Sea Otter 2021 – We’re back in 3D!

L-R, CAMTB Executive Director, Michael Anzalone, Board Members John Terberg and Jake Bayless, CAMTB Member Steve Larson from Share MTB, and Margie Terberg at the CAMTB Sea Otter booth.

Last month, CAMTB made a splash at Sea Otter Classic in Monterey for one of our first in-person gatherings since the pandemic began. As you can imagine, the raceway grounds were a buzz. For those that aren’t familiar with it, Sea Otter, has some history – like 30+ years of it. The event Co-founders Frank Yohannan and Lou Rudolph hosted the inaugural Laguna Seca Challenge on April 6 & 7, 1991. There was a total of 350 athletes and 150 spectators. Today the event hosts over 9,600 athletes and 72,500 fans. In 1993 the event was renamed the Sea Otter Classic and is now universally regarded as the world’s premier cycling festival.

Nowadays, the event mixes salt-of-the-earth race vibes, with innovative consumer showcases from the industry, and two scoops of good ol’ festival buzz. We cheered on some great races, got our hands on the latest and greatest gear from leading manufacturers, and scored some much needed hang time with the extended CAMTB community.

All told, 9 of our then 26 member organizations were on hand to represent the coalition for the premier of our first shared booth space at the show. Being that this was also my first Sea Otter, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. COVID added a level of understandable uneasiness, but once the booth was set up and the pre-show jitters passed, everyone settled right in. We saw a steady flow of traffic at the CAMTB booth throughout the weekend, striking up conversations and spreading the CAMTB gospel of More Trails, Better Trails to those eager to learn more. We also reconnected with some of our existing partners, like Sierra Nevada, and Bosch, and a slew of new potential partners, that we’re lining up to help take trail advocacy to the next level in 2022.

One of the biggest highlights at Sea Otter though was connecting with the latest additions to the coalition, Tony Pereira, co-founder of Coastside MTB in San Mateo County, and Mike McGuirr and Darius Rike of Monterey Off Road Cycling Association (MORCA). Stay tuned for some exciting news on that front in the weeks ahead. CAMTB anticipates reaching the 30 member organization mark by the end of 2022, which puts us on a 50% growth trajectory for 2021. We’re reaching the critical mass needed to garner the attention of key land managers in the State and we’re already making good use of that leverage in our works with CA State Parks and the US Forest Service.

In the wake of Sea Otter, we’re still riding high on the energy we picked up at the show, and we are now making plans to return next year with bigger and better activations with our member and partner community. Stay tuned for more details in the months ahead, and if you haven’t already, sign up for the CAMTB newsletter in the sidebar.

Interested in supporting CAMTB with a financial or in-kind contribution? Got a burning question or comment for the CAMTB crew? Send us a line at letsride@camtb.org anytime and we’ll get you pointed in the right direction.

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