Cheering on student-athletes at a Texas League race early in the season.
Dear NICA Community –
In any other year, I’d be happily reporting on stories from the field and the energy of our vibrant community that is so evident in the multitude of events hosted by our spring leagues during this time of year. 2020, however, is proving to be very different for all of us. The one thing I am noticing across all our 31 leagues, spring and fall, is a sense of hope, determination and resilience. This comes directly from all of you as I attend virtual town halls and meetings with league staff, volunteers and coaches. There is hope the spread of the disease will slow significantly in the coming months, that we will “flatten the curve” and our in-person activities will be able to resume.
Several of our fall leagues have opened registration and are starting to host virtual team meetings to prepare for their season ahead. You’ll read more later on about how our coach licensing team has been hard at work providing online leaders summits, free of charge, to all NICA Coaches so that they may continue their training to in turn coach their teams and student-athletes. There are groups of NICA student-athletes who are taking the initiative to connect in the virtual space as well – a group of female student-athletes has started a virtual morning spin meet-up to connect and motivate each other during this time.
Our community is strong – we realize that each and every one of us is facing our own unique set of challenges during this time, but the common thread of cycling that unites our community remains the same and will only make us stronger when we are able to fully return to play. We may not be able to ride as a community right now, but for those of us who are able to safely ride, cycling is providing an invaluable asset for our emotional, mental and physical well being during this time. Stay strong, and know that we are here to support our community until we can all join on the trails together again.
Best Regards, Steve
What’s New Across America
Meeting and training coaches online in a virtual summit.
NICA Hosts Virtual Leaders Summits
NICA Leaders’ Summits are central to the NICA coach education program. The suspension of in-person activities forced the cancellation of many League Summits. Knowing how important Leaders’ Summit are for leagues and coaches, the NICA Coach Licensing team quickly pivoted to offer a full slate of online virtual Leaders’ Summit sessions through April and May. By allowing coaches to engage with NICA National Staff and other coaches live online, we are able to continue educating coaches to get more kids on bikes! Check with your league for more information on how to participate and continue your NICA Coach Education.
Celebrating NICA Class of 2020
With many in-person spring activities cancelled – our hearts go out to our Class of 2020 seniors. We know how important and special the last few months of senior year are. To celebrate the NICA Class of 2020 virtually – we’re looking to spotlight NICA seniors on social media. If you have a senior you’d like to give a shout-out to – send their story to email@example.com and use #NICAClassof2020 in your posts!
Podiumwear Supporting COVID-19 Efforts
Typically in the spring the Podiumwear factory in St. Paul Minnesota is busy producing hundreds of custom cycling kits for teams across the country. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Podiumwear’s team quickly pivoted to start producing medical-grade masks for first responders. Learn more about how they shifted their manufacturing processes to support healthcare heroes HERE.
Bella and fellow student-athletes at a GRiT ride in Alabama. Photo: Bella Hyser
Staying Connected During Quarantine
When the recent COVID-19 restrictions put a sudden halt to NICA’s spring 2020 in-person activities, that didn’t deter Bella Hyser with the Alabama League from continuing to ride and connect with her fellow student-athletes while still staying safe. Read more HERE about how Bella staying connected and motivated with other female student-athletes across her community!
Photo: Florida League
NICA Launches New Fundraising Platform
We are pleased to announce that through JustGiving’s Peer to Peer platform you will soon be able to fundraise for NICA or your favorite league! JustGiving enables you to create your own fundraising page so that supporters can sponsor you to participate in an event, such as a bike ride, or celebrate an occasion, such as a birthday or tribute to someone. The possibilities are endless and it’s a lot of fun, especially if you create a team and invite others to join in! JustGiving integrates with social media too so you can share your fundraiser, reach more supporters and give them updates. We’ll have more details soon but in the meantime, think about what you could do to fundraise and get #morekidsonbikes – give up ice cream for a month?
Custom Coach Supporter Jacket from Borah Teamwear
Welcome Borah Teamwear as new National Sponsor
NICA is excited to announce that Borah Teamwear is joining the NICA National Community as a Bronze Level Apparel Sponsor for the next two years. Borah is excited to start becoming involved with NICA, as part of their sponsorship they are proud to be supplying custom jacket to league coach supporters. “We have been involved with youth sport for many years and we see NICA as a real leader in this arena,” said Karl Heidgen “The jerseys are a way for Borah to reward all the time and effort these people put into keeping all the kids enjoying the sport”.
Borah Teamwear will also be providing special pricing on custom apparel to any interested NICA teams.
Borah will provide custom jackets to all NICA’s Coach Supporters whose leagues have elected to participate*.
*Please note – due to existing sponsor arrangements, this sponsorship does not apply to teams or Coach Supporters in Arizona, Colorado, or Georgia. Please contact your league director if you have questions.
Shape Your World with Shimano’s Latest Rad Video
No matter where you live, sunny skies and flowing trails await you. Shimano pays tribute to those whose labor of love build a better tomorrow for mountain bikers everywhere. Watch their latest Make Your Mark video “Shape Your World” HERE!
Adventure from your Doorstep with Salsa
Many of us turn to our bikes when things get tough; they’re the best stress-relievers we know of! Our bikes (and the people who ride them) also need our local bike shops. They provide repair services, spare parts, advice, support the local NICA teams and contribute to the communities we live in!
Right now – Salsa Cycles wants to make it easier to support your local bike shop without leaving your living room. Effective immediately, Salsa retailers are able to sell Salsa bikes and frames online or over the phone and ship them right to your door. You stay healthy, bike shops stay healthy. Everyone wins. PLUS NICA student-athletes and coaches are eligible for a great discount on a new Salsa bike! Visit https://salsacycles.com/dealers to find your local dealer today – and check out the Benefits Section onwww.nationalmtb.org for information about Coach and Student-Athlete benefits!
Pennsylvania student-athlete fixing their bike. Photo: Aaron Puttcamp
Bontrager Tires Keep NICA Rolling
When you’re picking out some fresh new tires this spring — check in with your local Trek Dealer as $1 from sale of every Bontrager mountain bike tire goes directly to NICA. Find out more about all the ways Trek is working with NICA to get more kids on bikes HERE!!
NICA exists by virtue of our generous sponsors, boosters, foundation partners and individual donors. We are extremely grateful for your continued support of our mission to get build strong minds, bodies, communities and character through cycling. Consider supporting NICA or your favorite league today and help us impact the future of cycling!
We’re taking this month’s NICA in your Neighborhood to spotlight some of our seniors and highlight those in the NICA community who are supporting COVID-19 relief efforts to keep our communities safe!
Do you have a great photo worthy of inclusion in a future issue of NICA News? If so, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you may see it published! And don’t forget – when you’re posting your photos to tag @nationalmtb for a chance to see your photo in NICA News!
The @norcalleague was heartbroken to cancel the remainder of their season and has a special message to their community. “To all of our senior student-athletes: we know how hard this is for you, we see you, we love you, we believe in you, we empathize with you. To all our coaches, student-athletes, volunteers, sponsors, donors, parents, land managers: thank you for all your support-we’re already scheming for next season.”
Shout out to SoCal’s Bryce Longacre! In addition to being a Murrieta Valley HS MTB/SoCal High School Cycling League alumni, the SoCal League’s Chief Timer, NICA’s head timing trainer, and many other things he’s very TECH and very giving. Here he’s about to ship out 46 face shields he designed, 3D printed, and built to nurses working on the front lines. Thanks for being a quality individual Bryce!
Senior spotlight from @placerfoothillsmtb – Sydni Dyer rides for Del Oro High School on the Placer Foothills Mountain Bike Team. In fact, along with a few of her colleagues, they founded the mountain bike team at Del Oro. She rides a Trek Procal. She has been riding bikes for almost as long as she has been walking, but she has been racing since she was 12 years old. Her favorite trail is Hole in The Ground in Tahoe. In her words, “I will never forget that ride.” What she likes most about NICA is that there are so many people in one place riding bikes. After high school, Sydni plans to stay local and work on her undergraduate studies before furthering her advanced college dreams, where she hopes to compete on the college level. While she is local, she looks forward to helping out Robbie and the Placer Foothills Mountain Bike Team through coaching with them. Sydni will undoubtedly continue to ride, whether solo or with friends and family. This is definitely her passion.
Need masks? @nebraskamtb is taking advantage of NICA-sponsor @podiumwear’s new custom mask program. Stay safe and represent!
NICA was one of the best parts of Alabama Senior Izzy Haley’s high school career. Racing with the Hewitt Trussville MTB Racing Team – Izzy was excited and proud to be racing Varsity her senior year.
Awesome to see NICA-sponsor @clifbar supporting first responders — From @clifbar: We’re donating 6.6 million CLIF BARs to help sustain frontline health care workers and other first responders such as food banks, EMTs, fire departments, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes worldwide. They’re made in our company-owned bakeries in Twin Falls, Idaho and Indianapolis, Indiana and being delivered STAT to those in need. Thanks to everyone who is working so incredibly hard to #feedthefight
Senior Spotlight from @placerfoothillsmtb: placerfoothillsmtb Today’s senior spotlight is our only senior on the small but mighty Colfax team. 1. Name and team – Gavin Elias/Colfax 2. What bike do you ride – Pivot LES 3. How long have you been racing – since the 5th grade. 4. Favorite trail – I really like Hidden Falls 5. Favorite thing about NICA – the people are the best. 6. Plans after HS – Navy Special Ops. Best of luck to you Gavin!