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Queen Of The Mountain Reminiced – Women’s Slopestyle at College Cyclery - Whitney Thompson

Queen Of The Mountain Reminiced  – Women’s Slopestyle at College Cyclery - Whitney Thompson
Queen Of The Mountain Reminiced  – Women’s Slopestyle at College Cyclery - Whitney Thompson
August 15, 2013 -  Whitney Thompson    

Dodging Sacramento traffic through August’s 108° heat  ­– in a sundress, with a nice set of sutures in my leg – jumping bikes should have been the last thing on my mind.

But, the landscape soon transformed from city streets to peaceful farmland lining the shores of the Sacramento River. We pulled into the College Cyclery Compound, past a collection of retired jump ramps, wooden features and classic cars to good company at Shine Rider Co’s Queen of the Mountain weekend of women’s slopestyle.

There was Hailey Starr, who drove all the way from Olympia Washington, an awesome crew of ladies from Arizona, California shredders, Lisa Tharp, Lindsay Beth Courier, Kirstie Douglass, and many more ...  Heck, Utah rider, Jenn Blitch even caught an overnight train from Salt Lake City to be there.

On Saturday, coaches and riders honed their skills in small groups and practiced on the QOM course built specifically for the weekend by mountain biking legend, Josh Bender.

When the heat rose midday, riders re-energized with popsicles and Guayaki organic Yerba Mate and cooled off with a dip in the Sacramento River. Then, we went back for more. We followed each other into new lines on the huge covered pump track and rallied on the Oakley wall ride. We raced around the outdoor flow track and shared ticks on the jumps. We rode until sunset, and still, could not get enough.  

Sunday served up more of the same, with the added element of a slopestyle competition. Women of all ages were ready to throw down on their bikes for this “best of three” run format comp! Riders agreed that junior Samantha Kingshill was the girl to watch, as she boosted high in the air with loads of style to win the “Rocket Queen Award.”  There was even a dual between two of the youngest riders, Reagan Cox and Amber Kingshill on The Compound’s Flow Track.

In the amateur class, riders and spectators alike cheered as Arizonan, Carmen Bastek, pulled some extra style out of her back pocket to take first place. And, I was honored to be riding alongside Lisa Tharp who showed huge style for the Pro win with tuck-no-handers and a smooth no-footer in her bag of tricks.

I came away from the weekend with fresh tricks (yay!), new friends, and some great prizes for second place in the Pro category: a handful of cash, some Loaded Precision Pedals and a spanking new pair of Five Ten Freerider Pro Green Zebra kicks! Fitting prizes, considering I slipped a pedal in my old skate shoes attempting a new trick during the comp.

Almost a year later, I can tell you from the mouth of freshly-converted Five Ten evangelist, the Stealth rubber soles really do stick.  

I can also tell you that there is something intangibly different about women’s slopestyle right now. Maybe it’s the nature of the discipline, or the way events like QOM are structured. Or maybe it’s something else entirely. I’ve competed in pools, on skis and racing bikes most of my life, but I’ve rarely seen women celebrating each other’s successes and supporting each other’s progress  –­ in the midst of competition – as I did in Sacramento.

Check out this year's Queen of The Mountain event in Squaw Valley on September 13!


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