From 2005 on, there will be no downhill mountain bike races at Snow Summit Mountain Resort at Big Bear Lake, California. This is due to a lawsuit filed against USA Cycling, Snow Summit, and Team Big Bear by an injured DH racer. Environmental pressures are also cited. DH bikes will also be banned from the resort's chairlifts in the summer season.

Liability lawsuit closes US MTB resort to DH racing

"Snow Summit is no longer willing to except the liability exposure of DH mountain biking and racing," said the website of Team Big Bear.

"A major lawsuit has been filed against USA Cycling, Snow Summit, and Team Big Bear on behalf of an injured DH racer. This lawsuit is still pending, it has not been settled nor reached the trial stage."

However there are also environmental reasons for the ban:

"The US Forest Service has been pressuring Snow Summit and Team Big Bear to address the substantial amount of illegal downhill trails that have developed adjacent to Snow Summit’s permit area, primarily as a result of its Sky Chair operation. Various methods have been used to inhibit the development and use of these trails including, signage, fencing, and ticket revocation. These attempts have proved futile."

Cross country racing will still be staged by Team Big Bear but "these events will be restricted to a limited access to the resort, start/finish areas, and a limited amount of service roads."

Team Big Bear’s Tom Spiegel and Patrick Follett said:

"We are extremely disappointed at the loss of DH racing at Snow Summit, but fully appreciate Snow Summit’s decision in light of our litigious society."

The DH ban would likely have "long ranging ramifications in our mountain bike community," said Spiegel and Follett.

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