Sea Otter 2012 or Bust

I’ll soon by one may way to the Sea Otter Bike Festival Volkswagen Sea Otter Classic Powered by SRAM in Monterey, California USA.

My plan is always to leave the house by 6 AM for arrival at Laguna Seca 60 miles away by about 9:30, but I always sleep in and get there about lunch time instead. SRAM has a launch event Friday at 10, so maybe I’ll try a little harder this time.

Bike to Sea Otter from Santa Cruz

I bike to Sea Otter every year, and then I bike a lot more at Sea Otter. It makes for a long weekend of biking. I try to hitch a ride back to Santa Cruz in the evenings. I’ll have my daughter with me on Saturday, so that will be a ZipCar day; I have a Prius reserved.

The first couple of years I bike to Laguna Seca, I more-or-less followed the directions suggested by MapQuest and Google.

Bike Directions Santa Cruz to Monterey

Most of the way through Santa Cruz County and south through Monterey County is very bikeable, but once I hit Laguna Seca, traffic up Boundary Road gets very hairy. After the Giant Bicycles rep literally pushed me off of the road with his large truck, I figured it was time to find a different bike route into Laguna Seca. (Since that happened, I’ll never endorse Giant products from these pages).

I learned that coming in from Salinas in the east works a lot better for me. From downtown Salinas, I take Highway 68 south toward Monterey. There’s a brief stretch where bikes are prohibited, so I hop on the access road and then back on in the vicinity of Spreckels. Hang a right on B Road and climb the 16% grade to the Festival grounds, where I’ll find the media center and everybody incredulously asks “You BIKED here from Santa Cruz? Are you insane?” I’ll grab a free Coke, change my clothes, grab my camera and get to work.


Final mile: 16% grade

I briefly had this crazy thought of riding the Metrofiets cargo bike I’m evaluating, but I’m not sure how Bay Area Cargo Bikes would appreciate me putting 120 hard miles on their gorgeous showpiece. Plus, there’s that 16% grade. I’ll likely take my geared road bike like I’ve done the past couple of years, with a trailer for my schwag.

For the latest Sea Otter bike festival dispatches, visit my Sea Otter category.

4 Comments

  • Chris Hammond
    April 19, 2012 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Enjoy the ride! We’re going to head down from HMB on Saturday, but we’ll come in by car as we will have the baby and I’m not sure I want to try to do a long distance trek with her in a trailer yet.

  • Andy
    April 19, 2012 - 2:16 pm | Permalink

    “I briefly had this crazy thought of riding the Metrofiets cargo bike I’m evaluating, but I’m not sure how Bay Area Cargo Bikes would appreciate me putting 120 hard miles on their gorgeous showpiece.”

    What good is a review if you *don’t* put on some hard miles? I’ve seen too many reviews where someone hops on, rides a few blocks and tries to explain every feature as if they really know, but it would be so much more meaningful if someone actually had to do a long ride on the bike to truly find out what’s good/bad. I’d say do it!

  • April 19, 2012 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I’ve put a good 20 miles on it and hauled stuff around on that Metrofiets in various traffic conditions.

    Realistically, nobody’s gonna do centuries with that truck. And have I mentioned that 16% grade?

  • April 21, 2012 - 7:36 am | Permalink

    The slog uphill to Laguna Seca is pretty tough. Pulling a baby trailer makes it triply difficult.

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