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A racer competes in a time trial during the AMGEN Tour

Tour De Big Bear Cycling Event

Posted: 08/09/11 | By Daniel

Over 600 riders participated in the Tour de Big Bear cycling event took to the roads in three distance categories: 25, 50 and 70 miles.

Wow! It's simple but it's an apt description for this past weekend in Big Bear: a weekend that served up a terrific mix of arts, culture and adventure. For me it started off a bit complicated and I wasn't so sure we could fit it all in. Friends were in town for Big Bear Cycling Association's Tour de Big Bear cycling event and another group of friends were here to celebrate their daughter's 16th birthday.

On our way to pick up our race packets (five of us had signed up for the 70 mile Grand Tour), we strolled through downtown for Friday Nights in the Village, a street fair atmosphere with live music, lots of shopping and browsing artist wares. Despite being anxious to sort bike gear and rest, we opted to pop into Nottingham's Tavern for dinner and drinks and to watch Bear Valley Bike's Goldsprint Competition. The vibe was energetic and fun and it was definitely cool to see all the cycling enthusiasts visiting the Valley.

Saturday morning came early and a chilly 40 degrees assured us the day would offer perfect race temperatures. The Grand Tour started at 8 a.m. with about 200 participants. The pre-race scene was alive with cyclists wearing colorful kits and making final adjustments to sleek road bikes. We parked next to a couple from Calimesa who were excited about the day's ride and admitted they hadn't been to Big Bear in 20 years. Seriously! I told them they should visit more often, we are like an hour away!

As we took our place behind the starting line, Paul Romero was lively on the loudspeaker, doing an awesome job of getting everyone amped to begin. While there were a few locals peppered through the crowd, this event definitely drew from outside our valley. Over 600 riders took to the roads in three distance categories: 25, 50 and 70 miles. The course was fantastic and challenging, and I was definitely ready to be off the bike at the finish. Plus, the day was far from being over!

Next, it was home for a shower and quick lunch before heading out to Blues for the Zoo, a lakeside concert supporting the Moonridge Animal Park. Lunch took place on the deck and we were treated to Big Bear Air Fair's star attractions flying overhead; two brightly-painted vintage bi-planes, a P-38 and my favorite, a Corsair. Luckily the venue for Blues for Zoo was at Meadow Park