So, I hit the northern Ft. Ord trails today (rode from my house) and was going to stay off of the Sea Otter course entirely because of traffic, but saw traffic was light so I rode a few miles of it. (Most of the course is down at the southern end - those are the most fun trails and for expediencies sake, I'll usually save those for the weekend rides when I have more time)
One of the trails I rode (#82) is pretty much uphill for the first 3/4 of a mile and pretty stinkin steep. I was with a group of folks some of which were riding in Sport class on Sunday (I've never raced and don't really have any plans to, but I've never considered myself slow). Needless to say, the climb pretty much strung us all out pretty far (this climb really sucks), but I was up about 40-50 ft behind the guys in front. I don't know about them, but I was in a 22x21 and moving right along, though definitely not breaking any speed records. By this point no one was doing much passing as all that got sorted out towards the bottom of the hill.
As I got to one straight section, I heard a bit of a commotion behind me and this dude wearing full Giant team gear just blew by me and a few seconds later the other three guys. He was out of the saddle and just hammering up that frickin hill and from as fast as he was going, he had to have been in the middle ring (if he even had a little one). Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think someone could go up that hill that fast. I now have a lot more respect for how fast those Pros actually go. I still just shake my head when I think about it.