Kat Sweet sending it. Photo: Cash Kiser (Yo, Cash: Kat said you’d be ok with us using this)
KAT SWEET IS IN DA HOUSE! No, really, she’s in our house. Right now. Eating bacon.
The hot-pink-haired star (and co-producer) of a groovy film called If She Can Do It, Kat Sweet is an IMBA-ICP Instructor Trainer and head coach of Sweet Lines. She flew in from Seattle for the weekend to teach an ICP Level I Ride Guide certification course in Anniston, a course we helped bring to Alabama. One of her students this weekend is MC3 member Nat Smith (the one jumping on our website banner above). We’re sponsoring Nat through the certification course in exchange for her commitment to help coach MC3 U, our season-long series of mini-clinics that will focus on one skill at a time, two Sunday afternoons each month. (First clinic is March 23. See all dates here.)
If you didn’t catch our MC3 special screening of “If She Can Do It,” a documentary about a women’s free ride clinic and comp called Sugar Showdown, you can watch it right here. It captures the ethos we strive for at MC3: a supportive environment where instruction for women, by women, inspires confidence. When a woman sees another woman do a jump, tackle a drop, or perform a wheel-lift, she often says in her head: If she can do it, so can I.
Now, pardon me while I shamelessly name-drop, not for the mere sake of name-dropping, but to illustrate how many awesome women we have recruited to help support our MC3 mission: Building courage, confidence, and community…two wheels at a time.
In the film above you might notice a certain slayer wearing an MC3 shirt. That’s Gale Dahlager, who taught herself a back-flip on a mountain bike when she was 35. She coaches women’s clinics around the country. She mocks gravity:
Gale Dahlager at Sugar Showdown. Photo: Paris Gore
Gale came to Birmingham with DH legend Shaums March, a world champion downhill rider who is one of the few people on the planet who can say they are part of the Red Bull team for life. Shaums and Gale trained our MTB instructors Maaike Everts, Kim Cross, and the dudes of our IMBA-certified team. Shaums was the head coach of the International Mountainbike Instructor Certification (IMIC) program, which was bought by IMBA and now goes by the name IMBA-ICP. Shaums is the rare dude who can shred like a Cuisinart AND coach women without condescending, intimidating, or pissing us off. Which is why we are granting him special “manbassador” status in our MC3 Hall of Fame.
Shaums March pinning it in a corner with great form.
You also might recognize in the “If She Can Do It” film a certain raven-haired angel of free ride named Tammy Donahugh, who taught our MC3 flow trail clinic on Lightning. Tammy is now the head of the IMBA instructor certification program, and she has her own women’s slope style/free ride event called Dixie Trix (which is held, interestingly, in Colorado…). (Read about Gale, Kat, and Shaums here.)
Oh, and did you see BIKE magazine’s tweet this week about Marla Streb? Yeah, this member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame came to coach our first big event in 2011, the MC3 Women’s Weekend. You can read all about Marla’s storied past (and see a PG-13 photo of her naked on a bike) here. She is the one who asserted the importance of having certain events off-limits to dudes. Here’s her version of “barefoot and pregnant”:
WARNING! Do not try this at home! Or in Costa Rica. Unless you are Marla Streb! Photo: Courtesy Marla Streb’s belly
We were introduced to Marla by fellow LUNA pro team member Shonny Vanlandingham, who calls Oak Mountain “the best course on the circuit” and won the Xterra World Championships in 2010 and has been called “the winningest racer in the history of mountain biking.” We have Shonny to thank for introducing our founder to the life-changing phenomenon of the women’s clinic.
Shonny Vanlandingham playing on the pump track near her house in Durango, CO. Photo: Kim Cross
In a state that is still off the radar of most mountain bikers (a status that is quickly changing), this is an All-Star roster of world-calibur talent, brought to you by a humble organization that started in 2011 as a Facebook group. Which is just one of the reasons it’s worth the $25 membership we’re finally charging this year, mostly because insurance requires it, but also to help bring you more awesomeness. Exhibit A: Coming soon to a trail near you…
Lindsey Voreis in various states of awesomeness. Photo: Courtesy Lindsey’s abs.
… Lindsey Voreis, former Survivor star and current founder of Beti Allride clinics, who is featured in this month’s issue of Mountain Flyer magazine. We’ve booked her for an intermediate/advanced women’s DH clinic that will be offered in three different locations on May 24, 25, and 26.
So if you were wondering, “Why should I join MC3?” we hope we have answered your question. Stay tuned for an exciting 2014 lineup of weekly MC3 road rides and mountain-bike rides, a season-long series of 2-hour skills clinics, happy-hour mechanical seminars at Wine, Wenches & Wrenches, and more. Everything but the advanced DH clinic is FREE…for members. Click here to join. It’ll be the best $25 you spend all year.