Monterey, CA (March 3, 2009) – In spite of a challenging economy, cyclists remain in the saddle. Early registrations for the 2009 Sea Otter Classic are strong. And other cycling events, organizations, and businesses are reporting good showings for the 2009 season.
Matt Fritzinger with the NorCal High School Mountain Bike League says, "We are looking at 450 riders representing 36 teams this season, which is up 100 riders from last year."
Tom Spiegal of Team Big Bear reported a doubling in pre-race registration for the Bonelli Park mountain bike event held on March 1st. The event was the first race of the Kenda Cup West, a California and Colorado-regional series of cross-country races. Sea Otter will be the fourth event in the series.
USA Cycling also continues to see increases in membership as the '09 year rolls on. "We've seen a distinct and steady rise in membership over the last five years," says Theresa Johnson, USA Cycling's Vice President of Member Services. "This is due in part to the growth in popularity of top-level professional cycling here in the U.S. and also to the rise in awareness of the health and fitness benefits of cycling." She reports that USA Cycling license sales are up 3% over the same period last year.
And on the business side, Eric Wallace, Thule's Marketing Field Services Manager, notes that sponsorship of the Sea Otter Classic (and other events) is crucial to the future of their business.
"At Thule, we're constantly looking for ways to promote the sport of cycling, which is a very key market for our brand. Participating in Sea Otter each year gives us the opportunity to keep driving that brand value forward, which is why we keep coming back, year-after-year."
Cyclists are riding, businesses are selling, and events are growing. Early signs are indicating that 2009 is shaping up to be a good year for our sport.
About Sea Otter Classic, Inc.
The 19th Annual Sea Otter Classic will be held April 16-19, 2009 at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, Calif. The four-day "Celebration of Sport" is considered the world's largest cycling festival, hosting nearly 10,000 professional and amateur athletes and 50,000 fans. More information can be found at www.seaotterclassic.com or by calling 800-218-8411.
Donna Brown (local media)
Chris Worden (Web-related)