I just got back from an amazing weekend at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey. I decided to do the shorter ride this time, the Medium Fondo, which was quoted at 45 miles with 2500ft. of elevation. As it turns out, my Garmin 510 calculated it to be about 48 miles with 3000ft. of elevation. The weather started off cool and then it turned out to be a nice day. I just wore my jersey and ended up taking off the arm warmers (and of course, I came suited with my favorite Oakley Racing Jacket Sunglasses.)
It was a pretty fun, mellow ride with a lot of quick and fast descents at the beginning. If you are comfortable descending, I would strongly suggest putting a little power down at the start to get in front of the pack so you don’t end up behind the not-so-great descenders. I had to weave in and out of some riders who were wearing a lot of “don’t hit me” yellow. After the initial descend, you get onto a flat, coastal bike path for a while. Beautiful scenery. Just keep an eye out for tourists, joggers, and dogs on the path.
Next, there’s a little bit of a climb near the halfway point. The rest stop at the halfway point was so-so, but on the way back, the main rest stop was great. They had everything from bagels to smoothies to Red Vines. When you get toward the end, there’s a sign that tells you there’s only 1000 kilometers left. So you think, Sweet. I’m almost done…but you’re not. There is a LOT of climbing at the end of the ride. It gets pretty steep and technical with some areas where there was an 11 and 12% grade. And when you finish, you’re not really finished. Save some mental and physical energy for the mile of sand, gravel, and hills and the way back around the venue.
All in all, it was fun. They provided lunch at the end of the ride and I was pleasantly surprised with how good the food was. Always a good time at the Sea Otter Classic.
See you on the next ride!
Friday morning, I also got to do an industry ride through beautiful Pebble Beach with Bicycling Magazine’s Ron Koch and Matt Allen. They were nice enough to ride most of the way with me on Saturday, too. I was riding as fast as I could, and I’m sure they were riding as slow as they could!