When you think of Snow Summit during the summer what thoughts come to mind? If you're like most people, the images that pop into your head are of top notch riders ripping through wide berms and over huge kickers, pavers and rock gardens, but that's not exactly the most accurate for the big picture.
Big Bear has always been a great place for all kinds of riding and lately people are really starting to catch on. Biking in Big Bear means everything from a mellow ride on the North Shore Pedal Path to the aggressive Downhill Mountain Bike Park that we're famous for... and then there's everything in-between. So, as an "in-betweener" what does that exactly mean for you? Well if you're anything like me, if you find your tires pointing straight down the mountain, you'll be likely to keep squeezing your right hand-brake in a constant effort to make sure that you don't put your helmet to good use. However, the key to getting better at mountain biking is to understand your ability level, find the right path for you and just go for it. Don't go crazy if you're not ready yet, but get out and try it.
So let's say you're ready to get your tires in some dirt. You don't want to be on the Pedal Path with a four year old zigzagging in front of you on their training wheels, but you also don't want to break yourself. Two words: Skyline Trail. You have about 26 miles of great single track to choose from on this trail alone. It's paired with spectacular views and as this trail weaves parallel to the 2N10 fire road so you have several places to duck out if you find it's getting too aggressive or you just need a break.
While we all wish that we were in such great shape that we could just pedal up every mountain we see, let's be realistic. If the goal is just to get to Skyline, you'll be starting out at 7,000 feet and you'll have to clime an additional 1,200 feet just to meet the trail head on the ridge line. This is why as an "in-betweener" you need a best friend... and your best friend is the Scenic Sky Chair. Just chill out while keeping an eye on your bike on the chair in front of you and get ready for your ride at the top of the mountain. Believe me, riding across the ridge is a workout enough and will help you tone the skills you eventually hope to have once your ready to enter the Downhill Bike Park. And as a help for those hoping to graduate to an aggressive downhill ride, Skyline has it's own little features that Mother Nature has been kind enough to place there. Launch small rocks, roll over fallen logs and create your own mini line that suits you... and what's great is that you can do it all on your own terms. If you don't want to hit anything, you simply do not have to.
It's not all downhill at Snow Summit. It's also across the hill, up the hill, over the hill and pretty much any other direction that you can think to ride. Get out there and have a great summer.