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04/27/2018, 2018 Sea Otter classic

Sea Otter 2018: Fun under the sun in monterey

Celebs, giveaways, signings and demo bikes abound

The Sea Otter Classic has quickly turned into a centerpiece event for cyclists. It offers tons of riding from DH and XC to crits and circuit races, gravel to grand fondos… and everything in between. Add warm central California weather and a massive expo of over 9,600 racers and 75,000 expo visitors, Monterey, Calif. was the place to be this April 19-22.  

A year ago, Canyon announced its presence to the cycling community at the Sea Otter Classic with fanfare and massive anticipation. This year, with tons of activities and tons of bikes to test, we returned to Monterey and quickly became the talk of the festival during the 2018 Sea Otter Classic.

To be sure, we had lots of activities going on at our booth. The each of the four days at the Canyon booth started every morning with long lines for free coffee from renowned Santa Cruz roaster Verve. Whether an espresso or a lavender honey latte, there was something caffeinated to get you ready for a day of pedaling.

Downhill legend Darren Berrecloth joined Canyon as part of a teaser for his coming new RedBull movie, North of Nightfall. Claw joined a cadre of athletes for a cruisy trail ride, followed by an autograph session, signing his new movie poster at our booth. We also had a draw to win a Canyon Sender AL 6.0, with David Dinius of Reno, NV scoring the new bike.

One of our most engaging events was our social media-driven Search for the Grail. After a few weeks of social media teasers, Canyon tied in a Saturday morning gravel ride with former Tour de France green jersey winner Erik Zabel. The Canyon team hinted to social followers that a golden chalice could well be hidden on the grounds of the Sea Otter Classic, likely along the loop for Zabel Gravel Ride.

The result was a well-attended gravel ride, with several riders testing the Grail for the first time… and everyone on the hunt for the elusive chalice. But there could only be one winner, and it was Bay Area resident Christine Pai, who scored the chalice, a new bike and a hydration swag bag courtesy of ride partner NUUN Nutrition.
But our biggest draw? Far and away, it was the bikes, with a huge fleet of nearly 60 bikes available for festivalgoers to test-ride on the expansive showgrounds. Whether it was roadies hungry to try our Ultimate or Endurace, gravel riders keen on being one of the first to try the Grail and its unconventional Grail Bar or mountain bikers looking to throw a leg over the Lux or Exceed hardtail 29er, we had something for everyone.

With sunny skies, warm coffee and riding abound, 2018 Sea Otter Classic was arguably one of the best event weekends in recent memory, and Canyon was excited to have a part in the fun.