Although some of these shredders are 20 years older and wiser, they can still bomb the Kamikaze at nearly 60 mph.
One of the highlights yesterday at the Mammoth Kamikaze Bike Games was the Legends of the Kamikaze Downhill, featuring some of the most iconic names in downhill racing including Brian Lopes, Dave Cullinan, Greg Herbold, Leigh Donovan, Giovanna Bonazzi, Rob Naughton, Joe Lawwill and more.
The atmosphere at 11,000 feet was nostalgic, with some taking matters much more seriously than others. Take for instance former World Champion Brian Lopes in his full skinsuit and matching windsocks ready to charge the Kamikaze – which he did with authority – winning the Kamikaze run #1 in a 4:55, five seconds faster than Rob Naughton and six seconds faster than third place Joe Lawwill.
Lawwill shared his strategy at the start, perhaps the sketchiest part of the whole course, with an off-camber, loose, pumice-laden left-hander that has claimed many victims.
“You gotta charge from the gate. It sounds crazy, but the faster you can go through that first corner, the smoother it is,” said Lawwill. “It’s actually better to charge through it with no brakes at all.”
Continue reading for more on the Legends of the Kamikaze Downhill and full photo gallery.