Cyclist's Choice: Pig Out or Bear With It

Pigs and bears and bicycles, oh my.

If "Jeopardy" had a category for Bike Rides With an Animal in the Title, correct answers (phrased in the form of a question, of course) might include two events this weekend, Saturday's Ride Around the Bear and Sunday's Pig Out and Pedal.

We'll keep the Ride Around the Bear mention brief, because chances are you're not ready to ride this one if you don't already know about it. Sponsored by Orange County Wheelmen, this is one of the premier 100-mile rides in the country--and it's not for beginners.

Starting in Redlands at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains, cyclists will climb through the Big Bear area and reach as high as Onyx Summit (8,443 feet) before beginning an exhilarating 40-mile descent. Entry is $40, and registration begins at 6:30 a.m. Call (714) 956-2453 for details.

If you're not quite up for that one, Pig Out and Pedal offers a buffet of road courses from 13 to 75 miles in length, along with a lunch featuring what is billed as the "best burrito north of the border," stuffed with chicken barbecued on the spot. Goodies from fruit and candy to sandwiches will also be offered at rest stops along the routes.

All four rides (13, 25, 50 and 75 miles) begin at Yorba Regional Park in Anaheim, also the site of the burrito lunch. The routes take in such areas as Anaheim Hills, Orange and--on the longer routes--Santiago Canyon. The 75-miler goes to Rancho Santa Margarita and back, with some climbs along the way.

The non-competitive event, back for its 12th go-round, has drawn as many as 3,000 riders in years past. Entry includes a T-shirt and water bottle, as well as a random prize drawing; lunch costs extra. Participants are asked to wear a helmet and carry at least one water bottle and a tire patch kit and spare inner-tube.

Runners, meanwhile, have an event of their own on Sunday: the Maxximum 10K/5K in Laguna Niguel, starting at the Plaza de La Paz shopping center, 27271 La Paz Road. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m., an aerobic warm-up at 7 a.m. Race start times are 7:30 a.m. for the 5K and 8:30 a.m. for the 10K. Entry is $18, including T-shirt, live entertainment, a health and fitness expo, food and drink. Information: (714) 365-2332.

* What: Pig Out and Pedal.

* When: Sunday, 7 a.m.

* Where: Yorba Regional Park, Anaheim.

* Whereabouts: From the Riverside (91) Freeway, exit at Imperial Highway and go north. Turn right on La Palma Avenue and drive about three miles to the park entrance.

* Wherewithal: $31. Lunch is $5.75 extra.

* Where to call: (714) 645-3848.

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