deniz merdano seaotter 171.jpg
Photo Epic

Deniz's Excellent Adventure to Sea Otter

Words Deniz Merdano
Photos Deniz Merdano
Date Apr 13, 2022
Reading time

Goin' to California

Last week, I joined Cam and Pete on a journey down to Monterey California for the 2022 Sea Otter Classic. Being my first trip to the festival, I was not entirely sure what to expect. I suppose neither did most of the people who make up the biking industry. Two years apart does a lot to a relationship it seams. The vibes were reminiscent of close friends who have been catching up on each other's lives through social media channels. Not knowing if their online presence is an accurate representation of their actual being. "How the hell are you?" were the words I heard most often. We just wanted to hang out at the tents that offered refreshments for the crusty dry mouths we got from laughing too much. I got sunburnt and froze my butt off in the same day. Got to meet and hang out around a fire with our own Mike Ferrentino. I had all the emotions in one day and came home depleted of energy. These things are tough for an introvert like me.

Nevertheless, there was a festive taste in the air. The tents were packed full of all the latest and some of the greatest, and I was still mostly interested in the sweet light that draped over the hills of the Carmel Valley in the evening.

I present to you my visual diary of the 5 days I spent in Sunny California. Enjoy!

deniz merdano seaotter 11.jpg

Sign of things to come... A man and his bike in seaside Santa Cruz.

deniz merdano seaotter 12.jpg

Cam mentally preparing for a busy week ahead.

deniz merdano seaotter 13.jpg

It's not just about bikes here in California, surfing is sublime just off the boardwalk.

deniz merdano seaotter 23.jpg

Salty pacific air is divine...unless you are a car.

deniz merdano seaotter 19.jpg

The salty car syndrome to which most cars within a 50-mile belt along the coast are subjected.

deniz merdano seaotter 24.jpg

There is a huge car and racing culture here in Cali and this is the best dashboard design of all time..

deniz merdano seaotter 29.jpg

Drool-worthy collection of automobiles at Bruce Canepa's Garage. A must visit on your next trip to Santa Cruz.

deniz merdano seaotter 166.jpg

With all the car racing influence around, this Forbidden Druid Painted by TecGnar and curated by Sebastian Salvant of Crankbrothers was a sight to behold.

deniz merdano seaotter 167.jpg

Gold TRP 12-speed and SRAM drivetrain.

deniz merdano seaotter 169.jpg

Inspired by the livery of the John Player Special Lotus F1 cars, Mario Andretti would be proud.

deniz merdano seaotter 170.jpg

He would also 100% be a mountain biker.

deniz merdano seaotter 172.jpg

Cane Creek Kitsuma Special.

deniz merdano seaotter 174.jpg

Powder coated gold spokes. The attention to detail is perfection.

deniz merdano seaotter 37.jpg

Much like inside this LeMans winning Porsche.

deniz merdano seaotter 65.jpg

SolosJuntos...(Alone Together) Ranch set the mood nicely for the remainder of our trip. It guided us back into line if we lost purpose.. We thank Mr. Ferrentino for his hospitality.

deniz merdano seaotter 64.jpg

The NSMB rental was a pleasant surprise. Not suited for the twisty roads of Coastal California, but it had a moment to shine at the ranch, like we knew what we were doing.

deniz merdano seaotter 71.jpg

Meanwhile, at the show, IBIS bikes and Cam and Pete's friend Saris were making sure the mornings were off to a comfortable start.

deniz merdano seaotter 77.jpg

Plenty of colourful artifacts scattered over acres of show grounds.

deniz merdano seaotter 81.jpg

Constantly seeking steel fully content for our audience.

deniz merdano seaotter 83.jpg

Our friends at Outbound Lighting had this sweet REEB on display.

deniz merdano seaotter 79.jpg

Outbound's new Road/Gravel light Detour was on display.

deniz merdano seaotter 78.jpg

This cool lens design borrows a lot from car headlights.

deniz merdano seaotter 156.jpg

Contra Bikes High Pivot Enduro Steely.

deniz merdano seaotter 115.jpg

It was cool to run into Canadian Meg Fisher and all her medals! 11 World Championships to be exact.

deniz merdano seaotter 125.jpg

This Intense M29 at the Manitou tent is the nicest looking bike Intense has produced.

deniz merdano seaotter 180.jpg

Beauty of a Klunker from State Bicycle Co. with White Industries cranks and custom bags. Never mind the boxed wine, that's classy.

deniz merdano seaotter 182.jpg

Shiny pieces of art.

deniz merdano seaotter 140.jpg

Norco had all the pre-production mules for the current Range. The first one had a really cool head tube design that allows for a massive reach and angle adjustments.

deniz merdano seaotter 138.jpg

It was interesting to see the thought process that arrived at the final product. Rapid prototyping has been good to the industry.

deniz merdano seaotter 144.jpg

They also had a full Kashima Range... over the top?

deniz merdano seaotter 153.jpg

At Canyon, they don't care about your opinion... they just make rad bikes, wear sweet shades and have sick tattoos.

deniz merdano seaotter 187.jpg

Neko Mulally's one off Frank The Welder Race bike was at the 5DEV booth. The cranks and lower chainstay yoke are made by 5DEV.

deniz merdano seaotter 191.jpg

When the smoke cleared, we went for a little hike to clear our heads. Point Lobos State Park was the perfect location.

deniz merdano seaotter 196.jpg

Found exactly ZERO Sea Otters. But this little guy was enjoying its day in the sun, spared from the Sea Otters.

deniz merdano seaotter 186.jpg

I have been thinking about this shirt ever since I got back to my normal life... not sure if I missed an opportunity to get one or dodged a bullet!

deniz merdano seaotter 164.jpg

Cheers to Mike Ferrentino for his wisdom and unapologetic fashion sense.. We'll be back.. before the next Sea Otter!

Related Stories

Trending on NSMB

Comments

cheapondirt
cheapondirt
1 month, 1 week ago
+16 Etacata kcy4130 Niels bishopsmike Jerry Willows mrbrett Mike McArthur Simon Apostol Merwinn Pete Roggeman Tjaard Breeuwer imnotdanny Poz DANK221 Derek Baker Tremeer023

After a barrage of lesser Sea Otter content from other sites, I appreciate the high quality of these photos and the storytelling in the captions.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 1 week ago
+6 kcy4130 cheapondirt Pete Roggeman Tjaard Breeuwer imnotdanny Poz

It was a great feeling leaving the heavy lifting to the "other guys" while being present and observing all the cool things Sea Otter had to offer

Reply

DanL
DanL
1 month, 1 week ago
+5 Deniz Merdano Niels Konrad Pete Roggeman Tremeer023

These are beautiful photos,  worth looking at on a huge monitor for full velvety lusciousness.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 1 week ago
+12 Mike Ferrentino Andrew Major Niels mrbrett DanL Pete Roggeman dave_f Tjaard Breeuwer DancingWithMyself Spencer Nelson Poz ohio

A photographers dream... everyone owns a large monitor computer in a darkroom facing north

A photographers reality... everyone owns a 2 years old Iphone and reading this in shitty lighting in the bathroom...

Reply

niels@nsmb.com
Niels
1 month, 1 week ago
+2 DanL Pete Roggeman

Don't forget that everyone's large monitor is also hardware-calibrated (if we are dreaming anyway)!

Reply

DanL
DanL
1 month, 1 week ago
+3 Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman Paul Lindsay

Everyone over to mine then
However, minus 5 points for no Ducati pics

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 1 week ago
+5 Merwinn Andrew Major Pete Roggeman Paul Lindsay Tremeer023

Challenge accepted....

Ducati

Reply

DanL
DanL
1 month, 1 week ago
0

So good. I knew I saw that pipe in the BG.
Thanks Deniz!

ohio
ohio
1 month, 1 week ago
+5 DanL Pete Roggeman Deniz Merdano Spencer Nelson Derek Baker

The JPS livery has never gone out of style and looks good on everything. That's a dream paint job for any toy of mine, someday.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 1 week ago
+1 ohio

I couldn't agree more!

Reply

andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
1 month, 1 week ago
+4 Deniz Merdano kcy4130 Konrad Pete Roggeman

That’s not a funny car wheel. Funny cars have full Fiberglas bodies. That’s a AA/FD or similar. Rail, slingshot are other names for these dragsters. From the lack of aero stuff I’d guess an old front engine dragster. Do have pics of the entire car? Drag racing was my first love when I was 13 or so.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 1 week ago
+1 kcy4130

Thanks for the info Andy.. it seems the be based on a Ford running gear by Shelby

Shelby Super Snake

Reply

andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
1 month, 1 week ago
+2 Deniz Merdano Konrad

Don "The Snake" Prudhome’s AA/FD. SWEET. They all had nicknames.

Reply

kcy4130
kcy4130
1 month, 1 week ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

Fantastic photos, Thanks for including some cars too! Anyone else who wants to nerd out/drool there's loads of photos and info on their website https://canepa.com/canepa-difference/canepa-museum/

Reply

lamar454
Peter Appleton
1 month, 1 week ago
+3 dhr999 Derek Baker Pete Roggeman

memories of staying up til 11pm on sunday nights when i was 9 or 10 to watch Nigel Mansell race JPS-Lotus on CBC

Reply

papa44
papa44
1 month, 1 week ago
+2 Deniz Merdano Cam McRae

I was sure that Druid was going to be a production privée, they really own the race car mtb paint job scene

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 1 week ago
+3 bishopsmike papa44 Konrad

Production Privee has a great pulse in painting their frames like race cars.

What is really cool about the Druid is the sum of all of its parts. And the fact that Carbon bikes allow for more surface to paint on.

Reply

papa44
papa44
1 month, 1 week ago
0

Yeah definitely give them props for the details like the spokes, I wish I had the resources to go so hard on my bikes. I’d probably never ride it though

Reply

rwalters
Ryan Walters
1 month, 1 week ago
+2 Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman

Great pics, Deniz.

I agree - that M29 might be the best looking bike ever made. Too bad it never had the results to back up the look.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 1 week ago
+1 Merwinn

I know right? I wonder if it was the pilots or the bike...

Reply

andyf
andyf
1 month, 1 week ago
+2 Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman

Nice pics and writeup.  You guys were right across the street from me at Canepa!

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 1 week ago
0

Your lunch breaks must be better than my lunch breaks!

Reply

andyf
andyf
1 month, 1 week ago
+2 Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman

Lunch breaks where I have time to pedal over to Henry Cowell/UC are nice but realistically only 2x weekly.

Reply

BenHD
BenHD
1 month, 1 week ago
+2 Merwinn Pete Roggeman

Super cool pics, thanks!

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 1 week ago
0

Thank you!

Reply

earleb
earle.b
1 month, 1 week ago
+2 Merwinn Pete Roggeman

Good stuff.

Reply

Sebster
Sebastien Salvant
1 month ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

Deniz

A pleasure meeting you guys and appreciate you featuring the JPS Forbidden.  

Respect

Reply

shoreboy
Shoreboy
1 month, 1 week ago
0

So it seems that Druid is going to be raffled off to a great cause. Any idea what size it was?

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 1 week ago
0

It looked like a medium but could also be a large...

Reply

shapethings
shapethings
1 month, 1 week ago
+1 Deniz Merdano

As a former large Druid owner, I would say the large is a medium in reality.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 1 week ago
0

As a Medium Druid owner.. I should have gotten a large, but the Medium was also juuuust fine...

Reply

Sebster
Sebastien Salvant
1 month ago
0

So it is a Large 

Large druid is more an M/L, not too bad

Reply

krismcphee
krismcphee
1 month, 1 week ago
0

Full Kashima Range? Do tell...

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
Cam McRae
1 month, 1 week ago
0

It's actually just paint that matches the coating on the stanchions I believe.

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 1 week ago
0

Definitely an attention grabbing bike at the show. Looked great in the sunlight. I would not want it for my personal bike.

Reply

shapethings
shapethings
1 month, 1 week ago
0

MK III cane creek helm? An easter egg or actual gen 3 version? The helm is underrated, I rate it higher than any RS or Fox fork I've owned. Guessing they need to make a 38mm version to keep up with the Joneses. 

Reply

denomerdano
Deniz Merdano
1 month, 1 week ago
0

Good catch.. I will reach out for some information

Reply

Sebster
Sebastien Salvant
1 month ago
0

Stikrd did the decals on the fork and they came up with the MKIII

Maybe something to come????

Reply

Please log in to leave a comment.