Another Big Bear event has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Big Bear Cycling Association has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Tour de Big Bear, a road cycling event that attracts more than 2,000 participants and spectators each year.
Big Bear Cycling Association president Chris Barnes said with Governor Gavin Newsom’s latest announcement, the board decided it was best to cancel the event for 2020. “We rely heavily on volunteers — Rotary, the Pilots Association, the Antique Car Club, CERT, Kiwanis, Lions, USARC, SoCal Mountains Foundation — to help us with the event,” Barnes said. “For the most part, our volunteers are elderly. We need to keep our volunteers safe and out of harms way.”
The club’s board discussed various ways to keep the event going — minimizing or eliminating the expo, limiting the number of people and the number of people at the aid stations and packaging food at the stops. “We could have ultimately still put on an event, but we felt it was too far away from what people have come to expect and want from the Tour de Big Bear,” Barnes said.
Barnes said the organization decided last week to cancel the 2020 event, but wanted to notify all of its volunteer partners before making the announcement.
Barnes said the Big Bear Cycling Association relies on proceeds from Tour de Big Bear for its donations back to the community and other nonprofits including DOVES, CERT, the Pilots Association, the high school wrestling team and programs that benefit cycling in Big Bear Valley. His hope is that those who have already registered for the event will choose to roll over their entry fee to the 2021 event. Participants will also have the option for a refund, Barnes said.
In either case, the Big Bear Cycling Association is committed to making its annual donations this year despite the cancellation of the Tour.
“We’ve had a really good run for 10 years,” Barnes said. “We’re just putting this on pause for this year, and hope to come back bigger and better next year.”
For more information, visit www.bigbearcycling.com.