When: April 13, 10-2 p.m.
Mother’s Day marked the second-annual CycloFemme, a global women’s cycling day. Started by boulder, Colorado-based Sarai Snyder of Girl Bike Love, “to honor the past, celebrate the present, and empower the future of women’s cycling.”
Sarai’s idea is simple and elegant–get as many women riding together on bikes, in cities around the world, as possible. This year’s event saw 229 registered women’s rides in 31 countries. The Instagram photos told the story thought the day.
Sarai is a satellite member of MC3 and has collaborated with us on promoting our events through Girl Bike Love. #sherox. And she is another living-proof testament that if you teach a woman to
fish ride, she’ll teach 10 more, and the whole village eats rides.
For our next Wine, Wenches & Wrenches, MC3 is partnering with Trips for Kids, a non-profit that takes at-risk kids on bike rides as a reward for doing well in school. The brand-new Alabama chapter needs volunteers to ride with the kids on a Saturday morning. Doug Brown of Trips for Kids will give an informational talk about the organization and what is needed from volunteers. (In a nutshell: You just show up with your bike at Oak Mountain or Red Mountain Park, and ride with the kids, then have lunch: Trips for Kids does the rest. How fun is that?)
When: Wednesday, April 24, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Eddie Freyer’s (bike-themed) State Farm Agency, 2921 Cahaba Road (in Mountain Brook, between Davenport’s Pizza and the soccer fields)
Details: We’ll have wine, beer, and light hors d’oeuvres. Feel free to bring something tasty to share, but don’t feel pressured to if you don’t have time!
RSVP: Please let us know on this Facebook event page if you can make it so we can have enough food and libations. Or, if you’re not on Facebook, just comment below. Hope to see you there!
What: TEMPO, a new family-friendly bike-themed festival
Where: Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham, Alabama
When: Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More info: Visit the TEMPO event site.
The 2013 Alabama Spring Mountain Bike Clinic drew a small but enthusiastic group of students from Alabama, Georgia, and Florida on a cool spring day in Oak Mountain State Park. The Southeast’s first team of IMBA-certified instructors worked closely with students for 7.5 hours, breaking down the elements of fundamental skills from cornering to drops.
Congratulations to the 2013 instructor team and their individual sponsors, who funded their 3-day, $800 certification through the IMBA Instructor Certification Program.
Eddie Freyer (front, far right), sponsored by Eskridge & White
Joe Vacca (middle row, far right), sponsored by Bob’s Bikes
Chuck Lewis (back row, far right), sponsored by Bike Link
Maaike Everts (back row, fourth from right), sponsored by Birmingham Bicycle Co.
Kim Cross (not pictured), sponsored by Fagan Sports Medicine
Jennifer Humber (not pictured), sponsored by Magic City Cycle Chix
Monty Morris (not pictured), sponsored by Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers
Meagan Daniels (above) of Birmingham learned good bike-body separation in cornering. Here she shows great form: “cowgirl” knees, a strong counter-lean, neutral pedal position, one finger on the brake, and eyes looking forward. She said the drill, “was one of the best things I learned! I am horrible at turns…finally clicked after that!”
Gina Hamel practices “being two with your bike” in the limbo contest. She had strong form, but it wasn’t enough to top her sister, Anna “Limbo Queen” Hamel. Instructors Jen Humber and Joe Vacca demonstrate optimal pole-holding technique.
Instructor Chuck Lewis shows how far off the back of the saddle your center of gravity needs to be to execute a proper manual wheelie. Notice his straight arms and the placement of his hips. That’s exactly what he looks like wheelie-ing around the parking lot, making the rest of us look bad.
The next MTB clinic is our MC3 Women’s Weekend June 29-30. There will be events for both mountain bikers and roadies, so save the date. We have women coming from 8 states, so you don’t want to miss the fun!
Great turnout this past Sunday at the GSMR practice road race. There were 9 women, including some triathletes and mountain bikers trying their first road race. Maaike Everts did a great job explaining the etiquette and strategy of road racing, and we all stayed together on the first lap, practicing chase drills and taking turns doing some “work” in the pace line. We learned about why road racing is like a chess game, and really enjoyed the ride, the sunshine, and the friendly field.
GSMR (a local team) was kind enough to create a special women’s field so those of us who did not choose to race with the men would have an option. I have long been intimidated by road racing, and this experience got me past that. The women worked together, but were not afraid to go for a breakaway or employ some real competitive tactics, too. It was a fine balance, sans the “agro” nature of some men’s races.
Improving your skills does wonders for your confidence. And mountain biking, like life, is all about confidence. There will be obstacles in your path. If you believe you can get over them, you can.
A little technique goes a long way in this sport. But so many elements of good technique are not intuitive. In fact, they feel downright counter-intuitive. That’s why we have created the region’s first team of certified mountain-bike instructors who’ve been trained to coach clinics. Our goal at MC3 is to build the sport by providing a caliber of instruction typically found only at big resorts like Whistler.
Last year MC3 convinced sponsors to invest a total of $7,200 to put a team of skilled riders—women and men—through a grueling, 3-day certification course through the International Mountain-bike Instructor Certification (IMIC) program, which was recently acquired by IMBA as the gold standard for training coaches. The course involved 8-hour days of lectures and instruction, written exams, coaching simulation, and on-bike evaluations. These individuals are excellent riders, but they all found the course extremely challenging. Each newly minted coach emerged with a sense of humility and a desire to use what they learned to help others.
We have three big clinics planned for 2013. Please mark your calendars and stay tuned for more details.
March 17: Spring Co-ed Clinic (Beginner/Intermediate)
(Oak Mountain State Park; full day)
This beginner-friendly clinic is aimed at new mountain-bikers, road riders who want to try trail-riding, and intermediate riders who wish to finesse a particular skill, such as cornering or wheel-lifts. It will be taught exclusively in a flat, grassy field where instructors break each skill down into basic steps, demonstrate proper form, and provide feedback to riders as they practice it. The setting is designed to build skill and confidence in a non-intimidating, non-competitive environment. You can practice what you’ve learned on the trail later. We will have male and female instructors. Appropriate for riders ages 12 and up.
June 29-30: MC3 Women’s Weekend
(Oak Mountain State Park; 1 day MTB clinic, 1 day ROAD and MTB group rides)Our first 2011 Women’s MTB Camp drew 60 women from 8 states for two days of intensive mountain-bike instruction. At the request of our women’s community, we have refined the format to include road riders in an event that celebrates women cyclists of all disciplines. Saturday will feature a full-day women-only mountain bike clinic taught by female instructors (with the possibility of a few well-curated dudes). Saturday night the roadies are invited to join the fat-tire femmes at a special party and camp-out. Sunday will feature group rides for both road and mountain bikers, plus more learning opportunities and some surprises.
October (Date TBD): Fall Family Clinic
(Oak Mountain State Park; 1 day of mini-clinics for kids, spouses, and families)
Cycling is a wonderful family sport that builds healthy families. We’ll focus this clinic on families, couples, and kids. From tips for encouraging your spouse or children to love cycling as much as you do (without inadvertently traumatizing them) to learning about local cycling outlets for kids, we’ll provide learning opportunities for families of all stripes. We’ll even ask a few local athletes to share secrets about how they manage to balance family, jobs, and training.
If you’re intimidated or “on the fence” about whether these clinics are for you, please come to our first co-ed mixer on the evening of Wednesday, March 6 at the MS Society. We’ll give a presentation that shows how our clinics work, and what you can expect to learn if you attend one. We’ll talk a little about how men and women learn and ride differently, and how we address that at our clinics. And we’ll give you a chance to ask all the questions you want. We won’t pressure you to attend one, but we do hope it will relieve any anxiety or intimidation and give you the information you need to decide for yourself.
Please feel free to download, print, and share the poster above (click on the photo and select “Save”). We are working to determine a price based on insurance rates and other clinic costs. We hope to have this soon. Photos courtesy Michelle Craig of 2PedalsPhotography.com