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Racers of Cascadia - Kalden Charrette

We recently caught up with 19-year-old Kalden Charrette after practice on Friday at the North Slope enduro. Hailing from Bend, Oregon, Kalden travels the race circuit with his family in their iconic RV, "The Outlaw." If you spot it at a race, rest assured—they're not lost; they're there to compete! His dad Randy races in the Expert category, and both of his parents have been in the racing scene for quite some time. You might recognize Kalden as the kid dominating the course in an Iron Maiden t-shirt—yes, he’s seen them live AND can metal scream with the best of them. But don’t be fooled if you catch him belting out a Taylor Swift tune on a particularly exhilarating stage! He's not a one-track mind. Dive into this interview to learn more about one of Race Cascadia’s Under 21 Pro Men racers.

Heather: Okay, I’m starting out with it: is there a story behind the Iron Maiden T-shirt? I noticed you wear one at every stop! Rad!

Kalden: Haha, well I wore it at my first ever Enduro race. During one of the XC series I was doing at the time, there was an Enduro going on the next day so I entered. I happened to wear that shirt, and everyone would just yell “Iron Maiden!” at me, and I kind of liked it. So I just kept wearing it, kept it going.

Heather: So now you can’t not wear it. It’s like a lucky charm of sorts!

Kalden: Yeah, I guess you can say that! I have three of them. The one I wear in the races now is the one I got at their concert in Seattle last year when I went to see them. Obviously I’m a pretty big fan haha.

Kalden dropping into the first stage at the North Slope Enduro. U21 Pro Men 

Heather: That's amazing! We all have to scream Iron Maiden at you now. So, what drew you to mountain biking and racing in the first place?

Kalden: Both of my parents used to compete. Actually I was a roadie, like way back in the day I raced road and cross-country. I kind of got sick of road racing because it got really sketchy for me. I started to like XC more, and during one of the series races they had an enduro going on that weekend. I entered, raced and ended up liking it alot. I got hooked pretty fast, so I started doing more enduro races after that.

Kalden’s first ever CDC, back in 2021.

Heather: Nice! Bikes are just fun no matter what you ride right? The Under 21 Pro Men category is an exciting addition to the CDC on Saturdays! It’s cool to see so many young men like yourself bridging the gap between juniors and elites. What are your goals and aspirations within the sport?

Kalden: I’d like to get to a UCI World Cup, in the Pro category. I’d say that's my main goal. It’s nice they added the U21 Pro category, because I was a little nervous about jumping up to full Pro so quickly. When I made the jump up to Expert last year, I was mid-pack all season and then finally won. It’s nice to have a bridge that's a step up from Jr. Expert, but not quite full-on Pro. As long as we can keep the category full, it should be a good time. There’s 11 of us tomorrow.

Kalden ended up 2nd for North Slope, right behind Oliver Brandyberry. Not a bad start to the season after taking the win at Post Canyon! He is supported by Evil Bikes, Leatt, and The Hub Cyclery.

Heather: Heck yeah! Such a good addition. Some friendly and fierce competition I’m sure. Leaving some room for other kids coming up in age to bump up to Jr. Expert on Sundays huh? By the way, if you were to give the younger kids some advice in regards to racing, what would it be?

Kalden: Just to keep it fun. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Even if you mess up in a race, you can always just finish it and entertain people messing around. Or you can put your head down and crank it out. Either way, never give up. My friends and I do this thing where when things get tough out on course, we’ll start singing “Call me Maybe” or something similarly silly, like a total Pop song. It picks up the mood and makes the vibe lighter. 

Heather: Words of wisdom right there. I love that. So, after a lovely day in the pain cave or a long day in the saddle in general, what’s your go-to comfort food?

Kalden: No hesitation Definitely Spaghetti. Yeah. Or a Burrito. Or both.

Post-race refreshments with little bro, Lars in tow.

Heather: Spaghetti LOL that’s the ultimate comfort food. A spaghetti burrito! Yum. Okay, in all seriousness though, I would like to know if you have a hidden talent. I feel like you most certainly do. 

Kalden: Like that no one knows about? Yeah well, I posted this to my Instagram (@kbikesurf) account so maybe some people know, but I really enjoy playing the guitar, and playing metal. I actually have one of the guitars from Iron Maidens like, signature guitars so it has their autograph on the top of it. 

Heather: Uuuum what! Wow! That’s amazing! I like how nonchalant you’re being about it LOL. Do you play that same guitar or is it more for display?

Kalden: I play it a lot, and the song The Trooper is probably my go-to song to play.

We started wrapping up our conversation with a shared love for metal music. Interestingly, Kalden also enjoys Taylor Swift, with "Love Story" being his favorite song. It may or may not be a common occurrence to hear him singing T Swift if he's having a particularly good stage! After discussing our favorite metal bands, I asked him about the technique behind metal screaming. Kalden demonstrated, and it was impressive—another hidden talent of his! We also talked about their RV, "The Outlaw." His family has been living in it full-time during the summers for several years now, traveling to races when not at home in Bend, Oregon. Kalden and his brother are (Kalden was- he’s in college now.) homeschooled, making this adventurous lifestyle possible. His family truly embodies the dream!

When asked what CDC stop he is most looking forward to racing, he quickly replied “Galbraith!” (to no surprise, it's a dream.) Galbraith Mountain has trails for every type of rider and racer. The Galbraith Enduro takes place in Bellingham during the NW Tune-Up weekend in mid-July. Register Here:

Above: Kalden’s Dad, Randy Charrette racing the Expert category for Soldiers on Singletrack.

The Outlaw!

As our conversation came to an end, it was clear that Charrette's passion for racing and music is matched only by his adventurous and upbeat spirit. From his impressive metal screaming talent to his family's unique lifestyle in "The Outlaw," Kalden embodies the drive and creativity that make him stand out in the Under 21 Pro Men category. Thank you, Kalden, for sharing your journey with us. We look forward to seeing you in the races ahead! Congrats on 2nd place!

Feel free to share your thoughts and support for Kalden in the comments below.

Photos and Words by Heather Carter, @heathercarterphoto on Instagram.

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