Preview: 25th Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California

Photo: Louie Traub

Photo: Louie Traub

The 2015 Sea Otter Classic will be held April 16-19, 2015, at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area in Monterey, California, home to Formula 1 and past MotoGP racing, and the Bicycle Times editorial team will descend to scour the aisles for new product news.

Photo: Louie Traub

Photo: Louie Traub

This four-day cycling festival features a full schedule of amateur and professional events, where nearly 10,000 domestic and international athletes compete over four days. The Sea Otter Classic also plays host to the largest consumer bike exposition in North America with 411 exhibitors and 65,000 attendees, but how and when did it begin?

“You guys should put on a mountain bike race.” That simple statement from a Monterey bike shop owner in 1990 was the genesis for the Laguna Seca Challenge, later renamed the Sea Otter Classic.

Co-founders Frank Yohannan and Lou Rudolph hosted the inaugural Laguna Seca Challenge on April 6 and 7, 1991. The event had a total of 350 athletes and 150 spectators. In 1993, the Laguna Seca Challenge was renamed the Sea Otter Classic. By 2010, the Sea Otter Classic had become a four-day celebration of cycling welcoming more than 8,500 athletes and 50,000 fans. The event is now regarded as the bicycle world’s premiere festival and one of the world’s largest. The little mountain bike race has grown up.

Photo: Louie Traub

Photo: Louie Traub

Racers make the annual pilgrimage to Sea Otter to participate in cycling’s best competitive and non-competitive events. Nearly 200 classes of amateur road and mountain bike racing for all ages and skill levels will toe the line. Mountain bike races include cross-country, dual slalom, downhill, and more. Road cyclists can choose from road and circuit racing on the world-famous Laguna Seca Raceway. And for those who want to bike in less-competitive fashion, Sea Otter offers the Gran Fondo, with two distance options.

Photo: Alex Strickland

Photo: Alex Strickland

The Sea Otter Village, hub of the event, pulses with free bike demos, stunt shows, and live entertainment, plus kids’ playhouses and special activities for kids 12 and under. Other Village hotspots are an international food court and beer and BBQ garden, and the Sea Otter exposition area. The expo features hundreds of vendors who display new products, give out free samples, and offer terrific bargains. And in the Sea Otter Village, hundreds of professional road and mountain bike athletes are present to share their racing techniques with fans and to sign autographs.

Photo: Alex Strickland

Photo: Alex Strickland

Look for our new product reports here soon!

For more information, visit www.seaotterclassic.com or call (800) 218-8411.

 

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