rae mammothRae reports: Recovering from back to back races at Mammoth Lakes GRT in California followed by Snowshoe Mountain finals in West Virginia, I contentedly reflect on my best season to date. Mammoth was an adventure and a challenge with high altitude, trail substrate like bottomless kitty litter, and wickedly technical rock gardens. Heading out with dreams of winning the tight race for series championship in my head, in the end I was certainly satisfied with a 3rd spot on the podium and second over all. The multifaceted Kamikaze event including the Legends Race, slalom and DJ competitions made for a great venue and fun weekend, and traveling through Vegas only added to the experience. Going from that to the best weather imaginable at Snowshoe Mountain made for quite a relaxing weekend in comparison, and I was delighted to take another series overall there.

The highs of my first Pro GRT series experience overshadowed any minor disappointments: my first national race win and the experience of vastly different terrain and new people of Port Angeles and Mammoth Lakes. The Mont Ste Anne and Windham World cups gave me the opportunity to ride at a new level as a peer among international riders. Snowshoe mountain helped to keep me sharp in between, as did some enduro endeavors. I’m increasingly thankful for the support from Kona Bikes as a key to my success, as well as that from KENDA tires, Riding Forward youth development program, HWB Cycling, and both new and familiar racing comrades.

Who am I kidding really though? All I can think about is how I’m going to be faster and luckier next year.