QOD women’s weekend was off the hook!
Most of the Supremes had the great honor of supporting one of the best women’s clinics put on (in my opinion) in the country; the Queens of Dirt Women’s weekend. This team of rad ladies, being led by Kirsten Jenson, Leah Kiviat, and Javon Smith brought in 9 of the best coaches to elevate women and junior girls’ skills and confidence on their mountain bikes.
Kirsten and Leah are two local Bellingham heroes that took on the 6-day long BC Bike Race as a duo and took the second place spot for the overall. These full time mothers took a private coaching lesson from the famous Angi Weston, experienced an explosion of progression in their riding, and thought “why not get other ladies to join in on the fun”?
This last QOD event was the 4th year of the QOD women’s weekend and it has grown from 16 participants to 46 women and 10 juniors.
Javon is a local trail builder and advocate that helps design and lead new trails that get put in on the mountain by the QOD. Javon is an IMBA certified coach that that is an incredible mentor for junior girls and force of nature on a bike. Mountain biking is her passion but building the trails we ride are equally important. She works closely as a trail leader for WMBC and has received extensive training through organizations such as the North Shore Mountain Bike Association, Outdoor Stewardship Institute, and Pacific Crest Trail Skills College
Leah, Javon, and Kirsten’s community involvement doesn’t end with an annual skills clinic- they have created and manage a local all-women’s race team out of Bellingham, WA. Besides wanting to represent a team at the BC Bike Race, and being moms of girls, they “also wanted to try and get more girls into the sport and into racing. We feel it provides girls with a positive self image and sense of empowerment in a male dominated sport”.
Junior girls are a big focus of the team and they are currently crushing it. The QOD provide scholarships for clinic entry and a bike rental to anyone in need. They work hard at reaching out to and offering support to the future women riders moving up through the ranks.
This year the QOD asked the Kona Supremes to act as sweeps for the head coaches and whatever else the clinic weekend needed. Of course we were down and very excited about having a hand in inspiring women to send it or work on cornering or even the basics of breaking and shifting.
We watched breakthroughs and huge smiles all weekend. Women are tough as nails and so eager to get better on their bikes. Each rider has a story and a reason why they ride. Some of those stories are a little heavier than others but the common theme is clear: Riding bikes is badass and riding bikes heals.
The QOD know how to party and we wouldn’t miss another clinic for the world. I caught up with Kirsten to ask her what her favorite part of the weekend was and I think it sums up well the reason why no one should miss out. “The excitement women express when they do something they didn’t think they could do and juniors seeing so many strong and powerful women on bikes, lots of incredible role models for them.
The Kona Supremes
Things to look out for from the QOD:
QOD Helping lead July 9 CDC Chuckanut Enduro preride with She Spokes
End of August and through December women and junior girls series of QOD cyclocross clinics as part of cascade cross series
HUGE thanks to Bryce Barry for her amazing photos and for the generous amount of time spent shooting, organizing, and helping with the event. You can check out her work at brycebarry.com and on instagram: @brycebarry_ & facebook: @brycebarryphotography