Monterey, Calif. (March 26, 2009) – Cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts can look forward to excitement and high energy fun this April. The Sea Otter Classic, a four-day celebration of sport, has a multitude of events, activities and action planned for a long weekend of fun, family and community, April 16-19, 2009.
Action All Around and Up Above
At any one time, spectators in the Sea Otter Village can enjoy 360-degree views of races and activities going on around the venue, including games, parties, contests, costumes, team autographs, personal conversations with the pros, product demos, beer and BBQ, live music and bargain bins and samples in the Expo.
The action will even be overhead, as teams of specialists do flips and stunts in various shows and events around the venue. And on Saturday and Sunday, as part of the midday ceremonies kicking off the Pro racing on each day, the action will also be in the sky, as the U.S. Navy will conduct an F-5 fighter jet flyover! Following the flyover, spectators will enjoy the Presidio of Monterey Air Force Honor Guard followed by the sights and sounds of the Monterey High School marching band and international flags representing all our athletes as they parade and play music around the Sea Otter Village.
Photo: Ian Hylands
Ryan Leech, a well-known specialist in "trials" riding (a technical aspect of cycling which includes balancing, on a bicycle, on a variety of obstacles), brings his incredible tricks to Sea Otter each year. Spectators won't believe their eyes when they see Leech balancing on something barely wider than his bike tire, all the while chatting away with the audience on a wireless microphone.
"I'm excited to once again contribute to the great atmosphere at the Sea Otter Classic," said Leech. "I like to push my show riding to leave the audience feeling psyched to go out and ride bikes, whatever style that may be."
More wow-inducing biking entertainment will be in the form of the GT Airshow, featuring 10 world-famous BMX freestyle athletes performing aerial stunts 20-30 feet above the ramps. The GT Airshow is located near the Sierra Nevada Beer & BBQ Garden.
And when the Airshow takes a break, spectators can turn their attention to the Dual Stunt races, where two athletes compete side-by-side on 400-foot-long courses of 10-foot-high platforms, ladder bridges, wooden obstacles and jumps. Jeff Lenosky, freeride pioneer and former trials national champion, designed the man-made course to be challenging.
"When people look at the course, they should think, there's no way someone can ride that," said Lenosky. "Between the kind of obstacles these guys ride and the head-to-head race element, this is an event that will knock your socks off."
For a complete schedule of music and festival shows click here.
The Buzz in the Air
"Excitement in the air" was never truer than at the Sea Otter Classic, where announcers call the races on Sea Otter Radio, and live music gives a beat to the action around the venue.
One of the things that makes Sea Otter such an extraordinary experience is the buzz that permeates the event, as everyone involved is there to celebrate their passion for cycling – even the guys in the band.
"The first year I raced at Sea Otter, I fell in love with the festival," said Stephen Wilson of Juan Nebulla Productions, who produces the live music show. "Afterwards, I approached the organizer about adding a music element to the world-class event, and last year we organized two full days of music, ranging from acoustic solo acts to rock to hip-hop. I raced again, as did some of the other musicians, but luckily the music was better than our racing!"
Heaven for Kids: Kids races, Egg Hunt and Kids rodeo, Carnival, Skipper.
When the kids have energy left and you don't, head over to the Kids' Carnival, which includes large, inflatable bouncy houses, a bungee jumper, a climbing wall, interactive games, and more.
The Kids Bike Zone, which is conveniently located near the Sierra Nevada tent, offers another concentrated area of activities for future Sea Otter racers, including the Kids Bicycle Playground, Kids races, and two of Sea Otter's most popular events, Sea Otter Egg Hunt and Kids Bicycle Rodeo.
The Kids Bike Zone designed for kids 10 and younger, is a fun place for our littlest cyclists to gain confidence on their bikes and just have fun. And it's not just fun for kids! Even non-parents will appreciate the huge, proud smiles of tykes as they progress from riding in circles to riding over boards and teeter totters.
The Sea Otter Egg Hunt has been entertaining the 8-and-under set for more than 10 years. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10 am, Skipper leads a search for "hidden" eggs filled with prizes.
And once they have their eggs, they can participate in the Kids Bicycle Rodeo, designed to help instill a love of bikes from an early age. In this activity, children aged 10 and under will be having so much fun, that they won't realize they are also learning basic safety and riding rules.
And of course, there are also Kids Bike Races. Every racer is a winner, and every winner gets a medal to proudly wear, just like the pros. Kids nine and under will race on a course designed just for them in the Kids Bike Zone. A new addition this year is a race for kids aged 10 to 12, on the same slippery, technical course raced by professional short track racers.
Best of all, every one of these activities for kids 12 and under are free!
For a complete schedule of kids activities click here.
Product Demo Area and Ride Zone: Try Before you Buy!
One of the best parts of Sea Otter is the opportunity for consumers to talk directly with reps from their favorite makers of cycling and outdoor gear. Now Sea Otter has added an entire area not only to talk tech with the reps, but to try out the equipment on the spot, and then try out the competition! With over 25 exhibitors set up for product demos, it also means the opportunity to learn new skills with better equipment.
There is ample space and time to do the testing. A short mountain bike loop and road bike course are marked, and the Sea Otter Classic Ride Zone provides a variety of terrain for dirt riding. The Ride Zone consists of a variety of features designed by legendary freerider and premier trail builder Randy Spangler. Obstacles are set up for riders of all levels, including a pump-track, two small rows of tables, a cross-country loop with bridges, switchbacks, rock gardens, and water crossings.
Get on your bike and ride!
For those who prefer pedaling at a slower pace, Sea Otter offers wonderful rides along some of Monterey's most beautiful roads and trails. Participants on these rides take home not only great memories, but often, new friends!
Bicycling Magazine Road Bike Tours are perfect for the family to experience together. Two routes of different distances include views of Monterey Peninsula's green hills and spring flowers, and pro athletes riding along offering tips to participants. Click here for more information.
Mountain Bike Magazine Off-Road Tours offer access to some of the most beautiful singletrack and fireroads of California, at a pace comfortable for participants of all ages. Registration includes the option to support IMBA California, a non-profit educational association that organizes advocacy and trail building efforts statewide and strengthens California's mountain bike clubs. Click here for more information.
One of the most special aspects of Sea Otter is its role as a meeting place for friends, families, teams, and industry people, of all cycling disciplines. Cycling clubs from all over the west coast that have always organized group trips, camping, and race or ride participation can now add another gathering spot to their list. This year Sea Otter opened up a "Club Zone", where 1clubs will have their own space to prepare their bicycles, relax and tell stories about their races and rides – just like the pro teams! This means a great opportunity for the public to learn about clubs in their region and join these cycling communities.
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.
An online version of this release can be viewed here.
Donna Brown (local media)
Chris Worden (Web-related)