This was my first time coming to Big Bear, let alone racing here, I had no idea what to expect. The riding turned out to be super fun, they seem to have a great cycling community in Big Bear and the trails reflected that. The start of the race was pretty quick but within my comfort zone, by the time we entered the first trail section I was at the front and made quick work of a super fun steep scary downhill, which is just how I like it. I pinned it all the way down and when I came out the bottom, I was by myself.
Having put about 2 minutes into my chasers I stayed steady, trying to conserve energy as they had to race to catch up. The group of 6 pulled me back a couple minutes before the next section of trail, Eric Bostrom jumped to the front to get into the single track first and I followed. This trail was called The River Trail and was again super fun with a bit of exposure. In fact, a couple of the guys in our group actually slipped off of the trail but thankfully were ok.
We exited this section and began a long climb back towards Big Bear, this is where eventual winner Nic Beechan made his move. I stopped for my aid and he motored right through. I tried to chase him down but his pace was too much and I had to back off. Eric and I continued together up the climb and to more great riding. The jewel of the race was the Skyline trail, really fun flowy up and down and with a couple of technical rocky bits to keep you on your toes. I was with Eric for a good portion of this trail but slowly started to gap him and after a while I was alone I felt good till the end and was able to push all the way finishing less than 3 minutes behind Nic in second place. The Big Bear Grizzly was a great race and I would do it again, it’s got what I love: great riding and great organization.