By Lydia Tanner

sd_jump_webThe first annual Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival, to be held on February 27 28, will showcase some of the sport's top female riders with events including the California premiere of Awesome Land: Women of Dirt—the much-anticipated new film featuring riders such as Lisa Myklak, Emily Johnston, Tammy Donahugh and Kathy Pruitt.

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) will hold the event in conjunction with sponsors including Fox Racing Shox, Black Market Racing, Gamut USA, Lights and Motion, Barry Swenson Builder, and Trailhead Cyclery, as well as a number of local bike shops including Bike Station Aptos and The Bicycle Trip.

The festival will also include an open group ride through the Soquel Demonstration Forest and a Demo Day at Bike Station Aptos on February 27, followed by a Jump Jam on February 28 with the pro riders featured in the film. Watching these girls will undoubtedly take your manly ego down a notch—and they're just the beginning.

"This film is the first of its kind and I'm honored to be a part of it," says Myklak. "I have a feeling it won't be long before the riding in it becomes dated, though. Women will see it and start stepping it up all over the world…. My only hope is that the industry figures it out. They're the ones that are lagging now. And if they don't step it up soon, they'll be the ones holding women back in our sport."

The premiere is scheduled to take place at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz at 7 p.m. The girls will all be at the presentation, along with director Mark Brent and moderator Karen Kefauver for a Q&A session after the movie. It'll be kind of like the red carpet, only with bike people instead of sequined celebs. To conclude the festivities, a raffle will be held, with tickets going for $1.


All proceeds from the event will go toward the rebuilding of the Soquel Demonstration Forest parking lot, which is currently closed due to environmental issues.

For more information on the festival, go to

Women Of Dirt Official Movie Trailer