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December 4, 2023

Spoking My Mind: A pair of perfect pedal parties

Just like a well-inflated tire, I am pumped! For the first time in forever, we’ve got ourselves both a Sea Otter Classic and a Tierra Bella in April. Two of the year’s top cycle celebrations, and they’re right here in our own backyard. It’s been way too long––thanks a lot, pandemic!––but now the South Valley bicycle world appears to be returning to some sort of normalcy. Be sure to include both of these mainstays in your vernal “velocipeding.”    

At Monterey’s Weathertech Laguna Seca Raceway, the Life Time Sea Otter Classic kicks off at 9am on Thursday, April 7, and the pedaling party doesn’t quit until 4pm on Sunday, April 10. Pack up the bikes, the kids, and the parents, because the SOC has something for everyone: every form of racing for every level of rider; scenic mountain and road rides; a huge variety of delicious food and drink; giveaways, shows, vendors and demonstrations; as well as exciting activities for the kids, including the Kid Zone, a carnival, and the famous Sea Otter egg hunt! 

Two weeks later, on April 23, the Tierra Bella makes its triumphant return to the poppy-filled roads and hills around South County. From its base at Gilroy’s Gavilan College, the 43rd Tierra Bella will feature some brand new routes, from a 33-mile/893-foot option for weekend riders, to a 100-mile/6,815-foot challenge for seasoned vets. Your hosts, members of the Almaden Cycle Touring Club, are famous for their outgoing friendliness, their delicious rest stops, and their keen attention to detail. The Tierra Bella never disappoints.  

Save the Dates

April 7-10: Sea Otter Classic, Monterey, seaotterclassic.com

April 10: Primavera Century, Fremont, ffbc.org

April 23: Tierra Bella, Gilroy, tierrabella.org

May 7: I Care Classic, Morgan Hill, icareclassic.org

May 15–Strawberry Fields Forever–Aptos–strawberryfields.org

Curt “Cycle Guy” Hentschke is a cyclist, seeker, song farmer and scribe. Send your cycle celebrations and cerebration to [email protected].

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