By all indicators, this year’s Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, CA was bigger and better than ever, with more exhibitors (400+), more sponsor banners (900+), and 8% growth in the number of athletes competing. As for the number of visitors/spectators, while the exact total isn’t available yet, the main parking area held 1,000 more vehicles at times this year than last year, plus yours truly can vouch for what seemed to be a noticeable uptick in crowd size each day of the event.

For those unfamiliar with the Sea Otter Classic, now in its 27th year, it’s a “Celebration of Cycling” for families, cycling enthusiasts, racers, and anyone else who shares a passion for bicycles and the cycling community. This year, it ran from Thursday, April 20, through Sunday, April 23, and featured a variety of bike races, a carnival, kid’s activities, a sales expo, vendor displays/demos, and much more.

What’s a Monkey Doing with an Otter?

You might be thinking, “What’s a Monkey like me doing in a place like the Sea Otter Classic?”

The answer is easy:

  • First, it’s a fun event, especially when you’re accompanied with good Monkeyz friend Kim Merrill of Merrill Marketing/Communications, and have a chance to get out of the office and out into the California sun.
  • Second, and perhaps most important, it’s an opportunity to network with like-minded cycling enthusiasts and businesses—and for those frequent readers of my Monkeyz blog, you know how I feel about networking! It’s the lifeblood of keeping your eyes and ears open to opportunities and keeping your new business development pipeline filled.

So with more than 10,000 athletes and more than 71,000 spectators on-hand (last year’s numbers), it was an obvious win-win for a couple of marketing/communications types like Kim and me to make the nearly 450-mile trek north.

Full Downhill Highlights from Sea Otter Classic 2017

Enjoy the pics below from our adventure, plus a few special shout outs to new friends and old we met along the way!

We’re off!

Vittoria – Quality and Comfort at its best!

I think this could be a challenge?

Partners in crime (Paul June, Ed Clancy, and Kim Merrill)

HipLok innovative products and positively impacting Rider Safety & Visibility (RSV)

Rider Safety & Visibility (RSV) – Time to be Seen!

The legend Dave Turner of Turner Bikes with another classic salty dog, Kim Merrill

Pete Prebus of Electric Bike Report with Kim Merrill sharing a laugh…but at who’s expense?

Another day at the Otter

Sage Titanium’s Dave Rosen showing off the $20K Belgium Beast with Chris Reynolds of SoCal BICYCLIST Magazine

Bulls’ Barney Franco with Kim Merrill and Electric Bike’s Tony Donaldson

Trek’s Alex Applegate talking RSV with Kim Merrill

Sena showing off its Bluetooth enabled helmets featuring video camera and headset

Garmin showing how to make a difference with RSV

Kim Merrill showing off the throne at Ergon! Insert joke here 😉

Ortlieb . . . definitely what I want on my bike! Quality

Hollywood Racks . . . Now that’s top shelf! 😉

Enjoying a little ride with my bud!

Touching the $20K Belgium Beast at Sage

Enjoying a little R&R

Hanging with George at eJoe!

The long trip home has its rewards

All good things must come to an end!

Paul June is King Monkey of BARREL O’MONKEYZ, a San Diego-based strategic marketing agency specializing in Sports and Active Lifestyle markets. We serve as a seasoned, outsourced marketing team for companies looking to ramp up sales and launch new products. Our barrel is full of talent and creative arms ready to prove we don’t just monkey around!