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(UPDATE APRIL 1st: Hey all! This event was sold out but two spots have opened so I’m bumping this post even though I originally shared it back in January!!! It starts next week so hurry up and snatch your spot to join us!)
It’s happening again!!! James and I will be hosting a camping group at the Sea Otter Classic coming up from April 11-14th, and we’d be thrilled to have you join us!
Sea Otter is THE greatest cycling festival in the world, and takes place in the beautiful outskirts of Monterey, California at the famous WeatherTech Raceway, Laguna Seca. It’s hands down our favorite event of the year, and YOU’RE INVITED TO JOIN OUR GROUP!
Even though our camping group is run by “Winnebago Outdoor Adventures,” it is open to cycling enthusiasts with ANY kind of RV… and any size. Winnebago is cool like that, and yet another reason why we adore the “Winnebagans”.
Sea Otter is just so fantabulous, it’s hard to put in words our love affair with this event.
It brings all genres of biking together … so you can watch road biking, mountain biking, dual slalom, stunt cycling, and you can find friendly rides to join even if you aren’t a competitive cyclist. The event has an incredible expo area where you can test out demo bikes of all sorts, pick up freebies and swag, and generally just feel the love of bicycling all around you. Over 60,000 people from all over the world will be there, and only a small percentage of those are competing… this is more of a spectators’ event; you certainly aren’t expected to compete if you attend!
Besides the festival itself, camping is a HUGE part of the Sea Otter experience. The campgrounds sit on the scenic hillsides above the fest grounds and the views are absolutely stunning.
Since camping is part of the Sea Otter culture, one big challenge year to year is scoring an elusive campsite within the campgrounds. It’s next to impossible. They sell out immediately right after they go up for grabs. BUT GOOD NEWS! Since Winnebago is a major sponsor of Sea Otter, they get their own section of VIP campsites… and we still have some left if you join our group (and it’s open for ALL RV brands not just Winnebagos!); can I get a YEEHAW!
I’ll be honest, this isn’t a cheap event to attend, and you really have to be a cycling nut to appreciate the value of this incredible experience. Those campsites are so competitive they go for $120 a night (your registration includes 4 nights), and a fest pass alone goes for $50 per person. Plus, we all Uber into Monterey together on Friday night and have a trendy Cannery Row meal (cost is wrapped in your registration fee), so it all adds up.
But if you are a fellow cycling nut, you’ll quickly see this is a bargain, especially when you add up all the perks that come with signing up as part of our group. LIKE THESE:
1. Winnebago VIP status
You’ll have unlimited access to the VIP area in the Winnebago display within the Sea Otter fest grounds. It’s an area behind the scenes that stays stocked with free snacks and drinks and very nice Winnebago employees who take good care of you. It’s a great place to take a break between watching races or when you just need a moment to sit away from the crowds. James and I swing in often throughout the day.
2. Evening festivities and fun
When the festival shuts down for the day, our group will gather back in our camping area for happy hours, appetizers, game night craziness, and usually we have a musician or two in the group which leads to evening jam sessions. We’ll also have a festive Friday night dinner together in Monterey’s famous Cannery Row district. All of the evening entertainment is included with the price of your registration.
3. Group Activities
I’ll be leading a couple morning workouts during our four days together… BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!
We’ll also offer a group hike or two through the beautiful Ford Ord National Monument that runs along the campground border.
And of course we can’t host a Sea Otter experience without having a group road ride on the schedule!
Saturday morning is when all the non-competitive Sea-Otter-organized rides roll out:
These aren’t included in our group’s registration costs, but usually the majority of our camping group signs up for one of the Sea Otter rides anyways. I’ve done the Gran Fondo Pacifico the past few years… it’s a lovely 50 mile ride into town and along the coast and back. James prefers the longer and more torturous road Gran Fondo Carmelo, because, ya know, 91 miles with 7,000 feet of climbing and his whole cycling-masochist thing, I assume he’ll sign up for that one again this year so he can tell us horror stories of how awful it was afterwards.
There’s also a gorgeous 19 mile mountain bike ride option that some of the ladies in our group did last year and really enjoyed, and a 29 mile Gravel Grinder Tour, too. You can see all the Saturday morning fun rides HERE.
So there ya go! Whether you come for the bikes, the beautiful setting, the camaraderie, to hang with us, or just to bust out the RV, you should just come. It truly is a very unique and special experience. We’d love to get to share it with you.