Big Bear Recon: Mission Accomplished
Drove the 2 hours down to Big Bear this a.m. Was sure trails would be a bit wet but I just didn't have a road ride in me and I thought a pre-ride would help with mentally preparing for Big Bear. Drive was easy, although I had to stop once to unleash some
fury. Got there and checked in and paid my $5 trail fee with Barney Fife then parked the Soob and prepared. Was riding today with a liter of SmartWater in the PolarPak, a large bottle of HEED, and a flask of Hammer Gel.
I rode up the road till I saw some people and they pointed my to the trail head. Think I may have missed some of the 24 Course from the Start to this pony (bout 1.5 miles) There were some deep mud pockets but nothing wheel sucking. For the most part the single track is pretty wide with room to pass if needed. There are a lot of embedded rocks but all easily rideable. Then you hit a flat forest road perfect for taking in gel and fluid. After that it's a supa-fun, bermed single track through pine trees (think Star Wars: circa Jedi). Then a sweet down hill, a stream crossing, then down what appears to be an old stream bed. I found the up hills all doable. I did the whole course in my middle ring. Think I did miss one up hill (that may be taken out anyway due to mud). People were talking about this grassy, muddy up hill. I did a couple of those but saw no reason for them to be removed.
So this is why I think I may have missed it. The signage was not great right now. Various arrows from different races were around.
Did two laps. On my second lap, just as I got out of the Jedi Forest a saw sweet rock to speed off of. I did, but then there was another that I did NOT see and BAM over the freaking bars and ... oh snap... dislocated my front Hope Brake lever (shit). Looks repairable and I have all the small parts so I'll try on Sunday, if not I'll have Tom look at it to see if I need to order parts ASAP.
Luckily there are no SUPER steep descents and I was able to used the rear brake to stop. Just couldn't go that fast (shit).
Got back to the Soob and loaded up. Karl Rosengarth, former Dirt Rag employee
and current Dirt Rag contributor was getting ready for another lap and I chatted with him for a while. We've met a few times at races and Dirt Rag functions. He did a LOT to improve the trail conditions of the Seven Springs 24 last year.
Grabbed a snack and some water for the ride home out of the cooler and headed back to White Oak. Quick drive back 1:45.
Overall the course is super. I would have liked to have seen some longer climbs
(like the Airport Road at Snowshoe) since I actually LIKE going up hill and can usually make up some time. People riding the 29ers are gonna rip this course up with speed, since it's pretty wide open. Sologoat is gonna rage.
Wanted to spy a good place for pit set up, but there was some sort of back woods
flea market going on there and didn't want to neb too much in that area.
Going to the Pennsylvania Micro Brew Fest at the Penn Brewery tonight for Wifeys' birthday. All the states' biggies will be there: Troegs, Victory, etc. I DO NOT need this temptation, but I think I'll be ok. I think they only give you sample glasses anyway.
Road riding tomorrow (I think).