• REPORT: Sea Otter and the Whiskey Off-Road

    Sorry! Long time no update.  Been busy with travel for work and getting the Topeak-Ergon USA partner product aligned in time for the riding and racing season.

    Good news is Spring is finally here, but it came to Eagle, CO while on a 2 week road trip to California and Arizona for work.  Two great events Ergon and the team was part of; Sea Otter and the Whiskey Off-Road.  Throw in some riding and racing and it makes for an amazing 2 weeks!

    Sea Otter was 100% work, so no racing.  We used the MTB Gran Fondo to get away from the booth and to network with our core customers.  Was one of the best Sea Otter in recent members with perfect weather, huge crowds, and massive stoke from the riding public.

    There was no high expectations with the Whiskey Off-Road as far as the racing goes.  The Ergon booth in the expo was busy for the 2-days prior to the event and I used the free time I had to get out on the trails and get miles in the legs.

    First up was the MTB Fat Tire Crit!  As always, it's a hard fast fun few laps for me.  Only a hand full of guys survive this thing.  Impressive the speed and depth of talent in the mens Pro field.  I had the Epic Cam on the back of my saddle for the duration of the crit.  Here is a sample of one of the laps.

    Saturday was spent working the Ergon booth in the expo and getting out with Yuki to check out the course some more. As you can see, super fun course!

    Sunday was race day! Was excited to actually race for the 2nd time this year. I didn't expect anything great just from the sheer lack of time on the bike this Spring, but still felt good and motivated. Race started with drama for me, as I couldn't find my Garmin Edge 500. So, no data during the race. Oh well, just ride based on perceived exertion.

    Race started with 80+ pro men. All fast. All great riders in our sport. We rolled out of town as a group and it wasn't until about 15 minutes in that the group split. Before we even hit the dirt, the groups were made for the day. I found myself near the back with heavy sluggish legs. It was early and I just kept pushing hoping that the legs would loosen up. I wasn't laboring in my breathing, just heavy legs. I found myself alone for the most part. I had riders behind me...and a few up front. We all played cat-n-mouse all day. I didn't get caught up in any racing drama and only did what I could do.

    Whiskey 50 - Skull Valley Climb

    The climb up Skull Valley this year was warm! Temps topped out near 90F at the lower elevations. I climbed feeling like I was dragging a boat anchor. I passed a few riders, but was also passed. There was not gas in my tank. I had one speed; slow.

    I crested Skull Valley with a few other riders in sight. We duked it out in the remaining miles of singletrack. The last 20 miles of this race are the best! Some ripping singletrack followed by 7 miles of pavement back to town.


    I rolled into town at 3 hrs 40 minutes.....which is the same pace as last year, surprisingly. The course this year was longer with an additional 10-15 minutes of dirt road and singletrack. My placing? 58th. Ouch. Seems everyone I talked to this year improved their race times, but not their placings. The talent this thick at this event.

    As for the sluggish legs. I thought it was from the 2 weeks of travel and days working the expo. Which, I am sure contributed a bit to it, but the reality of it was 2 pedal spindles that were nearly 100% seized. Lesson learned.

    Glad to be back in Colorado! Riding here is getting damn good at 7000 ft! I have 3 races over the next 4 weeks I am looking forward to....
    Enduro Cup - Moab, UT
    Firebird 40 - Eagle, CO
    Gunnison Growler - Gunnison, CO