Trying the Sea Otter Super D

Hello Lee,

I am planning to participate in my first Super D race this spring. Actually, that would be my first bike race ever – although I do “compete” in club road rides, and have done mass-start rides, I’ve never been to a real race. I am 31 y.o. and I have a trail bike, for what it worth.

So here is my question: what would be the best event for a complete and utter (but motivated) beginner to attend?

I’ve considered the Beginner class on Sea Otter this April, based on the following thoughts: I am not a great downhiller (working on it this winter), and there are many people who are much faster than I am. Therefore, I would not prefer starting with something rather mellow, from the technical point of view. Another consideration is the travel. I am located in the Silicon Valley and I am not willing to travel very long. Monterey is good for me.

So, where does one start with the Super D?

P.S. How is The Wife doing with the knees? How’s your gums?

Sincerely Yours,

Hi Omer,

Super D is a great first race. You ride your everyday trail bike, and the terrain is “normal” — ordinary dirt roads and trails, rather than crazy DH or 4X features.

Last year’s Sea Otter Super D course was technically very mellow, but the racing action was intense.

To get ready:

– Ride your bike as much as you can on a variety of terrain. Dice with your buddies and try to pass them whenever you can.

– Learn to sprint on foot then jump onto your bike and hammer as hard as you can. The start is super important. It’s so much easier to begin near the front — but it’s fun to fight through the pack!

Read this: Super D training 101

I’d also consider the Sea Otter DH. It’s very mellow and pedally, and all of the jumps can be rolled or ridden around. As long as you’re down in Monterey …

Have fun,

— Lee

PS: The knees and the gums are still sore, but they’re better. This morning I ate cereal for the first time, and The Wife spun on the trainer for an hour. Dude: She’s already cranking out 200 watts — I can’t wait to see her at full strength!

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