Currently ranked fourth in USA Pro Women’s Cycling and 92nd in UCI World, Jaime Reese, age 31, is a hometown athlete to brag about. She graduated from University High School, and then attended WSU on an athletic scholarship in Track and Cross Country. (She eventually transferred to and ran for University of Montana.)
“It wouldn’t be until college that I would decide that riding bikes was definitely my passion,” says Jaime. “I began riding for fun, then racing XC, and eventually learned that chairlift access and suspension was pretty cool—and that is how I made it to where I am today. I have been racing downhill for the last four years—two years in Cat I women, and two years as a Pro.”
But her “racing career” technically began when she was a preschooler—when she started racing a BMX bike at age three. “My parents were motocross racers throughout the 70s and 80s, but decided to get my sister and me into BMX,” says Jaime. She won three consecutive Washington State BMX championship titles (1988-90) and raced in a Nationals race.
Today, her sponsors include Loeka—a women’s clothing company based in Vancouver, B.C.—and The Bike Hub Racing, “which is a group of rad friends affiliated with The Bike Hub. Chris and Nichole Andreasen, the owners of The Bike Hub, have been friends of ours for a long time and have done so much for us and the bike community over the years,” says Jamie.
Her favorite places to ride include Silver Mountain and Whistler, British Columbia. However, she says, “I have found that obscure and non-resort mountains are pretty epic. Being on a bike and up in the mountains makes me the most happy. Being on a single track, flowy, challenging trail gives me a feeling I just can’t describe. Racing does the same thing for me. I love the thrill of a challenge and I really enjoy having to learn and dominate a course in just a short period of time.”
Although bikes and bike-related events are a major focus of her life—along with her husband, Jeff, who trains with her and travels along to competitions—she does maintain a day job: Social Studies teacher at Rogers High School. “I am very lucky to be off work by 3:00, have free weekends, and of course the ‘summer.’ I usually wait until dark to plan my lessons and grade my papers,” Jaime says. “And I do everything I can to get my work done before the weekend because most likely I won’t touch it until late Sunday night.”
Her racing season goes from March through October. Although it consists of mostly downhill competitions, she also “did a few XC, super D’s, [and] Cyclecross races,” she says. “My most memorable race this year was finishing first on the podium at the SeaOtter classic in California.” Another highlight was “placing 3rd at the U.S. National Gravity Championships at Beech Mt. North Carolina this past September.”
As for training, Jaime says, “I have grown to love the pump track. It gives you the best workout by far. I am currently addicted to yoga. A biker’s body is extremely tight—especially the backside—and yoga has done wonders to my flexibility. Otherwise, I am on whatever bike feels right at the time. The weekdays I do a little DH, but mostly road bikes, XC bikes, and then my weekends are all DH. This off-season I will do some more upper body strength stuff so I can hold onto my handle bars a little easier.”
With her busy schedule during racing season, Jaime says, “It’s a challenge to train during the weekdays when trying to balance work, getting your bike to the bike shop, and preparing to travel every weekend. That’s why training in the off season is so important.”
Here is Jaime’s gear list, including her four different bikes.
BIKES: Downhill – Giant Glory 00; XC – Kona Dawg Supreme; Road/Cyclecross – Redline Pro; Cruzer – 70’s Trek 420 with a basket, fenders and a bell.
MTB WHEELS & TIRES: Azonic Outlaws (blue) wheels and Maxxis Minion DHF tires.
SHOES: 510’s Hellcat’s – clipless with my Shimano DX pedals.
HELMET: Troy Lee Designes D2 History, full face.
BIKE SEAT: Azonic Dunce Seat.
CLOTHING: Loeka everything, mixed with a little Royal; Sockguy—“my ‘chillin with my gnomie’ socks are my favorites, along with my Mustache’s.”
BIKE GLOVES: SixSixOne Royal.
RIDING GLASSES: Spy goggles.
CAR BIKE RACK: Thule rear rack and a Decline tailgate pad.
OTHER ESSENTIAL GEAR: SixSixOne chest protecter, knee pads, and elbow pads. //