Why did I ride my Stumpy 29 for Sea Otter dual slalom?

Hi Lee,

The Sea Otter Classic dual slalom is coming up. 2012 was my first year and it was a blast–I am looking forward to 2013. Sea Otter, when you take into account travel, entry, and the practice-qualies-main spread across days scheduling, is the most expensive race in my amateur season.

So I am trying to choose the right bike and I thought you would have serious insight. This is because you own a Specialized SX and a sweet Specialized P3 pump-track hardtail yet chose to race a Stumpy FSR 29 in 2012.

I own a Specialized SX and yet keep being drawn toward the absolutely ripping Nukeproof Snap hardtail I race USA BMX on. Incidentally, I started racing BMX because of Mastering Mountain Bike Skills and a dumb crash in last year’s Sea Otter dual slalom! Best cycling advice I ever took.

My question, put simply, is why did the trail/AM bike come out on top for you? And was that decision purely personal, or was it informed by a general principle that will help me choose to bring a 26 lbs hardtail that rules on hardpack or a 33 lbs dual-suspension slalom bike that seems tailor-made, but is a wildcard.

Unsurprisingly, my SX does not shine on the BMX track, and the only local, legal slalom course was shut down shortly after I bought the frame. Or should I just borrow my father’s old Stumpy FSR!

Thank you very much,

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Judy Freeman won a bike race!

Our friend and kung fu student Judy Freeman won a big one: last weekend’s Subaru Cup Pro XCT in Wisconsin.

In this post-race interview she is stoked — and she gave our skills work a nice plug.

Thanks Judy. Keep ripping it up!

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Lopes and the UCI XC Eliminator

Hey Lee,

Have you seen any of the XCE? Brian hasn’t been winning everything, but he has been making people look like fools.

Very cool to see him in action again. Such a racer. I love how calculated everything is, the way he runs people wide, covers lines and how he seems to know exactly how hard to go to secure 2nd place in a heat. I’ve never really liked dropper seat posts, but the way Brian uses his is really clever: down for starts, short straights, corners, stairs, climbs, descents, obstacles and sprint finishes and up for the odd long flat section.

The way they start these races though is a joke.

Hope you guys are all well,

Chris Q in Australia

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Your first Sea Otter: What to expect?

Hi Lee, my daughter and I are planning a road trip to Monterey for the Sea Otter Classic. She will be racing the cat 3 women downhill. This will be her first downhill race and our first Sea Otter Classic. She has been training with her bigger sister at Valmont and Golden BP. She is very excited but this is a 21 hrs road trip, the vibe, mob and who knows? As a racer / spectator how do you plan and prepare for event like this Lee?
Thank you.

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MMBSii in one run


Not sure if you saw this video, but Danny Hart puts on a clinic at Val di Sole


heavy feet light hands supple on pedals corners like he’s on rails and check out the wild berm smashing madness at 1:38


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Lee Likes Cyclocross

When I signed up for yesterday’s Boulder Cup cyclocross in the 35+ Cat 4 class, I had no idea what to expect. As a new CX racer, would I get my ass kicked, or would I kick ass and look like a sandbagger?

I did NOT sandbag, but I did have fun.

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A 4X/DS fool with nowhere to race

I want to get into any racing that includes bikes like 4x and dual slalom however there are absolutely no compettions in Ontario
I live near Toronto
any suggestions…cause it would really help

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Protection for kid racing Super D


My son wants to start racing super d at diablo in there first time beginner class. my question is does he need a collar like i see the downhillers wearing? also what about a chest protector? He is 13 and bullet proof.

I realize that they are expensive but much cheaper than being paralyzed.

What are your thoughts?

thanks Jim

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Sea Otter XC racing tips

Hey Lee, I am 13 year old kid and I’m going to be racing in the Sea Otter XC. Do you have any tips for me for the race? I have raced the CCCX xc race in similar terrain, so I know there will be a sh*t load of sand. I ride a 2007 Rocky Mountain Element 70 with Specialized The Captain s-work tires. What is the proper way to ride through deep sand? How should I pace myself through the race? Should I use a Camelback? If so, should I bring a spare tube/ tools, and if so, what should I bring?

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Racing uncorrected

Going into the 2007 Sea Otter Classic, I had a few years of coaching under my belt, and my skills were better than ever. I trained hard over the Colorado winter, and I showed up ready to rock the dual slalom and downhill. Little did I know I’d be taking a special test.

This story will appear in MMBSii.

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Sea Otter DH start: Which beep?

Hey Lee,

At the start of the Sea Otter downhill there are 4? short beeps and then one long beep. When does the actual timing of your race run start? Can you go anytime during those beeps or is it after the long beep finishes?


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Timing devices and techniques for racing

Hi Lee,

I am a big fan of your website and book (with BL). The fountain of information has definitely made biking a lot more fun. Thanks a lot man. Anyway I am just a recreational rider but I love to watch local DH and XC races here in the Philippines. I noticed though that race participants are still crudely timed manually via radios or cellphones and can’t help but wonder if this is accurate enough considering that a difference of less than 1 second can spell the difference between podium finish and not. I wonder what sort of timing devices and techniques are used in US or UCI DH and XC races.


Hansen Dy

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