2012 Sea Otter Classic

My wife and I attended the Sea Otter Classic this past weekend. It’s the first time either of us have ever been to this event or really any event like it. The temperature and humidity were both pretty high for the area. The temps were higher than normal for this time of year in general here in Northern California. Had it been a bit cooler or a little less humid it would have been perfect. The Sea Otter Classic is held at the Mazda Laguna Seca raceway and if you’ve ever been there, you know there is very little shade.

My main interest this year was visting the vendor booths. I wanted to check out all the brands and equipment choices. Being new to this sport, I was a bit overwhelmed at times. I have a good idea of what I’m looking at when it comes to bikes but, I’m still learning about all the components and extras. I was able to see some bikes that I would probably have a very hard time finding in a local bike shop. We saw unique brands and semi-custom bikes that you just don’t find in as many bike shops as say a Specialized or a Trek. Even fairly well known brands like Diamondback for example. There’s simply no stores, at least not in my area, that sell anything buy Diamondback’s entry level bikes.

The weather kept us from sticking around to watch any of the events or races. It also muted my interest in test riding any bikes. I believe Giant, Trek and Specialized were offering test rides but those are all brands I can ride at a local bike shop. After making the rounds to all the vendor booths, we decided to call it a day.

After leaving SOC at Laguna Seca, my wife and I headed into Monterey for a late lunch at Hula’s Island Grill, a great place to eat if you’re ever in the area. After eating our fill, we headed to the cost for a short but beautiful scenic drive along the ocean. We pulled off at near the Point Piños Lighthouse and did a bit of exploring on the beach, the rocks and the tide pools. The tide allowed us to access an outcropping of rocks that juts out into the ocean. While we were exploring and cooling off, I was able to get some nice photos and my wife spotted a real Sea Otter sunning himself on the rocks.

Overall, it was fun to attend the event and it was also a great weekend getaway. I hope you enjoy the photo gallery.

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Land Park Criterium

Yesterday morning, I headed out with my camera to attend the Land Park Criterium. The Wikipedia has an article on criterium events that’s pretty spot on. While I was there I was able to watch 3 different events Women 4, Elite 4 (Men) and Women 1,2,3.

I found out about the event from a friend’s post on Facebook. Thanks for promoting the event, Reed. The Land Park Criterium was promoted by the Sacramento Golden Wheelmen (SGW) a local racing team. SGW was founded in 1973 so it’s members have been riding together for as long as I’ve been living. This was the 39th annual Land Park Crit. The weather forecast was a bit sketchy and it did end up raining some yesterday but, while I was out at the race the track remained dry and there was very little wind. It was a bit cool but I don’t think any of the racers were complaining about the temperature.

Yesterdays event was only the second in the season for the Northern California Nevada Cycling Association (NCNCA) Premier Series.

I enjoyed watching the races, connecting with an old friend to talk about bikes and meeting some riders and racers. I took a lot of photos and many of them looked good on the 3 inch screen on the back of my Nikon D70 but, it turns out many of them were either soft or blurry. I’m not used to shooting subjects that are on the move. I should have bumped the shutter speeds up a bit. It was a rookie mistake, I guess it’s been awhile since I’ve taken some action shots. Had the skies not been so cloudy, things would have been better.

Regardless of my mistakes, I still managed to capture a few halfway decent shots. I’m looking forward to attending some more events this season. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll have a nice lightweight carbon fiber conversation starter to take with me to future races.