'Kamikaze' bike races might return next fall; Mammoth may host 2013 five-day event

Mammoth Mountain’s famed “Kamikaze” mountain bike race might return in the fall of next year, Mayor Matthew Lehman says.

“We envision a five-day event,” Lehman said at the Town Council meeting in Suite Z of the town offices on Wednesday, July 25.

“We’re talking about it taking place not just on the Mountain, but also the Village and other parts of the community.

“We'd have downhill and uphill, but then other events can take place, such as tricks and different technique kinds of aspects to it.  Other mountain communities have had just phenomena numbers of people coming.”

Lehman said he has had discussions with Mammoth Mountain executive Bill Cockroft about such a scheme, and that Cockroft is on board.

At one point in recent history, the Kamakaze was a regular stop. Kamikaze is a three-and-a-half-mile mountain bike run down Mammoth Mountain on a dirt service road. Racers routinely hit 60 miles per hour at the NORBA races at Mammoth.

“Mr. Cockroft has already contacted a number of mountain biking companies, sponsors, things of that nature. We're trying to get the outline complete, so if all goes well we can announce it at the Interbike Convention this September.”

Interbike is the premier cycling trade event in North America with more than 750 companies representing more than 1,200 brands. This year it is in mid-September in Las Vegas.

“What's so wonderful about this concept is that right now tentative dates are being set for the fall of 2013,” Lehman said. “It’s during that slow period of time, when we need it.”