Pictured: Bunny Gang is one of the bands you can expect to see at the M2B event/
Inaugural bike ride and music fest set for June 15
Mammoth2Bishop Fun Bike Ride and Finish Line Music Festival, a new event staking its claim on summer in the Eastern Sierra this year, kicks off its first annual ride on June 15. The M2B Bike Ride represents the culmination of a 5-year dream for High Sierra Events founder and Mammoth Lakes resident Lloyd Cearley, who has worked in event promotions in town since 2007. “I promoted bands, DJs, full moon parties,” Cearley recalled; “I wanted to bring something different to the region.”
With the founding of High Sierra Events, he said, “I really wanted to take it to the next level.” His inspiration for the M2B Ride came from the Rosarito Ensenada Bike Ride, a 50-mile ride along the Pacific Coast that concludes in a Finish Line Fiesta at the waterfront. Cearley, a frequent participant in the ride, first conceived of M2B when he heard in passing that the current turmoil in Mexico was negatively affecting attendance at Rosarito Ensenada. “I thought, I should do it up here,” he said. “That’s what planted the seed.”
The Mammoth 2 Bishop Fun Bike Ride and Finish Line Festival officially begins with a kickoff party and late registration at Rafters on Friday night from 5-10 pm. The M2B continues Saturday at 10 am with a 42-mile ride from Mammoth Creek Park to the Millpond Recreation Area, where participants can enjoy an award ceremony and raffle, as well as a music festival featuring a lineup of rock, blues, reggae, indie pop, and DJ sets. Bands include locals Lava Moon and Howlin Dogma, as well as visitors Delphina, Raiz Muzik, The Northstar Sessions, and Bunny Gang, which features Flogging Molly’s Nathen Maxwell. A shuttle service will transport bikers and festivalgoers to and from Millpond, Bishop and Mammoth.
The M2B will also be a celebration of Eastside cuisine, Cearley said. Stellar Brew plans to provide coffee and goodies at Mammoth Creek Park when the race kicks off at 10 a.m., while Tom’s Place will supply a beer garden, in addition to first aid, bike repair, and hydration stations. Once riders reach the Millpond grounds, they’ll be treated not only to music, but also to vendors including Toomey’s, which aims to offer its first-place ribs and world famous fish tacos, Bleu Handcrafted Foods, which will present veggie and organic steak wraps, as well as Mad Dog Hot Dogs from Bishop and Sierra Kombucha. Cearley is on the lookout for other vendors, artisan or otherwise, and urges any interested parties to contact him via the official M2B website, mammoth2bishop.com.
The hard work of organizing such a complex event began last year, when Cearley tackled the challenging process of permitting a bike ride that linked 2 towns and counties. He found willing supporters in Inyo County CAO Kevin Carunchio, Bishop Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tawni Thompson and Events Coordinator April Leeson, as well as Mammoth Lakes Recreation Manager Stu Brown and Associate Civil Engineer Haislip Hayes. “This event is about bringing 2 towns and 2 counties together to work together and cross promote, and get away from the ‘me’ society,” Cearley said. “There was a real, ‘you’re my neighbor’ mentality.”
Adhering to that mentality, the M2B Ride will also give back to Mono and Inyo County communities, donating 100% of the $5 bike valet fee at Millpond to Eastern Sierra Disabled Sports, and a percentage of M2B event mug purchase proceeds to ICARE of the Eastern Sierra. “I’m still working on a few more charities,” Cearley said; “hopefully I’ll have more information in a couple of weeks.”
The bike ride took on a new meaning recently for Cearley, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and underwent surgery in April. “Now it’s a fundraiser for me as well,” he said. “In the future, we may have an annual recipient, to do the same thing for them.”
Cearley’s 5-year dream: turn the M2B Ride into a 3-day music festival with a main ride on Saturday, a reverse ride on Sunday, and shuttle service to take participants to other bike trails in the area. “I want to show more of the region, and what goes on besides the Mountain,” he said. “Cause a lot of my friends from SoCal ask me, ‘What do you do here in the summer?’” On June 15, they’ll have their answer.
For more information, visit the official M2B website at mammoth2bishop.com, or check out the M2B Facebook page at facebook/Mammoth2Bishop.