Spoke ‘n’ Word | Sea Otter Classic offers something for everyone
It’s that time of year andamp;#8212; the snow is melting, and you are preparing to pull your mountain bike out of storage for a glorious spring and summer of riding. What better time and place than this weekend at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey?For those who don’t know about this awesome event, it takes place at the Laguna Seca Speedway this Thursday through Sunday and offers up activities for all types of cycling enthusiasts. Here is just a small taste of what is available:Expo: Exhibitors from around the world come into the infield of the Laguna Seca Speedway and set up booths to display their products. There are often cutting-edge cycling products for sale, raffles and free swag that is given out. For a great deal on bike stuff, walk through the expo area on Sunday. Exhibitors are often looking to dump their excess product at very cheap prices.Festival: This is the bread and butter of the entire event. While there is too much to name here, some of the highlights include the SRAM Mountain Bike Ride Zone, the Sierra Nevada Beer and BBQ Garden, the Rain or Shine Jam, and the Big Air Bag.Racing: The event features both road bike and mountain bike racing. The road racing includes a circuit race, time trial and criterium, while the mountain bike racing includes cross country, downhill, dual slalom and short track.Gran Fondo: This is not a race, but a mass-participation timed event for cyclists who want a challenge but not necessarily to race. Sea Otter offers a road and mountain bike version this year. There is obviously much more to the Sea Otter Classic than what is listed here. For a full explanation of what it is all about, see the website at http://www.seaotterclassic.com.The Marc Pro-Strava Cycling Team will be in attendance yet again this year. A few of our guys will be racing in various categories of road and mountain bike races. Our Elite team will be participating in the Pro Men’s Stage Race. It begins on Thursday, and commences with the 90-minute circuit race on the Laguna Seca Speedway at high noon on Sunday. This is the most spectator-friendly stage of our race, and offers up some excitement (and pain) as we continuously climb the 300 foot wall, and then hit speeds of 50 mph on the corkscrew descent. If you haven’t seen us riding around Truckee, our team kits are green, white and black, and we wear bright yellow Mavic shoes. Come check us out!andamp;#8212; Team rider Nate Freed is the author of this week’s Marc Pro-Strava Racing column. Marc-Pro-Strava Racing is a Truckee-based cycling team focused on racing and local bike advocacy. For more on the team visit http://marcpro-strava.com.