What’s up with the Sea Otter Super D?

Everyone who’s anyone wants to know: Is this year’s Super D gonna suck Lycra?


I threw this question out on RideMonkey and was told you are likely the man with the answers:

I’m about to (finally) get my entry in for Sea Otter. Besides the downhill, it looks like there is time in the schedule to enter the Super-D.

Do you know specifically what this year’s S.O. Super-D course is supposed to be like? It seems from what I’ve read about what’s been happening lately at NORBA Nats, the XC guys clean up because there is too much climbing or not enough real down. I’ve seen footage of last year’s course which looked uninspiring to say the least; but this year’s is purported to be much different.

The last Nationals-level Super-D I did was on my AS-X, which was competitive on courses like the one at the Schweitzer, ID Nats. Now that I’m on a Transition Gran Mal, I’m unsure. I don’t want to waste entry fee money on a race that is going to be able to be dominated by guys on full-on XC bikes. That was never the intent of Super-D but it seems to have gotten that way.

Thank you for your time.

Doug Minor
Nine Mile Falls, WA
Expert 50+ DH

Hey Doug,

What’s a “ridemonkey?”

I don’t know much about the S-O S-D. Just what they say on seaotterclassic.com:

“The 2008 Sea Otter Super D will be a combination of fast fire road and singletrack descents and maybe a few short double track climbs. Super D is a LeMans-style, mass start race by category.

The 2008 SRAM Super D course awaits final approval from the Bureau of Land Management — it will NOT be the same course as in 2007. Please check back here for more information.”

Laguna Seca has some beautiful singletrack, but don’t expect the Super D to be anything like a real mountain. The XC guys will kill it because:

– There will be a run.

– There will be climbing.

– There will be fire road.

– The singletrack will not be crazy-steep.

Last year my road-racing friend Chris Carscadden killed the 30-39 age group (in a measly 6:51). He said it was just like a road race, including the tactics.

Face it: On most trails, XC racers are faster than gravity racers. Besides, it takes a special kind of man to rip a freeride bike as fast as an XC race bike — especially against skinny guys with superlative VO2 maxes.

Are you that kind of man?

If you want to be competitive, focus on the downhill. If you want to be happy, race dual slalom.


— Lee

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