Sea Otter will have an Enduro race next year.
Great header, Team Big Bear. It’s like every marketing department in the mountain bike industry got together for burritos and beer. And then the morning after someone collected the contents of all of their toilets. And then that was made into an event.
Sea Otter BroCal industry/MTB recumbent consumer event + trendy industry/MTB recumbent new race format + no geographic/topographic opportunity for actual mountain biking =
Sea Otter Enduro.
Most Enduro races I’ve been to have between 3000 and 5000 feet of climbing and descending. Some races have a lot more, but 3-5k seems pretty standard for the U.S. So with the 400 foot hills around Laguna Seca, we should be able to get that sort of vertical in somewhere between 9 and 16 stages. Knowing that everyone in the downhill world will also be racing slalom and downhill already, an extra 16 stage day on Friday shouldn’t be too bad.
Oh, the event promoters already said it’s only three stages? But, all the hills are 400 feet tall, at best. The downhill track is the longest continuous downhill anywhere around, where are you going to put the other tracks? The downhill track’s only two minutes, so even if you ran that three times you’d only have six minutes of racing. Wait…
- You don’t have much vertical, and
- You’re only going to run three stages, and
- You want to have a race that’s at least ten minutes, then…
THERE WILL BE PEDALING.
Carl Decker winning the 2010 Sea Otter Super-D.
Realistically, Decker would be a pretty good bet for your 2014 Sea Otter Enduro Champ. It’s possible that the event promoters, Team Big Bear, will build two sweet, new, mostly-downhill trails around the raceway, and we’ll race on badass trails with a few uphills and maybe some tight corners thrown in.
But probably, that won’t happen. Probably, it will be a dead ringer for the atrocity that was the Sea Otter Super D, and that would make Decker the odds on favorite. Probably, it will have a combined five minutes of descending, but even that will be chopped up and confused, and the descending won’t really factor into the results. Probably, the 10-15 minutes of flat fire road and climbing will have a little bit more influence on the results.
Probably, stage one will be on a fire road, with an awkward taped off section midway down that goes into the grass and does a bunch of traversing switchbacks on a pancake-flat section of Laguna Seca’s best treeless south facing hillside. It will probably be five minutes, with two minutes of dead flat traversing, but no big climbs. Okay, maybe a 100 foot climb at the start. Six minutes.
Probably, stage two will be a novelty stage, with an equal mix of slalom course, actual Laguna Seca racetrack, probably some of the CX course around the venue at the bottom, including hopping barriers and running up a set of stairs, and, probably, it will start with a climb up the corkscrew to start. Four minutes. Oh, and maybe they’ll throw in seven laps around the speed and style course. Five minutes.
Probably, stage three will be the downhill course, but we’ll start the stage at the shuttle drop off spot, and then pedal up to the DH start. And then after the log double, they’ll tape off eighteen traversing 5 mph chicane switchbacks through the grass to get you down to a snail’s pace before the uphill. And then, instead of ending in the grass field next to the road, we’ll just pedal down the B Road all the way to the grand finish on HWY 68. Four minutes.
Total race time: 15 minutes.
Total descending: 700 vertical feet
Total climbing: 2300 vertical feet
I’ll be there.