I’m standing in the shade near the GT Bicycles booth at the 2017 Sea Otter Classic when I turn around and see an old guy performing crazy flatland tricks on a 90s GT Zasker mountain bike with 3 spoke nylon wheels. A beat after he says something in German-accented English, I suddenly realize I’m standing right next to Hans Rey. I automatically shout “No way!” without thinking about it.
The young, early 20s guy who owns the vintage GT obviously knows the reputation of Hans Rey, and grins ear-to-ear as the Mountain Bike Hall of Famer who popularized trials riding autographs his old Zaskar.
A crowd of children soon appear, and Hans happily signs his name “Hans No Way Rey” for them.
GT has been sponsoring Rey since the 1980s, and I’m thrilled to see that they continue to do so in spite of their cycles of ups and downs in the bike industry.
At Sea Otter, GT displayed their “Grade Carbon Pro” endurance carbon fiber endurance road bike which GT advertises is for “the gravel road to work” which really appeals to my idea that bikes should be about utility as well as fun. The seatstays are those low-modulus resin-impregnated glass fibers (as opposed to higher modulus carbon fiber used for the rest of the frame) that twang like bass strings when you pluck them, and give a ton of cushion at the rear end. It’s pretty incredible. Other features include fender mounts, SRAM Force 1×11 drivetrain, SRAM HRD brakes, WTB Exposure 32c tubeless bead tires on 700c wheels. This bike punches a lot of the right buttons for me; I wish I had decent photos of it.
I arrived early for the 2017 Sea Otter Classic with vendors still setting up at Laguna Seca Raceway. I’m getting the lay of the land in the morning chill when I see a grandfatherly gentleman by himself unloading boxes and adjusting bikes at the Breezer Bikes tent and, whoa! It’s the legendary Joe Breeze himself!
Bosch eBike Systems invites racers to participate in the 2017 Haibike eMTB Race epowered by Bosch, which will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 21st at the Sea Otter Classic.
Bike theft from a garage, shed, or the back porch inside of a fenced yard is a fairly common problem around these parts. One solution is to install a floor anchor to which you can cable your bike.
Later this week at the Sea Otter Classic, Hiplok will introduce another option: the “Airlok,” a secure wall-mounted bike hanger for those who want to display their bikes, or if you need to keep your floor area clear.
Secure wall fixings, hardened steel framework, and a secure lockable bolt combine to keep your bike safe while displayed on your wall. An impact resistant outer casing further prevents access to the framework and fixings. Hiplok says providing the Airlok design accommodates mulitiple styles and sizes of bicycles, while the rubberized mouth prevents frame scratch. The Airlok will be available beginning in May for $195.
Hiplok also announced Z LOK, an armored ratcheting cable-tie style lock to discourage crimes of opportunity from car racks. Z LOK is a 40cm long security tie consisting of a reinforced steel core with a durable nylon outer. Its double-sided ratchet system allows it to automatically lock when looped into place, and unlocks only with the included universal key. This looks like it might be convenient for quick coffee-shop stops at low risk locations during long road rides, too.
You can see all Hiplok products on display at the Sea Otter Classic this weekend in Monterey, California. The Z LOK will be available for purchase at Sea Otter.
I’m exhausted, so here’s a quickie link to my photos from the 2016 Sea Otter Classic taking place now through the weekend at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, CA. View the slideshow here, or click through for larger views and captions (such as they are).
Watch for updates through the day at my social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram. Twitter is probably the best place for special requests if you have any.
Sea Otter continues through the weekend. Day pass is $15. I think they charge for car parking, but I’m not certain since I bike there. If you decide to bike, please note that it’s a pretty tough haul up a long hill, and expect fierce headwinds Friday afternoon if you plan to descend South Boundary Road into Seaside.
The Sea Otter Classic and Festival 2016 begins Thursday, April 14, 2016 at the Laguna Seca Raceway outside of Monterey, CA. This is mostly a mountain biking event, but there’s a good amount of road action and even a tiny bit of utility cycling in the consumer show area. Here’s what I’ll look for this year.