Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

MTB: My first time to Water Dog

Yesterday, I signed up for the Mountain Bike Recreational Ride (aka tour) at Sea Otter Classic 2008. From what I heard, Sea Otter is a big event in bicycling. Last year, we went to the Expo the last day. Along with all the vendor booths, there were some competitions such as free riding and BMX’ing going on at the same time. It was fun. Erik has attended the tour a few times before, so he chose to skip it this year. But his buddy and his buddy’s buddies are going, so it will be fun for us to go down and hang out. In addition, he and his buddy think that I must attend in either the mountain biking tour or the road biking tour. After examining the course maps, I decided to sign up for the MTB tour — for about the same amount of elevation gain (6000+ feet), you ride 20 miles on the mountain bike, but you ride a century (100+ miles) on a rode bike. As soon as I went through the registration process, I panicked — I have not touched my mountain bike for months! Ahhhhh…. 😮

I have to ride my mountain bike more!

But it’s easier said than done. We still want to climb on weekends, so at most I can ride for one day. That’s not enough. But during the week, I need to work. It’s not easy to find people to ride with before or after work. As luck had it, Passion Trail Bikes came to my rescue. They organize MTB rides at Water Dog on Wednesdays after work. Water Dog is a park in the City of Belmont. It’s actually only about 3 miles away from work, but I had never been there. A small park, but surprisingly rich in single tracks. I missed riding with the “Fat Bottomed Girl” ride (as they call it), which left early, and I got on the “Regular” ride. I was hoping that all my recent road biking training would translate to improved mountain biking. Oh, I was being too optimistic. I probably have the fitness to clear all the climbs, but as soon as the trail gets a little technical (e.g. switch backs or obstacles), off the bike I go. I felt bad that the group had to wait for me at every intersection, but they all, especially the ride leader, Berry, exhibited tremendous patience with me.

I had one crash. Nobody saw it because everyone was way ahead of me. I was trying to roll over an obstacle, but something on my bike (possibly a pedal) got caught and threw me off the bike. I only got a couple of little scratches and bruises that are not worth crying about. But I did break the mount of my new $200+ head light, a NiteRider Enduro HID. This was its maiden voyage and it had never even been turned on before. Darn it! But then, the mount is replaceable (screwed on). :biggrin: So, no big deal!

I’m hooked. I just need to make sure to make the FBG ride next week. Actually, I would really like to ride there during lunch breaks a couple times a week. Wish I had someone to ride with though. I don’t want to be late for work in the afternoon because “oops, I got lost in the park.”

More references:

2 Responses

  1. Peteron 04 Mar 2013 at 8:52 am

    Hi there,
    Where is a good training loop for people in the peninsula/south bay for this sea otter classic mountain bike that is.. I’m racing it for the first time. Water dog is not steep enough to build up to 2800 vertical feet

  2. mudwormon 04 Mar 2013 at 10:13 am

    Hi Peter, thanks for entrusting this site for advice. :mrgreen: Having ridden the Sea otter course a couple of times, I’d say the best training loop is the course itself. You won’t find a sand pit like that anywhere in the bay area. If you are serious about racing, I don’t see why you can’t go down there every weekend to ride it. But during the week, really, any of these places could make a good training ground: Waterdog, Fremont Older, Skeggs, etc. The soil is quite different, but they all have enough ups and downs to tax your cardio. Don’t underestimate Waterdog for climbing. Try do laps on Elevator Trail.