2015 Jerseys: Order Deadline June 8



Designed for MC3 by local artist Veronica “Vero” Vanblaere (co-leader of the Tour de Ham ride and owner of Naked Art Gallery), our new custom Moxie tank blends form and function in one of the most comfortable fits we’ve tried. The flattering cut has a supportive shelf-bra and a slight flare that’s more forgiving in the waist, plus a rear pocket for stashing phone and tube. Click here for more info and to order. Deadline for orders is Monday, June 8! We may not be ordering inventory, so if you want one, order now.gear-Head-Jersey-back-Final

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2015 Road and MTB Rides

Spring is finally here, and winter can kiss our azaleas! The new and expanded MC3 Board of Directors has been busy planning for what may be our best year yet. Here’s an update on this seasons road and mountain rides. Huge thanks to Ride Coordinator Angela Schmidt for planning 24 road rides, 13 mountain-bike excursions, recruiting ride leaders, and keeping it fresh!


Monday Road Rides — New & Improved!

This year, we’re trying something new. Instead of doing the same route week after week, we’re mixing it up. Led by two ride leaders, the rides will progress through the season in distance and difficulty, with a new route each month.

May: Ruffner/John Rogers/78/Grants Mill — 16 miles
June: Hill Climbing Route (Partial & full Karl Daly/Old Leeds) — 20 miles 
July: Queenstown/Roper/Floyd Bradford — 30 miles
August: 78/Rex Lake/Zigler/Bailey/Cemetery — 35 miles
September: Rex Lake/Sicard Hollow/Miss Myras/Overton — 40 miles

Where: Meet in the parking lot in front of Birmingham Bicycle Co, 1105 Dunston Ave.
When: Arrive by 5:15 p.m. to pump tires, etc. Wheels roll at 5:30 sharp.
Distance: Varies
Contact: Angela Schmidt, angelarschmidt72 (at) gmail (dot) com


New: Bi-monthly Mountain Bike Outings

We’re changing the Wednesday-night MTB ride to cover more ground and introduce you to some of the best trails in our trail-rich state! This guided ride is led by two ride leaders who know the trails and are ready to help with tips and help with mechanicals. The ride will meet at the specified trailhead at 9 a.m. and roll out at 9:45. When necessary, group will split into two groups based on speed and ability. No chix left behind.

April 11: Swayback (Wetumpka)
April 25: Chewacla (Auburn)
May 9: Fort Payne (Northeast AL)
May 23: Raccoon Mtn (TN)*Memorial Day weekend
June 6: Coldwater Mountain (Anniston)
June 20: Chewacla/Swayback OVERNIGHT (Auburn/Wetumpka)
July 4: Enterprise / 5 Points / Raccoon Mt WEEKEND TRIP (Chattanooga)
July 18: Sylacauga
August 1: Tannehill (Between Bham and Tuscaloosa)
August 15: No ride
August 29: Coldwater Mountain (Anniston)
September 12: Lake Lurleen (Tuscaloosa)
September 26: Monte Santo

If you haven’t already, sign up for the MC3 newsletter. It goes out at best once or twice a month and is a more reliable mechanism than Facebook for keeping track of all the stuff we have going on. We’ll let you know about special events, jersey sales, rides, and more! Click here to sign up.

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4/15 WWW: Bike Anatomy with Bici Coop!

wine-wenches-and-wrenches2-sizedBici Coop is our host for this month’s Wine, Wenches & Wrenches, which will feature a fun lesson in bike anatomy, followed by a fun competition with sweet prizes. We’ll have food and adult beverages, as always, but if you can’t come unless you bring your kid, come on out! We’ll have non-alcoholic drinks, too.

When: 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 15
Where: Bici Coop, 4500 5th Avenue S, Building L.
Why: Because.
Details: For the competition, you might not want to be wearing heels, so leave the stilettos at home.

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Oct. 24-26: MC3 Mulberry Gap Trip


Ladies! It’s time for the 4th annual MC3 Mulberry Gap trip: Oct. 24-26! A women-run mountain-bike retreat in the mountains of North Georgia, Mulberry Gap offers bunk-style cabins, home-cooked meals, hot showers, and ride-in-ride-out access to the Pinhoti trail system. This will be our fourth annual fall trip, and spaces are limited. You must make your own reservation and pre-pay to guarantee a spot.


Friday: We’ll leave Birmingham around 9 AM or so to caravan and stop in Chattanooga for a trail ride. (Trail TBD… could be Raccoon Mountain, Enterprise, or Five Points.) After a 2-3 hour ride, we’ll continue towards Mulberry Gap in Ellijay, Georgia, and arrive in time for dinner home-cooked by our hosts and camaraderie.



Saturday: After a big breakfast, we’ll start around 10 a.m. to get in a full day of riding: about 18 miles and 5-6 hours (with plenty of stops). Riding with a big group increases photo ops and regrouping opportunities, so plan to be out for a while and bring a good hydration pack with water, lunch, and a light rain shell. We usually ride Bear Creek, Pinhoti 1, and Pinhoti 2.


What to expect: Your screaming legs will wake you up on the 5-mile unrelenting fire road climb to the Bear Creek trailhead (or just take a shuttle, courtesy of Mulberry Gap, $15 per carload), but here’s the reward: miles of squeal-inducing downhill. Expect more climbing on single track trails (no pain, no elevation gain), but don’t feel rushed. It’s not a race. Just pace yourself and marvel in the beauty of the North Georgia mountains. The trails are suitable for advanced beginners and up; if you’ve been to one of our clinics, you are well-equipped to handle them. After the ride, there are hot showers, hot tubs, and a hearty dinner awaiting us back at camp. BYO beverage for enjoying around the fire pit.


Sunday: After another hearty breakfast, we’ll start again at 10 a.m. and have plenty of time for a different, shorter loop, after which we’ll shower and make our way back to Birmingham.



Accommodations: We’ll share rustic, bunk-style cabins that sleep 4 to 6. Prices including breakfast and dinner, are $83-$93/per person, per night. Primitive camping is $12-$18 per person/night. Dinner + breakfast are $28 plus tax. You must bring your own camping gear.

Book now: To reserve your spot, you MUST call in a credit card to pay for your first night (706-698-2865). You can pay the remaining balance upon arrival and check-in. WE CANNOT GUARANTEE SPOTS WITHOUT PRE-PAYMENT. If you must cancel, they will offer a credit that can be used on a future trip within the next 3 months.



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WWW: Thurs, Aug 21 — Gear Swap & Charity Road Rides



It’s that time again! Been a while since our last Wine, Wenches & Wrenches, but Rosie hasn’t forgotten about y’all. Please RSVP to our FB page (or if you’re not on FB, add your name in comments). This way we have enough food and libations.

What: Wine, Wenches & Wrenches is a monthly(ish) gathering that’s part bike education, part happy hour. Sometimes we teach mechanical tricks, like how to fix a flat or clean your drivetrain. Other times we share ways to connect with your community on a bike. We start with snacks and libations and give you a minute to mix and mingle, then get down to teaching you something that makes you even more capable and confident on a bike.

When: Thursday, August 21, 6-8:30 p.m.

Where: MS Society, (Old Brownell Travel building) 813 Shades Creek Parkway, Suite 100B

Why: This month’s hosts, our friends at the MS Society will talk about upcoming charity rides and group training programs that help you increase your mileage in preparation for the rides. Also, we’ll have a Fall Gear Swap, so bring gently-used items of cycling clothing and gear to sell, trade, or give away. If you have a bike to sell, bring a flier (and maybe have the bike on your rack in the parking lot for inspection!)

Gear Swap: We’ll share the rules at the event, but make sure to LABEL anything that you want to SELL, and whatever you want to trade or give away will go into a big pile from which everyone will have a chance to pick something to take home. 

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MC3 U: MTB Mini-Clinic Series (Sundays 3-5 p.m.)


Coaches Grace Ragland (L) and Maaike Everts spot a log-hop drill as Mary Anne Swanstrom, president of SORBA-Huntsville, executes a very nice front wheel lift.


New and improved! OK, so after our first three or four clinics got cancelled due to thunderstorms, we ditched the summer plan and redesigned the series to play out in the fall. Ready to earn your B.A. in “Shreducation?”

What is MC3 U?
Thanks to the popularity of our two-day women’s mountain-bike clinics, we decided to try a new format this year: a series of 2-hour clinics on Sunday afternoons—FREE to paid MC3 members. This new approach A) rules out the chance of getting weather-bombed, B) teaches one skill at a time, in a progression that gradually gets more advanced, and C) offers you an a-la-carte approach as well as a thorough “semester” of skills classes. There will be approximately 12 classes from August through October. The “final exam” (optional) is the grand finale: a group ride on the entire IMBA Epic red trail at Oak Mountain State Park. No woman left behind.


IMBA ICP coach Maaike Everts (also MC3 Vice-President and Treasurer) is one of our head coaches, and one of the nicest, least scary badasses around.

I’m a pretty good rider. Do I need this?
Only if you want to ride with more finesse, skill, and confidence. Even intermediate and advanced riders can benefit from honing the basics, and many of the coaches were shocked to learn they had been cornering improperly for years. “I have more confidence and I’m faster and getting better times because my skills are better,” said one of our students (pictured below), who was already signed up to race the Leadville 100 when she attended her first MC3 clinic. “I will sign up and attend every clinic I can with you in the future.”


MC3 member Jen Talley, from Niceville, Fla, practicing cornering on a berm at Coldwater Mountain during our intermediate/advanced women’s clinic with Lindsey Voreis.

What are the classes like?
Taught by IMBA-certified Level II instructors, each class will start with 30-45 minutes of skills drills in a soft, grassy, low-consequence field. The coach will explain the skill, answer questions, demonstrate good technique, and then offer feedback and encouragement as you practice it. When everyone is comfortable, we’ll then head to a trail where you can apply those skills and practice your form in a singletrack environment. We may stop and “session” at certain spots, like logs, tight corners, or drops, providing spotting and encouragement. We’ll conclude with a quick review. At the instructor’s discretion, there may be a little “trail-gating” afterward. BYOB.


High school student and future NICA star Nikki Costello, 15, tests her balance with a track-stand drill at the MC3 intermediate/advanced clinic in Huntsville.

Do I have to attend them ALL?
Nope! Though if you are a beginner, or an intermediate rider looking to ride with more confidence, you’re encouraged to attend as many as you can. You can take the classes a la carte, picking and choosing according to the skills that need work, or you can take them in a series (recommended) that progresses from beginner to intermediate skills. The riders who attend a minimum of 8 classes will get a free MC3 U shirt upon “graduation.” Whoever attends the most classes will earn a special prize (it could be jewelry…)


MC3 founder and IMBA ICP coach Kim Cross (left) coaches a student at the Midwest Women’s Clinic in Nashville, Indiana.

How do I know if I’m good enough to attend?
All levels welcome! We have at least one 73-year-old student who began mountain biking at 69. In fact, the less confidence and experience you have, the more you will benefit from each class. We teach in an all-female environment (with the possible exception of occasional male coaches, since we only have two certified females right now). And ALL our coaches are trained to create a non-competitive, unintimidating environment that builds skills, confidence, and camaraderie. The MC3 motto is, “Building courage, confidence, and community…two wheels at a time.” We hope those next two wheels belong to YOU!


Singlespeed world champion and MTB Hall of Famer Marla Streb coaches a student on jumping at the BMX track. Streb was the head coach of our first women’s clinic in 2011. Photo: Michelle Craig of Two Pedals Photography

How do I sign up?
First, you must be a paid member of MC3 (this is important for insurance purposes). Click here to join—it takes a few steps for us to confirm your membership, so don’t wait until the night before to sign up! Email Coach Kim at kimhcross (at) yahoo (dot) com to secure your spot at least one day in advance (by Saturday night, please). That way she can email participants in the group of cancellation due to weather, etc.

Class Schedule (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

Aug 10     Bike-body separation and braking

Aug 17     Cornering (beg) — switchbacks, med-speed turns (Note: 4:30-6:30 p.m.)

Aug 24     Wheel lifts (front & rear), log hops

Aug 31     Cornering (int) — no-skid turns, counter-leaning the bike

Sept 7     Johnson’s Mt drops, peek-and-push

Sept 14     Climbing and descending (red road climb!)

Sept 21     Switchbacks (uphill and downhill), uphill obstacles

Sept 28     Rock gardens, lunging rear wheel over obstacles

Oct 5       Pumping and jumping

Oct 12     Cornering (adv) — Berms and hi-speed, off-camber corners

Oct 19     TBD — Instructor’s choice (rainy day makeup class or review)

Oct 24-26    Mulberry Gap MC3 Women’s Weekend (tentative)

Nov 1 (Sat)   Graduation: Operation Red Loop


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Preparation for the Rapha Women’s 100

With less than two weeks until the Women’s 100 some training rides have been put together to help prepare for the big day! Here is a link to the Facebook event page where you can register for the event if you have not yet done so.

This Sunday, July 13th there will be a 55 mile ride leaving from Cahaba Cycles in Homewood at 7:30am.

Next Monday, July 14th there will be a 25 mile ride leaving from BBC (Birmingham Bicycle Company) at 5:30pm.

I will keep you all updated if any more rides develop! Looking forward to seeing you all at the Rapha Women’s 100.

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