Sea Otter Classic Brings Cycling Festival to Monterey


First-timers and veterans who share an organic urge for adventure will be thrilled to learn that organizers of the Subaru Sea Otter Classic powered by SRAM have planned some fun things to do this year at the 26th edition of the event. Things like racing in a suit and tie or pumps (both?) on the world-famous Laguna Seca Raceway, testing new products in real-time – like an electric mountain bike in the Haibike eMTB Race epowered by Bosch, touring the scenic backcountry of the Laguna Seca Recreation Area in the new Raleigh Open Road Tour, or playing around in the kids’ carnival. Racing has been central to Sea Otter since 1991 and has grown from a handful of races to dozens of races spanning 10+ disciplines across a variety of categories. Tone it down a bit and there’s yoga, live music, carnival games, stunt shows, or sipping suds at the beer garden while watching world-class bike racing. To help you take advantage of all that’s available, read on for a summary of activities.

What’s New and Must-Do

Pump Park
For a free sample of what you can do on a pump track (closed circuit dirt track featuring berms and rollers), see how the pros’ throw down in an invitation-only competition on Friday when you can get up close to watch one of the most entertaining events of the weekend. If you like what you see, then get on the track yourself and test your skills on both Saturday and Sunday when the Pump Park will be open to the public!

Raleigh Open Road Tour
You’ve made the most of indoor cycling and you’ve got the fitness to prove it, but even the best gym can’t grant you bragging rights AND a post-ride lunch and massage! The new Raleigh Open Road Tour takes you off the tarmac and onto some of the most scenic backroads in the Monterey area. Perfect for a bike with wider tires, this “gravel grinder” tackles a variety of surfaces in the Laguna Seca Recreation Area. We know you’re ready for a challenge with a few perks built in, so check out the Raleigh Open Road Tour!

Brompton World Championship USA
The Brompton World Championship USA will feature a Le Mans start where racers beat a path to their doubled-up rigs and then unfold their bikes to set off on a timed 60-minute race staged on the Laguna Seca Raceway. The unsanctioned race, which kicks off at 5 p.m. on Friday, has few rules, one of which is NO VISIBLE LYCRA! Several categories of winners will be awarded after the event, including Fastest Male, Fastest Female, Fastest Veteran, Fastest Team, and, in keeping with the spirit of the race, Best Dressed. The fastest Male and Female racers will win a flight to London and entry to the Brompton World Championship Final later in the year.

Haibike eMTB Race epowered by Bosch
Leave your ego at home and be the first of your friends to take aim at the podium in the Haibike eMTB Race epowered by Bosch. The race will be a 60-minute off-road lap race that rolls through the eMTB demo zone within the surroundings of the Laguna Seca Raceway. Demo bikes are available for racing at Haibike’s expo tent #706, located close to the Sea Otter Bridge; if you want to race, it’s first come, first served and you must sign up to race either Wednesday or Thursday. The race takes place on Friday afternoon and will offer age-group categories.

Back by popular demand

Free event shuttle for festival pass holders
Weary event goers will be pleased to know that Sea Otter is offering free shuttle service from the main parking area on Wolf Hill to the Turn 5 event entrance and back. Shuttle hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. each day.

Yoga
Pro trials rider and yoga instructor, Ryan Leech, along with competitive cyclist and yoga teacher, Rita Leon, will again be offering yoga classes at specific times each day of Sea Otter. No experience is necessary as classes allow beginners as well as the intermediate yogi to advance in their own practice. Classes are focused on generating movement throughout the body using basic sun salutations, incorporating lengthening and opening muscles in a way that restores your stressed body. All classes will be held in the Chapparel Campground events building; check schedule for times. New this year, Rita will be teaching a special class for kids on Saturday afternoon, check schedule for time.

Demos, Demos, Demos
The chance to pick up, try on, test, and taste much buzzed-about products has become Sea Otter’s largest attraction. Peruse the expo or choose from one of three demo zones: SRAM Skills Zone, Specialized Kids Zone, or the Bosch eBike Demo Center where you can swing a leg over a bike and either sharpen your skills or get new ones, or try before you buy one of the latest trends in cycling. The demos zones are open from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Consult festival map for exact locations.

Just for kids

Sea Otter Egg Hunt, Specialized Kids Zone, bounce houses, and festival shows
A focus on kids’ activities has been ever-present throughout the Sea Otter Classic thanks to the volume of active moms and dads who arrive to race and leave their spouse or partner and kids to entertain themselves while they’re off competing.

Specialized Sea Otter Egg Hunt
The Sea Otter Egg Hunt, hosted by event mascot, Skipper the Sea Otter, rewards eagle-eyed kids who spot eggs hidden on the lawn of the first grass pod on the expo map. Prizes are hidden in the eggs, with a few big prizes from the event sponsors – one lucky kid may go home with a new bike!

Specialized Kids Zone
Not your average playground, the Specialized Kids Zone allows kids twelve and under to try out their budding bike skills on obstacles appropriate for their age and riding level, plus a separate area for pushbikes! Races take place all four days and prizes and certificates are presented to participants. The Specialized Kids Ride Zone is open from 9-4 pm for kids twelve and under and is free with festival admission. Look for the Specialized Kids Zone inside the SRAM Ride Zone on the Festival Map.

Specialized Kids Races
Every child is a winner in this age-appropriate competition. Kids maneuver through a course carefully designed to stretch skills and build confidence. Racing is open to kids 12-and-under; no entry fee or registration required. Racing takes place 11 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Racers 5-and-under will compete at the Specialized Kids Zone; racers ages 6-12 will do battle at the SRAM Bike Skills Zone. Consult the festival map for race locations.

Sea Otter’s loaded event schedule is propped up each day by the carnival, which features bounce houses, BMX and trials performances, and special activities hosted by exhibitors inside the Sea Otter Village.

This is just a sampling of what the Sea Otter Classic has to offer and if you’re still looking for that one thing you shouldn’t do, you shouldn’t be bored at Sea Otter.  Check out the complete schedule of events and activities at socschedules.com.