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Great Biking Events Ahead!

In case you need any extra motivation to get out there on your bicycle, there are three major bike rides and festivals planned every April and May, right here in South County–two in Morgan Hill, and another event just down the road on the Monterey Peninsula.

Sea Otter Classic (Thursday to Sunday, April 20-23, 2023)

First up is the Sea Otter Classic. Every year in April, cyclists of all ages and cycling interests converge on Laguna Seca Raceway for four fun-filled days of racing, fun rides, shopping, camping, eating and all things bikes! There is something for everyone in your family, including an entire section dedicated to kids, with “Otter Egg” hunts, bike races, kids’ activities, giveaways and small riding loops for riding practice all day long. For older kids, there are bike demos and trick shows, contests and giveaways, autograph sessions with the pros and the chance to see them race up close, and new technologies to use. On top of that, the largest outdoor expo in the world offers opportunities to buy souvenirs, gear and clothing. There are a lot of options for food and drink, with entertainment all day and into the evening. All this happens around a packed schedule of rides and races for all abilities, whatever your preference: Downhill, cross-country, endurance mountain biking, road, gravel, e-bikes, and more!

Tierra Bella Bicycle Tour (Saturday, April 22, 2023)

This event showcasing our region’s beautiful roads and wonderful cycling routes has called South County its home for 44 years. With four different routes, from flat to very hilly, this event includes options for all levels of road rider. The Almaden Cycle Touring Club volunteers have done a great job organizing this event and helping support the rides with rest stops. Bonus: You can make this a wholly car-free event by biking to and from the event.

iCare Classic Bike Tour (Saturday, May 13, 2023)

Another favorite ride held right here in South County is the iCare Classic, organized by the Almaden Super Lions Club. This very family-friendly ride offers a shorter route–20 miles– for novice riders, but also distances of 50, 62 and 100 miles. The first time this author participated, we even brought along our one-year-old in his trailer. The iCare Tour offers great rest stops with great food, a support and gear (SAG) wagon and a barbecue at the end.

Time to Train – Dress Appropriately!

Now that you have an event on your calendar to help motivate you to get out there riding, don’t forget the appropriate winter riding wear. One word stands out above all else when planning your cycling attire for this time of year: Layering. It can be near freezing if you start your ride before the sun rises, and if you start later, you may need to add a layer as soon as the sun sets.

A few key rules will help you stay comfortable throughout your day: Base layers are always a good idea, wicking sweat away from you to regulate temperature in all conditions. Arm warmers and knee warmers are essential, especially in spring, fall, and winter. A wind shell outer layer will probably be your most useful piece of cycling apparel. When you’re heading out the door for an early morning ride, you may feel like you really need to bundle up. Avoid this common mistake. A wind-resistant shell will keep the wind off of you, retain body heat when it’s chilly, can be unzipped to vent in cool air as the day warms up, or stuffed into a jersey pocket in the full heat of the day. For very cold days it’s great to cover your face and head. Try a neck gaiter for keeping your face, neck and ears warm. A cycling cap also works great and can fit under your helmet nicely. But the real secret to staying warm? Wool socks and shoe covers.

See you out there!

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