Big Bear Run 2010

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jonnyNITRO
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Big Bear Run 2010

Postby jonnyNITRO » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:12 pm

I just got back from the Big Bear Run and all I have to say is WOW! :eek: What a trip! That was a very challenging ride to say the least.

My goals for this trip were:
• To see how difficult this ride really was
• To ride in my first rally (still don't completely understand how to read those roll charts)
• To climb that really difficult (steep, rocky, even the advanced riders fall down) hill
• To finish the entire course before nightfall

More when I return... :excuseme:
Last edited by jonnyNITRO on Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby jonnyNITRO » Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:40 pm

Okay, here it goes. Hope you like pictures of rocks.

I started the day by leaving my house at 5:00 am.
P6250163.JPG
Ahh, the morning sun along the desert road.
I began the steep ascent to Big Bear mountain. This made for some fun driving. I also noticed Cactus Flats staging area. Possible for another day of riding.
P6250170.JPG
Incline to Big Bear.
Around the dry lake and into Big Bear it was around 7:30 am.
P6250177.JPG
Sign
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby jonnyNITRO » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:06 pm

I arrived at the Big Bear Convention Center (not a very big place) just about 7:45 am. The parking lot was full of bikes, trucks, and trailers. Apparently most of these guys spent the night or planned on the entire weekend up there since the event goes from Friday to Sunday.
P6260223.JPG
BB Convention Center parking lot was full.
I registered for the event and picked up my roll chart. I was number 289 one of the last guys to register. And by now, many of the bikes were now leaving the parking lot.
I unloaded my bike and got my gear ready. At 8:30 or so, one of the event organizers came over and asked about the trails that I planned to ride. (Easy or Hard) I told him the Hard ones.
He also told me the Sweeps were headed out soon and I should take a look at the map before I leave. Another gentleman at the booth told me a little about the hard loops. He said that everyone who was going to do all 3 hard loops left at 5:30 am this morning. What? :excuseme:
So, I asked about the big hill climb. (I wanted to try that for sure.)
Well, he explained (And I understand that he probably has to tell everybody that same story) that Gold Mountain was for only the most experienced riders. He continued that I would also have to compete with the local Jeep club to get up that hill. "Even the expert riders fall, up that hill." he said to me. "And since you're so far behind, you'll never finish the whole course."
Great. How disappointing is that?
But, I was not going to give up so easily. I finished suiting up, mounted my extra fuel bottles and left the parking lot.
Here's where I started my ride.
P6250178.JPG
Trail head
One thing is for sure, the views were spectacular. Incredible country and the temp was only about 70 degrees.
The course had 6 Check Points that you had to get to to complete the entire course. But, with my late start I figured that I would just hit as many as I could before the end of the day. Diner was at 7:00 pm and I had to make back for that. (BTW this was a AMA sanctioned event so it is well supported.)
I reached Check Point #1 and was given the option to go Easy or Hard. I choose Hard. "To the right." they said. "But watch out for fallen trees."
Here was the first tree.
P6250181.JPG
Fallen tree
I had to tip my bike sideways and literally drag it under the tree. (Thank God my bike is light.)
These were some of the best single tracks I've ever been on. They were hard, but fun.
I came across 2 more trees just like that one and you can see how shallow the gap is underneath.
Last edited by jonnyNITRO on Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby jonnyNITRO » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:18 pm

Here's a few more shots of the single track.
P6250182.JPG
single track
P6250186.JPG
rock navigation
And here is a view from the single track.
P6250184.JPG
viewpoint
So, after that, I jumped back onto the Easy trail (fire road) and passed a few other riders on my way to Check Point #2. Along the way, another rider stopped me on the road. He said a big bear just came out from the trees and walked down the road. We sat there for a few minutes and then rolled carefully around the corner. The tracks in the dirt indicated that the bear went over the edge and into the bushes. Good.
Continue.
Along the roadside I came up to 3 guys. I stopped to help, but one of the bikes had a leaking oil seal and the motor seized. Truck had to come pick him up. Continued down the road by myself until a caught a glimpse of 2 riders going down a single track. It looked like fun so, I followed them.
Last edited by jonnyNITRO on Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby jonnyNITRO » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:28 pm

This trail didn't look that hard. A little sandy maybe...
P6250195.JPG
Another hard trail ?
Well, it got harder. I didn't have time to snap any shots, but I managed to grab this one to show the scale of the boulders in the wash that we had to navigate around and over. (that's not me, obviously)
P6250196.JPG
Large boulders in the wash
I still had a few miles left of this trail till I reached the main road again. Sooner than later, I came across more rocks.
P6250197.JPG
more rocks
:wink: Did I mention that this trail had rocks?

One thing's for sure, it was a test of balance, aim, throttle control and endurance. The rocks just seemed to go on and on. There were spots to rest, but it was a constant battle with the rocks.
Last edited by jonnyNITRO on Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby jonnyNITRO » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:41 pm

Okay, so after another 50 miles of this stuff, I hit the pavement and headed to the gas station for lunch. The streets were lined with dual-sport bikes and I had a chance to talk to 2 of the Sweeps about the next loop. That first loop was 90 miles and I made it back without reaching into my fuel bottles. :banana:
The Sweeps told me that I better take the Easy routes from here on out to make up time. But I wanted to do that hill climb. They said, if I had to do it,I could cut across the hills on a fire road just before the last loop to get back for diner. Sounds good to me. :ride:
I set off to Gold Mountain.
This was a continuous uphill climb that is used heavily by the Jeep club. It had loose dirt and lots of rocks. And it just kept getting worse. Eventually I rode through this enormous rock garden.
P6260204.JPG
monster rock garden
And that lead up to a barrier of sharp boulders.
P6260203.JPG
boulder barrier
This is the one place I wend down. I tried to throttle and walk my bike over these but they were too tall and I tipped over. Just glad I got my Flatland Skid Plate on my bike the day prior.
And then after that, There was more rocks waiting for me.
P6260205.JPG
rocky turn
It was like 4 miles of rocks!!! :eek:
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby jonnyNITRO » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:55 pm

I thought, alright I made it. But just around the corner were more rocks. I when I say more rocks, you have to see it to believe it. This picture doesn't do it justice. I was sitting on a dirt trail and across this 'sea of boulders' was the other end of the trail. (If you look closely, there are 2 bikes on the far right.)
p6260208.jpg
Sea of boulders
I had never seen anything like that in my life! I didn't even know were to go. Obviously there was no set trail on top of the rocks, so I had to just make my own as I went across.

Well, I made it across and passed 2 guys (and a girl !) who were fixing a broken chain.
Continue.
Here's a shot for scale.
P6260211.JPG
scale reference
The next obstacle was a group of 4x4 trucks and Jeeps climbing a sandy but rocky hill. I Cut through the trees and 2 massive boulders to get around them but. I found myself stuck between them and had to navigate the hill in intervals. I had to ride up through the boulders and then pull over and stop. Wait for the Jeep to move higher and then go up the trail again. Most of the drivers were totally cool and enjoyed watching me wind up between them and the boulders. No crash here.
:)
P6260215.JPG
Jeeps
So, I finally reached the top!
I made it up Gold Mountain!
:banana: :banana: :banana:
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby jonnyNITRO » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:12 pm

I finally had a chance to take a break and met up with a couple of other riders. Paul and Anthony had ridden this trail before and so I hooked up with them. (My roll chart was worthless about this time.)
:-
We continued on to White Mountain and then broke away to head down back into town.
P6260218.JPG
White Mountain
Oh, and with all these uphills come the downhills too. (I wasn't about to stop and take pictures while going down these hills.) And guess what? More rocks here too.
You say you love rocky downhills with loose gravel? Try 3 miles of it.
That's enough to cramp up your forearms.
We made it to Check Point #6 just before the 3 Sweeps rolled in.
P6260222.JPG
Sweep
If you haven't heard of the Sweeps, they ride the trails at the end of the day to make sure no one is broken down or left behind. These guys are top notch riders! :up:
Then the diner party after with giveaways and plaques for those that made the entire course.
P6260226.JPG
All in all, I hit 5 of the 6 Check Points and only missed the long section that went out to Arrowhead Lake. Oh well. Approximately 140 miles and 9 hours later, I was done.
I still had a blast.
I don't know how many others have done this ride, but I just wanted to share my experience and say... what an ADVENTURE it was !
I got home about 10:30 pm. (17.5 hour day! I'm sleeping much of that off now.)
Next year I'll know what to expect. And I'm going to get there earlier so I can finish the entire run.
:) :) :) :) :)
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby Fubar » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:30 pm

Dude, you are an animal. :-o

I'm guessing you didn't get a finishing plaque?
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby ericbee » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:09 pm

Hey Nitro-

VERY nice ride report, that sounds like a helluva ride.... and you survived it! :-o ...and so close, hope you get to all 6 CP's next year... :up:
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby jonnyNITRO » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:31 pm

Fubar - Yeah, no plaque for me this year. Have to get there on the Friday before and start my ride just after breakfast.

Eric - I'll try again next year. The total course was 180 miles for all the Hard routes. And you definitely need to be up on your physical conditioning because you don't spend much time resting. Only 2 lunch breaks and fuel locations were available. You could stop on your own on the trail but, I was already losing time so I didn't do much of that.
Everybody had 'enduro' bikes and I'd say that 80% or more were on KTM machines. Maybe 3 other riders had my bike and of course some 450 Hondas and 450 Yamahas too. I even saw a Husky and a couple Kawis.

All and all, It was good for my training. :professor:

You guys want to ride it next year with me? :ride:
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby ride blue » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:42 pm

Jonny,
I really enjoyed your ride report!! Congrats on almost getting it done even with a late start!!

I've always wanted to try for a plaque. maybe next year i could tag along?

i would be down for some riding up there anytime if you want to meet up at Crab Flats or somewhere else that we could hit a few of the good trails up there?
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby jonnyNITRO » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:01 pm

That would be great. My next big ride is in Colorado for the Rocky Mountain Rally at the end of July. Until then I'll just stay local and search out new trails. I probably won't go back out to San Bernardino until it cools down a bit. But I'm sure there are a bunch of fun places to explore.
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby ride blue » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:25 pm

Sounds good to me. I'm headed to Colorado Friday morning for 10 days!! We go to Steamboat Springs and do some epic single track riding.
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Re: Big Bear Run 2010

Postby jonnyNITRO » Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:12 pm

Sounds cool. Give us a report when you get back.
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