Sea otter 2013 part 2 (grand fondo 1/2 century)

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Part 2 of my seaotter adventure consists of my participation in the half century grand fondo. This is my first organized ride and it was a great experience. Price of the ride was a bit pricey 110$ but there were a lot of perks. The best being a hot shower, after camping for a couple days and riding 50 miles I would of paid 110$ for a hot shower.

As part of the fee you got a weekend wristband for the event which was about 40$ it self, you also received a bottle of wine and a pretty nice lunch catered by California pizza kitchen and a beer from the Sierra Nevada so all in all the price was a deal!

The ride started out on the Laguna seca race track and went out south boundary road, which was about a 4 mile descent, I had the idea in my head that it was going to be a bear coming back up and I was so right. My usual ride is about 25-30 miles this was just about double that. I was a bit unprepared for this nutrition wise. I went out on an empty stomach and paid for it. Around mile 20 they had a nicely stocked rest area where I got a banana and some juice, but I feared that it was too little too late. I grabbed a few gel packs from the table and went on my way.

I hit the mile 25 marker and grabbed some water and headed back along the coast where I enjoyed spectacular views of san Carlos beach and costal pacific grove peninsula. On my return trip back a rode with a local Walt for about 10-12 miles where he gave me some valuable tips about tackling the return climb, by about mile 40 I could feel my quads beginning to tighten up and cramp which had me fearing the worst.

The last stop before the last 4 mile climb I slammed a bottle of water along with 2 gel packs in hopes of ending my cramping, but no such luck. My biggest mistake in climbing the last 4 miles was when i changed my gearing from compact to standard not have a low enough gear and trying to get the crank to spin up the steep grade was more than my already fatigued legs could handle. I ended up cramping so band that I had to walk my bike a portion of the ride, I would get back on and ride went it leveled out but as soon as an incline came I would instantly cramp and have to walk it off.

So after taking the walk of shame I managed to get to the top of the climb and coast down almost to where the track started, with having one short 100 yard climb left I manned up and did it and was rewarded by coasting in the the finish and receiving my gran fondo participation medal, quickly after that I went over to the massage tent and received my complementary 20 min massage and then headed to the hot showers. After doing this ride it gave me a valuable lesson in proper nutrition and how it pays to be prepared, it was a great ride and I will most likely do it again. This was my first half century and I look forward to ding more long rides.

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Sea otter classic 2013 part 1 (holy cow!)

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I set off the the 2013 sea otter classic at 6am on Friday the 4/19, I had a quick 2 and 20 min drive to Laguna seca race way, I had no idea what was I store for me. I was invited to this event by a buddy of mine I haven’t seen in a few years Noah, we played in a band together a few years ago and he had noticed I was posting some rides on face book.

I get to campground H at Laguna seca recreational center and I immediately notice that I’m in the minority with my road bike, 90% of the campers were all xc or downhill mountain bikers. I was the odd man out but the guys from one subject made me feel like part of the crew, check out their Facebook and buy a shirt or a truck tailgate rack, all locally made in san Luis obispo with materials made in the USA as well.

As I get registered for the half century grand fondo and get my pit pass to the venders I walk through the gates and immediately get sensory over load! Their were over 300 venders from large bike company’s specialized, giant, trek, and felt, to the smaller company’s BMC, Santa Cruz, and kona. And then there were the super boutique bikes company’s like alaboo and calfee design which incorporated actual bamboo in their frames

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Those frames were absolutely amazing.

Another cool booth i came across was these hand made wooden helmets very cool and also very expensive, they are made in Oregon and the woods were sourced locally

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Everyone at the booths were more than willing to talk and chat about bikes, I searched for the felt bikes booth eager to show off my budget build, I talked with Eddie of felt bikes and was stoked to see what I had built and for the price and as a reward he gave me a sweet felt bikes shirt. I also spied the felt Argos team bike while I was at their booth

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I also checked out the sram and shimano booth and picked up some sweet swag, I talked with one of the guys from sram and asked him about my chain issues he gave me a few tips along with a nice sram trucker hat

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Half of the fun was getting all the cool swag I managed to get my fair share but the best score of the trip was a pair of Michelin pro 4 endurance tires that were comped to me by Ralph from Michelin along with some Michelin man socks!! Best score of the trip by far, I will be doing a separate review on those in my up coming posts. They came in handy for the half century grand fondo I did, needless to say they have gained a coustomer for life!!!

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Well I have a tone more to share so stay tuned, and more product reviews one the horizon! Just want to say thanks to my buddy Noah and all the one subject crew for the invite. I will defiantly be back next year and will be prepared next time for the awesomeness

Working the kinks out…

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So it’s been a couple weeks since I posted, I caught a nasty cold and didnt ride for about a week and a half. So after I got my bike back i put about 50 miles on it, it shifted beautiful and the front end was extremely lighter switching from an aluminum stem and bars to carbon. Not only lighter but the bars and stem absorb a lot of road vibration which is a huge plus!

My only problem i ran in too was I had some chain issues due to switching from a compact to a regular crank, the chain seemed to rub on the small chain ring when I was in my 12 tooth gear. So I took my bike back to my LBS Flanders bikes on slo to have the bike magicians take a look at it.

I was informed that this is a quite common issue and is caused by the chain flexing too much and being over stretched to one side, it happens when either the chain is on the small ring and 12 tooth cog and inversely when it’s on the large chainring and 25 tooth cog. I didn’t notice it too much when I was running the compact crank but it showed up the the standard crank.

With that issue being resolved I can now evaluate how the bike rides after totally switching out the drive train. Going from a compact to a standard gear ratio make it seem like riding a totally new bike.

Before I used to ride in my small ring and usually in the last 2-3 gears, now I’m riding in the middle of the cassette, the bike feels faster on straight aways and down hills but I fell the opposite up hills. I notice the extra teeth in the ring climbing hills not as fast as I was riding the compact, it’s defiantly going to take some getting used to riding the standard ratio but I think it will make me a stronger rider in the end.

All in all the bike rides great and I can’t wait to take it on some longer rides! So with that being said I’m going to be attending the seaotter classic in Monterey CA april 18-21, this is a huge event for mtb, road bikes and cyclocross, and I will be taking part in the 1/2 century on the coast. Ill be reviewing a ton of bike and accessories from the event so stay tuned and check out http://www.seaotterclassic.com/

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