Search for Nashville Bike Week organizer continues; Venue remains up in air

Michael Leffingwell (Mug: Metro-Nashville Police Department)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The search for the organizer of Nashville Bike Week continues as the organization promises the event will go on as planned.

A new venue for the 10-day festival has not been named, but an email from the organization to News 2 said that Nashville Bike Week would announce the new venue within the week.

Meanwhile, the organizer of the event, Mike Axle, whose legal name is Michael Lewis Leffingwell, has not turned himself in on outstanding warrants in Sumner and Maury counties, Georgia, or Missouri.

Nashville Bike Week pointed out in its email the warrants for Leffingwell are not connected to activity with the organization, and the organization has not broken any laws.

Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis said his office continues to be contacted by people concerned about the event and curious if it is a scam.

“We have about 200 people who have contacted us about the event,” he said by phone. “We are also trying to plan logistically for the event if it does happen.”

Previously, the event was going to happen at the Loretta Lynn Ranch from Sept. 14 to 24. The ranch announced earlier this month it cut ties because the organization did not meet financial obligations.

However, Nashville Bike Week provided to News 2 a voicemail from the Tennessee Department of Health that said the event could not be permitted at the ranch because of the number of people expected.

“You put 30,000 people in our county and it’s going to more than double the population,” Sheriff Davis said. “We are one of the few counties that has the river, railroad, and interstate in it, and we always have to be cognitive of what’s going on.”

In an email to News 2, the event said all of its financial obligations are paid and current. It also said refunds are being processed for people who requested a one.

“We have retained a public relations company and will be doing a press release and showing our new venue location within the week,” the email said. “Our event is still September 14 to 24, 2017. Mike Axle is not wanted for anything to do with Nashville Bike Week, nor have any laws been broken b[y] Nashville Bike Week.”

News 2 went to the address listed as the headquarters of the company organizing Nashville Bike Week. A woman at the home said Leffingwell no longer lived at the address and she did not know where he is located.

According to the Nashville Bike Week Facebook page, at the unnamed venue festival attendees will still have access to full hook up spots, cell phone service, free hot showers, restrooms and coin operated laundry mat.

Anyone who has concerns about the event can still contact the Humphreys County Sheriff’s Office at a specially-created web page.

If you have information about Leffingwell’s whereabouts, contact your local authorities.