Riding for the Right Reasons
"Why I Ride" winner Kari Cashen rides for a lot of reasons, including the afterglow that follows a great day of desert racing.
Kari Cashen won our "Why I Ride" contest on Facebook with her video that showed how much she loves riding and racing in the desert around her home in Reno, Nevada.
We caught up with the 42-year-old Cashen to find out more. She's been riding for seven years now. After a lifetime of wanting to ride, the Honda CRF150F finally convinced her to stop dreaming and start riding. "I'm a small woman and I knew it wouldn't kill me right off the bat!" Cashen says of the little Honda.
Many riders work for years to hone their skills before progressing to competition, but Cashen took a different route. "Someone suggested I try a race because it would improve my riding skills. It just cranked up my abilities," she says.
Cashen races with the Motorcycle Racing Association of Northern Nevada (MRANN). Desert racing was a natural choice given the terrain around Reno, and she names an area called Hungry Valley as her favorite place to ride.
Riding is very personal for Cashen, who says she often takes to the desert alone. "I'm a single mom and time is super valuable to me. Whenever I can go, I go," she says. It looks like she won't be riding alone for long, though. Her four-year-old son Cade is learning to balance on two wheels, and he'll be on his own battery-powered trials bike soon.
Cashen will be heading to the Texas Tornado Boot Camp thanks to winning LeoVince's "Why I Ride" contest. She'll be under the instruction of Boot Camp owner Colin Edwards and other top-notch instructors.
"I'm really excited because I know that what we're going to learn is a lot of foundation for what I need: flat track, turning and throttle control," Cashen says. "I think that any time you can get instruction from a super-high level (rider) like that, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. I'm looking forward to applying it to my riding style."
While her style may change, Cashen's reasons for riding won't. She'll continue riding and racing in the desert for the exciting starts, the clean air, the dirty lines, the learning curve, the characters, the uphill battles, the afterglow and the future.
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