Photo: Wil Smith

Photo: Wil Smith

By Joseph Espiritu

Aimed at capturing the lifestyle of female riders in the testosterone-ridden world of mountain biking, the makers of a new film, Awesome Land: Women of Dirt, hope to shed light on what drives these women athletes.

In an effort to reach a wider audience, the filmmakers from decided to create a full-length film that features some of the sport's top up-and-coming female riders, documenting their lives on and off the saddle.

"The inspiration for Women Of Dirt starts first with the women who make up an important part of our sport and yet get overlooked," said film producer Mark Brent. "We felt that our lifestyle gets overlooked, and that the women in our sport get overlooked. By focusing on two elements that we don’t see in DVDs, we are telling a story that hasn’t been told."

The movie, which is now in post-production, is designed to cover the spectrum of female riders, from young rippers to the veteran athletes who have helped pave the way for other women riders. The hard work and dedication of these women—some of whom are seldom credited—have influenced a whole new generation of riders.

"We knew we needed some of the more mature riders who have been in the sport for a while," Brent said. "Riders who are pillars of their community, such as Katrina Strand and Tammy Donahugh. We wanted high-profile riders like Darcy Turenne. We also wanted riders who are newcomers, like the grom Cierra Smith, who rides for Kirt Voreis’ All Ride Academy Team."

The film's line-up also includes Dawn Cashen, Leana Gerrard, Emily Johnston, Jill Kintner, Lisa Myklak, Stephanie Nychka and Kathy Pruitt.

The movie premiere is set for February 5, 2010 in Seattle, Washington.

For more information go to

See below for videos of the featured riders.

Dawn Cashen

Tammy Donahugh

Leanna Gerrard

Emily Johnston

Jill Kintner

Lisa Myklak

Stephanie Nychka

Kathy Pruitt

Cierra Smith

Katrina Strand

Darcy Turenne