"Not all those who wander are lost." – J.R.R. Tolkien

Big Friggin Loop – 9.2.17

Mark your calendars for the 5th Annual MLBFL Grand Depart – Saturday, September 2nd, 2017 @ 8am

Registration will open on July 15th, and we’ll cap the ride at 45 riders.

We’ll have an informal aid station up at Minaret Vista (we’ll haul your drop bags up there).  The course for both the Mini and Big options remain identical to last year.  The gpx files and cue sheets have been finalized, and are available for download below.

What is the “Mammoth Lakes Big Friggin Loop”?

  • Exactly that – A big friggin mountain biking loop around Mammoth Lakes.  We decided to name it in the spirit of the self-supported XC endurance routes that inspired us to create it (such as the Sedona Big Friggin Loop, Santa Fe Big Friggin Loop, etc).  We took some time crafting the course, trying to incorporate all the best aspects of XC riding that Mammoth has to offer.  All in all, it’s about 52 miles with 6,000′ of climbing.  A general route description and downloadable cue sheet can be found by reading on.
  • Mini Friggin Loop option – This version is 28 miles and 2,700′ of climbing.  It excludes most of the riding in Shady Rest Park and the Brake Through/Lincoln Express/Manzanita loop.  We also pulled out the San Joaquin Ridge/Hard Core out and back, an out and back section on Paper Route to Skid Marks, and shortened the bike path route to the finish.  Otherwise, it starts and finishes with the big loop, and the rest of the route remains identical to the big loop.

When? 

  • The “Grand Depart” for both loops will be at 8am on Saturday, September 2nd, 2017.  If you can’t make it to the “GD”, we encourage you to do it as an ITT (individual time trial) any time or date you like.

Where?

The “official” timing starts and finishes at the Forest Trail trailhead where the singletrack starts  heading towards Shady Rest Park.  However, for the Grand Depart we congregate in the parking lot behind Footloose Sports (the old B of A, across the street from the trailhead) to meet and greet each other, before riding to the start line.  We customarily enjoy post-ride pizza and beer at  Z Pizza – located in the same shopping center as Footloose (and your vehicles).

How much does it cost?

There is no entry fee.  No prizes.  No awards.  This is grassroots.  You might need to have a Mammoth Bike Park Pass or purchase a Pedal Pass for $15 if the resort is open, since we do access some of their trail network.  It’s up to you to confirm whether or not a pass will be necessary.  Please don’t poach.

What kind of support is there?

  • One informal aid station at Minaret Vista.  We’ll have some supplies, and you can bring one drop bag to the start line that will be taken up there for you.  Other than that,  it’s up to you to figure out how much water/food/supplies to carry, etc.  We’ve listed a few suggestions in the “Advice” section below – so read it.  Also, read our Rider Responsibility Page.

How do I get event updates?

Is the course marked?

  • No.  Since this is not a sanctioned race of any kind, we will not “mark” the course.  We STRONGLY advise you carry a GPS, cue sheet, and maps (especially if doing an ITT) or get on someone’s wheel that knows the course.  If you’re very familiar with Mammoth trails, you might be able to get by without GPS – but be warned, the Shady Rest section is very confusing with all the intersections/options, etc.

How are results tabulated?

  • We will keep track of official finishers on our Results Page for bragging rights.  The only categories are Male and Female, with notations for geared, and singlespeed.  Ride as hard or soft as you like.  Ride with others or solo.  If you complete the route as an ITT, submit your time (or link to Strava, Garmin Connect, MapMyRide, etc) via email if you’d like to be included as an official finisher.  We go by the honor system.  P.S. for you Stravaddicts, there is a “segment” created for the entire route,  so if you wanna go for the KOM/QOM, have at it.  This is about challenging yourself and achieving personal goals, whatever they may be.  Our goal is to share an epic day on dirt with friends old and new.  #Ridebikeswithfriends.

Can you describe the route?

  • As mentioned above, the big loop is about 52 miles and 6,000′ of climbing.  It encompasses pretty much everything Mammoth is known for: Tree-lined singletrack, soft pumice runs, fast descents, gorgeous traverses, demanding climbs, amazing views, etc.  You’ll get it all.  It starts on the singletrack by Forest Trail Rd (behind the Fire Station).  Then it tours through Shady Rest Park and utilizes part of the Village Championship Course before embarking on the old “Blue Diamond” Forest Trail climb, and down the old Vista singletrack ending at the water tower.  Then you traverse some old singletrack above Forest Trail that pops you out in the Knolls neighborhood right by the trailhead for Uptown.  You ride Uptown to Brake Through to Lincoln Express to Lower Skid Marks to Manzanita and connect back with Uptown.  Continue up to Main Lodge and jump on Beach Cruiser to Mountain View.  Cross the road and ride up to Minaret Vista, connecting with the Hard Core Trail lung-buster.  Ride this out-n-back up to San Joaquin Ridge (this separates the men from the boys/ women from girls).  Jump on the USFS Mountain View Trail and ride to the Earthquake Fault where you join Uptown for a short jaunt, then cross over to Downtown to the  Big Ring Connector and climb Big Ring to Paper Route past the Twin Lakes Overlook, climbing Paper Route to the intersection with Skid Marks and Manzanita, where you turn around and ride back down Paper Route to Juniper to Lakes Trail.  Cross Lake Mary Rd and jump onto Panorama Dome Trail.  Connect with Mammoth Rock Trail.  Take Sherwin Creek Rd to Old Mammoth Rd and connect with the Town Bike Path.  Ride near Mammoth Creek Rd and loop around toward Shady Rest Park, ending where you began at Forest Trail Singletrack.  An epic loop that covers the best Mammoth has to offer in a one-day ride you’ll not soon forget!

Strava Links:

IMBA’s MTB Project Website also has a great map and more info on the route: Click Here

Cue Sheets:

GPX Files:

Any more resources or advice?

  • Read our Rider Responsibility Page
  • Stop by the Welcome Center if you need a USFS map
  • Pick up a Mammoth Mountain Bike Park Map or download it here
  • Study the gpx file in Google Earth and go through the cue sheet.  Get to know the course.  As you can see from the Strava links, it can be broken up into sections pretty easily – so you can ride certain portions if you don’t feel like tackling the whole thing.  Our cue sheet is also divided up, so you can study it along with the Strava maps and elevation profiles.  Since Shady Rest Park has so many spaghetti trails all over it, it’s the hardest part to navigate through.  Please go through and pre-ride this portion at a minimum to make sure you’ve got the route dialed.  I still get mixed up, and I created the course 🙂
  • Near the Uptown Trailhead, you can re-supply in The Village if needed.  Old New York Deli is the closest to the trail.  If the Bike Park is open, they supply water at the rest areas noted in the cue sheet.  If the Bike Park is not open when you ride, you might consider a supply drop at Minaret Vista and/or the Twin Lakes Parking Lot.
  • Both Verizon and AT&T seem to have pretty good reception for most, if not all of the course.  So cell phones are a good idea.
  • You’re never too far away from civilization at any point, if you need to bail.  Gives you some peace of mind.
  • Carry lots of water and nutrition, tools and proper gear – and remember you’re at 8-10,000′ elevation.  Be prepared, and let someone know where you’re going.  Nag nag nag.
  • Some of the climbing is deceiving – since it’s up soft, sandy washes.  The climbing can be tougher than the stats suggest.  Give yourself plenty of time to do this ride.  We’re thinking between 5-10 hours depending on your skill and conditioning.
  • Much of the course is on multi-use trails or two-way bike trails.  Please be courteous and respectful to everyone you encounter.

Check out these other pioneering “Friggin Loop” courses that inspired us:

Check out some of our other fun events:

Thinking of being part of this awesome experience?  Join the SEMBA (Sierra Eastside Mountain Bike Association) Google Group to stay in the loop with everything bike related in the Eastern Sierra

Mammoth Lakes Big Friggin Loop - Grand Depart 2013

Mammoth Lakes Big Friggin Loop – Grand Depart 2013

Gabe Taylor at the top of San Joaquin Ridge during the 2013 MLBFL

Gabe Taylor at the top of San Joaquin Ridge during the 2013 MLBFL

Alan Jacoby crossing the finish line in the 2013 MLBFL

Alan Jacoby crossing the finish line in the 2013 MLBFL

11 responses

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    • See ya soon 🙂

      August 27, 2016 at 9:43 pm

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