A sneak peek at some of the season’s best upcoming events

Festy fun at the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival (Michele Lamelin).

Festy fun with Sweetlines’ Kat Sweet (third from left) and Liv Ladies AllRide’s Lindsey Voreis (far right) at the 2014 Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival (Michele Lamelin).

Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival
April 11-12, Santa Cruz

This eco-conscious, family-friendly event was created as a Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBoSC) fundraiser to celebrate the world class mountain bike facilities, riders, and cycling industry of Santa Cruz county, with proceeds benefiting local bike projects. Growing year after year with the generous support of its sponsors, volunteers and community, the festival is a testament to the depth of the mountain bike culture in Santa Cruz County. The 6th annual event takes place at San Lorenzo Park the weekend before the Sea Otter Classic in nearby Monterey. Activities include bike demos, skills clinics, an all-new poker ride, the popular aerial jump bag, a vendor fair, expanded kids’ area, a beer garden and food court, raffles, live music and more. santacruzmountainbikefestival.com

Start gate at the Sea Otter Classic (Loui Traub).

Start gate at the Sea Otter Classic (Loui Traub).

Sea Otter Classic
April 16-19, Monterey

Debuting 25 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. seaotterclassic.com

Photo courtesy Wildflower Triathlon.

Photo courtesy Wildflower Triathlon.

Wildflower Triathlon
May 1-3, 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. No matter how you look at it Wildflower is a “can’t miss” event. Options include the Long Course Triathlon (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run), the Mountain Bike Triathlon (.25-mile swim, 9.7-mile mountain bike, and 2-mile run), the Olympic Distance Triathlon (1.5k-swim, 40k-bike, 10k-run), or the Wildflower Squared (Long and Olympic). In addition to the race events, the Wildflower includes camping, live music, expo areas, lake swimming and fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, and kayaking, paddleboarding and boating (rentals available). tricalifornia.com

Photo courtesy Surfer’s Path Marathon.

Photo courtesy Surfer’s Path Marathon.

Surfer’s Path Marathon & Capitola Half Marathon
May 17, Santa Cruz & Capitola

The Surfer’s Path Marathon, Capitola Half Marathon & Relay events welcome runners with an enchanting blend of nostalgia, natural beauty and invigorating activities. Whether you choose the 26.2-mile Marathon, 13.1-mile Half Marathon or Relay, you will be treated to scenic courses, featuring breathtaking views of the Monterey Bay coastline and a series of world renowned surf breaks. An ideal destination event, participants can experience a quintessential California vacation. Create a memory that you will treasure forever by achieving your athletic goal in this picture postcard setting. The Marathon and Half Marathon courses journey onto the Surfer’s Path, a tour along coastal bluffs offering views of legendary surf breaks including Steamer’s Lane, Pleasure Point and Capitola. Miles will melt away as you enjoy breathtaking views and watch surfers ride the waves. surferspathmarathon.com

Groveland Gears & Grooves Triathlon
June 6, Groveland

The Groveland Gears and Grooves Triathlon, presented by the Groveland Area Partnership, is a three sport event scheduled to take place in and around the town of Groveland, near Yosemite National Park. The course includes a one mile swim on Pine Mountain Lake, a five mile run from the lake to Pine Mountain Stables, and a 25-mile bike ride through the Stanislaus Forest, to the Rim of the World, and back to Groveland. After completing the course, participants are treated to a post-race BBQ, and live music – The Paul Chesne Band – at Mary Laveroni Park in the early evening, sponsored by the Iron Door Saloon (the oldest continually running saloon in California) in conjunction with the Gears and Grooves Triathalon. grovelandgearsandgrooves.com

Incarnation 100
June 6, Santa Rosa

This is a new event for a great cause. The ride starts and finishes in historic downtown Santa Rosa and will appeal to avid and recreational cyclists alike. Starting and finishing in historic downtown Santa Rosa, there are  three different course coptions. The 45-mile route takes a leisurely path through Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley and West Sonoma County. The 100-km route is almost idential to the the 45-mile route but includes the hidden em and challenge of Sweetwater Springs Road — a secret favorite of many Sonoma County cyclists — which skirts the entrance of Armstrong Redwood State Natural Reserve. The 100-mile route is a challenging grand tour of Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley and West Sonoma County. Incarnation 100 benefits three vital homeless service entities: The Living Room, Sunday on the Table and St. Andrews Food Program. Discounts available for group registrations of 10 or more. Incarnation100.org

Photo courtesy SurfTech Jay's Race.

Photo courtesy SurfTech Jay’s Race.

Surftech Jay Race
June 20, Capitola

June 20 marks the 14th Anniversary of the Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race. The “Jay Race” as it has become known, 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. With the summer paddling season just around the corner, the world’s top traditional and stand up paddle athletes are training hard in preparation for this year’s special event. In addition to the 12-mile long course endurance challenge, there is also a 2-mile short course race for those not yet ready to paddle for hours on the open ocean. The Waterman Challenge will once again feature a 500 meter swim, 1,000 meter SUP and 1,500 meter prone race to determine who is the best overall water athlete. Just before the Waterman Challenge takes to the water, the highlight event of the day – the Mini Jay Race – will have parents and spectators cheering on kids under 10 years old. Mini Jay racers will first paddle a short water race course then hit the beach and run through a labyrinth of creative beach obstacles all while being sprayed by their loved ones with super soakers. With many different races and events, the Jay Race offers fun on the water for paddlers of all shapes and sizes. jayrace.com

Photo courtesy SurfTech Jay's Race.

Photo courtesy SurfTech Jay’s Race.

Photo courtesy Eppie's Great Race.

Photo courtesy Eppie’s Great Race.

Eppie’s Great Race
July 18, Sacramento

Registration is now open for the 42nd Annual Eppie’s Great Race® coming to the Sacramento area on Saturday, July 18, 2015. This event – known as “The World’s Oldest Triathlon” – has been implemented each year as a fundraiser benefiting programs for the Sacramento County Therapeutic Recreation Services (TRS) that support mentally and physically challenged people. To date, Eppie’s Great Race has raised more than $1 million for TRS, accounting for over 20% of the program’s budget. Both teams and/or individuals can compete in divisions from Junior to Iron Person, 14 -70 years and older. Participants run 5.82 miles, cycle 12.5 miles, and paddle 6.35 miles, on a racecourse located on and alongside the American River Parkway. Early bird discounts available. eppiesgreatrace.org

Photo courtesy Eppie's Kids Dualthon.

Photo courtesy Eppie’s Kids Dualthon.

Eppie’s Kids Dualthon
October 18, Sacramento

The 10th annual Eppie’s Kids Dualthon, presented by Eppie’s Great Race Foundation, is a running and cycling race for children and a great day of wellness fun for the entire family. Taking place at Sacramento’s Discovery Park on the American River Parkway, the new course site allows parents and friends to cheer on the kids. Participants receive food, goodie bags, shirts, and prizes. Upon completing the race, the whole family can enjoy fun, hands-on cooking and gardening activities, fitness obstacle courses, bounce houses and climbing walls, free health screenings, food and entertainment, among others. Adults and kids alike can earn more about growing and gardening, as well as cooking easy, healthy meals. eppieskidsdualthon.org

Sierra Cup Mountain Bike Series. Photo by KC Mares.

Sierra Cup Mountain Bike Series. Photo by KC Mares.

Sierra Cup Mountain Bike Racing Series

Nevada City Dirt Classic #1 – May 2

Pine Nut Cracker  – May 16

Ridin’ High at the Ranch – May 30

Kirkwood Mountain Classic – July 12

Great Tahoe Flume Race – August 23

The Sierra Cup Mountain Bike Racing Series returns to USA Cycling sanctioning for 2015 to assist in providing qualifying opportunities for riders in the region that would like to race at Mountain Bike Nationals in Mammoth. The series will be the USA Cycling Regional Championship for Northern California and Nevada.  Series points winners in each of the 23 categories will receive Regional Championship medals. All of the races have been in the series previously, although some are run by separate promoters. The series starts May 2 with the Nevada City Dirt Classic #1 just outside of Nevada City. The Pine Nut Cracker continues to be a favorite on May 16 in Gardnerville. Ridin’ High at the Ranch on May 30 treats riders to the fun, flowy singletrack of Susanville Ranch Park in Susanville. The Kirkwood Mountain Classic at Kirkwood Resort on July 12 gives riders one last high altitude training opportunity before Mammoth. The series final is the Great Tahoe Flume Race on August 23 with fabulous trails and views above Tahoe. SierracupMTB.com

SuperPro Racing Events

NorCal Spring Classic – April 11-12

Road to Mendocino – June 25-28

Mendocino 100 – July 11

Mendocino MTB Madness (M5)  – August 21-23

SuperPro Racing presents an eclectic array of races and non-competitive recreational events that appeal to a broad spectrum of cyclists. SuperPro’s founder and organizer Murphy Mack is well renowned for his creative, fun events whether on gravel, asphalt, dirt, or a mix of all three. With its NorCal CycloCross and California Gravel Gauntlet series’ 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 11-12 – features rough roads, long miles, big climbs and screaming descents Registration includes top-notch support, post-ride buffet, craft beer and more. On June 25, the Road to Mendocino – a 4-day 365-mile odyssey – will kick off in the high-desert plateau near Reno and will culminate on the coastal California craggs. The route takes riders on some of the most inaccessible forest roads in California with spectacular views. The uber-popular Mendocino 100 mountain bike endurance race takes place July 11 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 21-23, 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. superproracing.com

California Enduro Series

Battle Born Enduro – May 9

Wild Wood Adventure Enduro – June 13-14

VP EnduroFest – June 27-28

Ashland Mountain Challenge –  July 11-12

Northstar Enduro – August 29-30

Kamikaze Bike Games Enduro – September 24-27

The California Enduro Series (CES) promises another great year of Enduro racing. In its third year, CES proves its commitment to growing this popular cycling sport by expanding its schedule to include additional fun and challenging venues, offering more race categories, and maintaining equal pro payout to both men and women for series overall top placement. The 2015 schedule includes the Battle Born Enduro at Peavine Mountain in the Reno/Tahoe area, benefiting The Poedunks trail stewardship organization; the Wild Wood Adventure Enduro on the Mendocino coast in Caspar, presented by Mendocino Bike Sprite; VP EnduroFest at China Peak Mountain Resort in Lakeshore; Ashland Mountain Challenge at Lithia Park in Ashland, OR presented by Ashland Mountain Adventures; the Northstar Enduro at Northstar California Resort in Truckee; and the series finale Kamikaze Bike Games Enduro at Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes. californiaenduroseries.com