Mammoth Kamikaze Bike Games:
Since the birth of mountain biking, California cyclists have enjoyed trail riding in Mammoth Lakes. Intrepid competitors joined Mammoth Mountain for the first lift-accessed downhill race in history in 1985 when the Kamikaze established the Eastern Sierra as one of the first mountain biking Meccas in the world. You could say spinning knobbies in the dirt is in our DNA and putting our racing slicks to the tarmac is ingrained in our brains!
And we want to share the amazing pedaling with you. For 2013, the Kamikaze Bike Games have partnered with The Town of Mammoth Lakes, the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation, and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area to create a multi-disciplined bike event that includes road and off-road fun for all ability levels. With live music as well as great food and drinks, it’s going to be the big mountain, bike bash of the year!
History of The Kamikaze:
It all started with one man – Bill Cockroft. A passionate cyclist, he wanted to bring bike racing to the Mammoth Lakes. It was the mid-80s and cycling was very much in the public eye, thanks to the Oscar-winning film “Breaking Away” as well as the USA’s success in cycling events at the ’84 Olympics, which took place in nearby Los Angeles.
Cockroft was friends with the man in charge of the cycling portion of the Olympics and one of their mutual buddies approached him and asked Cockroft over dinner, “How much would it take to produce a major cycling event?”
Bill pulled out a pen, grabbed a napkin, completed some rough calculations and delivered the tally.
Soon the napkin turned into a check and many volunteer man-hours later, a bike race was born. In addition to the Kamikaze and the dual slalom (another industry first) there was also a stage race, which is a road race for those you who don’t speak bike geek. :)
Mammoth was regular on the international race schedule and the Kamikaze changed bike racing as we know it. The Mountain Bike Hall Fame acknowledged as much when they inducted Cockroft in 1994 along with other bicycle visionaries Ignaz & Frank Schwinn (yes, those Schwinns), Keith Bontrager, and Douglas Bradbury.