When I get Kim on the phone, I can hear the voices of her son and husband teetering in the background. They are in the middle of a big family road trip, a winding-down for Kim after completing the manuscript of her book – a narrative nonfiction account of the biggest tornado outbreak in the history of recorded weather. As soon as the book was turned in, she, her husband Eddie, and their six year old son strapped their bikes to their car and hit the road in search of some good off-road biking and to visit some friends and family. As she speaks to me, they are on their way from Durango to Santa Fe after visiting Shonny Vanlandingham, big-name mountain biker and triathlete and the family's close friend. While Kim sounds a bit frazzled after her busy day, I sense that I'm speaking to the woman in her ideal state: on the move, exploring a new place, packed tightly with her husband and son and the family bikes, a finished book and a long day of riding lying in her trail. 

The Woman

So my classic story is that within my first eight times on a mountain bike, I was on the Slickrock Trail in Moab in clipless pedals, bleeding and crying. It was a little rough. I was just too stubborn to quit, but I was definitely not good at all when I started, I just refused to give up.

The Writer

I recently found a letter I wrote to myself in high school where the teacher asks you to write, what do you want to be doing in 10 years? And I wrote, I'm going to be the editor of a science magazine! And I found it, and I was an editor of a science magazine. And then I quit my job because I wasn't writing enough. I was sitting in a lot of meetings and assigning and editing, which was great, but I just wanted to write. I love telling stories, and I love making sentences.

The Ride Leader

I actually recruited a friend of mine to lead it because part of my thing is, I don't feel like I'm always the expert, I like to sort of round up the sister riders and round up the expert, and put them together. Vero Vanblaere is an artist who started doing this Le Tour de Ham ride. It's on a weeknight after work each week, and it's just like a 10 mile joy ride downtown that's grown to around 80 people. So I thought maybe I'll get Vero to lead it, because I don't know this route, I don't ride this route, I don't consider myself an expert on riding in the city of Birmingham. So I let her lead it, and I just sort of organized the event and got everyone there. We made it a skirt ride, so everyone wore skirts! I think one woman brought her adult son and was like, "Is it ok if I bring him?" And I said, "Yes – he can't half wheel us though!"

The Ride

MC3 members Jennifer Talley (who learned MTB skills at an MC3 clinic ), Ellen Hamilton (awesome PT who loves DH more than climbing) and Kim head out for a pre-CycloFemme training ride at Oak Mountain State Park.
 MC3 Vice-President Maaike Everts (L) and Secretary Lora McIntosh (R) joined the "skirt ride" theme of MC3's 2014 CycloFemme ride, a girls-only version of Le Tour de Ham, a popular weekly coed ride through downtown Birmingham.
Kim's mother, Joyce goes on her very first road ride at the age of 73 during their 2014 CycloFemme ride, a perfect Mother's Day celebration with her daughter. Joyce learned how to mountain bike at 69 at an MC3 skills clinic.
MC3 VP Maaike Everts cruised in front of the new Birmingham Barons baseball park in downtown Birmingham, which is undergoing a revitalization with breweries, parks, baseball, and more.
Participants in MC3's 2014 Cyclofemme "skirt ride" pose in front of the Naked Art Gallery, owned by ride leader Veronica "Vero" Vanblaere, a local artist, gallerista, and co-header of Le Tour de Ham. The ladies were treated to a post-ride happy hour of wine and hors d'oeuvres at Naked Art, which donated 10% of the evening's art sales to benefit MC3.

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