A sneak peek at some of the season’s best upcoming events
Sea Otter Classic
April 14-17, Monterey
Debuting 26 years ago as the Laguna Seca Challenge with a total of 350 athletes and 150 spectators, the Sea Otter Classic is now regarded as the world’s premiere cycling festival hosting over 10,000 athletes and 65,000 fans. The “celebration of cycling” attracts professional and amateur athletes alike who make the annual pilgrimage to participate in some of the sport’s most competitive and enduring events.
Mountain bike races include cross country, downhill, dual slalom and short track. Road cyclists compete in circuit, criterium, and road racing. Cyclocross and non-competitive events are also offered. The event hosts the largest consumer bike expo in North America, and features an international food court, entertainment, bike demos, stunt shows, and carnival activities for children.
April 30-May 1, Lake San Antonio
Wildflower is known all over the world for its festival-like atmosphere, challenging courses and some of the happiest volunteers on earth. Some of the greatest triathletes in the world have participated in the Wildflower. For many athletes, this event is on their bucket list of places to compete, for others it’s a yearly celebration of their commitment to a healthy lifestyle and for yet others it is a place for family and friends to get together for fellowship.
Racers who attend this year’s 34th event can book a hotel or vacation rental in nearby Paso Robles or stay onsite at the race campgrounds in a tent or RV. Due to ongoing drought conditions, the campgrounds have been closed to the general public for the year; however, Wildflower attendees will have the privilege of racing and camping at Lake San Antonio for the event weekend.
Wildflower continues to draw thousands of competitive and amateur athletes each year. This year’s El Nino brought enough winter rain to raise the water levels back up to the boat ramp for a swim start at Harris Creek; allowing for over five miles of open water swimming. When it comes time to race, participants have their choice of distances: Long Course, Olympic, Mountain Bike Sprint, On-road Sprint and even a Kid’s Race.
Complete Tri, a leading triathlon apparel website, recently listed Wildflower as one of the top 10 destination races in the US. This ranking was awarded to triathlons that offer a variety of racing distances, have also stood the test of time, and offer a special venue. The Wildflower offers all of this and much more. With its challenging course and fun-filled, three-day festival, it’s sure to remain *the* destination race for years to come.
Silicon Valley Bikes! Festival and Bicycle Show
May 15, San Jose
Come join Silicon Valley racing, road, recreation, cruiser, vintage, fixed gear, lowrider, mountain biking, recumbent, cargo biking, BMX, bike polo playing, bike partying and cool urban lifestyle cyclists and their families for a day of celebrating bicycling and its history at this 2nd annual event.
Enjoy a day of family fun, great food trucks, craft beer, a kids’ space, thrilling BMX stunt rider shows, music, amazing exhibitors, free bicycle valet parking, local artists, artisans and craft persons and a spectacular bicycle show.
The kids’ area features games, prizes, face painting, helmet giveaways and room nearby for parents to take a breather while they enjoy food truck fare and craft beer.
Enjoy talks about the Valley’s rich bicycling history, and check out the Cargo Bike Village, Artists Colony, bike repair clinics, roller racing and more.
Admission is $5.00, $5.00 per show bike, and children ages two and under are admitted free.
Santa Cruz Old Cabin Classic
May 21, Santa Cruz
Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBoSC) is proud to present the Santa Cruz Old Cabin Classic at Wilder Ranch State Park – the first cross-country race in Wilder Ranch in over twenty years. The Old Cabin Classic is a celebration of mountain biking and a homage to this iconic venue. The race is being held as a benefit for the park, with proceeds going directly into a fund earmarked for trail development. Although race entries sold out immediately upon registration opening, organizers stress that the event is not only a race, but a celebration of community. With a kids’ section, local artist expo (including frame builders and a bicycle museum), beer garden and food court, you will want to bring the whole family out for some good old fashioned community celebration.
The Old Cabin Classic is the result of an increased level of cooperation between MBoSC and California State Parks. The two organizations have been working together to improve trail access in Wilder Ranch, starting with the Enchanted Loop re-route and restoration project in 2015/16, and hope to continue this partnership to build and improve trails in the coming years.
Surfer’s Path Marathon, Capitola Half Marathon and Relay
May 22, Santa Cruz & Capitola
With its breathtaking views of Monterey Bay and over a dozen famous surf spots along the coastline, the Surfer’s Path Marathon, Capitola Half Marathon and Relay is considered one of the most scenic courses in the world.
“The Surfer’s Path is a celebration of beach life. We offer a laid back atmosphere, where runners enjoy the ocean air, stunning views, and sand between their toes,” says Race Director Tom Bradley. Now in its fifth year, the Surfer’s Path has established its Santa Cruz surf theme reputation that showcases the beauty of Santa Cruz County. “The Surfer’s Path courses travel past some of the world’s most famous surf breaks, including the San Lorenzo River Mouth, Pleasure Point, and Steamers Lane. The miles melt away as runners enjoy majestic views of the Monterey Bay,” Bradley adds.
Runners will start at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, do a loop through picturesque Capitola Village and return to Santa Cruz to a beach finish. Marathoners continue along spectacular West Cliff Drive to the bluffs of Wilder and back. All runners receive event shirts featuring surfboard graphics and surfboard finisher medals.
Lost & Found Gravel Grinder
June 4, Lake Davis
The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is thrilled to again host the Lost & Found Gravel Grinder which features a course boasting the perfect blend of pavement, dirt, gravel, and historic railroad grade.
Racers must choose their weapon wisely. Road, cross, gravel, and mountain bikes will all have their own advantages and weaknesses -but all are guaranteed to produce the same amount of smiles per mile.
The route comes in three flavors to suit every taste: 100 miles with 7,000′ elevation gain, 60 miles with 4,000′ elevation gain, and 30 miles with 2,000′ elevation gain. Routes leave from the beautiful campground at Lake Davis, located just outside of Portola, California.
Winding out from the lake and up into the surrounding mountains, the course includes some of the most beautiful terrain in the Lost Sierra. Brutal climbs, long descents, and gorgeous mountain valleys are what riding in this area is all about. Feel free to gas it hard and race, or ride to enjoy the scenery and themed aid stations.
Make a weekend out of it and camp near the race start to swap war stories and enjoy the uniquely awesome atmosphere of a Sierra Buttes event.
The Lost & Found is the first event of the Lost Sierra Triple Crown – -a points race new this year that packages it along with the Downieville Classic and the Grinduro to crown a true King and Queen of The Lost Sierra.
Groveland Gears & Grooves Mini-Triathlon
June 11, Groveland
The Groveland Gears and Grooves Triathlon, presented by the Groveland Area Partnership, is scheduled to take place in and around the town of Groveland, near Yosemite National Park.
The course is a three sport event where you start where you want to start and end where you want to end. Think of it as a “Choose your own adventure” event!
Stage One is a swim on Pine Mountain Lake. Participants start at the Lake Lodge, swim a mile, and end at the Marina.
Stage Two is a cycling ride from the Marina, east on State Route 120, through the countryside, and up to the Rim of the World overlook. Riders will finish this stage at the Pine Mountain Lake Stables.
Stage Three is a run from the Pine Mountain Stables, through the airport and outlying areas, ending at Mary Leveroni Park.
Whether you individually run, swim, or ride or you go for it all by doing it all, the cost for this event is $50.00 per person or $130.00 per team of three, and participants under the age of 18 are $25.00.
Volunteers are needed and much appreciated.
Participants and spectators are encouraged to check out the Sierra EcoSUMMIT at the nearby Mountain Sage Cafe (more information at sierraecosummit.org).
The Jay Race
June 18, Capitola
One of the most iconic paddleboard races in the world, the Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race is held in honor of one of big wave surfing’s favorite sons – the late Jay Moriarity. Jay was known as much for his fearless big wave surfing as he was for his positive and always friendly attitude. To stay in shape for the winter big wave season, Jay became an avid paddleboarder and could regularly be seen logging countless miles on his paddleboard on the beautiful waters of the Monterey Bay.
Participants gather annually to remember Jay and paddle their hearts out in his honor. All proceeds benefit the Jay Moriarity Foundation to raise funds for Junior Lifeguard programs to purchase equipment and provide scholarships in Jay’s name as well as other ocean related beneficiaries.
The 2016 event celebrates its 15th year on the majestic Monterey Bay and features a challenging 12-mile long course, 2-mile short course, Waterman Challenge, kids’ obstacle course race, a family-friendly atmosphere, pre-registration party, and raffle featuring surfboards, paddleboards, wetsuits and more.
Eppie’s Great Race
July 16, Sacramento
Presented by Eppie’s Wellness Foundation, “The World’s Oldest Triathlon” raises funds for the Sacramento County Therapeutic Recreation Services (TRS) programs that support people of all ages with special needs and developmental disabilities.
The event is a summertime tradition for elite athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and families. The race features a 5.82-mile run, a 12.5-mile bike and a 6.10-mile paddle along the scenic American River Parkway.
Superpro Racing Events
Panoche Desert Hills (CGG #4) – April 2
NorCal Spring Classic – April 23
Shevock’s Sierra Surprise (CGG #5) – June 11
Mendocino 100 – July 9
Mendocino MTB Madness (M5) – August 18-21
SuperPro Racing presents an eclectic array of races and non-competitive recreational events that appeal to a broad spectrum of cyclists. Founder and organizer Murphy Mack is well renowned for his creative, fun events whether on gravel, asphalt, dirt, or a mix of all.
With its last two California Gravel Gauntlet Series events on the horizon (Panoche Desert Hills on April 2 and the series finale Shevock’s Sierra Surprise on June 11), and its NorCal CycloCross wrapped up for the year, SuperPro looks ahead to its remaining events.
Its homage to the Spring Classics of Europe – the NorCal Spring Classic set for April 23 – features rough roads, long miles, big climbs and screaming descents Registration includes top-notch support, post-ride buffet, craft beer and more.
The uber-popular Mendocino 100 mountain bike endurance race takes place July 9 on a great mix of singletrack and forest road on a course that’s one non-repeating loop. Race either 100 miles or 100 kilometres (62 miles). Camping available nearby, plus hot showers, great food and local craft beer.
Wrapping up the warm weather season is Mendocino MTB Madness from August 18-21, an epic retreat featuring three fully supported days of amazing singletrack riding in and around the 50,000 acre Jackson State Forest. The family-friendly event includes rustic accommodations with fire places and hot showers, farm to table hot meals three times a day, bottomless kegs of local craft beer and wine, nightly fun and games, daily yoga sessions, mechanical support, skills clinics, and kids’ activities.
California Enduro Series
Fontana Enduro – April 1
Battle Born Enduro – May 14
Toro Enduro – May 28
VP EnduroFest – June 25-26
Ashland Mountain Challenge – July 16
Northstar Enduro – August 27-28
Kamikaze Bike Games Enduro – September 15-18
The California Enduro Series (CES) is primed to present another great year of Enduro racing. CES is a for riders, by riders non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting world-class Enduro events that everyone from amateur to pro can enjoy, at a geographically diverse range of venues. The series is renowned for fostering an exceptional sense of community, and encourages its participants to be involved in its planning.
Several new initiatives are slated for the 2016 season including the all-new Golden Tour (pro series triple crown within CES, CES RiderID, added support for race teams, and the adoption of Enduro World Series (EWS) rules and race books templates.
Sierra Cup MTB Racing Series
Pine Nut Cracker – May 21
Ridin’ High at the Ranch – May 28
Sagebrush Scramble – June 26
Kirkwood Mountain Classic – July 24
Great Tahoe Flume Race – September 11
The 2016 Sierra Cup Series will serve as the USA Cycling Regional Championship Series for Northern California and Nevada. All events before July will be qualifiers for MTB Nationals at Mammoth. The Kirkwood Mountain Classic and Great Tahoe Flume race will be qualifiers for 2017 Nationals.