|Hood River, Oregon has a lot to offer; a great trail network, world-class windsurfing and kiteboarding, close to ski resorts, wineries and the home of Full Sail Brewing and DaKine. As Rachel Throop put it, Hood River "has the same vibe at Santa Cruz." Last weekend the first race of the NAET and Oregon Enduro series took place in the hills above Beautiful Hood River in the Post Canyon Trail Network, bringing in some of the top riders. Unfortunately, just days ago the president of the local trail building club the Hood River Area Trail Stewards (HRATS), Matt Klee, died in a tragic accident up at Whistler, so hearts were heavy. Matt's friends were ready to celebrate his life by charging on with the festivities and showing off the trails that Matt had worked so long and hard on for everyone's enjoyment. And aside from a few delays and timing issues the event rolled on and Matt's trails shined.|
|Kathy Pruitt, Pro Women winner is more known for her downhill prowess but the Santa Cruz Demo Event Coordinator decided to race at the last minute. She was sitting in second going into day #2 but ended up victorious. "I really liked the stages today because I feel they play to my talent, which is looking forward and recognizing the conditions and altering my riding style based of of that, I mean all the years of downhilling I've seen a lot of different terrain and being on a little bike you really have to make sure you know what you are doing because everything you do wrong is just maximized and you have less room for error so I thought 'well it's like a mud race, I'll just look forward and not pull front brake and kind of use my hips to slide around like snowboarding or skiing."|
|Kirt Voreis crashed hard during practice on Friday, apparently trying to do some crazy speed manual through the forest. He was questionable on Saturday and amazingly was sitting 10th Saturday night. After Sunday's stages he was 7th, just 40 seconds back over 35 minutes of racing. Here he is captured near the end of the final stage #8 looking fresh as ever.|
|BMC racer Aaron Bradford showed up to Hood River with an unnamed prototype BMC 29er trail bike featuring unreleased BMC carbon rims. '"This is the happy balance between the 6" long-travel and the 4" XC bike", said Bradford. "It's still incredibly lightweight, still fast and nimble. It has really tight chainstays like the Trailfox and then they do a longer top tube that is designed around running a really short stem, so you still have the fast handling/steering and it doesn't feel cramped. It's incredibly balanced, that's what is really cool about it."|
|A memorial was held for Matt Klee, president of the local trail building club the Hood River Area Trail Stewards (HRATS), Matt died in a tragic accident up at Whistler and his family asks that close friends and those in the cycling community honor Matt by donating to the HRATS or the Live Like Matt Scholarship Fund|
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