New cycling festival debuts in Australia

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Sea Otter Australia is an all-new three-day festival held at Stromlo Forest Canberra to celebrate all types of bikes and the people who ride them. This cross-cultural blend of all things bicycles features gravel, road, and mountain bike racing, recreational rides, special kids events and an exciting Expo featuring all that’s new in cycling.


Sea Otter Australia is a new cycling festival covering all types of bikes and riders, to be held at Canberra’s Stromlo Forest Park on 1-4 October 2021.

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 featuring all the latest product releases, mountain bike riding, road and gravel riding, urban riding, demo bikes and much more for all ages and levels of riders, including family-friendly programs.

As part of the celebrations, ROMP! is a curated festival experience featuring music, food, brews of all sorts, cycle chic fashion parades, and film screenings. Set 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 cycling lifestyles in the Expo oasis.


The festival follows the popular North American original “Sea Otter Classic”, which celebrates its 30th year in 2021 and is known as the World’s Premiere Cycling Festival. Held in Monterey, California annually in April, the event has come to represent the ‘season opener’ to the North American bicycle industry and the place to be for product launches, festival fun, races and unique events. 

Frank Yohannan, CEO and founder of the Sea Otter Classic says of the festival, “We have 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. It is hard to see and do it all.” 

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 BikeSA to host Sea Otter Australia for the first time in the southern hemisphere”, says Yohannan. 

BikeSA Chief Executive Officer, Christian Haag states, “We are honoured to be bringing this festival to Australia. It’s time that bicycle riders across the Australasian region have the opportunity to experience a totally new cycling festival experience. 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.” 


Major event sponsor, Shane Wolki of Pushys says, “Pushys is delighted that Sea Otter is coming to Canberra and we’re looking forward to supporting this great event. We’ve attended the Sea Otter Classic in the USA and know this format will be very popular down under. Australia is in need of an event like Sea Otter and Stromlo is the ideal venue with great facilities and easily accessible.”

BikeSA is  working collaboratively 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 has said “we’re really excited to align with the festival and announce the hosting of Fitzs’ Challenge 2021 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”.

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 ride the latest bikes and industry products. There will also be a range of kids activities and lifestyle events. 

More information: Sea Otter Australia

When: 1 – 4 October 2021

Where: Canberra

About the author: Fiona Harper is a Queensland-based travel writer – follow Fiona at Travel Boating Lifestyle



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