George & Eric | Watt Monsters

4 years ago by Sam Wiebe

Dear Big Bear Lake Chamber of Commerce,

We’ve just visited your little alpine town to cover the big Tour of California Bike race, and found it quite pleasant. However, the overall impression is that the town feels a bit sleepy and a little rustic. The people are a tad too friendly and day-to-day life seems to move somewhat slowly. We think you might be able to go a bit bigger. Therefore, we’re cordially offering you our top four suggestions for taking Big Bear Lake into the big-time.

Create and promote a legend about a rarely seen, prehistoric-style lake monster. All proper remote and scenic lake towns have one, if only to maintain lake town credibility. A good lake monster legend will help drive public interest and promote tourism, especially among the European set.
If the lake monster thing seems out of reach...drain the lake. In the lake basin, build a sweetly-banked NASCAR oval surrounded by a challenging Formula One road course. This way, you will capture both the exceedingly brand-loyal stock car fans, as well as the F1 people who actually have money to spend. This one is a no-brainer.
Ease up on the chainsaw carved bear thing. We get it. Carved wooden bears are cute and create a welcoming vibe, but every single structure within the city limits doesn’t need to have one. Oh, and to the people sporting 2’ or 3’ bears when the town baseline seems to be well over 6’…just stop. It’s embarrassing. Your bears are irrelevant.
Keep the Amgen Tour of California coming back for the foreseeable future. Top-end bike racing seems to make people here quite happy.


Oh, yeah…there was, in fact, a time trial here today. A little 24-kilometer out and back jobber around the eastern end of Big Bear Lake. Although relatively short and flat, the course’s elevation, at 6700’, makes for a real nice, lung-searing, lactic acid-building affair. Some guys rode hard and fast. Others rode just as hard, but not as fast. Still others rode only as fast as they had to in order to survive the time cut. That’s how time trials go.

Relatively speaking, though, this was a pretty darn exciting time trial. The overall leader’s jersey dramatically swapped places at the end of the race, with Kiwi George Bennett taking just enough time from Rafal Majka to claim the lead going into Saturday’s final stage. Although they had to be feeling the effects of driving the pace during the last two stages, it was clear the Rally boys brought their “A” game again today. New Tour of California hero Evan Huffman rode a tremendous race, finishing up in a very solid 19th place - the best-placed rider from a non-World Tour team. Matteo Dal-Cin, Danny Pate and Most Aggressive Rider, Rob Britton, all placed in the top 50 on the day. All in all, a very respectable performance from the small team that has been animating the race over the past two stages. If the Rally riders’ legs are fatigued, they’re certainly doing a good job hiding it.

Tomorrow’s stage is a wide-open run through the Angeles National Forest, from Mountain High all the way down to the beautiful city of Pasadena. On paper, it looks to be a two-pronged battle between the GC contenders and the teams of the big sprinters. But, we look forward to seeing if the Rally Cycling team has a few more surprises in store to finish out what has been a monster of a week. A prehistoric, mysterious lake monster week. You’re welcome, Big Bear.

Typology of Rally Cycling Time Trial Positions
Everyone rides their bike a different way, but a time trial bike puts a vice grip on any flair someone may add to their riding position to be more comfortable and/or fast. On a time trial bike, these two attributes tend to be mutually exclusive. Try and spot the subtle differences in position from athlete to athlete.
Danny Pate
Colin Joyce
Rob Britton
Matteo Dal Cin
Sepp Kuss
Evan Huffman