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Gran Fondo Carmelo

Saturday, April 20, 2024
85 Miles

Combine your love for recreational riding with your taste for Salinas Valley agriculture with the Gran Fondo Carmelo.

Traverse this 85 mile out-and-back tour across the diverse landscapes and agriculture of Salinas Valley (think: broccoli, artichokes, strawberries and, of course, grapes!). Choose your riding adventure on this untimed recreational ride for all ages and abilities (including eBikes and recumbent cycles). Take in the breathtaking sights of the Salinas Valley at a comfortable pace or crank up the heat and put your Gran Fondo (“great endurance”) to the test.

See below for race inclusions.

Class 1 E-Bikes Welcome

Class 1 e-bikes are welcomed at Sea Otter’s four recreational rides: Gran Fondo Pacifico & Carmelo, Robles MTB Tour, and the Family Off Road Tour. 


View details here for Gran Fondo Carmelo: Fees / Categories / Schedule 

Registration Info

Registration will open in fall 2024.

Onsite registration at the event starts on Wednesday, April 9, 2025 at noon. Event registration closes at 6:00 p.m. the day prior to the scheduled event. If you have pre-registered, you can pick up your event number on event day – up to 30 minutes prior to event start time. NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION. 

Registered athletes must pick up your race number in person (must have current, valid PHOTO ID). Pick up your race packet, complimentary 4-day Festival Pass, and purchase event merchandise at Athlete Registration.

What's Included

  • Race course support: Feed Zones, medical team, basic mechanical support 
  • Complimentary parking 
  • Complimentary 4-day Festival Pass 
  • Complimentary post-ride showers 
  • Commemorative medal
  • Secure bag drop 
  • Secure bike valet 
  • Post-ride lunch and complimentary Sierra Nevada beer at the Casa Amigos Rider Lounge. Your lunch must be redeemed on the same day of your race/ride.
  • Virtual Athlete Goodie Bag: special offers and discounts from our Sea Otter Classic partners  

Casa Amigos Meal Redemption Information

Be sure to check your email for your unique code to redeem your meal at Casa Amigos!
Please note: if you’ve registered for multiple events, you’ll receive multiple unique codes.

If you encounter any issues with your Casa Amigos redemption code, please reach out to

Pre-Event Course Talks

February 8: Fuego XL/XC and Fuego SHORT – Course discussions, and Q & A

March 7: Carmelo/Pacifico/Robles – Routes discussion and Q & A

April 4: Gravity Events: Downhill, Dual Slalom and Enduro – Course discussions, and Q & A

Register for our Course Talks here!

Course Map & Turn by Turn Directions

2025 course maps will be posted on March 1, 2025 – Bureau of Land Management – Fort Ord National Monument, and Monterey County permits pending.


Packet Pick-Up

Packet pick-up and registration is located at the Hospitality Pavilion. Please see the Festival Map here.

  • Wednesday noon to 6 p.m.
  • Thursday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. (Pre-registered athlete packet pick-up only. No Registrations.)

Riders that have already registered online can pick-up their packets the same day as their ride.


Rider Support includes mechanical and SAG support (including mobile tech) along the way. Enthusiastic volunteers provide fuel and hydration at the rest stations that dot the course. We also offer bike-and-bag valet service which you can take advantage of before and after the ride.


Children aged 12 and up are welcome to participate in Gran Fondo Pacifico when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Pedaling children only; no trailers allowed.

GRAN FONDO Safety and Rules

  1. This is not a race; it is a recreational ride. Please encourage and support your fellow cyclists in enjoying the ride. 
  2. Obey all traffic laws. All cyclists are personally responsible for knowing and obeying all California traffic laws. This includes—but is not limited to—obeying traffic lights and stop signs. Violators may be ticketed by local law enforcement and/or disqualified and removed from the Gran Fondo. 
  3. Ride safely and in control. Ride in single file whenever possible. California law requires riding single file on a busy or narrow street. Any cyclist who is deemed to be riding unsafely, discourteously, or recklessly will be removed from the Gran Fondo and banned from future Sea Otter events. Again, THIS IS A RIDE, NOT A RACE. Your safety, and the impact of your actions on the safety of others, are your responsibility. 
  4. No headphones. No iPods or other items requiring headphones are allowed. California law does not allow headphones covering both ears while cycling. 
  5. Helmets are mandatory. They are required by California law for children under 18. Sea Otter regulations require that adults wear them as well while participating in this or any Sea Otter event. The helmet worn must be an ANSI- or Snell-approved cycling helmet. 
  6. Children ages twelve and up are welcome as cyclist participants on any of the three routes (no trailers). 
  7. All children (ages twelve through seventeen) must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. 
  8. No tricycles, trailers, or other vehicles. The Gran Fondo is for bicycles only. Children ages twelve through seventeen are allowed as cyclist participants, as indicated in these rules. Sorry, no child of any age may be pulled in a trailer in the Gran Fondo, and no child under age twelve is allowed in the Gran Fondo on any route. 
  9. No personal support vehicles. 
  10. No unregistered participants. Unregistered riders will be prohibited from entering certain sections of the course during the Gran Fondo. They will not have access to refueling stations, finish line celebratory lunch, or other event activities. 
  11. Registered participants must display their Gran Fondo number and wear their wristband. Please display your Gran Fondo number on your jersey, display your number on your handlebars, and wear your official Gran Fondo wristband. Any rider who fails to do so will not receive an official finish time. 
  12. Held rain or shine.  Please come prepared for any weather conditions.   

Rider Safety Rules

For your safety and the safety of other riders and pedestrians on the course, please familiarize yourself with the following safety rules: 
  • Obey all traffic laws. Riders are required to be familiar with California bicycle safety laws. Violators may be ticketed by local law enforcement, removed from the ride, or banned from future Life Time Sea Otter events. Visit here for more information:
  • Yield to those with the right of way. All recreation trails and roads within the Gran Fondo routes are open to the public. Please be courteous to other users and yield when necessary. 
  • Ride safely and predictably. This includes riding single-file. Any rider found to be riding illegally, unsafely, recklessly, or discourteously will be removed from the Gran Fondo and banned from future Life Time Sea Otter events. 
  • Helmets are required for all riders. Only ANSI- or Snell-approved helmets are allowed. 
  • No headphones allowed. 
  • Bicycles only, including tandems. No tricycles, trailers, or other rigs. No personal support vehicles. No passengers allowed. 
  • No unregistered participants. All riders must display their Gran Fondo number (on jersey and handlebars) and wear their Gran Fondo wristband. Unregistered riders will be prohibited from accessing certain areas of the course and will not have access to refueling stations and post-ride activities. 
  • Be prepared for all weather conditions. Gran Fondo rides are held rain or shine. Life Time Sea Otter Classic maintains the right to alter the routes based on permit restrictions, current conditions, or construction impacts.

Rest Stop Closure Times

1. Rustique Wines  |  8:00am – 10:00am
1010 River Road
Salinas, CA 93908
2.  Zabala Vineyards  |  9:00am – 11:00am
3975 Los Coches Road
Soledad, CA 93960
3.  CRU Winery  |  10:30am – 12:30pm
37500 Foothill Road
Soledad, CA 93960
4. Odonata  |  12:00pm – 3:00pm
645 River Road
Salinas, CA 93908

Please note that for safety reasons we do not want riders out on the road near or after dark. Therefore the Carmelo Route will adhere to predetermined rest stop close times to ensure all riders are back within a safe time period. 

Switch Categories

Email with any inquiries. 


No refunds or transfers of race registration.

Athletes are allowed to defer entry into the following year. This requires payment of a deferral fee equal to 40% of the original paid entry fee. A ride entry can only be deferred one time and only to the following year’s event. Deferrals must be completed no later than Sunday, April 14, 2024. Contact for information.

If you choose to defer and you have purchased retail items during registration, please note the following. Retail purchases can be refunded if you selected to “Pickup” at the venue. Purchases completed as “Ship” cannot be refunded.  Retail purchases will not carry over in a deferred entry.   

All Sea Otter participants will be required to submit a release waiver and assumption of risk form. Save time in line by completing them in advance. All Sea Otter participants are required to wear an approved helmet- no exceptions. USA Cycling Helmet Policy

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