About 2 weeks ago I received an email from a public relations company that handles all the PR for a very well known resort near a lake in Northern California. They had asked me if I would be interested in joining them for “Media Week.” This was supposed to be an all expense paid trip to the resort so I can check out and review what they had to offer. At first I thought it was SPAM and figured this was too good to be true. But the more I dug into the situation, I found out it was pretty legit. They would have provided food, lodging, vouchers for bike rentals, lift tickets, kayak rentals and tickets to a jazz festival. With all that in mind, I agreed to go, who wouldn’t right?
After I sent in all the necessary liability forms back to the PR company, I made short-notice arrangements with my office to get time-off and worked on getting baby sitting for the 4 days that I would have been gone. I did all that in 24 hours! For the next two days, I didn’t hear anything from the PR company, then I get an email that following Monday (the trip would have been that Thursday) stating that they (PR company) couldn’t book me for Media Week because they said the resort ran out of space. At this point I was pretty upset because I went through all that trouble to make sure I could go, instead I was given the old bait and switch. When I was in contact with the PR company days prior, all they needed were my forms and my approval to make sure they book me for the trip. But I guess that wasn’t good enough. If you’re a fan of Seinfeld, here’s a great clip that best describes what happened…
I ended up speaking with the PR Rep to explain to her in great detail my disappointment in how this was all handled. She offered to have me up at the resort at another time during the summer, but couldn’t give me a solid date. She ends the conversation by saying sorry and “maybe next year…” All I could think was…whatever. I really doubt your PR company will be representing the resort next year.
So this brings me to my point about the title you read above, “Big Bear, California-Best Value in Mountain Biking.” Since I had 4 days off and babysitting already figured out. Priscilla and I decided to head up to Snow Summit in Big Bear, Ca. Out of all the years I’ve lived in SoCal and been mountain biking, this was my first time going to the resort.
One of the great things about Snow Summit is that its only 2 hours away from my home. We easily drove up that morning to meet a few friends to enjoy the day with. All day lift tickets only cost $25 per person. The staff were courteous and friendly. In fact one of the guys at the lift who loaded my bike was interested in ordering one of the Bling Jerseys. Anyhow, once we got started on some of the trail riding, I was in love! The trails were a combination of hard pack and lose rocks, none of that shale/cat litter stuff you’d find in Mammoth.
Taking a break and fixing a flat.
There were various trails that every level rider can pick and enjoy themselves with. Though they don’t technically allow downhill bikes, we saw a number of them being loaded onto the lifts. However, you’d be fine riding a 5-7″ travel bike. Priscilla rode the KHS XCT 556 while I was on the KHS XCT 555, both 5″ travel bikes. Some of the areas could have been more fun on a bigger travel bike, but a 5″ bike will keep you on your toes while riding.
RL, Tae, Bryan, Tony, Alex, Scott and Scott
Basically it comes down to this, Big Bear/Snow Summit has great facilities. If you’re in SoCal, its only a few hours of a drive, great people, good food, and a beautiful city. Riding there was awesome! Ya, it would have been nice to have been able to go to that resort up “North” and be treated like a “Star,” but why bother when I have everything I need for a mountain biking resort near my home!
Here’s a little video of the trails we rode.