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I'll be heading up there this weekend for a family retreat and want to get some saddle time while I'm there. Saturday and Sunday are my two volume days, so I'd like to get some distance. I'm not real comfortable, however, with simply climbing up the main road through Arrowhead, Running Springs, Big Bear. That road never looked very bike safe. Any other suggestions? Is climbing the back way a decent idea. Should I just ride laps around Big Bear Lake? :rolleyes:

Hoping to get in some sustained climbs without getting run over.
 

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Your right to be worried...

The roads can be a bit dangerous. Weekends just make them more so. The only time I will ride some of them is when there is a large group and it is early. I have had to get intimate with guardrails from time to time. The best bet is likey to create a route that includes the backside (north shore drive) of the lake and then make your way up to Onyx summit on the 38 and back. The part that goes up to Onyx summit is a bit safer than the area below the lake. It gets less traffic and there is a more defined shoulder. You will likely have to do some repeats if you want to get some long milage in, but at altitude it becomes that much more of a challenge! Onyx summit is at about 8.5k. I looked up some recorded Polar data and it shows that from the junction of HWY 18 on the west side of the lake to Onyx summit is about 20 miles with 1,800 feet of climbing.
 

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The only time I'll ever ride on Hwy 330 is during the Ride Around The Bear, when there's 399 other cyclists out, so the motorists are very aware of us. Even then, it's pretty dicey. Seemingly endless traffic.

A great ride to do is to start in Fawnskin, ride around the north side of the lake and cut over to Hwy 38. Take that all the way up and over Onyx Summit, and down to Angelous Oaks, then back. Incredible scenery, and very challenging. Thinking about it makes me want to do it again, especially with this ultra-mild winter we're having.
 
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