World class athletes from the Sea Otter Classic take to the schools to promote physical activity and participation in bicycling. The program is one of many supported by the Cypress Youth Fund, Sea Otter Classic’s philanthropic arm, and is aimed at helping combat the epidemic of childhood obesity.

“So much time and effort is put forth educating childrens’ minds while so little time and effort is spent on physical education,” says Luna Chix Mountain Bike racing team member, Kathy Pruitt, the 2003 US Champion, “To be a well-rounded individual you must be a balanced person both in mind and body. Learning to cycle, or any sport for that matter, takes a lot of dedication, effort and focus.

Teaching a child to accomplish a goal is priceless and cycling is an easy way to have fun while learning a great life lesson. Cycling has made me a stronger, well-rounded individual because I have dedicated myself to reaching specific goals in my sport. I stay focused and keep a positive attitude on life because I have these goals and aspirations to look forward to.”

The Cypress Youth Fund’s school outreach program is designed to encourage children to get excited about living a healthy lifestyle and increase their physical activity by participating in sports. Sea Otter athletes will give kids a demonstration of the fun and excitement of cycling, discuss the acquisition of skills, offer tips to prevent injury, outline some basics in nutrition and health, and for older students, warn against the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs.

In addition to the School Outreach program, the Cypress Youth Fund supports:

  • Complimentary race entry for 300 Junior Mountain Bike Cross Country racers courtesy of the Sea Otter Classic and the Napa Sheriff’s Activities League
  • Free Entry to kids 12 and under into all Sea Otter Classic events including family-friendly recreational road and mountain bike tours
  • Mountain Bike Ride Zone, one of the most popular venues for children at the Sea Otter Classic, allows young riders to improve their skills on jumps, berms, high-balance technical riding sections, and slalom courses – all under the watchful eye of pro cyclists
  • Kids Bike Rodeo, designed especially for riders aged 12 and under, highlights safety and riding skills

    The mission of the Sea Otter Classic is to make peoples’ lives better through participation in sport and recreation, and through the celebration of an active, outdoor lifestyle. The Cypress Youth Fund focuses on distributing funds to organizations that benefit communities in the areas of Youth, Sports, Education, and Environment. This year’s focus is on combating the silent epidemic of childhood obesity. Childhood obesity poses a health threat for children and is second only to smoking as a preventable cause of death.

    “The most important thing in life is our health,’ say Pruitt. “Without it, we have nothing. And because it is such a demanding and active sport, I have to be in tip-top shape for mountain bike racing.”

    4000 mini-Clif Bars will be donated to schools participating in the Cypress Youth Fund program. Clif Bar Inc. is a leading maker of energy and nutrition foods committed to sustainability from the field to the final product. On a community level, Clif Bar Inc. participates in hundreds of charity events and sponsors a variety of local organizations across the country.

    Sea Otter Classic will donate $6.00 to either the Boys and Girls Club of Monterey County or the San Francisco Peninsula for anyone purchasing a four-day festival pass online at The Sea Otter Classic cycling festival will be held April 14-17, 2005 at Laguna Seca Recreation Area, Monterey, California.