Little Bellas

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Mom and Bikes and All Things Great!

In our Marin Chapter, we have something special.  All chapters have something special, but it this one we have 2 sets of mom-daughter mentors.  So on a day when we give homage to moms, we thought we'd feature these duos because moms and bikes teach us:

There will be so many times you feel like you’ve failed. But in the eyes, heart, and mind of your mom, you are Super.

Meet Kate Courtney and her mom, Maggie:

Kate: Cycling is truly a lifetime sport. I started riding a bike when I was pretty young with my dad. I loved everything about riding - but didn’t realize it was a competitive sport until my first year of High School when I become involved in the Branson High School MTB Team and started racing through the NorCal League. It escalated quickly! I now race for team Specialized Factory Racing and, after I graduate in June, will be a full time professional racer. The sport has given me so much - an outlet, an opportunity to constantly push my limits and above all, a fun and supportive community to share it with.

Maggie: I love watching the faces of the Bellas  when they hear Kate talk about her racing adventures.  I am proud of the example she sets for them of dedication to her sport, respect for her body, and the importance of keeping it fun.  #Happyracersgofaster!!  Though I am crazy proud of the success she has earned on the bike, I am most proud of how grateful she remains for the opportunity to race her bike and that she always shows her gratitude to those who do so much to support her.  She will be the first to say it takes more than a “village” !    Kate works unimaginably hard at her sport, every single day, and while she is fiercely competitive, she exhibits gracious sportsmanship, both when she wins and when she has setbacks.  I just feel so lucky to be on this journey with her.

Kate: My mom has been an incredible support system for me - particularly during the past four years while I have been trying to balance school and cycling. She wears many hats - we joke that she is both my “momager” and my “momasoigneur” - but even more meaningfully, she has been a constant source of motivation and encouragement. Growing up, my mom told me again and again that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to and was a strong, positive role model for me.  Having someone who listens to my crazy dreams and doesn’t think they are so crazy has made a huge difference in my cycling career so far. One of the things that is so special about being a mentor with my mom is seeing her pass on that positivity and unconditional love and support to a new group of young girls. It’s also just a great opportunity to spend time with my mom doing something we both love!

Maggie: The formula is pretty simple - spend a little time with Sab and Lea and their enthusiasm, joyfulness, and passion for Little Bella’s becomes part of you!  That happened to me a few years ago at Sea Otter when I sat in the back of a Little Bellas question and answer session and watched the magic happen.  And the bonus of working as a Little Bella’s mentor is that I get to do it with my daughter Kate.  She is the one who inspired me to take up mountain biking and has been my patient coach and generous source of super trick equipment!


Meet Sofia Hamilton and her mom, Sandra:

Sofia: Mountain biking has been such a great experience in my life. It was fun to get into mountain bike racing through the Drake High School team when the sport was still so new, and get to see things like the first ever high school state championship. Mountain biking is a great sport because it’s fun to see not only how much faster you get but how much better your technical skills get, and how super scary trails eventually become rideable, which was always a great self-confidence booster. Even though I stopped racing after my first year in college I think I applied the mentality of training for bike races to school, treating big tests like a race where you make sure you put in enough hours studying ahead of time but leave time before the big event to recover and make sure you’re mentally prepared. And biking is always a nice way too get outside and get a study break!

Sandra :  High school mountain bike racing was the best sport I’ve participating as a parent. The friendly vibe, collaborative team spirit, awesome venues and opportunities for parents to get some exercise rather than just hanging around made it way more fun for me than any other activity my children have participated in. When Sofia graduated high school I really missed the opportunity to be involved in youth biking, so when the opportunity to be a mentor for Little Bellas came a long I jumped on it. It also didn’t hurt that our friends Kate and Maggie Courtney were already involved! Sofia is all around amazing, if I may say so myself. As well as always being cheerful and a pleasure to be around, she has the strongest work ethic and the best time management skills of anyone I know. She always works smart and doesn’t waste time, and knows when to put down her work, and get some exercise or go have fun with friends. She is also a wonderful travel companion!

Sofia: My mom has always been so supportive of me and was the one who got me into mountain biking in the first place. She was always there to cheer me on through my whole journey through mountain bike racing, from teaching me how to ride with clipless pedals, to driving me all around California for high school races, to traveling all the way to Quebec to support me when I got to race in the World Championships. It’s awesome to get to be a part of Little Bellas with my mom and inspire the next generation of girls on bikes together, and it’s fun to spend time together on our bikes!

Sandra: Volunteering through Little Bellas is really fun, and I recommend it to anyone who is thinking about it. The time commitment is light, and the kids and other mentors are awesome. It’s also a very well run organization with great sponsors, which makes our jobs easy!

We are honored to share moments with these moms and daughters and many more across all our chapters! Happy Mother's Day!

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