  It takes them a while, but they finally figure out that the 39 minute people were off course.  Duh.  But there was no way to figure out who cut the course at Misleading Signs #2. 

By now it's getting really cold.  Cindy and Lesley leave for warmer places while Michelle, Holly and I wait. Eventually they award some of the categories. Lesley is declared winner of 45+! But they tell us they won't award the 40-44 until morning so we leave.

The next morning I head for the results area where I get the big surprise.  I placed 2nd, Holly 3rd and Michelle 4th in a field of 16.  Sweet!  I got on the phone and relayed the good news. Michelle comes down and we finally get our award around noon.

So I went home pleased.  Not only did I follow my strategy to race smarter, I improved my time by 5 minutes in worse conditions (much windier) than last year. I also cleaned the beach for the first time.  The 2nd place medal was an unexpected bonus.  It's pretty too, much prettier than the Sea Otter hydration pack I got in the schwag bad.

If you've read this far, thank you for taking the time. I'm a talker.

See you out there on the trails.  Or even the race course next year where I'll be racing Sport.

-Janet Lafleur
 


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lizziemac
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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 01:14 am

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Great story!!!
Isn't it a thrill when it all goes to plan?
I gotta try this MTB-racing now ... just gotta.
Cheers!

jeninsb
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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 01:35 am

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The Otter is always all about confusion.  Fun story :D

BethWellie
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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 07:11 am

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Awesome...it was getting really windy and chilly by the time you guys finished Friday afternoon. Congrats on second!!

If it makes you feel better, I nearly got lost and got really confused coming into the finish...people were coming across the bridge at me and I figured I messed up...and then I popped out of the bridge and I swear there were red arrows pointing in 3 different directions. Luckily some guy pointed me in the right direction...at which point I hit the correct trail where I promptly crashed and I'm not sure how. It was a whole lot of confusion for me in last 1/4 mile of that race!

janetrlafleur
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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 04:38 pm

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Part of Sea Otter's problem is that there's so much going on it's hard for them to keep it all straight much less us racers.

For example, the Beginner XC race finished on the race track at the Sea Otter bridge.  But because the track was being used for something else on Saturday morning, your Sport race finished off the track near the Short Course finish.  The point before the bridge where you saw the confusing signs is where the two finish paths diverged. 

The Expert races on Sunday finished the same way as the Beginner races on Friday so I suspect they didn't want to change the signs for Saturday morning then change them back for Sunday. 

Was there at least a course marshall at the juncture?  If not, that really sucks.

Oh, and the Beginners on Friday night who finished on the late side couldn't finish on the track either.  They opened up the track for some car thing around 6:30 pm.  My neighbor finished toward the back of the Men's Beginners and he was really annoyed to not be able to finish where the rest of his category did.

I'm glad you got the course straight.  And congratulations on a top 10 finish in Sport.  Next year I'll be duking it out to not be DFL.

Last edited on Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 04:42 pm by janetrlafleur

katskull
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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 09:40 pm

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more confusion- i raced the beg/sport single speed on friday along with beginners and SOOOO many people were off course because of the markings that said 20 mile only and 10 mi. tour...in the very beginning so many riders, men and women went down the hill instead of up!!!! nothing for SS was marked that we could see...but we knew it was more like the 12 mi. course not 10, even tho they called it 10...ugh! there was a protest in our race as well, but we think that the lead rider got off course and ended up behind 2nd, 3rd, and 4th...she protested and they gave her the win and bumped all of us down to last...i have no problem with her getting the win, but we feel we rode the right course...based on markings and the turn before trail 10 (that's where the site map said to turn)...i didn't even realize there was a protest...i spoke with an official at length on sunday and he said they admitted it was their mistake,because of poor course marking, but at this point it will be difficult to remedy... i doubt i will see my 3rd or 4th place medal anytime in the future...if anything, we should get our money back!!!HA! i got up and raced sport XC on saturday as well...and all the life was drained outta my legs from friday nite's race (advice- don't try to do back to back XC races when you're almost 50...unless you like torture and don't care about results) too bad the race i really trained for (friday Single Speed) the results were screwed up on...the computer added an hour to our times and bumped us to the bottom...sucks! that's racing huh?
oh yeah, friday's race had an abrupt run-up at the end (if you're on a SS) and my hubby was one of the guys beth talked about at the bridge on sat. race directing women onto the short track course finish...Crazy!!!
Great job to all of the bellas who came out and raced...it was nice meeting all of you and seeing some of you that i hadn't seen for a long time...thanks to everyone who came out to cheer and help...it was nice to have a spot to check in and see smiling bella faces!!!

erein
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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 09:58 pm

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The worst part about missing the left hand turn at the beginning of the race and cutting most of the course was my entire race consisted of one long gravelly downhill and one very very very long climb up a fireroad to the finish.  No fun swoopy downhill section, no fun sandy skiddy section...sighh...

But I very much liked the sheep on the course.  It made me laugh to hear the sheep go baaa, and several mountain bikers answer back. 

 

 

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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 11:55 pm

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What a bummer!   I think at all the intersections where I was searching for a sign to tell me where to go, there was someone standing there pointing me in the right direction.   At least I know I hit the singletrack (well several sections of singletrack) and the sand and all of that.   As we got to the endless gravel road climbing there was someone who pulled along side me and said that he was very concerned that we were all lost because we had already gone 10 miles and the end was nowhere in sight.   And I kept pedaling but panicked for a few minutes until we merged back with the people on the long course who said it was up over the hills we could see and I just kept plugging along.   It sure felt like longer than 10 miles, but I don't have an odometer on my bike so I have no idea.

And I agree - the sheep were really cool.   They were all crossing in front of me and then a big group stopped, looked at me and then started wandering across the road again.   For a minute I was starting to wonder if I was going to get hit by a sheep.   Which would have been pretty funny.

Last edited on Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 11:57 pm by connie

janetrlafleur
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 Posted: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008 12:08 am

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The course is over 10 miles--much over.  The motionbased data on the Sea Otter site lists it at 12.8 and that doesn't include what we rode on the race track.  My friend Holly's meter read over 14 miles for the race and she wasn't one of those who backtracked cause she missed a turn.

Take a look: http://motionbased.com/event/view.mb?tile=event.seaotter08&tab=0#mtbxcbeg


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 Posted: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008 04:52 am

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Phew!  Glad it wasn't my imagination that it was a lot longer than 10 miles!

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 Posted: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008 05:31 pm

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Sweet!  14 miles sounds way cooler than 10....hee hee.  Plus it makes me feel better about how dead my legs were!  I don't really train for singlespeeding so finishing makes me happy!

I too saw all the people going straight at the confusing markers, but luckily had a lady near me that kept shouting "go left! i PROMISE, it's the right way! go left! i PROMISE!" so I followed her down and saw the correct signs after a couple corners and breathed a sigh of relief. 

It was a sweet course though (except the miles of uphill fire-road at the end), and since I was just "out for a ride" I took the chance to enjoy the scenery.  Sheep, a hawk, rolling green hills, the breeze, it was awesome.  Successfully surfed down the beach without tangling with anyone, felt good about making it up a large portion of the climbs (the remainder were walked), and overall had a blast.

janetrlafleur
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 Posted: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008 06:04 pm

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I wrote an email complaining about the course markings last night and sent it to frosty@seaotterclassic.com.  My first letter of complaint ever. 

It's not that I'm angry or want to raise a big stink. I just want them to fix things for next year, including not calling the race 10 miles when it's closer to 14 miles.  For me, it's about giving proper credit and respect to the riders doing the short loop.

connie
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 Posted: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008 06:12 pm

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janetrlafleur wrote: I wrote an email complaining about the course markings last night and sent it to frosty@seaotterclassic.com.  My first letter of complaint ever. 

It's not that I'm angry or want to raise a big stink. I just want them to fix things for next year, including not calling the race 10 miles when it's closer to 14 miles.  For me, it's about giving proper credit and respect to the riders doing the short loop.


Absolutely.    Not to mention the panic attack you have when you're out on course, following the signs and someone with an odometer points out that you're over 10 miles in the middle of the course.    It's only logical to think you're lost - the signs all say "10 mile course".    Who expects the "10 mile course" to be 14 miles long??

The other part of that is that there were a lot of women on MTBR who refused to race the SS class because a 10 mile course was so short it wasn't worth the entry fee.  (I was the other way around and thought it sounded more fun because it was short...)    Several raced in other classes - geared or the men's SS class so they could ride longer than 10 miles.    So when it turns out the 10 mile course was 14 miles... it makes me wonder if they'd have been okay with it all along if they'd just labeled the course distance correctly in the first place?   

There are a lot of issues there when there are such big inaccuracies.  

erein
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 Posted: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008 07:12 pm

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Two years ago the beginners raced 19 miles.  That was the "Year of the Mudslides  and Sheep Poop".

Last year they changed it so the beginners race was to be 10 miles and it ended up being 13+.  That was the "Year of the Torrential Rain and Hail".

This year my race was only seven miles.  I don't know why I missed the turn off, maybe it was the nice weather? :P

Ah, Sea Otter. 

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 Posted: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008 08:27 pm

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i too wrote an email to frosty...my main point when i emailed was not about my medal, but the fact that the course was poorly marked and so MANY racers got off course because of it...we paid good money for this race!!! the racers were not at fault here and i think that the more complaints they receive the better...they should know that whether this is a pro race or a beginner/sport race, they are charging for an event that should have accurate results...and clearly marked courses...there are still some times posted under one hour...there is no way to know who actually did the entire course...

frosty's response to my email was that sport Single Speed raced sat. to which i responded that Sport SS raced with beginners on friday...

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 Posted: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008 08:39 pm

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During the beginner and beg/sport SS race, Laura and I were at the top of the grind. We watched as about 25% of the racers went the wrong way. There was HUGE confusion on which way to go, and the racers kept asking us.

Unfortunately, we didn't know. We were just there as eye candy after all. So, we went and looked at the signs and the signs said

1. 20Mile XC course - Go left

2. 10Mile Fun Ride - Go straight

Of course, the beginners were doing a 10 xc course and so the confusion was obvious.

We headed up the hill to where a course marshall was directing traffic from the track. He had a very thick accent and was yelling "left and then left" over and over again and it was hard for us to understand what he was saying, so I can't imagine how hard it must have been for the racers.

We explained to him the confusion we saw. He basically scoffed at it and said that they should know which way to go. When we explained that we saw many people take the wrong way, he snorted dismissively, "see you next year then".

!!

He said that. Sad thing is, he probably won't see them next year. Attendance is down at Sea Otter because these things keep happening and yet fees keep increasing.

I can't imagine putting together an event as complex as Sea Otter, but your priorities should be the race experience. Someone should have ridden that course before the races started to make certain it was adequately and obviously marked. Tricky intersections should have had a course marshall directing traffic. For $65, the racers deserve at least that. They certainly didn't deserve to be scoffed at by the insensitive and pompous course marshall who should have been helping them.

But other than that, it was lots of silly fun!

janetrlafleur
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 Posted: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008 08:47 pm

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Frosty hasn't responded to me yet.  Will let you know if and when he does...

janetrlafleur
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 Posted: Thu Apr 24th, 2008 09:33 pm

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Frosty's response (emphasis is mine). 

Thanks for your e mail.

We are looking at all the items you mentioned – although it does seem odd that only two groups read the wrong arrows.


At the end of the day, a basic tenet of racing is that the athlete must know the race course – it is their responsibility
.

Having said that, we are looking at making the courses a bit more “fool proof” from a signage perspective.

Thanks again for providing us valuable event feedback.

I don't think he realizes that this is not just the usual case of a few people missing a sign.  I know that there were sub-60 min finish times in W 30-39, 40-44, 45+ and U18 that they had to disqualify.  (Or should have disqualified-- the final W U18 winner was 49 min!). 

Were there also SS women who missed the turn and finished in sub-60 min?

I have not responded yet.  But I will.

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 Posted: Thu Apr 24th, 2008 11:39 pm

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You can let him know that Laura Sanchez and I saw multiple groups confused. The ENTIRE beginners field was confused. It was almost heartbreaking because you know how much some of those people planned for this event and it was over for some within minutes. (We watched about 1/4 of the men's field head down THe Grind)

We stayed on that corner as long as we could to direct people in the right direction. We personally saved a lot of people some heartache.

And when we voiced our opinion to the course marshall up above...actually you can read above what I wrote about that.

Its too bad that Frosty has responded the way he did. I think that mistakes are totally understandable but his response is almost as bad as the pompous attitude of the marshall we encountered during the event.

I wish I would have filmed what Laura and I witnessed so that I could send it to the Sea Otter folks. I think they are a little clueless as to how much confusion there was.... I've put on many a race and if I was the promotor I would only be blaming myself for this one, not the racers.

 

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 Posted: Fri Apr 25th, 2008 12:33 am

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The Otter... Sigh.

You'd think after more than ten years, they'd get it right.  Especially for the beginner categories, who are likely to keep coming back over the years.  You'd think a promoter would want to go out of his/her way to make sure those riders are super happy, love bike racing, and keep doing it.  You'd also think maybe the industry sponsors would encourage the promoters they sponsor to take care of these things.

It's really too bad, because the Otter was the first race I ever did.  It was so the funnest thing EVAH.  It was still kinda smaller and grassrootsy then - did they even have road events?  VB can help me out with that one...  Anywho, I have this warm fuzzy spot in my heart for the Otter, and it pains me when they do stoopid things.  Like, um, not mark the course and stuff.  Gah, that seems pretty basic for a bikey race.


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 Posted: Fri Apr 25th, 2008 01:01 am

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They did not have road events when I first started racing there...they had rollerblade events though! Full on rollerblade races on the track!

I think the road events started in about 99 or so.

Then they had full on road stages, including an ill fated stage in Redwood City and one on the bike path between Seaside and Marina that was just a horrible idea.

Then they had the horrible traffic nightmares in about 2002 or so when they collected fees on the roads in to the gates. People waited for hours in the lines, so the Sea Otter did make huge improvements on that front!

NOw they have scaled back the road racing (a good thing) and upped the bmx-y type events (also a good thing) But the core event will always be the cross country races. And all attention should go to making that the key event for everyone.

My first visit to sea otter was in 96, I didn't even have a bike, but I had so much fun at the event, and all the racers looked like they were having so much fun, that I bought my first mountain bike a week later.

Sea Otter launched my love affair with cycling, so it always will have a special place for me. I am glad that it continues to be held. I just wish the same mistakes weren't repeated over and over again, or that the staff treated rider complaints with more genuine concern. Especially as it relates to the xc event.

And I wish that the race fees were lower.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 25th, 2008 01:44 am

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Ohmigod, I so remember the roller blade thingy.  That was bizarro.  And in fact, if you hadn't said it actually happened, I would be convinced I dreamed it.

I'm pretty sure my first Otter was '97.  I have a leetle piccy somewhere that I need to dig up, cuz it would make for an uber funny bloggy.

I'm glad they killed the full-on road stage race - that was sorta lame, and something that other people are doing much mo' bettah.  The Saturn tradish of racing the XC after the stage race was never really my fave thing either.  Like um, easy there, pleez don't tear my legs off, mmkay?

I'd love to see them pull it together for the XC, it's such a fun course, and when it works it's a super fab vibe.  And yeah, the entry fees?  Far, far, far too high.

Anywayz, I'm guessing I'll be back there next year, cuz it's the Otter.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 25th, 2008 03:28 pm

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I have to chime in here, just to say that one of the reasons I didn't go to sea otter this year is because the same thing as describbed above with the course confusion happened in my beginner race (and in many of the beginner races)  last year as well. ours actually came to a hault and we had to be re-directed because we were actually sent in the wrong direction at the start.

very frustrating, especially after knowing how long these people have been promoting and after personally being involved in bike race promotion I decided I wouldn't go back to sea otter to support this lack of rider support. This was a tough decision because for me as well, sea otter was one of those pivital turning points that got me into cycling years ago, but that doesn't excuse their behaiver, and there response to my dissapointment as well. 

it is very unfortunate, but after the years of continual complaints and suggestions to the event staff, I'm not sure where to go from here.

janetrlafleur
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Joined: Mon Oct 29th, 2007
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 Posted: Fri Apr 25th, 2008 10:28 pm

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So I wrote Frosty again and was appalled at his reply.  Check it out.

I wrote:

Jeff,

Thanks for taking the time to respond.  I appreciate that you will consider my requests. However, I take exception to two of your comments:


although it does seem odd that only two groups read the wrong arrows.
Did you talk to the race officials in charge of the results?  They "corrected" results in at least 5 of the 7 categories that did the 10 mile race--W 30-39, 40-44, 45+, SS, clydesdales.  And they missed one in the U18 girls where the winner is still listed with an impossible 49 min time.

a basic tenet of racing is that the athlete must know the race course – it is their responsibility.
And it is the responsibility of the race director to ensure that the course is actually marked for all categories.  At two points on the course, 10 mile XC racers faced a pair of signs where neither described their race.  Given these choices: "20 mi XC race"  and "10 mi Off-road Tour" and knowing you were doing a 10 mile XC race, which would you have chosen?  This is not the case of a few distracted riders missing a difficult turn.

I'm asking you to review more carefully what actually happened here.  Talk to the race officials on site.  Read the reports of racers and spectators. We all want Sea Otter to continue to be the premier celebration of cycling on the West Coast, if not the US.


Frosty replied:

Janet:
I was on-site and actually looked at the turn and signage in question. The red arrow says cross country – the 10 mile arrow does not say cross country anywhere on it.

No, actually it is the rider’s responsibility to follow the correct red arrow for cross country – as the arrow said. In all my years of race promotion I have never followed an arrow that had a distance on it –

I appreciate your frustration and we can both chalk this one up to a lesson learned.



I don't know if I should bother with another reply.  The man is not about to admit that they did anything wrong.

velobella
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 Posted: Fri Apr 25th, 2008 10:50 pm

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wow...the defensiveness is unbelievable. The sign he talks about did not say Cross Country...its said 20 Miles XC. Pretty big difference when there are races of various lengths. He doesn't even know the details of his own race. Thats pretty sad.

Damn...if I had not been so concerned about helping all of those people figure out which way to go, I would have taken pictures of the chaos.

He should be embarassed by his reply...honestly, I would. It does not even matter how right he should be...a significant number of entrants were confused, that means the promotor did not do their job.

I agree in not knowing whether its worth a hill of beans to pursue. They don't seem interested in improving.

Too bad.

janetrlafleur
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 Posted: Sat Apr 26th, 2008 12:27 am

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So I couldn't resist replying.  And surprise--Frosty melted a bit.

Finally I can see he's not just dismissing us as a bunch of navigationally challenged women--he's just having a hard time verbalizing that he made a mistake. I suspect next year's race will be much better marked.  Now if we can just get them to stop calling it a 10 mile race...

I wrote:
OK, even if you have no sympathy for the racers who followed the 10 mile signs, would you consider the effect on the racers (like me) who DID follow the red arrows to ride the complete course?

You not only failed to provide a course marshall at Trail 44 & Skyline to prevent people from cutting the course, but instead put up a sign that encouraged people to take a > 1 mile shortcut. Unlike the shortcut at Pilarcitos & Lookout Ridge, this shortcut was short enough to go undetected in the race times, but long enough to significantly affect results. And the racers who cut the course probably didn't even have a clue they had done anything wrong.

I'm really disappointed that you cannot admit that your course marshalling and signage was inadequate to ensure a fair race.


Frosty replied:

Actually, I did - those are the lessons learned with the beginner race.
Thankfully we had no problems with the other 3 cross country races.


OK, I'm ready to move on to other topics.  Like what do I need to do to prepare for my first downhill race at CCCX in Toro Park.

Last edited on Sat Apr 26th, 2008 06:59 am by janetrlafleur

AlexF
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 Posted: Wed May 14th, 2008 04:02 am

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OK, did anyone else get a Sea Otter survey email delivered a week late, and now the survey's closed?  What a way to "fill the square" on customer feedback and then say, "Well, hardly anyone responded to the survey!"


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