Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘sea otter classic’

News Cycle: Bike laws, Ghost bikers in the sky, XC at 70, Sea Otter Buzz Beginneth

In Mountain Biking, News Cycle, Trail Access on January 10, 2010 at 2:01 am

Indianapolis has a set of new bike laws, including 3-feet-please. Florida law says bikes get the whole friggin’ lane, thank you very much! Now if we could just get that “vulnerable user” legislation passed in the Washington State legislature.

Have you checked out the Ghost Bikes Film project’s blog? Cool stuff…

Guy turns 70, decides it’s time he rode across the country.

Yeah, it’s January. It’s in the 30s and 40s out there, and mud everywhere. It’s another three and a half months till the Sea Otter Classic April 15-18 outside of sunny Monterey, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to build the buzz.

Here’s a worthy cause that’ll etch you or your message in posterity. Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is selling engraved tiles for a facade outside Duthie Hill mountain biking park near Issaquah. Funds go to paying for all the great work at the park. More on the Evergreen site.

Daily Roundup: Bike sharing, Sea Otter, Robb on Why Ride?

In Bicycling, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking on April 17, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Bike sharing in Denver? From Bicycle Retailer: “Will 65 kiosks housing 1,000 bikes alter this sprawling Western city’s attitude toward bicycles and commuting?” Bike sharing clearly is a popular idea, the main challenge being “shrinkage” (theft). Even when the bikes are painted yellow, as in Portland, or used in densely urban areas, as in Paris, they tend to just go away. Trek is putting up the bikes for this experiment, and at 35 to 40 pounds they’re clearly not sexy items. It will be interesting to see how they fare.

One thing that could aid in promoting bike sharing, which basically involves paying a fee to take a bike from a rack, then returning the bike to a rack at the rider’s destination, is transponder technology. Transponders are satellite or other wireless-enabled devices that provide tracking capability for their hosts. The tech may not be quite there for bikes (in terms of power source, robustness and protection against disabling or removal), but is improving all the time. If there were a way to monitor independently the movements of shared bikes, the shrinkage rate might diminish. At the very least, abandoned bikes could be recovered.

Some good sources for Sea Otter coverage. has its own queue, Cyclelicious has the wonderfully named Yokota Fritz on the case (altho she was a bit, ahem, on the fritz last night), Velo News is out and about and of course the site’s own news team is all over. And there’s this from the Monterey County Herald.

Don’t forget the Sea Otter hash at Twitter, #seaotter. I’m twittering as well from @BikeIntel.

Why ride? Robb at Mountain Biking by 109 says it all. Wish you were here at Sea Otter bro!

Sea Otter sheds the jinx?

In Bicycling, Mountain Biking on April 15, 2009 at 2:00 pm

It looks like the Sea Otter Classic may finally have shed its age-old jinx. For years it didn’t matter what the Sea Otter producers did, you could count on one thing: The weather would suck.

The first couple of days would be pouring rain. Freezing riders would slog through mud the likes of peanut butter crossed with molasses. Then the skies would part and be cloudy or clear, but still unruly. Finally on the last day, or maybe for Saturday and Sunday, the sun would come out and quickly bake the ground back to hardpan, and a decent race day or so would ensue.

Sponsors tried moving the date of the event earlier, then later, then back to its traditional mid-March slate. Nothing worked. It was as though the gods were toying with the traditional cycling season kickoff and its thousands of attendees: Sorry, you can run but you cannot hide.

The saying became, “If it didn’t rain the first two days, it wouldn’t be Sea Otter.”

But behold the 2009 version of the Classic. Perhaps sympathizing with sponsors facing a sagging economy, bankrupt bike makers and brutal retail numbers, the gods are smiling. Forecasts call for sunshine throughout, with spectacular weather for the big Saturday and Sunday schedule.

Or maybe moving to mid-April did the trick. In any case, it’s a good thing, because attendance predictions have Sea Otter producers harboring high expectations.

It will be a bit cooler than usual, in the mid-60s rather than the normal 70s, but racers are not going to complain about that. As for any Seattleites like me visiting the Classic, mid-60s feels like July to our winter-battered souls.

Today’s Ride: I Heart Santa Cruz!

In Mountain Biking, Multi-Day Trips, Today's Ride on April 12, 2009 at 9:14 am
Friends tell me it's raining in Seattle

Friends tell me it's raining in Seattle

A mainstay on any trip to Cali is the Wilder Ranch compound just north of Santa Cruz. Yeah I’ve ridden it so many times I could do it backwards upside down, but there’s nothing like panoramic ocean views, clear blue skies and UC Santa Cruz stunts to stir the soul of a mountain biking addict. The only omission is my riding buddy Jim, stuck in the cold and dark of Seattle. One of these days we’ll get him down here to sample the local treats.

The other nice thing about the Wilder ride, which usually runs 2 to 3 hours, is that it’s a good toner for muscles long atrophied by cruel Northwest winters. A few Wilder runs under the belt leaves you ready for the bigger assaults in Nisene Marks, Aptos and beyond.

Sea Otter starts in just a few days!

On the road to Sea Otter

In Bicycle Racing, Mountain Biking, Multi-Day Trips on April 9, 2009 at 9:00 am

Sorry to have been dark lately, but I’m traveling to Monterey by bike and car to attend the Sea Otter Classic. Not sure what the communications setup will be but I’ll be filing as available. Tracking many new trends and the competition is always a great time, accentuated in recent years by the jump and style contests. More to come…