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Gravity only rides

bigBear A group from my office recently went on a day trip to Big Bear’s Snow Summit to ride the lift and let gravity do the work for a day of riding. It had been a few years since I had ridden in Big Bear, but it will be more often now. I think I had hesitated to drive up there thinking it was at least a 3 hour drive, but with the ‘new’ CA210 freeway complete we made it to Big Bear in under 2 hours. So by my way of thinking that’s worth the drive for a 4 hour or so ride(s).

There were 4 us piled into my Outback with 3 bikes on the roof. Our 4th decided to rent a bike on the mountain. This turned out to be a great choice. He got a beautiful Intense 951 downhill rig with a monstrous 8 inches of travel front and rear. It really sucked if you had to pedal uphill any real distance, but that wasn’t really an issue on this trip.

We started on an ‘easy’ route that ended up taking us quite a bit west of the resort so we had a stretch of highway and the climb back up the hill to the Snow Summit parking lot. This turned out to be the Pine Knot trail. Then we headed back up the lift and took the correct right turn onto Coyote Trail, which after grabbing the east-west connector Town Trail, dropped us off just above the parking lot. Then we decided to brave the ‘moderate’ downhill course, Westridge. 2013-07-13 12.57.39

Westridge is supposed to be the ‘easiest’ of the in park downhills at Snow Summit and it wasn’t all the technical. However if you wanted to take it easy and stay within your skills it could be difficult mainly because there were folks that wanted to really fly. It some cases literally. I wasn’t really uncomfortable in most places, except when I felt pressure from people coming up behind me. On the whole descent I only came off the bike once, which for me, is pretty good on a trail of this level and my technical skill level at this time. My confidence was actually better than I expected.

Here is the Strava data from the ‘moderate’ Westridge ride:

Out of the four of us only one was really psyched to hit the ‘black’ trails, the ‘pro’ downhill trails on the mountain. So Rich went off to ride those while the rest of us hit the Coyote – Town trail set a couple of times. After that a couple of times, one of us was done and Steve and I hit the lift for one more before grabbing a beer.

2013-07-13 11.18.01 Then it was time to head back down the mountain.

I enjoy these types of rides, but at the end I am not really tired and it really feels like I am cheating. I know I am in the minority but I like earning my downhills.
The others really loved it and talked me into setting up another trip in August. It already looks like this is going to be a bigger bunch than the last time.

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