BikeRadar is helping to kick off 2009 with a bang by becoming a media sponsor of the Sea Otter Classic.
As the first major event of the season, the annual festival offers a chance to check out the latest gear, see teams' new strips for the first time and watch some of the world's top racers in action.
The 19th annual Sea Otter Classic takes place at Laguna Seca Recreation Area in Monterey, California, from 16-19 April.
There will be a full schedule of amateur and pro cycling events, as well as family activities for all ages and one of the largest consumer bike expos in the world.
Mountain bike events will include cross-country, dual slalom, a mass-start Super D, downhill, and more. Road racing and circuit racing will take place on the world famous Laguna Seca Raceway. For those who want to take a less competitive route, Sea Otter offers recreational road and mountain bike tours.
The Sea Otter Village, hub of the event, will pulse with activity, with free bike demos, stunt shows, children's playhouses, an international food court, beer and barbecue garden, and live entertainment. Free to children 12 and under are Sea Otter egg hunts, bike rodeos, kids' races and much more. The Sea Otter Expo holds hundreds of vendors who display new products, give out free samples and offer bargains.
Kids' Bike Zone
Making its debut last year, the Kids' Bike Zone will now be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm. This offers fun activities for future Sea Otter racers and a place for parents to relax. Two of the most popular events, the Sea Otter egg hunt and kids' bike rodeo, will be held there.
The kids' bike race will expand its entry list for older children who are still too young for official race categories. Those aged 11 to 14 will race on the professional short track course, which includes short uphill and slippery downhill sections, and often rutted or muddy parts to challenge even the best of professional riders. Pros will race the loop alongside them to inspire and offer encouragement.
All kids' activities are free. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
New for 2009, an online community extends the Sea Otter experience well beyond the four days on-site in Monterey. People all over the world are invited to use this space to share training tips, routes, travel plans, race preparation advice, camping plans and anything else related to the annual festival.
"Falling where it does on the calendar in April, the Sea Otter Classic has always marked the unofficial beginning of the cycling season," said Jeannie Pruitt-Retamoso, director of festival services for the Sea Otter Classic. "The online forum means everyone can start participating today, as racers and cycling enthusiasts talk shop, discuss ideas for staying in shape through winter and anticipate the event with their friends."
Bicycle Leadership Conference
On the industry side, the Sea Otter Classic continues to be one of the most important events of the year. For the next three years it will also host the Bicycle Leadership Conference, the premier conference for the most influential members of the industry. Delegates representing all aspects of the bike business, from manufacturing and distribution to retail and advocacy, are invited to attend the Sea Otter Classic after three days of work sessions and networking events.
For more information, visit www.seaotterclassic.com.