Women Making RAD Things Happen: Kat Sweet

An intensive used to express satisfaction, acceptance, pleasure, excellence, exaltation, approval, awe, or reverence. When used individually, the level of satisfaction expressed is most often directly proportionate to the duration of the vowel sound.

“Mashed potatoes for dinner. Sweet.”
“I just signed up for Sugar Showdown. SWEEEEEEET!”

Kat Sweet (for those that live in a hole and don’t already know) is a top mountain bike coach that has shared her skills with the masses through events like the Trek Dirt Series, See Jane Jump and now her own incredibly successful women’s only camp Sugar Showdown. She is also a youth program co-ordinator for the Cascade Bicycle Club, managing a bike safety program, events, summer camps and after school programs. If all that isn’t enough she is also the Executive Director and Founder of Trips for Kids Seattle!

And yep, she also shreds winning the NW Cup in 2010 and was the Crankworx Giant Slalom Gold Medalist in 2010 and 2011!

Check out her company Sweetlines here.

Want to learn more about how sweeeeet Kat Sweet is? Check out her interview with us below!

Any nicknames?

Kit Kat, Miss Kitty, Kati Tati (Finnish for Aunt Kat), Meow Meow

Where are you from?

Mill Valley originally, then Lake Tahoe for 10 years, now Seattle for 10 years

What is your day-job these days?

Mountain Bike Coach at Sweetlines, Youth Program Manager at Cascade Bicycle Club, and I run a Trips for Kids chapter

When did you start riding?

1987 I got my first rigid 21” frame mountain bike

What is your riding Style these days?

Sweet and steezy and I prefer freeride, jumping, and gravity

Current Bike(s)?

Trek Scratch – named “Kat Scratch”
Trek Ticket – named “Purple Unicorn Shredder”
Trek Session 8
Redline Conquest – cross bike for commuting
Tupac Scraper Bike

Any racing Highlights?

Winning the Kamakazi DH when I was Expert in ’97, competing in a World Cup at Squaw Valley, Winning the Biker Cross am at Crankworx with an awesome match against Lisa Mason, competing in the X-Games Skier Cross in ’99 and 2000.

Favorite race course?

I have to admit I love the Air DH and racing A-Line. Otherwise Becon Hill has a rad, flowy, jumpy dh course in Spokane

How long have you been coaching for?

I’ve been running kids mountain bike programs for Trips for Kids since 2003 and more intensive skills coaching since 2007

Any coaching highlights?

When my 12 year old student, Katie Heinsen, won the amateur field in Sugar Showdown. When 60 year old Fredrika did the 3rd drop at Duthie and was laughing her booty off. Towing the mom and daughter team of Keara and Pat into the 5’ drop on Voodoo Child, when my student Karen O. finally beat me in the Cat 1 field (if she wins, I win..right?)

What made you want to start your own women specific competitions?

Women have been neglected in our sport for a long time. I was getting a little tired of dh racing and have always wanted to compete in jumping but there weren’t any venues for women. Tammy and I have talked about doing events for a long time then when Lindsay Currier invited me out for her event and we added a day of coaching, we knew we were on to something.

You were such a big supporter of Women of Dirt, can you see another all lady cast video happening?

People always think I was in Women of Dirt. I was at the Seattle premier and I’m a huge supporter of the movie. Mark Brent came out and documented my event, Sugar Showdown and our world premier for “If She Can Do It” is TODAY at 6pm!

Watch it here.

Describe your best biking day?

Sunshine, dry dirt, coaching, and also learning and getting coached

What discipline do you want to try?

I’m learning how to dirt jump right now. I’ve been working with Mike Metzger which has been a blast.

What has biking taught you?

That mountain bike chicks should rule the world! Biking is so much more than just a sport for me, it’s my tool for making a difference in the world. It’s taught me to push my limits, to persevere, that age doesn’t matter (ok maybe healing takes a little longer now a days), that you have to listen to yourself if you’re having an off day and not beat yourself up, to turn the self-doubt off by replacing it with focusing on skill, and it’s taught me how much I love the woods.

Biggest hurdle overcome when riding?

My head – focus on the skills!

Fav place to ride and why?

Duthie Hill of course, the Exits, Mt Galbi, I still love Whistler, Becon Hill, Mt Tam

Fav people to ride with?

Tammy, Angi, Caryn & Polo, Mike, Dan, Mason & Max, OMJ, Kyle & Nolan, Jesse, Will, Katie, Karen, my 3 little nieces, and all of my Sisters of Shred!

Headphones or no headphones when you ride?

Dirt jumping I like to use one earphone so I can still hear people around me while I’m rocking out. I prefer something with a beat, drum & bass, dubstep, electro or occasionally some old school punk rock.

Other sports and activities?

I miss fighting, (need to get back into martial arts) and skiing cherry pow-pow, I love to read too, puts me right to sleep.

iPhone, Blackberry, or Android?


Cats or Dogs?

Duh! Cats Rule! My dog is pretty rad too but a little too co-dependent for me.

Clipped in or Flats?

Flats for gravity and coaching, clipless for xc or road. My Deity Decoy’s are like being clipped in, magic sticky.

Shuttle or Climb?

Shuttle bunny all the way!

Thanks for letting get to know you Kat, it was sweeeeeeet!

The Muddbunnies encourage and welcome female riders of all experience and skill levels to join them in getting down and dirty. Come on, ride like a girl!

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