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I’m feeling pretty bummed at the moment, because the Sea Otter Classic is just wrapping up.
I want to write up a little recap of the famous bike festival… but I’m having a hard time figuring out how to do it justice. It’s one of those incredible events WAYYY better in person than hearing someone’s account of it. Still, I’ll try my best. Especially since I hope you’ll come camp with us at it next year.
Sea Otter officially opened on Thursday and ran for 4 days, though we showed up the weekend before.
We got our driving in over the weekend so that James would be set for that pesky day job of his.
That was totally fine by me. It gave me loads of time to scope out the fest grounds and get to see the pre-show setup.
We were part of a Winnebago group camping together, the majority of which showed up Wednesday, the night before the official start of Sea Otter.
It couldn’t have worked out better, because it was pretty wet and rainy up to Wednesday afternoon. Just as the attendees started filling up the campground, the sun finally came out and stayed out the entire 4 days!
It took me a couple days to see all the booths at Sea Otter, it’s so huge.
Anything you can think of that’s bike-related was on display. Including dresses with bikes all over them! And yes, I now own one. That is one of the problems of Sea Otter. It’s hard not to want everything you see. A perfect example, these new HED ASrdennes Plus wheels I bought while there! I had been looking for a wider wheelset (these are 25mm wide). Since James already rides HED wheels on his time trial bike, he was only too happy to nudge me into this purchase. Plus, let’s face it, bikes are like RVs in the way that they’re just so fun to enhance.
Guys, these wheels are so amazing! I’ve never owned wheels this nice. Here I am in the pic above at the Continental booth getting tires for my new wheels. Oh so close! From there, I beelined for the Shimano booth so they could swap out the cassette. That’s the great thing about Sea Otter. All the manufacturers are there and they’re more than happy to tinker with your bike. Here’s my bike getting the new wheels installed at Shimano… my bike’s the one to the far right up on the stand:
And it was about 30 seconds after snapping this picture and texting it to all my friends bragging about my new wheels that the Shimano tech came over to me and said, “yeah, uh, these wheels don’t fit your bike…”
Yes. That happened. It was a soul-crushing moment. But, of course James had the perfect solution.
James: “They’ll fit my road bike! I’ll take ’em!”
And so he did…
Everyone, check out my new wheels, not even 24 hours after I so excitedly bought them. Sigh…
I keep telling him not to get too attached. He gets them temporarily. I’m currently in the market for a new bike that WILL fit those wheels of awesomeness. I will get them back, just you watch. It’s only costing me a totally new bike (on top of the cost of those wheels which are almost as much as a totally new bike). Oh the pain of it all…
That picture of James (and my wheels) was taken during Saturday’s Coastal Gran Fondo. We rode it with a bunch of other Winnebago RVers, 50 miles of biking fun (well, mostly fun). Here’s me at the finish line with Staci, a fellow Travato owner and a newbie to the biking world. I was super-proud of her for finishing and riding so strong!
Speaking of super-proud, Winnebago had a booth at Sea Otter, and was actually one of the major event sponsors.
I find that incredibly cool. Winnebago is making big efforts to support healthy and active RV lifestyles, which includes us cyclists.
There were no other RV manufacturers around. I wore my Winnebago cycling clothes all weekend with great pride.
And of course there were cycling races, events, and competitions galore going on in the hills around us AND all over the fest grounds. In fact, 10,000 people competed in various events while another 60,000 spectated.
Plus, there were parties with free food and drinks going on all over the place. My favorite was sponsored by Clif and had a catered taco bar, craft local beer, and fun races…all held at another of the surrounding campgrounds within walking distance to ours.
That’s one of the things I love about Sea Otter. When the fest grounds close at 6pm, the campgrounds still have plenty going on. Or, you can always Uber into Monterey:
So, hopefully that gave you a little feel for what Sea Otter is like. I didn’t even scratch the surface of all we did, but you’ll just have to join us next year and see for yourselves. Even though I’m sad to see it end, I am leaving more committed to my cycling lifestyle. In fact why am I still sitting here? My bike, and its old wheels, is right behind me in the RV crying, “ride me!” One more spin before we roll out of here.
Until next year, Sea Otter! Can’t wait to bring my new bike! (…and buy a new bike dress!)