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The Sea Otter Classic and my Top 40 Challenge

It is that time of the year again: SeaOtter Classic time!

This 14-17 April in Monterey, California. According to their website, the inaugural Sea Otter Classic, originally called the Laguna Seca Challenge, was held on April 6 and 7, 1991. The event totaled 350 athletes and 150 spectators.

Fast forward, and the 21st Annual Sea Otter Classic is a four-day “Celebration of Cycling” that welcomes over 8,000 athletes and 50,000 race fans and other bicycle enthusiasts.

Over a 4 day period there will be circuit , criterium and pro stage as well as general road racing, downhill, 4-cross, cross country, short-track, dual slalom, mtb and road tours.

I attended for one event on one day last year as was hooked. This year I’ll be there for 3 days and will participate in one road and one mtb event.

Of course, doing these 2 events fit in very well with my most recent, self-imposed challenge: to participate in 40 events during the remainder of 2011. The biggest challenge to fit in that number of events relates very much to the fact that I only decided on this half-way through March. That said, having to account for family time, traveling, health, etc makes it quite tight!

It is now 7 April and I’m standing on 6 events. I have 4 planned for April and then will have to consistently participate in 3,3 events every month from May until the end of the year.

Events I enter include road and MTB events, road running and trail running.

Will I make it…?


2011 events calendar

Sure I wanna do more than I did in 2010!

Sure I wanna do more than what I actually think I’ll be able to. But then, as you know, there’s work, business travel, family engagements, etc,etc. With the Totalsports Challenge Terra Firma event behind me, I’m hoping to at least get my backside in gear for a few more events this year.

So, after working through the Ride Magazine’s Dirty Dates calendar, the Bicycling Magazine’s must-do events, some fun trail running events on the various trail running web sites and even the Pedalpower calendar, this is what I believe I can realistically accomplish in the first quarter ( and a bit) of 2011:

Trail running:

There are 5 events in total as part of the Cape Summer series. These are either 5km – 8km  or 10-15km options. There are events in other parts of the country too. I plan to do the following:

  • Sunday 3o January: Paul Cluver
  • Wednesday 2 February: Durbanville Hills

All Wednesday evening races will start at 18h00 for the Long and 18h15 for the Short. The weekend (Sunday) races will start at 07h30 for the Long and 07h45 for the Short

2Oceans Trail run:

This will be on Good Friday, 22 April and starts at 07h30 from UCT campus. Limited to 400 runners. I’ve entered for the 10km event. There’s also a 22km run.

Road rides:

  • Sun 6 Feb: Rollercoaster, Constantia: 88km:
  • Sun 13 Feb: 3 Passes, 77km, Newlands
  • Sunday 13 March: Pick ‘n Pay Argus: 109km
  • Saturday 16 April:  Sea Otter Classic Gran Fondo, 40 miles, Monterey, California:


  • Sat 5 Feb: Franschhoek Lions MTB: 46,8km
  • Sat: 19 Feb: Wilde Cycle: Wellington: 50km
  • Grape Escape: Stage 1 (4 March) Eden on the Bay to Nelson Wine Estate: 85km. Stage 2 (5 March), Nelson Wine Estate to Boschendal Wine Estate: 76km. Stage 3 (6 March) Boschendal Wine Estate, Argus MTB: 67km
  • Sun: 17 April, Seaotter Classic, Monterey, California: cross country:

You ready?

Online entries are open for the SeaOtter Classic 2011:

April 14-17, 2011:

Monterey, California USA

I’ll be there!


Seaotter Classic 2010

It took me 41 hours to get from Cape Town to Monterey, home of the Seaotter Classic for the last 20 years.

As much as it was a long trip, it was certainly worth the while to be able to participate in that grand MTB event. Of course there were nuemoerous events over a 4 day period.  These include cross country, short track, downhill, 4 croos and even road events.

My time constraints only allowed me to take part in the 30 mile MTB tour. It was a glorious day and the vibe there was simply amazing. The organisers spoke of about 15 000 cyclists and about 3 time that many spectators that would descend on the Segway Racecourse over the 4day period.

The tours was what I know as a “fun ride” with a group start. The track though, was ceratinly suitable to racing with a number of serious uphills, single track, jeep tracks, sand, stones and a few hairy down hills.

The refreshment points were amazing. Besides water and energy drinks, they served chocolate chip cookies, M&M’s, grapes and jelly babies.

After the event, every tour rider was invited to a great pasta lunch in a marquees tent, exclusively for the tour riders. Chicken penne with a great marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, fresh rolls and a ceasar salad went down very well.

At the luck draw one rider walked away with a certificate for a new Specialized MTB bike, tailored to his size and requirements.

The event also had an expo with all the major MTB brands present. These include bikes, forks, clothing, helmet-top cameras, spare parts, etc.

I met Barry Stander’s mechanic at the Specialized van. It was great to speak with a fellow South African and Capetonian right there at the Seaotter.

The towns of Monterey and Carmel ( where I stayed)  are both beautiful tourist friendly villages and well worth an extra day’s stay.

I’m really keen to go again in 2011 but for the whole 4 days, if possible! Wanna join?


Sea Otter Classic 2010

Author mtbguy    Category Sea Otter Classic     Tags

Entries are now open for the 2010 Sea Otter Classic, the 20th Anniversary from 15-18 April 2010 in Monterey California.
Go to their web site for details.
You can also find them on facebook at this link: 
Their twitter account: @SeaOtterClassic

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