August 5 I participated in the Annual Tour de Big Bear (Big Bear Lake) and I must say it was the best organized ride I’ve joined. Sure, 50 miles is a lot for me at that altitude, but I finished in less than 5 hours and enjoyed some gorgeous scenery as well.
TDBB is not just a bike ride, it’s an event, and the organizers did a great job of supporting and promoting it as such. From the well-represented vendor expo to the announcers at the start/finish, to the aid stations and live music, the organizers created an atmosphere of fun and entertainment. My wife and I made a weekend trip of the event and took in some of the atmosphere Big Bear has to offer.
I chose the 50-mile route, not wanting to over-challenge myself. I’ve done longer rides but I was being respectful of the altitude and climbs.
All routes began and finished at the Bear Mountain ski resort, and the starts were staggered according to which route you were riding. So all the 50-milers started together at 9:00 am.
The 50-mile route, pictured above, headed northeast from Bear Mountain, then west along the North Shore of Big Bear Lake, through Fawnskin to Snow Valley, the first aid station. Then retraced the route east back through Fawnskin and further west to loop around (the dry) Baldwin Lake and back to the finish line. What was really cool is the announcer called out my name as I crossed the finish line. Everyone who registered for TDBB had a bib with a number and a chip. The finish line structure had sensors so you were recognized as you crossed.