After trying out road racing, New York’s Grace Mattern (Park Ave Bike p/b Borah) settled on cyclocross as an activity the whole family could enjoy. From a young age, Mattern started racing the Kiddie Cross races and liked them enough to continue in the sport at this year’s Montana Cross Camp.
“I guess it was always fun,” Mattern said about the kids’ races. “You’d go, ride your bike, do the little course and you always got a goody bag at the end. That was a really big bonus.”
From Rochester, Mattern now races for the Park Ave. Bike team. We saw the team well-represented in the Durty Bikes Gravel Series earlier this spring, and we have also seen it give rise to successful Juniors such as Magnus Sheffield. According to Mattern, the team’s success is developing talent is no accident.
“We have a really awesome mentorship program,” she said. “The culture is the older athletes on the team mentor and support the younger Juniors, which is really helpful and has really allowed me to grow as a rider.”
During the summer and fall, Mattern spends her time racing bikes, but after Nationals when the snow starts falling, it is on to nordic skiing. Skiers such as Katerina Nash have experienced their fair share of cycling success, and Mattern said she benefits from having an offseason activity.
“It translates over a little bit. The cornering is similar. The pack racing mindset is pretty similar,” she said about nordic skiing. “There are definitely skills that translate for both.”
I sat down with Mattern at the Women’s Montana Cross Camp to get to know the New Yorker better. You can listen to and watch our conversation in the video below.