Volkswagen Sea Otter Classic Celebrates Cycling

News Sea Otter Classic

Monterey, Calif. April bicycle festival will host events for all ages, genders and types of riders

Monterey, Calif. – March 20, 2012 – Next month, more than 50,000 fans, athletes and cycling enthusiasts will attend the 22nd annual Volkswagen Sea Otter Classic Powered by SRAM to celebrate all types of cycling and the culture that goes with it.

To be held at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area near Monterey, Calif. April 19-22, Sea Otter Classic features a huge festival with kids races, fun rides, product exhibitions, demos, food and entertainment in addition to the event’s full slate of road and mountain bike races and recreational rides.

“The Sea Otter Classic has something for everyone,” said Frank Yohannan, president and CEO of the Sea Otter Classic. “Nestled in Laguna Seca Recreation Area will be the festival area surrounded by amateur and professional cyclists competing in road, cyclocross, dirt jumping, dual slalom, downhill, and cross-country mountain bike racing. There is no other cycling event with as many different types of riding, people, bikes and things to see and do.”

The Festival and Expo area will feature kids activities such as the Sea Otter Egg Hunt, everyone-wins bicycle races, Specialized First Gear Kids Zone, carnival area and Little Bellas Day Camp, as well as the Camp of Champions Big Air Bag Jump Camp, Kenda Tires/Mike Steidley Stunt Show presented by Haro Bikes, SRAM Mountain Bike Ride Zone and Demo Courses, and the SRAM Speed and Style event.

New for this year will be the Sea Otter Classic Cyclocross race hosted by Raleigh America, which will send racers on a challenging circuit winding through the main festival and expo area in a prime time Saturday event.

Below are brief descriptions of some of the key events talking place within the festival area and new or returning riding and racing events taking place this year. To learn more about the Sea Otter Classic, view maps of the festival and racecourses area, see full schedules and view a list of exhibitors and a full list of activities go to www.seaotterclassic.com.

Ladies Activities – Thursday through Sunday, April 19-22
Sea Otter made a splash last year by recognizing the increasing role of women in shaping the cycling world with a special Ladies Day. For 2012, women’s-specific activities are expanding to every day of the event including mountain and road bike rides, “Brown Bag” lunches, end-of-day networking hour, all followed by a panel discussion and a “Wine & Chocolate” reception on Sunday. Plus, professional and amateur women will be competing all week on the challenging road, mountain and cyclocross courses around Laguna Seca.

For more information about Ladies Activities, click here.

Festival Shows – Thursday through Sunday, April 19-22
Mike Steidley, nine-time US National Trials Champion and one of the most prolific athletes in the US, is bringing his Stunt Show to the Sea Otter Classic. During the Kenda Tires/Mike Steidley Stunt Show, presented by Haro Bikes, Steidley dances his bike over ramps and obstacles –including spectators he pulls from the crowd. Steidley has performed stunt shows all across the US and in 23 different countries, as well as on the Vans Warped Tour and VW Major Motion Picture Tour, entertaining thousands of spectators and fans. Shows will be held in expo booth 706, Thursday, 2 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Saturday, 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.; and Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

For more information about Festival Shows, click here.

SRAM Mountain Bike Ride Zone and Demo Courses – Thursday through Sunday, April 19-22
Sea Otter Classic attendees will be able to demo the latest bikes and equipment in the SRAM MTB Ride Zone and on designated mountain bike trails and road courses around the festival area. The Ride Zone features a bike skills test track with small jumps, a pump track, and other bike handling skills attractions designed for everyone from beginners to experienced riders.

The Mountain Bike Demo Loop will include world-class cross-country trails road riders can cruise through spectacular scenery on the road demo routes around Laguna Seca overlooking beautiful Monterey, Calif. The SRAM MTB Ride Zone and trailheads for the MTB and road courses is located in the southwest corner of the Festival area, and are open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about SRAM Ride Zone and Demo Courses, click here.

Camp of Champions Big Air Bag Jump Camp – Thursday through Sunday, April 19-22
Returning to Sea Otter Classic is the Camp of Champions Big Air Bag Jump Camp presented by GoPro. Free and open to anyone, Camp of Champions coaches will be on hand to teach beginners and skilled riders dirt or slopestyle jumps while landing safely into a large Hollywood-stuntman-style airbag. Located on the south side of the Festival area, next to the SRAM Speed and Style event, the Camp of Champions Big Air Bag Jump Camp is open Thursday through Sunday, 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

For more information about Camp of Champions Big Air Bag Jump Camp, click here.

Kids Activities – Thursday through Sunday, April 19-22
Sea Otter Egg Hunt: During the Sea Otter Classic Egg Hunt, hosted by Skipper the Sea Otter, kids ages eight and under will love hunting for eggs around the lawn, including the chance to find some eggs with prizes inside. The hunt will be located in the 200 block of the expo area, and take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10 a.m.

Kids Races: Kids love to challenge themselves, especially with their friends. Open to kids twelve and under, Sea Otter is hosting free, everyone-one-is-a-winner “races.” Kids will be able to maneuver through a course carefully designed to stretch skills and build confidence. All the races are divided by age category, and every child will be given a medal. Racing will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday at noon in the Kids Bike Play Zone, which is located in the southwest corner of the Festival area.

Specialized First Gear Kids Zone: Not your average playground, the Specialized First Gear Kids Zone allows kids twelve and younger to try out their budding bike skills on obstacles appropriate for their age and riding level. The Kids Zone is free and will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and kids need to make sure they bring their helmets.

Carnival: There are so many fun things for kids to do in the Sea Otter Village, the hard part will be getting them to leave. Bounce houses will provide hours of bouncing, sliding, and climbing fun. Open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For kids ages twelve and under.

For more information about Kids Activities, click here.

Yoga Classes at Sea Otter – Thursday through Sunday, April 19-22
Sea Otter Classic is offering yoga classes for beginners as well as advanced yogis to improve flexibility and muscle recovery. Taught by Rita Leon, a competitive cyclist, USA Cycling level III coach and licensed yoga instructor, the classes will be held Thursday through Sunday, April 19-22, 7:30-8:30 a.m. in the Chaparral Room in Chaparral Campground “B.”

For more information about Yoga Classes at Sea Otter, click here.

Little Bellas Day Camp – Friday through Sunday, April 20-22
The Little Bellas is a popular, all-girl mountain biking program run by Specialized Pro Rider Lea Davison and her sister Sabra. For the third year in a row, Lea and Sabra are bringing their Vermont-based program to the Sea Otter Classic to provide girls with an adventure in mountain biking designed to get them hooked on the sport, and to help build everyday confidence. Focused on improving skills and having fun, it’s a great opportunity for girls looking to try out mountain biking, as well as for girls who are ready to take their riding to the next level. Camp members will be given a full-access pass to the Sea Otter event, with the ability to meet and learn from mountain biking’s biggest names.

For more information about Little Bellas Day Camp and to register, click here.

SRAM Speed and Style – Friday & Saturday, April 20-21
Originally introduced to the Sea Otter Classic last year, the SRAM Speed and Style is a combination head-to-head race and freestyle jump contest. Two riders compete on two identical pump tracks designed by legendary freeriding course designer Jeff Lenosky. The fastest racer wins the “Speed” points. Riders can also earn time advantage points by trying to “out-trick” the other on two jumps for “style” points. The one with the most points wins. Located on the south side of the Festival area, next to the Sierra Nevada Beer Garden, the SRAM Speed and Style is great spectator friendly event. Racing is open to pros only. Practice takes place Friday and Saturday, 8-10:45 a.m., qualifying runs start Friday at 11 a.m., with finals Saturday at 2 p.m.

For more information about SRAM Speed and Style, click here.

Specialized Gran Fondo – Saturday, April 21
Started in Europe and gaining popularity in the U.S., Gran Fondo, or “Great Endurance” in Italian, is a mass-participation riding event, not a race, though riders are timed, so they pit themselves against the elements and the clock. The 2012 Sea Otter Classic will offer three Gran Fondo routes – two road route options and one mountain bike route with distances to challenge all skill levels. Participants receive full support throughout the ride, as well as a bag of goodies at the finish. Advance registration online is encouraged. On-site registration is available April 18-20, but day-of registration is not available.

For more information about the Specialized Gran Fondo, click here.

Sea Otter Classic Cyclocross hosted by Raleigh America – Saturday, April 21
For the first time ever, Sea Otter Classic will be the site of a cyclocross race. A spectator friendly event, the Sea Otter Classic Cyclocross hosted by Raleigh America course will snake around and through the festival area and will feature multiple “kitty litter” sections, a high-speed barrier section (located near the Sierra Nevada Beer Garden), and possibly a surprise obstacle or two placed around the course, all of which forces riders to get off their bikes, carry them over the obstacles and get back on and ride. Racing will begin Saturday, April 21 at 3:30 p.m., with a different category race starting every half hour. The last race, Elite 1/2 Mens, takes place at 6:30 p.m.

For more information about the Sea Otter Classic Cyclocross, click here.

Laguna Seca Invitational Downhill Skateboard Race – Thursday, April 19
Organizers of the Sea Otter Classic like to mix it up occasionally and this year they will host the Road Rider and International Gravity Sports Association (IGSA) Laguna Seca Invitational Downhill Skateboard Race. Spectators will be able to watch 32 of the world’s fastest skateboarders race wheel-to-wheel through the famous corners of Laguna Seca. With a $5,000 purse on the line, and a limited, invitation-only field, the on-track action will be worth watching. The race takes place Thursday, April 19 at 1 p.m. and starts just before Laguna Seca’s famous Corkscrew turn. The finish line is near the Sea Otter Bridge.

For more information about Laguna Seca Invitational Downhill Skateboard Race,  click here.

Source: Donna Brown

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