Team Big Bear hosts the first of three cross-country mountain biking events this Sunday, May 31, and nearly 300 mountain bikers, from novice to pro, are expected to participate. Team Big Bear’s Shoot-Out #1 will also be the second competition in the Conquer the Bear series hosted by the Open Air Big Bear coalition; to date, title holders are Ted Devito of Big Bear Lake and Tiffany Meyers of Redondo Beach, the two who won February’s Snowshoe the Bear event. (Twelve-year-old mountaineer Jordan Romero is the youngest qualifier in the Conquer the Bear title series, which will also include the Big Bear Paddlefest on July 11, the California Multisport on July 18, and the Run the Bear Marathon on September 12.) As for this weekend’s competition, registration is still open; mountain bikers can sign up at La Montaña restaurant, at the Moonridge Y, on Saturday at 3pm or online at the OpenAirBigBear.com website. The event is open to everyone and, says event organizer Tom Spiegel of Team Big Bear, “If you’ve never tried mountain bike racing, this is a great event to get started. The trails are in great shape, and the weather is perfect for biking.” Pro riders take to the track at 11am on Sunday, to be followed by Category 2 and 3 and junior riders, including 15-year-old National Mountain Biking Champion Casey Williams of Big Bear, at 11:30am. The course, which is shorter for novice riders, begins on Forest Road 2N10 just above Bear Mountain, and winds along the southern rim of the Valley before finishing on Bristlecone Drive (near Snow Summit and the Pine Knot campground). Spectators are welcome to cheer on the riders in the Team Big Bear Shoot-Out, or join riders for the awards ceremony, scheduled to take place at about 1:30pm at La Montaña. Dollar tacos will be available at the post-event party, which will also include music and prize raffles.
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