TOC Camp Stage 6: Palmdale to Big Bear

150 150 Rich Strauss

Theme of the Day: “I think I may have undersold this stage…” — Coach Rich

Summary: We insert ourselves into about mile 85 of Stage 6, still good enough for more than solid mileage and climbing. The campers witness the first mountain top finish in ToC history.

The Full Run Down
After 3 years of doing the ToC camp, we know that everyone is pretty well trashed by Thursday, just in time for an easy day and pastries in Solvang before another solid day on Saturday. But not this year! Stage 6 is in Coach Rich’s backyard. He rides the San Gabriel mountains regularly and the thought of riding the complete stage, from Palmdale to Big Bear…just crazy!

So we exercised the Local Knowledge Card and inserted the campers just beyond where the course intersected Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass, and pointed them east (and up, up, up) to Big Bear, including a VERY steep KOM outside Crestline followed quickly by an intermediate sprint…with an evil little 18% kicker in the last 200m…ugggg!!!

The campers continued onwards on Hwy 18 to Big Bear, some following the ToC course along the north shore of the lake, other opting for the more direct south shore. Everyone made it to town with plenty of time to enjoy a sandwich and watch the finish: 800-1000m at 3-4%. The lead group of about 30 riders were seriously hurting up this grind.

Dinner at Rich’s house in Monrovia featured kabobs, beer, wine, and a week’s worth of tall tales and memories shared around the fire.

Coach Rich's briefs the campers before Stage 6

Hwy 18, Rim of the World Highway

Levi grinds it in with the lead group

Good times and smack around the fire

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