New Festival Celebrates the Snow
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 festival.”
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.
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January 21, 2016