Two years ago Nyla Stevens (A-Nyla-Lator) and her dad came to me with the idea of expanding beyond coaching programs and taking the next step of promoting girls gravity riding, and so Sweetlines Junior Racing was born. We now have 14 girls ages 8 to 16 racing downhill, enduro, jumping bikes and spreading the love of shred.
The girls did amazingly at the NW Cup series races with 26 podiums, 5 enduro podiums at CDC and Sturdy Dirty, 6 Sugar Showdown podiums with 2 competing with the Pro women, as well as bringing in 5 podiums at Crankworx, Kidsworx in Whistler. The past two years have been full of progression, laughter, a few tears, and mostly the love of riding.
||Being part of this team has taught me to break through stereotypes like that girls are delicate.—Syd-Viscous, age 14
||Through SJR I have learned how to handle hard things. At one of my races I thought the course looked too hard but I overcame my fear, and at the end of the race I went back for more laps.—Slay-Air-Ah, age 9
We also have a big sisters program, partnering each girl with local Pro riders to have as a mentor for the season. Molly Pop, age 8, says, “my big sister has helped me learn it is about more than winning. It is about doing your best and constantly improving.” Her big sister is pro rider Kaytlin Melvin, who also came up through Sweetlines programs.
I founded Sweetlines 5 years ago, focused on creating community, building confidence, and promoting stewardship for women and kids via mountain biking programs. We want to empower our athletes to rise to their full potential and to promote this exciting, growing sport. We can’t wait to see what the new year will bring, and we’re super excited for the future of women’s riding. Please check out Sweetlines for opportunities to join us on this adventure.