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Ride Around the Bear 2016

Old 05-31-16, 04:28 PM
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pterodactyl
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Ride Around the Bear 2016

Anyone going to RATB this year or have any related advice for a RATB-noob?

I plan to depart at 5:30-5:45a and hope to finish without being swept up by the broomwagon. My training plan got derailed lately due to sickness and such so if anyone was planning on riding it easy I'd love to try and keep your pace.

Given that they have SAG there to make sure we all get to the rest stops on time, am I correct in assuming this is not an individually timed event?

I'll be there on my red Masi.


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Old 05-31-16, 05:06 PM
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Good luck! I wish I was going to be riding this year, but I have a family conflict that day. This is one of the reasons I did Breathless Agony.

I did it last year for the first time, having started riding again about 20 months before. It was probably a bit much for me, but I completed it in reasonable time. I think my elapsed time was something like 9:20 and my rolling time was 8:15, which I was happy about given that my goal was just to finish. I rolled about 0600 and had no problem getting to the rest stops in time. Here is my ride data:

https://ridewithgps.com/trips/8635925


I found the climb up 330 to the first rest stop to be the most problematic. My heart rate was well into zone 4 and I knew I would be hurting the rest of the ride, and I was. But that's what it took to haul myself up that hill last year. Pretty much had to gear down and spin up the rest of the hills pretty slowly. The final climb to Onyx is not all that bad as long as you have something left in the tank. It is not downhill all the way home after Onyx, about 950 feet of climbing between Onyx and Angelus Oaks.

When I finished RATB I felt like I had pretty much ridden my limit. I had a little left, but not much. This year on BA with more climbing and a couple miles more, when I finished I was pretty tired but definitely not at my limit. My rolling time on BA was 8:22 for 104 miles vs 8:14 last year for 102 miles on RATB, so almost the same speed but about 1,000 feet more climbing on BA.

A couple other observations - the week before RATB last year 3 of us did a pretty tough 85 mile training ride here in OC, this was a mistake. All of us felt we had peaked on that ride and felt weaker for RATB. So ride this coming weekend but don't knock yourself out. This year on BA I did my hill climbing in zone 3 which worked out great, I was still able to ride a 22 mph paceline back to Redlands on San Timoteo even after all that climbing. Partly I'm in better shape, and I really worked at pacing myself on the climbs.

They do time you out at the start and time you in at the finish.
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Old 05-31-16, 09:50 PM
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Sweet bike. Makes me want to drag my old Centurion up there and take it for a spin.
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Old 06-01-16, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by pterodactyl View Post
Anyone going to RATB this year or have any related advice for a RATB-noob?
I've ridden RATB thirteen times so obviously I really like the event. Not riding this year due to still being off the bike from a broken clavicle from a mountain bike crash.

Sounds like you have a good plan and you are correct to ride your own pace since there are multiple opportunities to use up too much early on.

Like your bike too! A Masi Gran Criterium was my main road bike early 80's to mid-90's but now its been changed to fixed gear so most used on recovery rides.

The event is very well organized plus they add extra police protection, signage, etc. so drivers tend to be careful and respectful of cyclists, even though the quarters are often tight.

Rick / OCRR
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Old 06-01-16, 01:31 PM
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Wow Rick, I think I have only done it twice. Will be there this year as well.
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Old 06-01-16, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Lesper4 View Post
Wow Rick, I think I have only done it twice. Will be there this year as well.
First time for RATB was in '98 when a co-worker pretty much "dared" me to do it since he was going to be riding it with his girlfriend. Day of the ride he bailed so I rode with his girlfriend to the first checkpoint which is where she bailed. I rode the rest of the way by myself and really loved it. I had just moved here from St.Louis and didn't know the area at all but really liked it (mountains, trees, lakes!).

Now my wife and I have a cabin in Big Bear! Amazing how life works sometimes.

Last time I rode it I stopped at the cabin with some friends as the route took us very close around Big Bear Lake.

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Old 06-01-16, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by pterodactyl View Post
Given that they have SAG there to make sure we all get to the rest stops on time, am I correct in assuming this is not an individually timed event?
Nope, it is an individually timed event. You can read about it on their web site. That's the only reason I did the ride 5 times. Unfortunately, it seems that OCW donít take the timing seriously anymore, they even removed the "Past results" page from their website. Probably thatís why the ride is going to the dogs. As of today, theyíve got 139 registered riders, back in my days they used to fill the 400 riders limit by the end of April.
If you pace yourself, you shouldnít have any problems. The hills are long, but nothing steep (between 4% and 6% grade). Actually, the steepest section on the entire route is that 1-mile bump around mile 70. Once you pass that point, youíll probably cover the last 30 miles in an hour. Good luck!
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Old 06-02-16, 11:32 AM
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Haha, I did that ride in the mid 80's very ill prepared on a $200 Univega, tennis shoes and no helmet. Ahh youth.

I was new to SoCal, just purchased the Univega and a female coworker who rode a lot told me about cool organized rides, I said sounds like fun let's do the next one, it was RATB! I didn't know what Big Bear was and had probably only ridden 30 miles tops on any given ride (don't even think I had a bike computer on it yet), but I seemed to like hills.

When I think about that ride I laugh at how naive we were. I was the last one to the top, those behind me including my friend had been picked up by the SAG wagon and they would come by every now and then to see if I was "done". Great fun coming down after Onyx summit, what a rush to do that ride and the feeling of an EPIC adventure, I should do it again.
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Old 06-10-16, 10:10 AM
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Thank you all for the advice and stories!

My training program has been derailed lately so I'm not in the best shape for this ride tomorrow but I will try to summon the will like @HBCruiser1 did to arrive at the summit without SAG wagon assistance.

I see the OCWheelmen posted the route slip but no RidewithGPS link . . . so I mapped it myself (click).

I figured out where all the rest stops where except the last one in Angeles Oaks which is apparently not at any landmark but somewhere along highway 38

@Lesper4, hope to see you fly past me tomorrow. Have an epic ride.

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Old 06-10-16, 01:20 PM
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OK, Have fun and good luck, I will be in a yellow triple crown jersey.
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Old 06-10-16, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by pterodactyl View Post
Thank you all for the advice and stories!

My training program has been derailed lately so I'm not in the best shape for this ride tomorrow but I will try to summon the will like @HBCruiser1 did to arrive at the summit without SAG wagon assistance.

I see the OCWheelmen posted the route slip but no RidewithGPS link . . . so I mapped it myself (click).

I figured out where all the rest stops where except the last one in Angeles Oaks which is apparently not at any landmark but somewhere along highway 38

@Lesper4, hope to see you fly past me tomorrow. Have an epic ride.
The Angeles Oaks rest stop is typically in the lot adjacent to the gas station and Oaks(?) restaurant. If you need water/fuel, it will be on the right side of the road. Otherwise, all downhill from Angeles Oaks to Mentone then Redlands. Good luck and enjoy. Also, not sure of the weather, but if you have room in a jersey pocket, a wind breaker or vest might be a nice addition for the descent from Onyx.
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Old 06-13-16, 08:32 AM
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pterodactyl Saw you just past the ranger station just past the giant looping turn. Nice kit, matched the bike! I decided to wear my Breathless Agony Jersey. Didn't see anyone else with it that day.
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Old 06-13-16, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Lesper4 View Post
pterodactyl Saw you just past the ranger station just past the giant looping turn. Nice kit, matched the bike! I decided to wear my Breathless Agony Jersey. Didn't see anyone else with it that day.
Thanks Lesper4! I didn't know it was you at the time but I did see a speedy rider sporting a Breathless Agony jersey, good ride!

I'm happy to report that although I was slow, I wasn't the last one in, and I finished without SAG assistance. I believe I was the only rider on vintage steel too. I recall about 2 miles from Onyx Summit, I rode into that headwind and thought - next year I'll be on carbon fiber and I'll leave all the heavy gadgets at home. I did get some fantastic footage with my new Fly12 camera though.


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Old 06-13-16, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by pterodactyl View Post
I'm happy to report that although I was slow, I wasn't the last one in, and I finished without SAG assistance. I believe I was the only rider on vintage steel too. I recall about 2 miles from Onyx Summit, I rode into that headwind and thought - next year I'll be on carbon fiber and I'll leave all the heavy gadgets at home. I did get some fantastic footage with my new Fly12 camera though.
Great to see that you made it to Onyx Summit on your Vintage MASI. Hope you enjoyed the ride overall since the OCW club does a fine job at all the checkpoints too, at least on the years I've ridden it.

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Old 06-13-16, 03:09 PM
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Congratulations! Always good to get a picture with that sign, you earned it! I spoke with a friend of mine yesterday who did it, he said the weather was pretty much perfect. Wish I could have made it this year.

It was very heavy marine layer and drizzle here along the coast that day. I rode 50 miles that morning pretty much all in the rain.
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Old 06-13-16, 03:21 PM
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Cool jersey...
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Old 06-15-16, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by pterodactyl View Post
Thank you all for the advice and stories!

I figured out where all the rest stops where except the last one in Angeles Oaks which is apparently not at any landmark but somewhere along highway 38.
Rest stops?!, while reading the follow-up posts I recalled that I don't remember stops along the way on my ride in the mid 80's, there was Start, Lunch near the dam and the Finish, that was IT! How far we've come on organized rides. I had 1 water bottle and no "Power Bars" or gels or any of the stuff that is readily consumed on the bike today. On the ride I did as I mentioned earlier they didn't even require helmets. Pretty wild now that I think about it.

Congrats on your finish- you've sparked my interest in looking into the ride again. I had thought they replaced this ride with the Breathless Agony ride so it's good to see it's still being held.
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