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Tour de Big Bear 2024

August 3

road cyclists in big bear, ca
Updated July 6, 2024 --

One of Strambecco's best road cycling events in the Southwest and California, the annual Tour de Big Bear is a Southern California gem with multiple course options and legendary aid stations. The event is part of the Big Bear Cycling Festival, produced by the Big Bear Cycling Association and the City of Big Bear Lake. It is an eagerly awaited three-day extravaganza celebrating all things cycling, set against the breathtaking backdrop of Big Bear Lake, with the festival's highlight undoubtedly being the Tour de Big Bear. The ride offers three significant endurance challenges via a 100-mile and 70-mile road course and 25-mile and 50-mile gravel options, lovingly known as the Dirty Bear and Dirty Cub. Typically, the event starts and finishes at Bear Mountain Resort, however, in 2023 the event is being moved to Snow Summit due to extensive construction at the main resort. This prestigious event allows cyclists to embark on a remarkable journey through the scenic San Bernardino Mountains. As one of the most acclaimed rides in North America, the Tour de Big Bear promises an unforgettable experience for riders of all levels.

Event & Course Info

Things kick off at 7 am with the 100-mile century ride, taking cyclists on a challenging journey through the San Bernardino Mountains. The course features significant climbing, mostly in the second half, and reaches elevations up to 8,500 feet. Riders will be treated to awe-inspiring vistas, including a breathtaking 7.5-mile climb up Onyx Summit. However, due to the course's difficulty and safety considerations, riders must reach the Onyx I - Blue Sky Meadows Aid Station by 12:30 PM to continue on the 100-mile route.

Next up is the Dirty Bear 50-mile gravel start for those seeking some dirt under their tires; this ride offers a mix of unpaved and paved terrain, promising a unique and challenging experience. The route ventures through scenic areas, with aid stations available at Delamar Gravel and North Shore School. Organizers recommend Kenda Booster PRO as a great tire or any tire that is 40C+, with tough sidewalls, low pressures and tubeless.

The 70-mile route follows this and features an intermediate-level ride. It provides a taste of the challenging climbs and rewarding descents characteristic of Big Bear's mountainous terrain. Participants will encounter picturesque spots like Jenks Lake Rd. West and the South Fork campground. Riders must leave the South Fork rest area by 2:00 PM to stay on course.

Throughout the course, riders will encounter nine aid stations thoughtfully positioned along the routes, offering hydration, nutrition, and support. Aid stations are staffed by enthusiastic volunteers, ensuring that participants are well cared for throughout their ride. There will also be SAG and mechanical support on the course. The 2024 Rider Guide hasn't been published as of this update, but check out the official 2023 Rider Guide for reference of all of the details.

As part of the Big Bear Cycling Festival, Tour de Big Bear athletes are invited to explore the stunning landscape and enjoy an incredible atmosphere with the lineup of entertainment, exhibits, and family-friendly activities at Snow Summit Resort.

As part of the cycling festival, participants can also join the Poker Ride presented by Goldsmith's Sports. This enjoyable ride encompasses a full lap around Big Bear Lake, covering approximately 20 miles. Riders collect cards along the route, and the best poker hand wins a free entry to next year's Tour de Big Bear, making it an exciting prelude to the main event. Another fun festival event is the Glow Ride, which takes place on the same evening. Participants decorate their bikes with colorful lights and costumes, creating a mesmerizing parade around the resort. Awards are given to the "Best Bike" participants, making this a fun and family-friendly evening activity.

Participants also have the chance to win awards for KOM/QOM timed climbs (Onyx Assault) with cash prizes, free entry for the following year, and special jerseys. Other awards include recognition for the youngest rider, and one for the largest club signed up.

Area Accommodations & Things to Do

The official lodging partner for the event is Big Bear Cool Cabins, while there are many alternatives for both hotels and campgrounds. Stay at Holiday Inn Resort, The Lodge at Big Bear Lake, or Robinhood Resort. Campgrounds include Pineknot and Serrano in the San Bernardino National Forest. Several family-friendly restaurants offer indoor and outdoor seating right on Big Bear Lake; Peppercorn Grille, Teddy Bear Restaurant, and Santana & Mavericks Bar & Grill.

Big Bear Lake, voted Expedia's #1 rated weekend getaway city and Southern California's most scenic and popular riding destination, is often regarded as the cycling capital of the region. Its reputation is well-earned, having played host to prestigious cycling events like the AMGEN Tour of California and the Redlands Bicycle Classic. With its picturesque vistas, well-maintained roads, and ample cycling opportunities, it's no wonder that Big Bear Lake has earned the hearts of cyclists from far and wide.

Aside from cycling, there are many outdoor activities to enjoy while visiting the area in the summer. Big Bear is a mecca for mountain biking with a vast network of trails catering to riders of all skill levels. The Snow Summit Bike Park, accessible by chairlift, offers exhilarating downhill trails and features like jumps and berms for adrenaline-pumping rides. For cross-country enthusiasts, the Skyline Trail provides stunning views of the San Bernardino Mountains and Big Bear Lake. Those seeking more technical challenges can explore the Santa Ana River Trail or the famous "Radford Climb."

Big Bear's scenic trails also cater to trail runners. The Pine Knot Trail, starting from the Aspen Glen Picnic Area, is a favorite among trail runners, offering a moderate ascent and rewarding views of Big Bear Lake. The Cougar Crest Trail, located near the Discovery Center, offers a challenging run with panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains.

With its crystal-clear waters and stunning alpine backdrop, Big Bear Lake also provides an ideal setting for stand-up paddleboarding. Athletes can rent paddleboards from several shops around the lake and spend a relaxing day gliding on the water.

Related Events

Tour de Big Bear is affiliated with the Mammoth Gran Fondo, as both events make up the California Pass Challenge for riders that conquer both iconic rides. Other premiere road cycling events in Southern California that are worth checking out are Tour de Palm Springs and Phil's Cookie Fondo. For the multi-sport athletes out there, the famous Grizzly 100 & Big Bear MTB Gran Fondo is also held in the same location as this event, while BWR San Diego is a top-tier gravel event in SoCal produced by Monuments of Cycling.

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