Sea Otter Classic downhill track slated for April rebuild
Momentum Trail Concepts (MTC), an established bike park builder, will renovate and rebuild the Sea Otter Classic downhill course in a collaborative effort between SRAM and Sea Otter to act on racer feedback. The renovation is slated for the beginning of April.
Located on the Laguna Seca Recreational Area in the Monterey County Parks system just outside of Monterey, California, the existing course exhibits excessive wear and tear that impacts its flow and safety.
Three employees from SRAM’s various brands, including: Benny Cruickshank (Avid and Truvativ), Morgan Meredith (SRAM) and Tyler Morland (Avid and RockShox) approached the Sea Otter operations team with a proposal to enhance the quality, sustainability and fun factor of the track for 2011.
“We love what the festival has come to mean to the cycling community and we’re exited that we’ve been able to help coordinate the DH course project,” said Morland. “We wanted to make an impact on the gravity side of the event that would benefit everyone. To Sea Otter’s credit, they were in 100-percent agreement. The addition of Momentum Trail Concepts provided us with a partner that understood the history and the issues, yet brought practical-minded solutions to address them.”
Cruickshank conducted site visit in February, where all three partners walked the course to note problems and brainstorm solutions. The meeting resulted in a master plan for MTC, which will be implemented prior to this year’s event.
“We also had people there representing the Monterey County Parks and Recreation department and a local landscape engineer,” Cruickshank told BikeRadar. “This really goes beyond just a few bike people… to get the stars to align and have everyone in agreement was no small undertaking.”
SRAM will offer a trail maintenance grant, bearing the Truvativ name. The grant will help underwrite significant course improvement including:
- Placing an emphasis on sustainability throughout the design and build process.
- Rebuilding with the goals of better accessibility for riders of all levels, while also making it more fun.
- Address rider safety through thoughtful design and building practices.
“We’re excited to add to [Sea Otter’s] legacy by helping to implement changes that will stand the test of time, enhance flow and provide more fun for riders of all abilities,” said Matt Thompson of Momentum Trail Concepts.
The two-week course build is slated to begin on April 3rd. A complete list of course changes are found on Sea Otter’s Facebook page, which also serves as the forum for a public online chat hosted by Morland and Thompson slated for the week of 14 March.
Truvativ will document the build with a series of videos to be published on the SRAM blog and Facebook page in addition to select online media outlets.
To further increase the draw of the downhill race for 2011, Sea Otter will run a dedicated spectator shuttle with service between the expo area and downhill finish and they will also offer beer from sponsor Sierra Nevada at a new finish-line beer garden.