“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 Sea Otter Classic.
Co-founders Frank Yohannan and Lou Rudolph hosted the inaugural Laguna Seca Challenge on April 6 & 7, 1991. There was a total of 350 athletes and 150 spectators. Today the event hosts over 9,600 athletes and 72,500 fans. In 1993 the event was renamed the Sea Otter Classic and is now universally regarded as the world’s premier cycling festival.
Known as a sprawling and energetic “celebration of cycling,” Sea Otter is cycling’s North American season opener. Professional and amateur athletes alike make the annual pilgrimage to Sea Otter to participate in some of the sport’s most competitive and enduring events. Hundreds of pro cyclists, including national, world, and Olympic champions, attend Sea Otter to race and meet with fans.
Most of cycling’s racing disciplines are represented including mountain bike cross country, downhill, dual slalom, and short track racing. Road cyclists compete in circuit, criterium, and road racing. Also offered are a number of non-competitive recreational events for riders of all ages.
The Sea Otter Classic also hosts the world’s largest consumer bike exposition in North America. The Expo holds hundreds of vendors who display new products, distribute free samples, and offer great bargains. The four-day, action-packed festival includes an international food court, entertainment, bike demos, stunt shows, and activities for children.
The Sea Otter Classic is located in Monterey County, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Future Sea Otter Classics are scheduled for the following dates:
May 20 – 23, 2021
April 7-10, 2022
April 20-23, 2023
April 18-21, 2024
April 10-13, 2025
April 16-19, 2026
Mark your child’s wristband. When you pick up your Sea Otter wristbands, please promptly follow the SOC instructions to write your child’s name and your contact information on their wristband.
Please stay alert. Sea Otter Classic is a fun family event, full of exciting sights and sounds, and children can easily be distracted. Even a few moments without close parental supervision can result in a child becoming separated from their parents. Keep them close!
Prepare your child. Please let your child know what to do if they become lost. If your child is of an age that it is appropriate for them to walk around the Expo area with friends, first walk them to the Main Medical Tent and let them know that this is where to go if they get lost. The Main Medical Tent is shown on the Festival map. To locate the Main Medical Tent on-site, they may look up in the sky for the big balloon marked with the Red Cross. Alternatively, they may ask for help from anyone wearing one of the official 2020 Sea Otter Classic t-shirts.
If your child is lost, please go directly to the Main Medical Tent or ask any Sea Otter staff to take you to the Main Medical Tent. For immediate assistance call Jeannie Retamoso at (800) 994-2147 or email her.
ID valuable items. Safeguard your valuable items by marking them clearly with your identification/contact information.
Preventing lost bikes:
- Make use of the bicycle corral/bike valet service in the Expo area; look for “Bike Valet” on the Festival map.
- Lock your bike at all times when unattended, including when using the bike racks at the Athlete Registration building.
- Throughout the entire venue, where racks are unavailable, bikes may be locked to a fence, signpost, or other appropriate structure.
- Have teens or tweens? Remind them to lock their bikes while watching the Downhill, Dual Slalom, and other events, or even for those few minutes when they dash off to a port-a-potty.
Where to Go
If you have lost or found an item of any kind, please go to any one of the three Information booths, which are shown on the Festival map.
Bikes belonging to injured athletes will be taken by medical personnel and promptly delivered to the Main Medical Tent for safekeeping. They may be retrieved by a family member or friend with authorization.
All other Lost and Found questions may be addressed via email to Jeannie Retamoso, Director of Operations.
If you are coming from the Wolf Hill parking area, signs will direct you to Will-Call.
- Wednesday noon to 7 p.m.
- Thursday–Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Saturday 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Sunday 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Will-Call is located at the athlete registration building. If you have pre-purchased festival passes you can pick them up at any of the Festival Pass Sales locations.
It is necessary to present a valid photo identification card, such as a driver’s license, in order to pick up any item.
If you are picking up a Festival Pass or anything else for someone other than yourself, please email Jeannie Retamoso, Director of Operations, prior to event week to make these arrangements.
Sorry, dogs are not allowed in the Festival-Expo-Sea Otter Village, including the racing areas. This will be strictly enforced.
The only area at Laguna Seca Recreation Area where dogs will be allowed—although not recommended—is at the owner’s campsite and owner’s specific (reserved) campground. Dogs must be leashed at all times. For details, please refer to the Dogs at Campsites—Rules and Regulations page under “Camping Adventure” in the “Camping and Lodging” section of our website.
Kennels. Non-residents attending the Sea Otter Classic may wish to take advantage of one of the many local kennels that offer boarding for your pet.
Pet-Friendly Lodging Providers. Non-residents who prefer to lodge with their pet, and are seeking an alternative to camping at Laguna Seca, will be glad to know that some lodging providers who offer discounted rates to Sea Otter visitors are also pet-friendly, including Hyatt Regency, Monterey; Los Laureles Lodge, Carmel Valley; and Mariposa Inn and Suites, Monterey. Beyond those lodging providers, you will also find this resource helpful: the SPCA of Monterey County’s list of pet-friendly lodging providers.
Playing Around Monterey County. If you are looking forward to also visiting other Monterey County recreational areas during Sea Otter week—perhaps including a walk on the beach with your four-legged friend—check out the SPCA’s list of pet-friendly recreation areas. You’ll learn which beaches allow leashed dogs, which allow them to run free, and other useful information. Hot tip: If Carl and Daisy are hoping to make some new canine friends, they’ll find Carmel Beach is dog heaven!
Sea Otter Classic Hits the Airwaves
Sea Otter Radio, KSOC 90.1 FM—broadcasting live race coverage across the vast terrain of the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca!
As you enter Laguna Seca Recreation Area, tune your radio to Sea Otter Radio by confirming the current frequency, which will be posted at the entrances.
Our low-power FM transmitter will air everything from the winning calls at our famous swale to furious sprints at the main stage. Sea Otter Radio tells you everything you need to know to seize the day—including when to get ready for start time!
Catch all the professional insights only our veteran announcer team can provide
INFORMATION REGARDING THE CANCELLATION OF THE OCTOBER 2020 EVENT WILL BE AVAILABLE BY JULY 17, 2020.