Southern California cyclists dream of escaping the summer heat and smog to ride in cooler weather surrounded by clean air forests. That is exactly what 2000 riders did on Saturday 6 August at Tour de Big Bear.

At almost 7000 feet in altitude just a few hours east of downtown Los Angeles, riders started their cool journey in the town of beautiful Big Bear Lake on one of five courses, plus a gravel option. The 100 mile gran fondo route included climbing to the 8443’ Onyx Summit and rolling around Big Bear Lake, in total racking up over 8500’ of alpine climbing.

Rookie road racer Brian Scarborough, 34, from Lakeside, California, who happens to by an MTB XC National Champion, won the gran fondo in 4:30:36, after besting his breakaway companions in the final sprint. Samuel Brehm, 25, finished second in 4:30:39 and John Janneck, 27, took third in 4:30:40.

On social media Scarborough posted, “Ouch that one hurt! @tourdebigbear I’m not the best climber but I held it together just enough today. Who would have thought after a 100 miles and 8500ft of climbing [it] would come down to a 6 up sprint finish!”

Social media entertainer, ex-pro cyclist and author Phil Gaimon, 36, finished fifth in 4:31:18 after being dropped by the younger riders in the final run to the line.

Bailey Hinz, 35, from blistering hot Las Vegas, Nevada was the fastest women, earning victory in 5:39:57.

The Onyx Summit KOM/QOM competition offered $200 USD to the fastest male and female climbers, with Samuel Brehn winning the KOM in 24:12 and 65 year-old Barbara Sullivan taking the QOM in 33:52.

Tour de Big Bear results HERE.

Tour de Big Bear KOM/QOM results HERE.

Photos: Brian Scarborough, Tour de Big Bear