Hypothermia greets California cyclists on high-elevation century

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Emergency personnel treated some 40 cyclists for hypothermia after a fierce rainstorm swept across the course of the Tour de Big Bear in Southern California on Saturday.

Tour de Big Bear 100-miler

Tour de Big Bear 100-miler

The cyclists were riding at between 7,000 and 8,500 feet of elevation to reach Onyx Peak when the storm hit.

The showers lasted about 90 minutes as the temperatures dropped into the 50s or 60s.

“Dressed in cycling clothes, 60 degrees and wet is cold, especially when you’ve got done sweating climbing up a mountain pass,” ride coordinator Craig Smith is quoted by AP. 

About 1,700 cyclists chose either the 25-, 50-, 70-, or 100-mile rides, and most finished.

San Bernardino fire department spokesman Eric Sherwin said that most of the 40 had mild to moderate hypothermia. Some recovered by sitting in vehicles to warm up, while others were transported back to the starting line. None needed hospitalization.

“Some were shivering. Some were suffering from cramps. Nobody suffered significant ill effects,” he said, according to news reports.

“The Climb” is the century ride and most difficult offered at the Tour de Big Bear. The mountains around Big Bear Lake have been included in stages of the Tour of California bike races in previous years.

The online route description warns cyclists about heatstroke, sunstroke, dehydration and even cardiac arrest. The rider information packet  warns that August is the “monsoon” season and afternoon thunderstorms are a possibility.


Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2014/08/04/hypothermia-greets-california-cyclists-on-high-elevation-century/

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