What has to be the strangest Sea Otter Classic of all time has come and gone.
It may have felt extra strange because it was being held in October or because it had been so long since there was a Kali trade show booth, but it definitely felt weird.
It was definitely Monterey weather, because as usual the temperature fluctuated from scorching hot to freezing cold on a moment's notice. We spent most of our time in the booth talking about all things Kali, showing off our new Mission 2.0 knee pads, goggles and gloves, but we did take a little time to look around to see what the greater bike community had to offer and took in a little two-wheeled competition.
The dual slalom course was completely clapped out, the one corner looked a little more like a sandbox than a race course, which made for some interesting viewing and a lot of verbal grunting and groaning from the riders. In the end it might not have made for the fastest laps, but it was fun to watch everyone wash out and try to get back up speed. Yeah. Yeah. We also like to watch Friday Fails on PinkBike.
We snuck up to the top of the corkscrew to watch the roadies rip a piece of pavement we’re more used to seeing on the television during the auto races and MotoGP. The riders say coming in blind on that corner looks just as gnarly on a bike as it does in a car.
We don’t have any official attendance stats, but while not being the best attended Sea Otter we have ever been to, there seemed to be plenty of folks willing to put on a race number and take a go at the downhill course. There were dozens of young groms taking their first go at competition, some crazy dude on a banana seat hardtail and even a fully-furried rider giving the fans a show.
After four days and three nights of sleeping in our cars or on the ground, drinking camp "coffee" and eating about 42 pounds of carnival burritos, we can finally call Sea Otter 2021 a wrap. Now we’re headed for actual hot showers, whole milk lattes and a decent meal.
Smell ya later. Literally.
This is the quietest we saw the Kali booth all weekend. Thanks to everyone who was able to stop by and say hello. If we missed you...see you in April.
Kali riders, Zac West and Marcus Schoepe, take to the Sea Otter Classic Dual Slalom course during practice. The course was just a nudge beach-like, but Marcus put the hammer down to finish on the podium.
Pivot Grim Donut V2
What was wrapped up like the a glorious Christmas gift at the Pivot Booth? Our curiosity got the best of us and we wandered over to give it a look. We asked Pivot's Patrick Ribera-McKay to pull the wrapping off and expose their top secret bike for us. Of course, it was a no go. They finally pulled back the veil and it was an old gravel bike…confused as ever, the crowd kind of slow clapped. Then they rolled out the Grim Donut 2, a bike so low, so long and so ridiculous it almost seems...perfect. Then they gave us actual donuts.
The Industry Nine booth was just two booths over from Kali and we couldn't help sneaking over again and again to drool over their multi-colored splendor and spin the wheels, to hear the sweet, sweet whirl. We had to restrain our ourselves from begging them to send us the wheels we have on order, but the sweetness of the hoops in the Industry Nine booth has us feeling like it will be worth the wait.
Kali rider, Manuel Riestra, flew into San Francisco from Mexico to press the flesh and work the room at Sea Otter. We were lucky enough to have him camp out with us for the weekend and when he said he would be riding for Propain Bicycle in 2022, we couldn't be more thrilled. The Propain are fairly well-known in Europe, and they are bringing a trifecta of their bikes direct-to-consumer in 2022. We're excited to see what Riestra and Propain get up to in the future.
Ian Abraham, of Team Elevate Webiplex Pro, seen ripping through Laguna Seca's grapevine, made it onto the podium of his Circuit Race.
The Rigel Power Light by Moon Sport
The Rigel has six LEDs and 3600 lumens making it the brightest, self-contained light we have ever seen. On a full charge you can run this light on full-tilt for one hour and 45 minutes. You can run the Rigel on two, four or six of those LEDs with each having their own high, medium and low modes and a strobe mode. The 350 gram light comes with a mount so you can rock it on your helmet or you can attach it to your bars and switch settings with ease using the USB bar remote control. Available from Moon Sports in November for $275.
Of all the crazy shit on offer at this Sea Otter, the $12,000 Specialized Crux was a topper, both in price and drool factor.
Specialized claims the Crux is the world's lightest gravel bike. At 725g for the 56 cm, we found ourselves totally prepared to lighten our wallet for this two-wheeled wonder.
Kali Protectives Maya Full Face Child
This kids' lid converts from an added piece-of-mind full face to a ready-for-the-trails Enduro lid with the press of a button. Okay, to be more accurate two buttons, but you get the idea.
And that's a wrap.