Once again, thousands of amateur and professional cyclists, bike and food vendors and spectators are descending upon the Monterey Bay area for the 24th annual Sea Otter Classic at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway.
Billed as the world’s largest cycling festival, the four-day event drew nearly 10,000 competitors, along with 65,000 fans, more than 400 exhibitors and 375 journalists from around the world last year. And by all appearances half way through this year’s “Celebration of Cycling”, event organizers can expect similar numbers across the board and possibly eclipse last year’s impressive attendance figures. With more exhibitors signed up this year, there’s a good chance the overall numbers will be positive.
A full slate of pro and amateur competitions are being held through Sunday including Category races in cross country, downhill dual slalom, road and cyclocross. But events are not restricted to just the pros, amateurs, masters and juniors competitors. For instance, free events were held today for kids, including a Sea Otter Egg Hunt and kid’s bike races in two age group categories and similar events are also scheduled on Sunday.
While the centerpiece of the Sea Otter Classic are the bike competitions, perhaps the bigger draw are the hundreds of vendors appearing at the festival/expo. Virtually every single major American brand is in town to showcase the latest in cutting edge technology from high-end road and mountain bikes to bike accessories and advanced sport drinks and gadgets to gauge a cyclist’s performance. Visitors can expect every popular brand name in the business literally from A-Z, including Avid, Cannondale, Garmin, GoPro, Kryptonite, PowerBar, Shimano, Specialized, Trek and Zipp.
Also at this gignormous festival are more than 12 food vendors featuring a diverse selection of tasty offerings, prize giveaways, demos, a chance to meet some of the pros and bike shows with some of America’s top technical riders including professional mountain biker Ryan Leech and 11-time national champion stunt rider Mike Steidely. Hungry visitors can enjoy such traditional fare as pizza, burgers and burritos, in addition to vegetarian, gourmet Indian food, fresh seafood, teriyaki, incredibly delicious Lebanese baklava and many other food choices.
Of course, the biggest crowds are expected tomorrow and Sunday but admission remains super affordable at just $10 in advance and $12 at the gate. Moreover, parking is absolutely free although visitors might have to walk a bit if they arrive mid-morning or later. Still, for anyone who hasn’t yet experienced the luxury of attending one of the best cycling events in the world, there is still two full days of entertainment, competition, great food and best of all, great people. Come see all the action and entertainment at the 24th annual Sea Otter Classic for a day you’ll never forget.