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Mammoth Kamikaze 2013-Race Report by Ryan Icanberry

September 11, 2013

Riding bikes is fun.  Festivals are fun.  Attending bike festivals is outrageously fun!  Many years ago, long before I got into racing bikes, a close friend of mine would make an annual pilgrimage to Mammoth Lakes, California to mountain bike, camp, race and have fun.  Looking on in admiration, I’d always hoped to someday make the trek myself.  This year it finally happened.

After a rough summer of training ups and downs, injuries, and unexpected life curveballs, I was ready to call it for the season.   The Ride Giant, Ride Northstar team managers Whitney Wall and Andy Buckley threw out a quick note to our team asking if anyone would like to race the Mammoth Kamikaze and represent Northstar.  The decision took no time and soon I was packed and headed south.

The drive to Mammoth from Reno/Tahoe is amazing!  More often than not I found myself staring at the landscape rather than focusing on the road.

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The entire town of Mammoth seemed to be involved with this event.   After following the many signs around town guiding racers and spectators to the festival, I found a perfect staging area near the course I’d be racing on.  The sounds of music, race announcers, and cheering fans got me fired up from the moment I parked.  After registering, I made my way back to prep my bike and pre-ride the course.

 

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The Giant Anthem X Advanced 29er 1 was a perfect bike for this course.  Light, agile, smooth, and fast!

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Though the Mammoth Kamikaze games are renowned for their downhill and dual slalom races, they had many other races listed on the schedule.   The cross country event I registered for began at noon.  The course was very similar to the cross country courses at Northstar-great mix of single track and fireroad climb mixed with rowdy descents.  The course wound its way up the mountain and crossed under many bridges that were being used for the downhill races that had already begun.  In addition to the bridges, a few well-manicured monster berms, a giant crescent moon wall ride, some drops, roots, rocks, moon dust, tight switchbacks, and few table tops highlighted the cross country course.

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The race itself was a ton of fun with bits of solid racing action mixed in.  I ended up taking 3rd in my category and left the Mammoth Kamikaze rejuvenated and motivated for the remaining races of the 2013 season.   I can’t wait until next year to race at Mammoth again!

Thank you Norhtstar California, Whitney and Andy for your continued support and belief in our team’s athletes! 

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