marathon-thumb1As traffic may be busy (by Big Bear standards) this weekend, you may want to consider biking around town this weekend. In recent months, the Big Bear Valley Trails Coalition has been instrumental in establishing, now, over 30 miles of Class 3 bike routes throughout the Big Bear Valley. New color maps of Big Bear’s bike routes have also been made available, and these can be picked up at 75 different locations throughout the Valley, including the Visitor Center in the Village of Big Bear Lake, the Big Bear Discovery Center on the North Shore, and the studios of KBHR Radio in Big Bear City. A special opportunity for cyclists will also be available when, come September 12, the Run the Bear Big Bear Lake Marathon will include a bike tour around Big Bear Lake. In addition to the bike tour and marathon in Run the Bear, scheduled for the Saturday after Labor Day, the event will also include a half-marathon, 5K and one-mile kids’ Fun Run. Says event co-organizer Beth Gardner, on behalf of the non-profit group the Lighthouse Project, “We have a lot to be proud of and to share with others. We are the highest altitude marathon in Southern California, San Bernardino County’s only marathon, and offer an exquisitely scenic and challenging course. We are eager to welcome athletes from all over the country to our wonderful community with a huge heart.” Big Bear is increasingly gaining recognition as a high-altitude training facility; in fact, hometown hero Ryan Hall competed in the 2008 Olympic marathon and local Rosalva Bonilla, who ran the 2000 Olympic marathon, also trains here on the mountain and is planning to compete in September’s Run the Bear.