Ford women's cycling team road manager and wrench Chris Davidson kept up his Cyclingnews diary while he rebuilt and rebuilt mud-damaged bikes at Sea Otter. He sent us entries from almost every day including this one from the mountain-bike time trial.
The sun rose on day two and the rain gave us a reprive until mid afternoon. However, the quagmire that is the ground here at Sea Otter started to congeal and the mud actually started to take a greater hold on the riders and bikes. The time trial was super short, about a six minute effort, as most of the track was a swamp. Downhill sections had to be traversed on foot, because there was little controlling the bike on these sections.
There were lots of crashes, with the wheels spinning and sideways sliding on the course. One of our riders, Melanie Meyers, crashed and hit her knee pretty seriously. This was a big blow, as Mel had gone so well in the SuperXC the day before, her first pro race. She has such a great excitement about her first pro season that she really wants to continue to race, but the best course of action may be not to race. A hard situation to be in for a neo-pro. She continues to impress me every day.
After washing two bikes again today and taking nearly four hours, I am beginning to wonder what the promoters are thinking about the racing. The courses are in really bad shape. The daily mudbaths are really not great for the riders, the bikes or the ground that we are constantly dredging. There was talk today about why they haven't sought alternative courses or added more road sections. In an environmental sense, this county park that Laguna Seca sits in is going to take years to recover from what we are doing to it over four days.