Sea Otter DH Course

Monterey, CA

Rating: aMTB1 - No Obstacles Exist - No Support Rider Needed*



The rating does not reflect difficulty level. This is an expert only DH course with features. The rating indicates that the course is plenty wide enough and no obstacles exist.

The Course

Start: During practice the timing stand is not setup and the starting gate is plenty wide enough, but on race day, with the timing stand being a bit too narrow, most adaptive riders will need to forego the starting gate. The race staff will usher adaptive riders under the course tape, in front of the starting gate for race start.

Beginning Jumps: I amenable too clear these so i slow down just enough to keep things under control, but not so much that i don’t get a little air. Gotta please the crowd!

Kicker Jump: After the beginning jumps there is an S turn that leads into a kicker jump. Same thing with speed here, but the small kicker on the left may not be wide enough for some adaptive bikes. its tough to get lined up perfectly too. ion a couple practice runs, i came in too hot and had to roll over on the right (the kicker is on the left). Some of the other riders did this too. Personally, the kicker is better line and if you are able to get lined up right and your bike is narrow enough, that is my choice.

Rock Garden: Last year I got hung up on the rock garden a couple times. I think i just slowed down too much. This year i kept my speed up and rolled it clean every time. You can squeak by the first rock on the left, then the line i choose is front wheels over the two bigger rocks and rear wheel between them.

Log Drop: There are two lines, left and right. The left is the log and bigger, about 3 1/2ft. The right is smaller, about 2ft. Both are rollable. For me, the left is a better line because this leads into a high speed straight away. I just slow down enough to not get too much air. Sending this would be gnarly.

Straight Away: In the beginning, there are a couple wiggles and some minor rocks on the left, but after that you do not need to touch your brakes at all, since there is an uphill pedal runout. Be ready to downshift a couple clicks for the pedal section.

S-Turn: Once you come over the ridge from the pedal section, there is an off-camber S-turn, left to right. I flipped over on this last year. There is a new roller on the entry into the first left bank. Take this, then head into the first turn with some speed. I like to hit the back brake and throw my weight inside to swing the rear end around, then the same of the right turn exit.

Left Berm: There is a big left hand berm after the S-turn. You do not need to touch your brakes this berm. Super fun!

G-Out & Table Top: After the big left berm there is are series of drops that lead to a G-Out asphalt road crossing and a table top. Last year i sent this and cleared it because you can get a lot of speed on the G-Out, but this year it is longer and now dips in the middle creating a semi gap. Given the changes, I’m scared to send it now, so i slowed down for it a bit this year.

Slightly Off-Camber, Slightly Curved, Straight Away: The next straight away is deceiving. This is where i crashed on race day. It seems like a section you can let up a little bit, but do not be deceived. It is off-camber and curves to the right just enough to be decently precarious for an adaptive bike. Stay on your guard an lean hard to the inside.

Series of Off-Camber Drops: Next is a series of drops that are also slightly off-camber because there is a creek down to the left. I take these with some speed, but not too much because i get close to eating it almost every time. The last drop is the biggest and most off camber.

Finish: Once you are over the last drop you are pretty much home free. There is a right hand berm and a pedal to the finish.


Shuttle and Etiquette

I have never used the shuttle because there is a long line and, for me, it would be too awkward to get lifted onto the truck. Given that i have a power assist, climbing the road is a much better option, in my opinion, and keeps me warmed up.

There is also a long line for the course at the top. Its awkward for adaptive riders to wait in line because it approaches the start gate from the side and lining up for it is awkward. I forego the line and come up the steep road in front of the start gate so that i am lined up correctly. Cutting in line would be improper etiquette, so i wait until i recognize the riders that went in front of me the on the previous run. When they come up in line, i take my place behind them. Don’t be that guy who thinks having a disability means you don’t need to wait.