Alley Cat Tour of the Pits - Sea Otter 2016

Apr 17, 2016
by Richard Cunningham  

Send a reporter to Monterey during Sea Otter week and you'll get a short history of the region; photographs of rejuvenated couples shopping at Cannery Row; furled sails against blue skies; flags flying over Laguna Seca; colorful tech things lined up in tents; Traffic officials in yellow vests; and lots of people riding bicycles, posing as if they believe that like-minded others actually care that they are riding bicycles.

Send an artist and you'll get three men with tattoos and tan lines changing into spandex behind a sprinter van, pasted top to bottom with logos, some of them representing sponsors who actual pay money; Latino men pushing huge plastic trash carts; smoke billowing from food trucks; contrasting colors reflecting from a tent city erected on the shore of an ever brown pond, broken by the wakes of three Canadian geese; bicycles locked to chain link fences; and bearded men holding craft beer. Sea Otter classic is all of that and more. Here's some of the "more" part.

Fox Metah
Fox Head's new Metah helmet.

Bike Exchange
Bike Exchange was giving out free sunglasses.
bigquotes is a cycling only resale outlet for riders, shops and warehouses who wish to sell their stuff (new or used) to other cyclists and avoid the multitudes on EBay or Craig's List. - Candice Gordon
candice Gordin Bike Exchange
Candice Gordon says that the dollar value of the resale bicycle market dwarfs new bicycle sales.

Cody Kelly made it to Otter to play around on the pump track.
Cody Kelley wearing a new lid from Giro...
giro helmet
...A shot of the same helmet with its chin-bar in place.

Lake DK 150
I love this shoe. Lake DK 150 - waterproof, full leather construction, SPD-compatible. Looks like something you'd wear to a punk rock show.

Bontrager XR4
Bontrager SE4 and XR4 tires - updated tread pattern with additional siping and now available in a near-plus-sized 29 x 2.55" casing.

Sea Otters

Big man truck
Truck number one: Is it just me, or does this monster seem like a throwback to the CNC-machined, purple-anodized-part era, when gas was cheap and every ex-aerospace machine shop owner had a lifted trucl and an idea that was going to revolutionize the mountain bike?

Joe Breeze and Charley Kelly
Truck number two: Mountain bike pioneers Charles Kelly (left) and Joe Breeze pose next to the vintage Dodge pickup they borrowed from fellow Hall-of Famer Otis Guy. The bike is Kelly's Breezer number two.

Park Tool
Park Tool
Park Tool placed repair stations like this one throughout the venue so both racers and casual cyclists could make hasty repairs. Sea Otter plays host to a few thousand competitors of all ages and disciplines, so the stations were employed constantly.

Jamie Kihn Ride 2 Recovery
Shimano Di2, take one: Jamie Kihn, a retired Marine, is now the Western Regional Manager of Ride 2 Recovery - a non-profit founded to assist wounded veterans to recover emotionally, physically and mentally through cycling. Jamie knows a bit about that subject. She has also walked that road.

Delvin Ride 2 Recovery
The Raliegh road bike belongs to Delvin McMillian, who uses a prosthetic arm adapted to a bar-end on the right side of the handlebar to steer, while his damaged left hand supports his weight and handles all of the shifting tasks using an array of electronic Shimano Di2 shifting controls, place on a hinged platform.

More bar-ends support a pair of Shimano MTB brake levers which are activated with downward pressure on the hinged support plate. The rear brake is tuned to stop harder than the front. Road 2 Recovery mechanic Scott Morro crafted the control system, and Delvin has been racking up the miles ever since.
Delvin Ride 2 Recovery

Shimano Di2, take two: When the subject of our conversation turned to Shimano's Di2 XTR and XT, Sea Otter visitor Francesco Schirru said he was a fan of electronic shifting, but he had a different opinion than Shimano does:

bigquotes Shimano needs to make Di2 - everything - like Deore XT brakes: Simple, good working and reliable - working every time.

Sometimes I have only one day per week to ride my bike. I don't have the time to spend to program my bike. I need to ride it.
- Francesco Schirru
Francesco Schirru
Francesco Schirru is a mountain biker from Italy and now, an IT working in Ireland.

Null winds spokedokies
Gain an aerodynamic advantage by snapping colorful plastic fairings onto your spokes.

Alan Clark
Good news for Kenda. Alan Clark is one of the best tire designers in the biz, and has recently moved on to Kenda.
bigquotes Kenda actually makes tires, which is an advantage that I didn't have before. Presently, everyone is using nylon in the casings, so it's all about compounds, and most tire makers have figured that out. We are exploring next-level casing materials now. I can't say what it is, but we are looking at one with strength that is somewhere between Kevlar and Nylon and that bonds well with rubber.
- Alan Clark

Kali helmet giveaway
Kali Protectives was giving away new helmets in exchange for old ones, so riders could experience the fit and feel.

Kali helmets
And... we got a peek at a new extended-coverage half-shell that is in the works.
Kali helmet giveaway
There were already a number of beater crash lids hanging from the rafters by noon on day one.

Kali helmet giveaway
The venting is generous and the co-molded shell is protected by internal mesh from bugs.

Freelee The Bannana Girl
When Freelee the Banana Girl isn't globe-trotting on her Liv road bike, she is producing how-to-live-green You Tube videos.

bigquotes Riding keeps me slim, fit and healthy. I feel and look my best - and, I'm burning fat, not oil.
- Freelee the Banana Girl

100 Aircraft helmet
Shameless product bomb.
Lake Cunningham BIke Park
The name has a nice ring to it.


Author Info:
RichardCunningham avatar

Member since Mar 23, 2011
974 articles

  • 46 3
 Never heard of that " Freelee the Banana Girl" before so I did a Google on her. 51 bananas for breakfast? Who would believe that? I'm 168lb and work out everyday for two hours ( have the time, retired at 52) and two bananas with a good slab of homemade bread covered in crunchy peanut butter fills me up. I'd burst if I tied to eat 2kg of potatoes for supper! Sad state of the world when people follow the nutrition advice of someone who appears to be completely BANANAS!
  • 8 0
 do a google on Douglas Graham and his book 80/10/10 for a full picture
  • 14 1
 That much potassium will seriously clog you up. Don't ask me how I know that. Ok, I once at 6 bananas in a row and 12 hours later I was in the hospital. Don't try this at home! lol
  • 11 1
 @Blablablup123: Ok that is just F@cked up.
  • 10 5
 @WayneParsons: I'm not saying this lightly. You're an idiot.
6 bananas sent you to the hospital? Try eating them when they're not green as St Patrick's day.
Not surprised Freelee is the top comment. Easy target.
  • 2 1
 @nouseforaname: I got nuthin
  • 2 6
flag deeeight (Apr 17, 2016 at 9:49) (Below Threshold)

What has her crazy boyfriend got to do with freelee herself ? Two different people.
  • 3 1
read the text. It is clearly not just about him...
  • 4 12
flag deeeight (Apr 17, 2016 at 10:20) (Below Threshold)
 She doesn't JUST eat bananas. She eats other fruits and vegetables also. And I know plenty of thin vegans while I also know a few fat ones. It all comes down to how much you actually excercise. Your two hours are likely not the same as her two hours. This is her latest video from a few days ago about her trip to L.A. and what she's been eating...

And while she may appear to be bananas in her videos, she's also quite pretty and has a very flat stomach and she gets recognised by folks (checkout the butcher in her video above) like many other youtube celebs do. I myself consume enormous amounts of carbs and gain basically zero weight even when being lazy. If you look at her videos of when she was "fat" six to eight years ago... she wasn't even that fat compared to how most people today look fat. She may be blessed with an already fast burning metabolism to go with her diet. I'm 44 and mine hasn't really slowed at all. Even at three to four thousand calories per day and not riding as much as I used to, its taken me 15 years to go from 170 pounds to 194 pounds.
  • 3 11
flag deeeight (Apr 17, 2016 at 11:15) (Below Threshold)

No, its not though that particular crackpots rant is primarily about durianrider. Believing one internet rant over another is like believing specialized was being altruistic when they sued a coffee/bike shop called Roubaix.
  • 8 2
when did I say that I only read this one thread about them?
Let`s think about the following scenario: you have found a youtube channel of a girl that declares that her diet, eating almost excusively fruit, works for EVERYBODY (no exception, none). Every criticism of the diet gets you banned on their forum and if it`s not working it is your fault. Your boyfriend has diagnosed himself with an incurable disease (Crohn`s) and then declared to have been healed by this diet. He also slanders people that called him out and lies about what actually happened.
Would you believe these people? Would you call this girl a trustworthy source?
  • 1 1
 @deeeight: oh and I´d love to know how you saw at a glance that he is a crackpot
  • 4 1
 @deeeight: "And while she may appear to be bananas in her videos, she's also quite pretty and has a very flat stomach..." which has nothing to do with whether her opinion or stance is bonkers or not. Basically you are saying she is pretty, thus she can do no wrong. I could care less who she is and I have no opinion on her opinions. Looks and ideas are different, and pretty people can say stupid stuff too...I do all the time!
  • 18 0
 How to be successful in conning people.
step 1: be attractive and fit
step 2: post desirable pictures all over the internet.
step 3: tell everyone that you got that way through the product you are selling.
  • 3 10
flag deeeight (Apr 17, 2016 at 14:57) (Below Threshold)

I've known durian is a crackpot for ages, and the guy who's attacking him is equally looney. Its two diet program guys attacking one another. I believe neither of them. I don't watch freelee's videos for her diet advice either, but because they're generally amusing to watch. Same reason I watch Jenna Marbles, or the penny arcade Acquisitions Incorporated D&D podcasts and videos. As entertaining to watch as anything netflix or hbo puts out.
  • 1 9
flag deeeight (Apr 17, 2016 at 15:00) (Below Threshold)

Nor did I say I followed her diet or was one of her 'fruit bats' as she calls her fans. But if not for her looks/body most wouldn't take her advice either. The axiom sex sells might not be true in advertising anymore, but skinny still sells in diet fads and book sales.
  • 4 10
flag deeeight (Apr 17, 2016 at 17:41) (Below Threshold)

I get it a lot from morons, so thanks for identifying yourself amongst the crowd.
  • 4 0
 @Pennyrisk: There are actual published studies that attractive people are more believable or trusted than unattractive people.
(not sure if deeeight was involved as a subject)
  • 2 2

Anthony Colpo is a quack...durian may be a con artist trying to push his & his wife's books...but Anthony is a total wacko in comparison. That bit on his blog rant about durian threatening to cut someones throat was hilarious...because..if true...the recepient would have gone to the Adelaide police with the text messages and voice mails. But of course, nothing of that sort has ever happened. But fine, maybe these other posts on Colpo will satisfy you...

If those are not enough evidence for you (and three of them are videos so even those too lazy to read can educate themselves)... then you're probably one of those anti-vaxxer / climate change denial types and I'm done wasting my time with you and others like you. You've gotten lots of positive props for your first link... but I suspect nobody here bothered to check into Anthony Colpo at all (just google his name and you find all the folks debunked him as a crackpot). People believe anything on the internet...especially the lies of crackpot bloggers.
  • 7 0
 @deeeight: your crazy
  • 2 0
 Any diet program with a price tag is only interested in making money. We all have free information available regarding nutritional ratios in diet and when they are most effective. Moderation is the key. Read up, eat right, and exercise for what your goals are; loss, tone, or bulk. Everyone reacts differently to diet and exercise changes so find what works for YOU and it might take some experimenting. If you're going to buy anything buy free weights or equipment that will help or motivate you. I'll pass on 30 bananas a day, that's apeshit crazy.
  • 2 0
I just posted this link to show people how well this diet actually works according to Freelee`s own "ex-fans". How does that make me an anti vaccer? Or was that just supposed to be a personal insult?
Oh and if you like fake tits, an almost anorexic body and a swollen face, go for it, i won`t hold you back!
  • 3 0
 @deeeight: I really love all the back and forth, its entertaining as hell to read. However, do you feel any tinge of discomfort typing the following? "...but I suspect nobody here bothered to check into Anthony Colpo at all (just google his name and you find all the folks debunked him as a crackpot). People believe anything on the internet...especially the lies of crackpot bloggers.". I am confused by your suggestion that people google a name and find people who have debunked an idea, while you also deride people for believing what they read online. Basically, your suggesting we read your approved links and we will be OK, but if we source info from elsewhere we are crackpots? May I suggest a rename to @deeeight Jong Un?
  • 1 2
 @VwHarman: Not the slightest tinge.
  • 43 0
 Oh christ not Freelee. Holy f*ck, why would you give her any more publicity?!
  • 20 0
 My feet are hot and sweating just looking at those Lake shoes.
  • 7 0
  • 13 0
 Perhaps it is how many bananas she can, uh.....
  • 7 0
 Richard, the introduction sounded very promising but where are the pics you described? These have a few people in em, sure, but are for the most part boring product shots. There were radder trucks, shoes, and people, but maybe you missed that in VIPparking?
  • 3 1
 How come? He's a reporter, not an artist.
  • 3 1
 touche. It sounded like this was going to contain photos showing the true culture of sea otter, not just another collection of random product photos.
  • 9 0
 Reading this article I think it's safe to say that there's a whole lotter stuff to sea.
  • 5 1
 It's hard to sea the stuff at the otter end
  • 12 0
 @mate1998: Hello from sea otter side
  • 1 2
 PB otter outlaw these puns.
  • 11 2
 Please ,more info on the new Giro helmet?
  • 4 4
 e.g. why it looks like a 80's ski helmet without the chin bar?
  • 6 1
 Whenever I see Cody Kelley, I think, "Good on Yeti for sponsoring a female enduro racer." And then I realize I'm wrong.
  • 4 0
 Richard I never knew you had a lake and a bike park.
  • 2 0
 Risse Racing Technology? They are still around? Only the other day while looking at that oleo shock was I reminded of the Risse Terminator.
  • 2 0
 Yeah I was surprised too - I talked with them and they were cool as hell. They have a big machine shop in Redmond, Oregon ( next door to Bend ).
  • 4 0
 Kinda pissed I missed the Kali free helmet....
  • 4 1
 "when gas was cheap" . . . . Compared to us, and lots of other countries you guys do have very cheap 'gas' (petrol/diesel)
  • 3 1
 Gas is still cheap in America. Damn yanks don't know what expensive gas is.
  • 2 2
 God bless Fracing.
  • 3 0
 Lake DK 150 - Looks like something you'd wear to a punk rock show...or if you're Herman Munster.
  • 3 0
 Need more info on these 29x2.55 bontragers?
  • 1 0
 I think it's just a very slight change in tread pattern and they offer it in 2.55 and 2.4 width now.
  • 3 0
 The old blue Dodge is great. Thanks for the pic Richard.
  • 1 0
 I don't see the MW-1 listed on the Park Tool site. I want one.
  • 2 1
 Them lake boots look shit,but there just what I've been looking for lightweight,waterproof,spd boots.
  • 1 0
 SOMONE WHAT IS THE GIRO WITH THE TAKE OFF MOUTH PEICE! looks like an amazing endure lid
  • 5 3
 Laker boots are VILE.
  • 4 0
 I agree, I'd rather lick a cats anus than wear those...
  • 3 2
 Frankenstein called—he wants his boot back...[commence laughter].
  • 11 1
 Frankenstein was the doctor's name. The monster was unnamed.
  • 1 1
 Wasn't it Herman or lurchio?anyway if you'd brought them back from'd be wearing them alright..up your arse.
  • 1 0
 @seraph: true. But saying 'unnamed monster from Frankenstein' just doesn't have the same ring.
  • 1 0
 Bike park with a pump track in San Jose?? Pinch me, I must be dreaming.
  • 1 0
 We have a pump track in campbell
  • 1 2
 Truck #1... Is that a new Titan, or the same Titan from the 70s, 80s and 90s that made mostly BMX frames ?
  • 2 3
 That 100% chrome lid.......I want it!
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