With the recent 1 September closure of California’s Inyo National Forest by the United States Government, combined with strained firefighting resources battling huge blazes across the entire western United States, organiser of the 2021 Mammoth Gran Fondo announced cancellation of the popular alpine cycling event planned on 11 September.
While there are no fires currently threatening the host city of Mammoth Lakes, the city is surrounded by the Inyo National Forest and extreme fire danger exists throughout the tinder dry-state.
The closure affects every campground, every trailhead, every dispersed camping site and every road in the National Forest, including those on the 104-mile Mammoth Gran Fondo route.
The last minute gran fondo cancellation will hit Mammoth Lakes particularly hard because it came right before the economically critical fall tourism season. Typically Mammoth Gran Fondo attacts over 2500 participants who spend the weekend (and their money) in the small alpine town on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Registered riders may receive a full refund or defer entry to the 2022 Mammoth Gran Fondo tentatively planned for 10 September.
This is the second year in a row the event has been cancelled. In 2020 a California statewide COVID lockdown forced organisers to reluctently cancel the race.
PHOTOS: City of Mammoth Lakes