Erica Tingey is a mom, a wife and a professional mountain biker. Last week she headed to Laguna Seca for the four-day Sea Otter Classic, the largest cyclist event in the world. Here is her take on the races and what to do when you forgot your sunglasses.
It was a great weekend of racing in Northern California at last week’s Sea Otter Classic. We had perfect temperatures for racing, unlike some of the past years where heat has been a major issue.
The women’s Short Track took place on Friday morning – a longer course than last year with laps close to five minutes. There was a flyover bridge, deep sand corners and plenty of spectators. Despite some very crazy travel (our airplane to Monterey couldn't land, so we were sent back to LA to spend five hours in a hotel and then re-routed to San Jose) and very little sleep, I placed 14th.
Saturday's XC race was an hour longer than we normally race – two 17-mile laps. I knew it would take me close to 2.5 hours, so I wanted to partition my energy to finish strong. I didn't want to lay it all out there in the first 45 minutes and start going backwards in the field during the second lap. Around 30 minutes into the race, I was stuck behind a train of riders on climbing single track and I knew I had more, much, more. So when it opened up, I passed five girls all at once!
I kept pushing up every climb, hoping it was enough to maintain my position and rolled across the line in 12th place with a time of 2:33. I felt great after the race and I'm ready to keep the good energy rolling!
This was my fourth year wearing Julbo eyewear to Sea Otter. For racing this year, I’ve been favoring the Stunt or the Stony, but due to the travel mess, I forgot to grab either of those from my hotel room. Luckily, I always have my Bora Boras for driving and casual wear. They’re comfortable (and look fabulous!), but I was worried about the lenses fogging, since they aren’t meant for riding.
But a few minutes into my warm up for short track, I realized they worked perfectly! I raced in them Friday and when I saw a picture of them combined with my helmet, I realized it made a groovy combo! So I purposefully wore them for Saturday's cross-country race.
Both days there were super sunny, so the Spectron 3 lens handled with ease. I went from racing to visiting sponsors in the Bora Boras and never had a second thought about functionality or performance! Plus, I looked great, which is always important.