Published Somedays

Sea Otter Classic

(updated: Apr 30, 2012)

Ed and Michael went to Sea Otter Classic this year and set up a Glide Bikes booth. But it wasn't all work and no play. They got to ride some top-of-the-line equipment and also hit the trails with a legend: John Tomac. I am a huge fan of John Tomac because he is one of the very best all-around riders of all time. He's won major events in many different cycling disciplines, including road, DH, and XC, which is damn near impossible to do. I consider myself an all around rider, so it would have been really nice to meet him and ride with him, and I regret not making the trip out there.

Ed got to ride some California trails with John, and he said it was tough keeping up him when the trails turned down. In a split second he would be several turns ahead. It would have been nice to have the POV camera on to watch his style. Maybe I can find something recent on YouTube, but all I can find is older stuff.

He's still faster than you -- John Tomac the legend, with Ed aka Sir Glide Bikes.
John Tomac

The pastoral countryside of Monterey, CA. Photos by Ed:

Monterey countryside


Cool rocky lookout you can actually drive up to (I don't know what this is called):

Ed with one of the demo bikes. There's been a crabon fiber explosion. Now it's going to be hard to find a frame that's not crabon fiber. I give up. Just gimme the crabon.
Ed at Sea Otter Classic, Monterey

Mike with a Santa Cruz Tallboy (full crabon, of course):

The reason I like this event is because it features so many different types of riding in one place - which fits me because I do all types of riding, often with just one bike that's not even crabon fiber. Amazing? Not really. That's what they did all the time back in the day.

Here's John Tomac in the early 90's:

The nice thing about the riding you see here is a combined discipline of XC and DH. In fact, one commenter stated, "Those wonderful days when you were able to ride Downhill and Cross Country races with ONE bike". Nowadays it's all segregated. Is that because the sport and the equipment have evolved so much and riders are pushing the envelope like never before?

I don't know. As for the equipment, by today's standards the bikes they were racing were junk. And you see John just launching and dropping his bike all over, using the narrow flat bars and just pushing the bike to its limits. Watch a race today, with bikes that are way lighter, stiffer, and stronger, and you don't see anything like this. You see people running over stuff with the bike, instead of riding. Wheels never leave the ground. "I can't do that on my crabon bike!" Today's XC racers should be embarrassed.

But as for DH riding, it's a different story. Here is one example I ran across last week that shows just how fast riders are going downhill. This is the 2011 world champion DH rider, Aaron Gwin. And he's on a, guess what, a crabon bike - a Trek Session 9.9!
Aaron Gwin - Saint Prototype Testing Video

The sport evolves...

I'll be sure to go next year. You can get some killer industry deals, too.


Filed Under: Ride Reports > California > Monterey


1. Michael said...

The rocky lookout in photo #5 is Point Sur, part of the Big Sur Coast. You can vaguely see the Point Sur Lighthouse sticking up on the right side of the photo toward the top of the rock formation. Point Sur is a National Historic Landmark and the lighthouse is still in use.

May 1, 2012 @ 10:48 AM

2. Sir Glide Bikes said...

We I first hooked up With John and Joel owner of Tomac Bikes I did not know who they were. They went flying by on one of the unmarked single tacks that were not part of this years race course. I thought I would just jump on their wheel and tag along figuring they knew the trails and would show me some cool Sea Otter single track. Well that proved harder than I though as it took quite a bit of energy to catch them and keep up with them. Once I caught them I introduced myself as Ed From ( balance bikes) and they gave me their names "John" and "Joel" (Joel was on a Tomac bike and they were both wearing Tomac kits) Then on the downhills I released this must be Jonny T the legendary Mountain biker as he proceeded to pull away in a blink all while manualing and doing style jumps along the way. I was just trying to stay on the trail and out of the trees with out loosing sight. We ended up ridding 19 mi on some of the best single track Sea Otter had to offer. By the end I was cooked as the last part of the trail was exposed open hills and the temps had climbed to 90deg. Did not seem to phase John or Joel though. That will go down as one of my most memorable rides.

May 1, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

3. peter said...

ed..thats awesome...its always really cool to hang out with the big guns....good stuff

May 3, 2012 @ 5:52 PM


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