Video Vault: Big Bear World Cup, 1999 from Transcontinental Headliners 2 14

Nearly 13 years ago, the World Cup pace was blistering. Riders were getting paid big bucks and downhill racing was happening at Big Bear. Check out this classic section from Transcontinental Headliners 2. Nico Vouilloz, Steve Peat and the best in the world couldn't shake Shaun Palmer in his backyard.

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Credit: with permission from Taylor Congdon and TEC Films
  • Ryan_Clark

    4/11/2012 12:58 PM

    i remember in 97 racing my first national. we rode through 4 foot of snow banks all the way down the course.. went back in 98 and killed it. that place was gnarly for what the terrian was and how basic the bikes were. i used to run v brakes cause i couldnt affoard discs. but i did have a santa cruz super 8! those where the the best times to ride.

  • chequamie

    4/10/2012 7:38 PM

    i wish all the resorts would be open and have all the sick trails but the reality is that they make more in one day of skiing than they do in an entire season of biking and from a $ vs liability standpoint is makes zero sense to be open in the summer unless you go full on like whistler or solvista

  • Big Bird

    4/9/2012 7:39 PM

    I was a bit harsh. I've been thinking about it all day and I'm sorry for what I wrote. I apologize to the rider and family. But I feel it still proves the point that it's the liability and the lawyers and insurance companies that are holding back the sport of mountain biking and downhill in particular. Oh... and Palmer's badass.

  • filthyanimal

    4/9/2012 1:40 PM

    @Big Bird. From what I understand -- and this may be totally inaccurate but I have heard similar versions a few times --when Big Bear got sued, the kid that got super-messed up was actually from a motocross background and family. The family didn't want to sue -- they understood, nobody's fault -- but the insurance company had to find someone at fault so they went after BIg Bear. The Mountain won the suit, but pulled the plug after that because of the liability. Usually it isn't the individual in cases like this, but the F'ed-up insurance companies (and ins. business, lawyer's... the whole racket) that ruin the fun for everybody. Skiing has the "Skier Safety Act" (or something like that) that protects the mountain, but that doesn't apply to MTB's. Mountain biking needs to come up with something similar and then pay a bunch of lawyers a bunch of money to pass the legislation and then were stylin'. Again, pretty sure this is how it went down, but not positive. And, believe it or not, I'm not exactly an expert on the legal aspects of all this, so don't go quoting me...

  • Big Bird

    4/9/2012 8:37 AM

    The Big Bird misses the Big Bear too. One season in the nineties, my friends and I made eight trips from Santa Cruz to Big Bear for races. What other mountain runs eight races in a season? Whoever sued the mountain and shut down the downhill racing. I hope you're happy and got a lot of money. The family of the dead Japanese woman who was on her honeymoon didn't sue. Just saying.

  • 'size

    4/8/2012 9:40 PM

    was this the year tomac broke his wrist in the finals? if not, does anyone know what year that was?


    4/8/2012 9:14 PM

    Dear Big Bear.. I want my kidney back.....

  • GnarHuck

    4/8/2012 8:56 PM

    First time i ever saw downhill mountain biking was in 1998 at Big Bear. Espn and everyone was there. Took me a while to actually get into the sport considering how expensive the bikes were for a 14 yr old. haha. Wish they would save the mountain.

  • shovel1st

    4/9/2012 12:37 PM

    Same for me, took me till 2002 to afford a bike. BB needs to dump their excuses, and develop some trails dammit! They are idiots for not realizing how much $ they could be making up there int the summer to offset the winter operation costs.

  • Varaxis

    4/9/2012 1:35 PM

    I think the owner used to be pretty big on mtn biking. They don't really hire that many people during the summer--basically seems like minimum # of plp just to run the restaurant, the security, the lifts, and ticket booth.

    I saw one guy opening up the Pirates trail that got "bulldozed" through by the anti-forest fire team, who basically looked liked he was alone patrolling the trails. Looked like he had a huge workload and we were wanting to ride Pirates again, so we helped clean up the trail head, which was littered with logs to discourage riders from coming in. He didn't seem happy with the mess that was left and the condition of the trail.

  • Varaxis

    4/8/2012 8:52 PM

    "And now you can hardly get a DH bike up there, what a shame."

    Last season, you could, despite it being against the rules. The were loading up dual crown forked bikes and even bikes that looked like pedal powered motos, with huge Carnutt shocks.

    I actually was wondering if this was the same Big bear I visit, when I saw Big Bear in the title. I barely even recognize it, but then again I only started mtbing 2 years ago. I do notice lines going down the steep face of the hill by the main lift, but they're closed off. I do notice some left over signs for the Super D, going through Dog Trail. When riding the lifts up, I look at them and imagine trying to ride them. Pretty steep and scary, considering the loose powdery dirt Big Bear has. I have a set of tires for just Big Bear trips. :D

  • Dereka15

    4/8/2012 8:43 PM

    And now you can hardly get a DH bike up there, what a shame.


    4/8/2012 9:17 PM

    yeah, its sad, they don't make the effort... I would ride there, if they opened up Westridge and gave the mtn some love.. "if they build it, we will come.. "

  • Uncle Cliffy

    4/8/2012 8:42 PM


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