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

Big Friggin Loop

The Friggin Loop is back, revamped, and better than ever for 2018!!

Registration is now open – Click Here!!  We are expecting this to fill up, so book your spot ASAP

  • Sunday, Sept 2 – “Propane Tanks” parking area off Sherwin Meadows Rd
  • 6:30am registration/number plate pickup / 7am start – don’t be late, we will leave without you

What is new for this year’s routes?

  • We worked with Mammoth Bike Park to include even more sweet singletrack.  You’ll now descend Shotgun, and climb the full length of Big Ring.  Also new for this year – Bearing Straits, Gravy Train, and the lower section of Off The Top.  Since we added more singletrack, we did away with a bunch of sandy doubletrack in Shady Rest Park… although we are now including the very short but brutal “Hell Hill Climb” which leads to a fun and fast descent to the water tank.
  • This event is still 100% FREE and Mammoth Bike Park is helping out by donating Discovery Tickets to all registered riders.  
  • We are capping the event at 60 people (combined Big and Mini) , so register ASAP to secure your spot!!
  • The Start/Finish line will be at the Sherwin Meadows Parking lot aka “The Propane Tanks”.  We’ll start with neutral roll-out along the town bike path and let everybody “go” in Shady Rest.  There will be a 4pm awards ceremony and after party at The Maven Bike Shop.

What is the “Mammoth Lakes Big Friggin Loop”?

  • Exactly that – A big friggin mountain biking loop around Mammoth Lakes.  50 miles, 6,000′ climbing.  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 show off the best XC trail riding that Mammoth has to offer.  We’ve even kept in the Hard Core / San Joaquin Ridge climb – which is a Mammoth “Rite of Passage”.  A general route description can be found by reading on.

What is the “Mini Friggin Loop”?

  • A lean and mean version of the Big Loop.  Roughly 30 miles and 3,500′ of climbing.  It excludes San Joaquin Ridge, Hell Hill, the Brake Through/Lincoln Express/Manzanita Loop and the Bearing Straits/Gravy Train/ Off the Top portion.  Still a super fun, tough and rewarding route if you don’t feel up to the Full Monty.

When? 

  • The “Grand Depart” for both loops will be at 7am on Sunday, September 2nd, 2018.  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 Start/Finish is at the Sherwin Meadows Parking Area off of Sherwin Creek Rd by the propane tanks.  There’s an awards ceremony / after-party at The Maven Bike Shop (3399 Main St between Black Velvet and Liberty Bar) at 4pm.

How much does it cost?

There is NO ENTRY FEE.  This is grassroots.  Our goal is to get everyone out there and enjoy our local trails!!  Did we mention Mammoth Bike Park is graciously donating Discovery Tickets to all registered Friggin Loop riders – how awesome is that???!!

What kind of support is there?

  • Two informal aid stations – one at Minaret Vista, one at the Paper Route/Big Ring picnic table.  We’ll have some basic provisions, and you can bring ONE drop bag to the start line that we’ll gladly take up to Minaret Vista 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?

  • Not well.  We’ll do some flour in Shady Rest Park… and most of the trails are signed… but We STRONGLY advise you carry a GPS, cue sheet, and/or maps 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, it’s easy to get confused!!!

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.

Can you describe the Big Friggin Loop route?

  • As mentioned above, the big loop is about 50 miles with over 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 with a neutral roll-out on the town bike path to get everyone warmed up and gaze at the beautiful views.  Then it hits dirt in Shady Rest Park, and the fast people get jammin on the first big climb. We utilize part of the old Village Championship Course and some great multi-use singletrack.  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, connect to Downtown for a moment before getting on Shotgun.  Descend Shotgun, climb Big Ring.  Take Paper Route to Brake Through to Lincoln Express to Lower Skid Marks to Manzanita and connect back with Uptown.  Continue up to Main Lodge and climb Beach Cruiser to Bearing Straits to Gravy Train to Off the Top around Reds Lake to Mountain View.  Cross the road and ride up to Minaret Vista, connect 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 for another short jaunt to Gopher Trail. Continue on Paper Route (a different section from earlier) to Juniper to Lakes Trail and pop out at with some sweet views before arriving at the Twin Lakes Parking Lot.  Jump on Panorama Trail to Mammoth Rock Trail and break off on the Sherwin Meadows Connector (newest singletrack in town) before hitting a short doubletrack section to the finish line.  So much FUN!! The best Mammoth has to offer in a one-day ride you won’t soon forget…

Can I do this on my e-Bike?

  • Sorry, but no.  We utilize many non-motorized singletrack trails on the route that are not legal for e-Bikes (Mountain View, Panorama Dome, Mammoth Rock, etc).

Cue Sheets and GPX Files

We will make cue sheets and gpx files for both routes available to all registered riders a couple weeks before the event.  Click here to register

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Much of the course is on multi-use trails and 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 the crown jewel of bikepacking in the Eastern Sierra:

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 – Inaugural 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

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11 responses

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    • See ya soon 🙂

      August 27, 2016 at 9:43 pm

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