[SoCal] Grizzly 100 NUE MTB Race (Big Bear, CA)

Hi All,

Was looking for some insights into this race if anyone here has done it. Its a 100k (60 mile) mountain bike race in Big Bear, California. Suppose im just looking for some general insights from people that have done it. Nutrition, course insight (do you need a dropper or can it be done with a straight post?) how steep the final big limb is etc etc.

I raced it last year and really liked the course. Plan to do it again this year. I don’t have a dropper and wouldn’t buy one for this race, although it would be nice as you descend the Seven Oaks trail (miles 5-7 on the profile below). But then you’d have to carry the weight up Radford, which is LONG (some 3,300 ft. of elevation gain between miles 26 and 35). Other than that, I recall a lot of single track, but nothing too technical that would require it. Overall it was an enjoyable experience, and the Skyline trail is killer. Just make sure you have enough energy to enjoy it as it comes right after the big climb.

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Awesome thanks so much for the insight! Definitely was waffling between dropper or not though I think I still might (would rather drop 1/2lb from my body ha!)

How many aid stations are on course? Did you wear a hydration pack or would just two bottles be ok?

You’ll pass at least 5 aid stations, maybe 6. I used all bottles last year but my view on that has changed. I haven’t thought much about it yet, but I’ll probably aim to make it a one-stop race with some combination of bottles and a pack, or two packs that get swapped out at the top of Radford. The aim would be to run out of liquid calories in the first pack right at the top of the climb and swap there before you start on the Skyline trail.

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Awesome thanks man! TBH this is less race and more survival for me. Obviously I’d like to do well but its my first endurance race (let alone at elevation) so im just aiming to not blow up completely and come last. If you wouldnt mind (And i wont be offended if you dont want to) would you mind sharing your strava file from last year?

Happy to share the file, although you might be better off getting the one from the 2017 race. The 2018 race was shortened by 3-4 miles, and overhearing the race organizers I had the strong impression that this was somewhat unintended and that going forward they would be adding it back. There is a small loop right after the Radford climb that was taken out. My advice would be to look at the posted results from 2017, then go scope out those riders’ Strava files. Flyby can be a good tool for this too.

It sounds like you are right where I was a year ago, just wanting to survive. If I could go back in time and give myself some advice, it would be to accept where your fitness is now, but treat every other aspect of it as a race. You can learn more about strategy this way that will still be applicable when your fitness improves. Most importantly try to minimize the time spent stopped. Should you continue with these types of events, you’ll be able to better compare your fitness gains this way. By way of my own personal example, I spent over 22 minutes stopped at the Grizzly last year, and only 4 minutes at Leadville (and that should have been closer to 2).

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Thanks so much! Ill have a look around for the 2017 files. What was your time out of curiosity? Im kind of planning in the 7-8 hour range. Im a mid/back of the pack Cat 3 >1hour MTB racer (as in i usually finish towards the back of the pack in the cat 3 equivalent out at my weekly summer series mtb races)

And yeah, definitely. I usually try to keep stops to a minimum as i tend to get cold very quickly and then the next 15-20 minutes back on the bike are always a struggle.