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The climb to Big Bear

Old 01-11-21, 11:16 AM
  #26  
doubravsky 
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I would echo the comments that the route up the 38 is much less stressful, at least in my experience. As to weather, it just depends on the year. If you keep an eye on it and there hasn't been any rain/snow in the last few weeks, you should be good.
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Old 01-11-21, 01:43 PM
  #27  
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If going up the 18, there is a side road called Old Waterman Canyon, which runs about 3 miles mostly parallel. Shorter, but steeper. I have done both, and both have their pros and cons. Definitely avoid the 330.
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Old 01-11-21, 06:13 PM
  #28  
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I've done Ride Around the Bear 4 times and never had a problem. But I'm sure that drivers realize that there is an event going on so that makes then a little more aware.

The one time that worried me some was in 2009 (?), it was foggy and light rain the first 20 miles of the climb and only about 50 feet visibility. That time I worried. After that, it was beautiful!

I didn't think it was stressful at all other than a couple of places with big guardrails but that only motivates a rider to go faster in those sections.

I love the climb and my favorite organized ride of them all. Too bad it is no more.
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Old 01-11-21, 09:49 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by siapin View Post
Hi everyone, I'm new here, enjoying the forum! I'm considering a ~100mi ride in March from OC up to BB. By the comments, looks like my best bet is up the 38 or 18 (I've never rode San Bern). Strava shows guys do it, but I'm trying to consider how brutal the weather typically is March time? Any input appreciated.

what part of oc? theoretically, you'd be doing the climb up to big bear early/mid-afternoon with a sunrise start in oc. i would recommend doing the 18/old waterman cyn/18 route since it'll likely be more direct) from most of oc and possible routes within your parameters) and i find it more scenic. there's more support along that stretch as well.

traffic is a tossup. less traffic on the 38 but it's longer and will take you past big bear before it swings back around, involve more climbing, less support and gets up to 8,400 feet. more commuter traffic on the 18 but the sightlines are better and there are plenty of turnouts along the way. the 18 enroute gets up to just above 7,100 feet before a (mostly) descent to big bear. i'd probably look to do your ride in april or may vs march but if it's a low snow year then march is realistically doable id you're okay bringing a windbreaker, arm/knee warmers, gloves and a skullcap since high temps will prob be in the upper 40's-low 60's in the mtns in march on a low snow year.

personally, i'd try to daytrip the san berdoos part just so you know exactly what you're getting yourself into. trying to finish a century ride late in the afternoon on unfamiliar roads with decent traffic and climbing is a potentially bad situation. first part of this posted ride might give you a better idea. i'm not the fastest and not the slowest but closer to the slow side-esp with stopping to take pics. it's 34.5 miles from the bottom of the 18 to the western end of big bear lake via the 18.

https://www.strava.com/activities/3353356330

Last edited by ooga-booga; 01-11-21 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 01-12-21, 10:59 AM
  #30  
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I would add to, that doing Breathless Agony in April, the climb was cool but the descent was freaky crazy cold. Many of the riders were suffering on the way down the 38. My buds that have also did it said it was really foggy the year they did it. And not long ago, they canceled that section of the ride because of the cold.

I don't think I would do it in March myself. Too hit and miss with the weather.

Doing Ride Around the Bear in June has also been cool. One year, foggy and wet the first 20 miles. I myself probably wouldn't do a ride up to Big Bear till May hoping for a better chance on the weather. Just sayin'!
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Old 01-12-21, 11:11 AM
  #31  
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Do you have any proposed routes yet from the OC?

Originally Posted by siapin View Post
Hi everyone, I'm new here, enjoying the forum! I'm considering a ~100mi ride in March from OC up to BB. By the comments, looks like my best bet is up the 38 or 18 (I've never rode San Bern). Strava shows guys do it, but I'm trying to consider how brutal the weather typically is March time? Any input appreciated.
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