It’s always fun talking about doing events like the 107 mile Tour De Big Bear, but when it comes to actually paying the $100 entry and driving up to Big Bear, California getting up at 5am knowing you are going to be in the saddle all day really separates the enthusiast from the Strava warriors. The 2017 Tour de Big Bear is my 3rd time doing this awesome cycling event. It’s been nearly 8 weeks since I dislocated my shoulder so must of my training has been on my road bike with my buddy Logan Darien, and Logan is a true roadie enthusiast so he talked me into doing it again this year.
The date of this years event worked great for me since my wife and kids were not getting back home from Australia until the 6th it made accommodation easy with Logan and Amanda Darien inviting me to crash at their beautiful family owned cabin in Big Bear. We got checked in Friday evening and went to dinner at really cool bar/restaurant named the Social Kitchen where we enjoyed some cold ones, great food, and live music. You may wonder why we were throwing down beers before a big ride? Well this isn’t a race and it’s for the experience and to make memories so waking up with a little cotton mouth from a few to many IPA’s makes the story that much more fun right?
Now to the ride The Tour de Big Bear has a loop for all levels a 25, 50, 70, 107, and 125 HC. Logan and I did the 107-mile ride that has 9,000 ft. of climbing. Those IPA’s helped us get off to a few minutes late to the start where we were in the tail end of the pack for the start of the ride. Our good friend Jake Elkins who we were suppose to ride with elected to not wait a few minutes for us and to his defense he was smart because he finished a personal best 9th overall out of 400 riders. Logan and I worked through the pack picking up some freeloaders that wanted a free ride along the way sucking our wheel. Our first aid station stop was at Aid Station 2 about 6 miles before the start of Onyx summit. The Aid stations are absolutely phenomenal at this event having anything a rider needs and more. The Onyx climb is about 2 miles from the Aid station 2 and this where the ride gets serious. 7.5-mile climb with 1,600ft of climbing to the top. Once you get to the top you descend all the way to Angelus forest. This is where we stopped at the next aid station where we would refuel our buddy with fruit, bars, and carb fuel. Once you make the turn around from here the reality of the situation set in. We know were faced with a whole lot climbing on our way back to into Big Bear. On our way back to Onyx Summit your faced with a loop through Jenks Lake road. This little extension can bite you. Logan and I had about 8 guys with us where we had a good tempo on this part of the ride when he started to cramp and had to get off and stretch and massage it out. I hung in there with the group and proceeded to climb back up Onyx Summit 8.5 miles and 2,100ft. This is where the best riders get tested and let me tell you I was tested to the brink. I got to the top of the climb and back to Aid station 3 about 35 minutes ahead of Logan absolutely depleted. I had nothing left in me and Bonked! I didn’t manage my calories well enough and I was hurting. Luckily for me Logan had to manage his cramps so I was able to get some calories back in me and proceed on the 24 remaining miles. The rest of the ride is somewhat casual until you hit mile market 100. This is where you hit the Moonridge 15% grade climb. At this point in the ride you are in shock that the promoters put that climb in there, but like the IPA’s from the night before it just ads to the story. To be honest once I got some fuel back in my body this wasn’t as hard as years prior but I still would prefer to not do it. Now that the climb was out of the way it was smooth sailing to the finish as you wind your way through down town Big Bear all the way back to the start finish at the Village.
Our total time on the road was a little over 7 hours and that was taking our time at Aid stations, but putting in some solid efforts when we wanted. I had an absolute blast for my 3rd time at this event and I highly recommend this event for all level of riders. It’s a great ride that tests your ability and determination. The aid stations are amazing and all the volunteers and the whole town for that matter welcomes the cycling community with open arms.
The Tools for the Job
Photos and Video- GoPro Hero 5
Bike- Cannondale Super Six
Cycling Kit- 100% bike Cycling kit
Tool Bag- Castelli
Shoes- Sidi wire
Glasses- 100% SpeedCrafts
MRM USA- Protien
MRM USA- Hydration
MRM USA- BCAA reload
For more info on The Tour De Big Bear Click Here