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.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER (MANDATORY) ON BIKEREG.COM.
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