Big Bear Leaves Claw Marks in Some, But Throws Down All Singletrack Epic Fun Ride
You can't help but have fun on a course like this. Rock rollers, booters, caves, cracks, bridges, whips, dips, its all in there. This place is the British Columbia of the East Coast, there are so many rideable rock lines out there. The freshcut singletrack near the end of the second lap took its toll, being supersoft and slow. Still, new trail is awesome and riders got treated to about 10 extra rock drops. (You're welcome Gunnar)
The weather held out for the race, even though it torrentially rained on Saturday. The course was soft, but Big Bear is so well-drained by nature of being a mountain-top that it wasn't super muddy. It's always a little cooler up on the mountain, but it was unseasonably cool, and it feels like we fast-forwarded a month to September. Luckily that meant you weren't sweating to death out there, even on the climbs.
Maybe even some hardcores were dreaming about a nice flat section of smooth road for a minute, but it just isn't out there. Trail after trail demanded riders to always keep the singletrack skills handy. The thing I like about riding here is you have that deep woods feel when you are riding through dense ferns and hardwood forest.
Riders did the prologue trail through Beaver Creek then into Jump Rock (Called that for a reason!) then into Voodoo to test out riders DH skills and bike handling. There riders got to test out Mark Schooleys new log bridge, that was super sweet and rode over a massive hemlock that had been blocking the trail. From this point it was into Crack Trail - super fun stuff and then headed up to the Pine Spur for some off-camber rocky action. I won't go through the whole course, but if you start off on this loop you will have an awesome ride guaranteed.
The new trail sections didn't feel that great late on the second lap, I know trust me. The new trail was like working your way through a fern maze, you could only see a little ways ahead and it took constant concentration to follow its windings. It might have been the nail in the coffin for some, but hopefully you noticed all the sweet rock features we put in there, the one drop section that'll make you swear you're riding DH at Snowshoe with the multiple rock hits. It was soft, but the race going through is like taking a roller to a trail, so hopefully its packed in and ready to ride now!
Rob Spreung proved he is superman on the mountain bike again. This guy has turned it on and it reminds me of when Jeremiah Bishop used to be a WVMBA local, when he showed up everybody was racing for second place. The thing that makes me feel better is to look at the next guys time and compare to that. It's a little depressing when you look at Robs time. Brad "Schlitzer" Schmalzer came in a close second place, proving that he is the heat "On Any Sunday" at a WVMBA race. (If you haven't seen that motorcycle movie, highly recommended) Singlespeeds proved they are a viable option with Montana Miller rounding out the top three and some rowdy local getting fourth overall.
Many thanks to Mark Schooley for putting so much effort into all his events and making such a great mountain bike destination. You can't find too many places where you can head off into the woods and ride 50 some miles of trail. We're proud of our trail network and it just keeps getting better and better each year.