Snowmobile Racer Shelby Mahon Looks Ahead to a High-Flying Season

Editor’s Note: Although Shelby Mahon has only been racing snowmobiles for two years, last year she turned pro and is already fast-gaining a reputation for fearlessness. Shelby is dedicated, fast and a little crazy… more than willing to risk a little injury for the sake of getting some serious airtime! Below, she looks forward to the season ahead.

And this Fall, Shelby is also hosting some special guests for an exciting ride in Parry Sound. Check out their adventures here.

Snowmobiling has always been a part of who I am. My parents had me riding two-up with them for as long as I can remember. My passion for snowmobiling was really spawned out of the time that I spent with my parents. Every weekend in the winter, we would take the snowmobiles out with friends and go trail riding. This was something I looked forward to all week, and would reminiscence about until the next weekend of riding. Once in a while, I was lucky enough to score a father-daughter day. Those were always my favourites. I loved following my dad down the trails and going for the occasional off-trail adventure. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I’d have this insane passion for snowmobiling.  

shelby 4

Every time that I step outside, I’m joyfully reminded of what is fast approaching, and with reports of snow storms already coming in from across Canada and the U.S., it’s hard not to be excited. This season is hopefully going to be one for the record books. With whispers of large amounts of snow fall, I find myself praying to the snow Gods.

With my usual hectic race schedule, it’s not often that I find myself with any free time for trail riding. However, when we head to certain areas of Ontario, I like to set aside some important trail time for my favourite locations. 


An early winter adventure that I’m looking forward to this year is a tour through Northwestern Ontario. This season, the CSRA (Canadian Snowcross Racing Association) season opener is going to be held in Sault Ste. Marie, December 13-15, 2013. I am super excited to finally have a chance to check out some northwestern sites as we take on the 6-hour drive.  

This year the CSRA will also be hosting an event in Timmins, Ontario on March 1-2, 2014. Once the weekend is taken care of, and hopefully without injury or mechanical problems, I’ll be heading to the nearby town of Cochrane, Ontario. This little northern town is home to my favourite snowmobile playground. 

Abitibi Canyon 

After a race in Cochrane in 2012, my parents and I stayed on for an extra day to tour the Abitibi Canyon loop. The trails were in amazing shape, and the off trail had a good hard base. The scenery was breathtaking. Although a bit chillier than my home-based trails of Parry Sound and Muskoka, adding a few extra layers and a bigger windshield quickly had me as warm as a kitten by the fire. The scenery of the hills were a photographer’s dream. I hope to spend a lot more of my time this year snapping pictures, of friends playing in the powder, and the snow-covered landscape itself.  

With a busy race schedule of 8 to 12 races a season, I don’t get out on the trails as much as I did growing up. However, I always try to fit in some local trails during off-weekends, and of course, my favoured winter pastime: trailside cookouts with friends. Nothing beats a Sundayafternoon roasting marshmallows and hotdogs on an open fire, in the middle of a lake or pond, with the warm sun beating down on the frosty landscape. Sure makes for some great candid photos too! 


All in all, there are a number of things that continue to drive me to step up my game and become a better rider. A big part of why I want to excel in this sport is the fact that I want to help support the presence of women in extreme sports. We, as women, are often overlooked or considered boring on and off the track. My goal at every event, big or small, isn’t to just win (although I do LOVE winning), it’s to put on a show. If I can change just one person’s mind and make them reconsider how they view women in extreme sports, then I consider that a true victory.


About Shelby Mahon

Growing up snowmobiling in Northern Ontario has been a defining aspect of Shelby's life. She is now the owner of Backcountry Motorsports Media and travels across North America photographing and documenting motorsports events and tourism destinations. Check out her Facebook, Instagram and website for more info.

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