Bicycle South Australia is bringing the world’s premier cycling festival Down Under in 2021. Sea Otter Australia will thrill cycling enthusiasts of all disciplines, ages and abilities in Canberra’s Stromlo Forest Park from 1-4 October.

Sea Otter Australia will offer spectators and riders a contemporary cycling adventure like no other, nestled in Stromlo Forest Park, Australia’s premier ‘whole of cycling experience centre’. The event will include all things cycling; a consumer expo, mountain bike and BMX riding, road and gravel riding, urban riding, demo bikes and much more.

Attendees will also have the chance to experience the ​ROMP! ​ Festival, a curated experience featuring music, food, brews of all sorts, cycle chic fashion parades and a film festival. Se​t to be the first experience of its kind in cycling-lifestyle-focused entertainment,​ ROMP! ​  will be a celebratory adventure where participants can dive into the cross-pollination of the cycling lifestyle in an Expo oasis. ​There really is something for everyone aged 8 to 80 years.

The festival follows the popular North American original Sea Otter Classic, which celebrated its 30​th​ year in 2020 and is known as the World’s Premier Cycling Festival. Held in Monterey, California annually in April, the event has come to be the season-opener to the North American bicycle industry and the place to be for product launches, festival fun, races and unique events.

Sea Otter Classic founder and CEO Frank Yohannan says the festival “has always been about providing quality riding and racing in a family festival environment. It is the only celebration of cycling that incorporates all riding disciplines and all cycling product categories wrapped up in a four-day experience.”

So successful is the Sea Otter Experience, it is now presented in Europe (Girona, Spain) and Canada (Blue Mountain).

“And now, for October 2021, we are very excited to have partnered with Bike SA to host Sea Otter Australia for the first time in the southern hemisphere”, Yohannan says.

Bike SA CEO Christian Haag says: “It’s time bicycle riders across the Australasian region have the opportunity to experience a totally new cycling festival. One that celebrates the breadth of our multi-faceted cycling culture – on-road and off-road, for fun, health, recreation, competition and transport. And of course, the latest bikes and bling, fashion, music and brews in our Expo village.”

Canberra-based BMX and Mountain Biking World Champion, Caroline Buchanan is the event Ambassador and she expects Sea Otter Australia to be “a real shock” to Australian cycling enthusiasts.

“My first Sea Otter experience was eight years ago and over the years I’ve watched the event grow,” Buchanan says. “This is a really special thing that I think Australia has been searching for. The industry is growing and this is perfect to bring us all together in one festival on two wheels.

“Whatever bike you’re riding – amateurs right through to pros – this is a real participation event. There’s everything for families, there’s the music and with the trade industry there, you’ll see all the latest release products.”

Major event sponsor Shane Wolki of Pushys says ​Pushys is “delighted that Sea Otter is coming to Canberra”.

“We’ve attended the Sea Otter Classic in the USA and know this format will be very popular Down Under. Australia needs an event like Sea Otter and Stromlo is the ideal venue, with great facilities and easy access,” Wolki says.

Another major sponsor is Bicycle Parts Wholesale. Its owner Andrew McEwan is very excited about the event, saying: “We can’t wait to exhibit and participate at Sea Otter Australia. Finally, a world-class event in Australia showcasing everything that is great about cycling!”

Bike SA is also working with, and has the support of, local cycling groups and community organisations to coordinate a series of legacy programs for the ACT community, to encourage greater cycling participation beyond the festival itself.

Pedal Power ACT Executive Officer Ian Ross says his organisation is “really excited to align with the festival and announce the hosting of Fitzs’ Challenge 2020 as the Gran Fondo event for Sea Otter Australia’’.

“We look forward to all our previous participants returning and attracting even greater numbers as part of this festival weekend,” Ross says.

Sea Otter Australia will be a family-friendly festival that celebrates cycling, with a strong emphasis on participation, spectating and an opportunity to see and test the latest industry products. There will also be a range of kids’ activities and lifestyle events.

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