NEW FESTIVAL CELEBRATES THE SNOW
January 21, 2016 | by Dan McKernan
El Niño is off to a great start this
winter, bringing much needed snow to Southern California’s mountain region. The
recent boost of snow has inspired organizers of Big Bear Cycling and Open Air
Big Bear to produce the inaugural Big Bear Winter Festival, which features fat
bike rides and snowshoe races on professionally groomed, snow-covered US Forest
Service roads and single track trails. Big Bear Winter Festival is Saturday,
February 27 and Sunday, February 28 at Snow Summit Resort with two sporting
events as the main attractions, Fat Bike Big Bear and Snowshoe Big Bear.
Snowshoe Big Bear kicks off Big
Bear Winter Festival on Saturday, February 27 at 8 a.m. with three different
snowshoe races of 5k, 10k and 22k. The races challenge athletes from
the sound of the gun all the way to the finish line. It begins at the base of
Snow Summit and ascends onto professionally- groomed forest trails west of the
resort. The course meanders through the woods and descends back to the base of
Snow Summit to a welcoming, festive atmosphere.
Fat bikes, which are becoming the
hottest trend in winter sports, set the stage Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Participants have a choice to ride four designated routes of 6, 10, 14 and 18
miles on groomed courses by Snow Summit’s groomers. Fat Bike Big Bear is the
only organized fat bike ride in California. It’s limited to fat bikes only with
a minimum 4” tire width (tire studs OK). Both events have well-marked routes with
a fully-staffed radio team and aid stations positioned throughout the course. There
is a no-host bar and barbeque happening all day that includes music and vendor
expo. Both snowshoe and fat bike rentals are available on site or can be
reserved in advanced online at www.SnowShoeBigBear.com (for snowshoes) or www.FatBikeBigBear.com (for fat bikes). Please note, fat
bike rentals are limited and it’s highly recommended to reserve in advance.
“As the cycling capital of
Southern California, this festival brings together alternative snow sports to
Southern California’s premier ski resort,” said Big Bear Cycling President and Big
Bear Winter Festival Chair Craig Smith. “Fat bike rides and snowshoe races
surrounded by skiing and snowboarding makes the ideal atmosphere for a winter
On Sunday, February 28 the
festival continues at Snow Summit Resort with a snowshoe and fat bike demo
course and fat bike criterium race. Once again, there is music, a vendor expo,
and no-host bar and barbeque.
“This is a great way to celebrate
the recent snow, and I’m optimistic El Niño is going to continue to deliver
more snow. After all this is a ‘snow-only’ event,” added Smith.
Online registration for the snowshoe
races is available at www.SnowShoeBigBear.com and registration for fat bike
rides is available at www.FatBikeBigBear.com. Friday night registration is 5
p.m. to 8 p.m. Same-day registration for the snowshoe races is at 7 a.m. and
registration for fat bike rides is from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The 22k snowshoe race
starts at 8 a.m., the 10k races starts at 8:15 a.m. and the 5K race at 8:30 a.m.
An awards ceremony immediately follows. Online registration is $40
for the 5k, $50 for the 10k and $60 for the 22k. Fat bike rides on Saturday,
February 27 start at 1 p.m. Participants have a choice of 6, 10, 14 and 18 mile
rides, rates are $50 each ride. A discounted rate of $80 is available for participants
who sign up for both a snowshoe race and fat bike ride. Additional details including course
maps and video are also available online at www.SnowShoeBigBear.com or www.FatBikeBigBear.com.
For all there is to see
and do in beautiful Big Bear Lake, make lodging reservations or request a free
Visitors Guide log on to www.Bigbear.com or call 800-424-4232.
January 21, 2016