Big Bear Cycling Festival

The week-long wheel-fun gathering'll soak in the mountain views/air.

WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO CYCLE? The answers to that question likely test the boundaries of the gamut. Some people probably say "my neighborhood," which is sensible, since one's own immediate boundaries are pretty accessible almost all of the time. Some riders might chime in with "the beach" because a cooling marine layer helps a cyclist stave off the sweat. And still others would offer up "anywhere my friends are" which makes sense if you're highly sociable and like to chitchat as you pedal. But there really isn't a rider out there who wouldn't select "riding where it is pretty" if that was a choice or "pedaling where there are a lot of bikey happenings going down." Big Bear Lake qualifies on both fronts, come the final week in July, when a full slate of handlebars-to-spokes stuff'll fill up the water-close calendar. It's the 2nd annual Big Bear Cycling Festival and it'll pop a proverbial wheelie from Saturday, July 25 through Sunday, Aug. 2.

PUT YOUR BIKE ON THE RACK... and wend up the mountain for the Big Bear MTB Grand Fondo, The Grizzly 100, and Tour de Big Bear, three of the centerpiece events of the bike-bustling week. Snow Summit Bike Park is also the scene of a bikes-and-bike-buffs come-together, and Cyclefest is focused on young riders of the kidly sort. "This is a one-of-a-kind cycling event in the United State," shares Craig Smith, who heads up the Big Bear Cycling Association. "There is no other festival or event that positions itself as celebrating all types of cyclists and provides nine days of events including competitive races, long-distance rides, and family-oriented opportunities." Not really a surprise, truly, that Big Bear is going in on this yearly to-do; it is often the scene for one of the Tour of California stages, in May, and has a rep for some fine places to pedal.

VISTAS, LAKE, VALLEY, PEAK: So your "riding where it is pretty" requirement can be fulfilled, up the mountain, and you can join a lot of other co-cyclists as they, too, soak in some higher elevation rolls and all of the sights that'll come into view. Big Bear Lake, that bikely hub, is ready for some top on-two-wheels action.

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