Entertainment & Events

The Sea Otter Classic in Monterey

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Looking for a fun weekend away?  Many southern Californians make the trek up the coast on Highway 1 to discover the beauty of central and northern California. It’s refreshing to get a change of scenery every once in a while and some time away can renew your sense of adventure. The route up the coast is scenic and the other parts of our state have a lot to offer in the way of destination events and festivals, especially if you lead an active lifestyle.

In a few days, Monterey, CA will be hosting the Sea Otter Classic. This event is the largest bicycle expo in North America. The four day event will take place from April 20-23 and bicycle enthusiasts from all over the world will travel to Monterey to participate in the race and other activities during the festival. Since the inaugural event in 1991, The Sea Otter Classic has grown from a handful of bike races into a full-blown four day biking festival that brings in 70,000 spectators and 10,000 athletes each year.

The main events of The Sea Otter Classic include professional cross-country and short track races using part of the famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – with rocky paths and obstacles which riders must complete 5 to 7 times. Amateur races also include cross-country, downhill, dual slalom, and road races.

The festival will be full of vendors, demos, and other activities to keep participants and spectators entertained. Activities include stunt shows from world renowned cyclists Danny Macaskill (see his epic stunt video that head-started his career here) and Jeremy VanSchoonhoven (a world champion road racer and performer).  The festival is a big draw for professional cyclists, including national and world champions and Olympic athletes.

Vendors will be launching and selling exciting new products at The Sea Otter Classic (everything from sports nutrition to state-of-the-art bicycle components). Vendors from around the world include cycling outfitters and safety companies such as 3T, 6D Helmets, and Abbey Bike Tools. Other vendors include Adventure Sports Journal, Blackcomb Helicopter Tours, and Cliff Bar, to name a few. Between the pro races, stunt shows, and all of the exciting exhibitors, it would be impossible to have a bad time at The Sea Otter Classic. 

All that biking is bound to work up a big appetite, so there will also be food and beer (because how can a festival of any kind exist without food and beer?) Sierra Nevada will have a beer garden on site and chefs will be cooking away at the barbecue. The international food court will surely be a place to socialize with other bike enthusiasts and grub your heart out.

The festival is also kid friendly, so bring the whole family! Events for kids at The Sea Otter Classic include a kid’s track where children under 12 can test out their bike skills, the Sea Otter Egg Hunt where kids can pick up some hefty prizes, as well as a bounce house, kid’s races, and a carnival.

Whether you are an avid cyclist or a newbie (or if you just want to watch some stunt shows and see a good race) The Sea Otter Expo is sure to deliver a good time for all involved.  Find festival passes and athlete registration here

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at [email protected].

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