Not just competing, but also mastering new tricks via coaching, is the focus of women’s freeride events scheduled this summer around the West.

The concept came about at the Queen of the Mountain competition at Northstar in Lake Tahoe, where Kat Sweet told Lindsay Currier that she would coach the day before. When the idea was a major success, the two decided to create more of the same. Sweet noted that “Women seem to like to compete in a more supportive environment, where we are inspiring and pushing each other at the same time” – so the idea is a perfect fit. “Sometimes if women see other women doing it they think “if she can do it, I can do it.”

Riders will compete on jumps, drops, wall rides and more, being judged on style and tricks, while building camaraderie and pushing boundaries. Pro competitors can look forward to a cash purse, while amateurs can snag stellar products and gear. Clinics will be led by certified, professional riders.
The fun starts on May 4 and 5 with Dixie Trix, part of the Ranchstyle Mountain Bike Festival in Grand Junction, Colorado. Want to compete in an event conceptualized by someone who has dirt jumps as the focal point of her backyard? Tammy Donahugh is that girl: She created this event when she wasn’t busy killing slopestyle courses, coaching and building trails for IMBA.

Kat Sweet brings the Sugar Showdown to the rider-built and county-sanctioned Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park in the Seattle area on July 7 and 8. Kat Sweet, the event promoter, coaches via her company Sweetlines when she’s not stepping up to podiums at downhill mountain bike races; managing the youth program at Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club; or teaching kids how to build fun, functional scraper bikes.

And Queen of the Mountain rounds out the season on August 11 and 12 in Mammoth, California. Lindsay Currier, the event’s promoter, races downhill and promotes female gravity mountain bikers and other freeride/downhill events, including this year’s pro invite-only event, SendHer, via her company Shine Riders Co.

By Karen Johanson