Local leaders have approved the closure of Millpond County Park for a new, dual-county event for Mammoth and Bishop residents and visitors to the area.
High Sierra Events is planning the first annual Mammoth 2 Bishop Fun Bike Ride on June 15. Event organizer Lloyd Cearley said the event will showcase the area to cycling enthusiasts of all levels and will feature live music at Millpond, the day’s destination.
“I’ve had this idea in my head for five years,” Cearley said last week. “It’s a fun bike ride for all levels of riders and we want to get local charities involved, so it’s not all for profit.”
Cearley said the bike ride will begin in Mammoth and end at Millpond, with pit stations along the way. The half-way point, Tom’s Place, will feature live music and a beer garden, giving riders an opportunity to relax before entering the home stretch.
For the first year, Cearley asked to have Millpond’s campsites closed for the event, but he said he hopes to invite cyclists to camp at the park for future rides.
“This is our first year, so we’re going to cap the riders at 500 so there is less of an impact and we can kind of ease in to it,” Cearley said. “In the future, we want to have up to 1,000 riders. In the future, we want to turn in into a three-day event and promote the region rather than just Mammoth” for its cycling potential.
For this year’s event, Cearley said High Sierra Events will provide a shuttle from Millpond to the starting line at Mammoth in the morning, which will allow cyclists to rent a room or camp in the Bishop area before loading their bike onto the shuttle the morning of the ride. He said there would also be an afternoon and evening shuttle as well, to allow riders to return to Mammoth or retrieve their vehicles after the event.
He also said he is working on developing a website to take registration information and direct potential participants to various lodgings, including camp sites, in Mammoth and Bishop.
When cyclists arrive at Millpond at the end of the ride, Cearley said volunteers with Disabled Sports will greet them and “valet” the bikes while riders head into the park for live music and refreshments, which will be made available through the Millpond concessionaire.
Music, Cearley said, will run from noon-8 p.m. the day of the event.
“I like the approach that you will be opening this to local nonprofits,” First District Supervisor Linda Arcularius told Cearley last Tuesday.
Fifth District Supervisor Matt Kingsley said he had some concerns about safety, particularly having a beer garden for riders at the half-way mark.
Cearley said he doesn’t expect riders to linger long at Tom’s Place, and inebriated riders hitting the road is not likely to be an issue.
In case of any other emergencies, he said Mammoth Lakes paramedics have said they would be on-call for any incident north of the Mono County Line, and Symons Emergency Services will be on standby if they are needed south of the Mono County line.
Interim Public Works Director Doug Wilson said he has looked into the event and determined that no road closures will be necessary for the bike ride. He did say the county will be available to help with any signage that event organizers may need.
Cearley said he will have a website for the event up and running soon, and those who would like to participate in the ride or simply attend the event will be able to register there.