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Sea Otter Classic postponed due to COVID-19 concerns

Published March 5, 2020

MONTEREY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Organizers of the Sea Otter Classic, scheduled for next month here, announced Thursday that they are postponing the event to an undetermined date because of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

"After a thorough review of the coronavirus threat, we’ve decided to reschedule April’s Sea Otter Classic. Additionally, PeopleForBikes and Sea Otter Classic will reschedule the Bicycle Leadership Conference," event director Frank Yohannan said in an email Thursday.

"We are coordinating with local authorities to determine the best dates to host the 2020 Sea Otter Classic and Bicycle Leadership Conference. We anticipate announcing those dates by the middle of next week," he said. "Information regarding registration refunds and rollovers will be posted on our website once the new dates have been finalized."

Tim Blumenthal, president of PeopleForBikes, told BRAIN on Thursday that the leadership conference will take place in conjunction with the Sea Otter Classic, whenever it is held.

"It’s the 12th year for the Bicycle Leadership Conference in Monterey, and it’s going to be business as usual," Blumenthal said. "We want full attendance, and we’re going to get it, and one way to get it is to stay connected with the Sea Otter Classic. We have a strong partnership with Frank and the Sea Otter Classic."

Blumenthal said it will be a challenge to reschedule speakers lined up for the conference, but PeopleForBikes was in complete agreement with the decision.

"It’s better to be safe than sorry," he said.

The Bicycle Trade Association Committee, formerly the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, and sub-committees were scheduled to meet either the day before or during the leadership conference at Sea Otter in April. "I'm 99 percent sure that the Bicycle Trade Association Committee and sub-committees will all meet whenever the BLC is held," Blumenthal said.

California's Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Wednesday, following the state's first coronavirus-linked death. The fatality occurred northeast of Sacramento and was the first U.S. death outside Washington state. California had 36 confirmed cases as of Thursday afternoon, second only to Washington, which has 39 cases.

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