Classic Bottle Neck Scenarios by Tobin Ortenblad

Classic Bottle Neck Scenarios by Tobin Ortenblad

Crazy to think its already April. Seems like I blinked and Sea Otter Classic is already a couple of days away. The past couple weeks have had a bit of action on all kinds of different bikes. I returned home from Southern California the other week from the first round of cross country mountain bike racing I have planned. It's been a minute since I’ve jumped into a proper xc race. That being said I’ve actually never done any UCI mtb racing. I was blown away at how hard it is! I love the new challenge and can totally see how it’s going to benefit the cyclocross season.

I could walk you through the four races, but I’ll keep this short and simple. There were about 100 men in all four races I did, two short track and two normal cross country. Since this is all new to me I don’t have any point for a call up which made things interesting. My best start position of the two weeks of racing was about 75th…Fighting through the cluster at the start was a new game a patience and then suffering like never before when the track finally opened up. On more than one occasion I was at a stand still while everybody slotted into single file for the single track - classic bottle neck scenario. This would be where the patience part comes into play. All you can do in the single track is catch your breath, compose yourself, and hope the dude in front of you can actually ride a bike. My friend and I got to chatting after the first weekend of racing and I think the best way we described the short track racing was imagine the result if you threw a bunch of cats into a bathtub. We didn’t figure out a good comparison for the cross country races, but for the sake of consistency lets imagine you threw a bunch of cats into a kitty pool.


I blasted through the night to get home to Santa Cruz after spending the day in Joshua Tree with my midwest family, aka the Donkey Label crew. We spent the day touristing it up in the desert. Pictures were taken, shenanigans were had, tacos were consumed, and maybe even a milk shake. Chris (my coach), if you’re reading this the milkshake was forced on me and I had no choice but to finish it until the straw made those horrendous slurping noises.

I just banged out two super solid weeks of training with my restored ability to suffer, thanks to the UCI XC racing that was fresh in the legs and mind. This was necessary after spending two sunny weeks down South as I returned home only to cover the crispy tan lines with leg warmers and a rain jacket, sigh. Hopes are high though as the weather app seems to be showing some tunnel at the end of the lights and no rain in the forecast rolling into Sea Otter Classic.


Just like the first two ProXCT races I just did in SoCal the cross country racing at Sea Otter will be a new challenge as I’ve never done the UCI stuff there before. The good news is that both days start on the big, wide, and smooth race track before shooting off into the dirt. Fingers crossed this yields plenty of time to jump up some spots before any sort of stand still bottle neck scenario occurs - classic or not. I’ll be sure to keep you folks posted on that though. I race Thursday and Sunday at Sea Otter. If you see me come say hey! Over and out!

Previous Article Next Article

1 comment

  • I just want to be on record that I am eating a pint of ice cream right now


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published