Sunday, August 7, 2016

Tour de Big Bear--50 Miles

Yum! That's ribs in our hands, that's right, hot off the barbecue ribs.  This was the best sag stop ever!
If you need another excuse to do this ride, the previous stop was bacon and chocolate.  Every sag was totally amazing.  

Two years ago I registered for the olympic distance Big Bear Tri, when I saw the course I panicked and decided no way, I'll just do the sprint.  This year, I didn't even consider the oly, sprint for me.  This ride proved my chance to face my fears and check out the course.  The tri course goes down to Snow Valley, back up and around the lake.  The 50 mile Tour de Big Bear goes the same way but extends out around Baldwin Lake and back.  I had heard from several people that it is actually harder to ride down to Snow Valley than it is to ride back up--and my little inner voice says, "yeah right"!  But I have to say that is really true.  There are three climbs going down and the climb out of the dam was by far the hardest climb of all.  After that it was just riding and climbing.  I did this on my new road bike and given a choice in an oly tri I would definitely go with the road bike over the tri bike.  My road bike climbs so much better than my tri bike.  So I did it, I conquered my fears, I know I can handle the hills, on the 50 that is, the 70 includes Onyx Summit and that wasn't for me, not knowing if I could handle Snow Summit, but with a little more confidence, maybe next year.
The ride is well organized, plenty of volunteers and great food and a nice little expo.  This is definitely a ride for next year.
I had a flat, on the last hardest climb.  There is a climb near the Zoo at the very end and it's not fun, I would rank it up there with the dam climb although that might be exaggerating, it was just hard because it was at the end.  Right at the top I got a flat, I had been riding with Craig and Kerri most of the time but they were ahead of me.  I was happy to sit down at the top and change my tire, people teased me as they rode by that I was faking it, I just needed a rest.  True about the rest, but no faking the flat.  I managed to get my tire changed but was struggling with my inflator when a guy stopped and just chatted with me as I changed my tire.  I kept saying, thanks, but really you don't have to wait for me.  He ended up helping me with the inflator (next time I'll make sure I have a trigger), it was only then I noticed his vest and that he was a marshall.  Thank you race marshall, you were very appreciated.  He told me they had a lot of flats and he had handed out a lot of tubes, CO2 and even tires.

Brad at the start of the 70.

Craig, Kerri and me at the start of the 50.

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