Back in the day, back when mountain bikes were just starting to grab traction in the hearts and minds of outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers (let's say the late '80s, give or take), the Kamikaze Downhill ruled the roost. The brainchild of cycling enthusiast and visionary Bill Cockroft, the Kamikaze Downhill for many years became an annual pilgrimage for riders from around the world. The history books will show that various factors led to the eventual demise of the event—we'll save that for another day—and it remained but a fond memory for quite some time.
But Cockroft, a native of Mammoth Lakes, located high in California's Eastern Sierra Mountains, was not ready to let it go quietly into that good night. Four years ago he and a dedicated crew decided The Kamikaze should be brought back, and with it a variety of other popular MTB disciplines, including Cross Country, Dual Slalom (another spark of Cockroft's imagination decades ago), a modern version of Downhill run on two courses for riders of all skill levels, and the new kid on the block: Enduro. All of this was wrapped up into a neat package called the Kamikaze Bike Games.
The 2016 edition kicked off under bright blue skies and pleasant temperatures. Not surprisingly for this time of the year in Cali, it was as dry as English humor, making the loose pumice surface a typically parched and dusty affair. Mammoth Mountain will be rocking over the next few days, and we'll be more than happy to bring all the action your way.PRACTICE
We'll be back later today with all the action from The Kamikaze, Legends of the Kamikaze and Dual Slalom.
Photos and words by pbcreativephoto.com