June is typically a month of celebration – season end celebrations for our spring leagues, graduation celebrations for our seniors, celebrating our fathers and celebrating pride and diversity. One celebration I would like to highlight is Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th every year. Juneteenth isn’t just a celebration of emancipation, it’s a celebration of that commitment and one we should all embrace.
Recent events, including the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest over racial issues in the USA have given us reason to pause in our celebrations. It has also provided the opportunity to come together as a strong community, to reflect and support one another as we face these challenges head on and work towards effective and long term solutions to these problems.
In November of 2018, NICA adopted a strategic plan, which included a reassessment of our core values. We are guided by these values of inclusivity, equity, respect, and community. As an organization we stand with all who share these values and do not tolerate racism, hate or discrimination of any kind.
As we continually strive to improve our programs and work together to build a stronger community, we realize that this is challenging work and we will fumble – yet we will always work to improve. Your feedback and support is vital to the continued growth and success of NICA and we want to hear from you and welcome your voices, concerns and insights to our ongoing national conversations as we work towards fostering a culture fully aligned with our values.
We realize that as an organization we have a very long way to go in terms of diversity and equitable representation. Our work ahead is to understand and close our gaps, diversify our recruitment of student-athletes, coaches and volunteers and hiring practices at all levels of the organization, while continuing to educate our NICA community.
With Gratitude, Steve
What’s New Across America
NICA National Conversation
Impacting the Future: Our Opportunity for Inclusivity Thursday, June 25th Noon-1:30 EST / 9am-10:30 PST
In the spirit of bringing our community together to celebrate and look towards impacting our future, the future of cycling and the ways we can thrive and grow as an organization, please join us tomorrow at 9am PT / Noon ET for our first National Conversation. This 90-minute event will bring together our community to celebrate all we have achieved as an organization since 2009 and look toward our future. Registration is FREE — reserve your spot today!
What’s New Across America Speakers John Burke, Kristen Dieffenbach, Lou Bergholz, Susan Helm-Murtagh and Steve Matous.
GRiT Merchandise Design Contest
Congratulations to the winners of our National NICA GRiT Design Contest – Emilie Bloome from the Wisconsin League, Sophie Trunnell from the Colorado League and Katie Hartman from the North Carolina League! You’ll be able to purchase their rad designs from the NICA store soon! HUGE thank you to everyone who participated in the contest for your creative submissions and the courage to participate in a design contest!
Safe Zone Training
NICA National is currently looking into providing optional Safe Zone Training for our volunteer coaches to become allies for our student-athletes that are a part of the LGBTIQA community.
A standard Safe Zone training is designed to introduce concepts, terminology and resources related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The Safe Zone coach develops: * A deeper awareness of personal ideas, stereotypes, and assumptions related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and asexual (LGBTIQA) individuals. * An increased comfort level in addressing concepts and language regarding LGBTIQA communities with the NICA community and with individuals. * An increased awareness of how to respect and coach student-athletes that identify with the LGBTIQA community.
At this time we are still in the process of mapping out when we want to release these CEUs on Litmos to further your NICA coach education. We will release a date for the Safe Zone Training launch soon.
Be a Roll Model Campaign
In our community – team comes first. The top of the podium isn’t the top of the mountain or the end of the trail. Laughter fuels us. Community binds us. And friends and family bring out our best. NICA is so much more than racing because life is so much more than a race. Today and tomorrow, the world needs NICA and right now NICA needs your support to keep rolling. The world needs Roll Models and we’re building them every day. Support NICA national or your favorite league HERE.
NICA Partners Renew Grant Funding
NICA is excited to announce that we recently received renewed grants from three important and long-time partners: Walton Family Foundation, REI, and Clif Family Foundation. The $278,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation primarily funds the Arkansas league but includes funding for NICA GRiT nationally and in support of all leagues. REI’s grant of $20,000 will support Teen Trail Corps. Clif, a founding sponsor of NICA, awarded a $65,000 grant to support our continued growth across the country. We thank the Walton Family Foundation, REI, and the Clif Family Foundation for their commitment to NICA and to getting #morekidsonbikes!
Help NICA Keep its Great Nonprofit Status
Have a spare 3 minutes? Help us keep our greatnonprofits.org badge and elevated nonprofit status by writing a short review of NICA at: https://greatnonprofits.org/org/national-interscholastic-cycling-association-2. Plus you can let the world hear your story and how NICA has impacted your family and community! Follow these 3 easy steps to submit your review today: Visit our Great Nonprofits Page. Click the orange “Share your Story” button and write a brief review. You may add a photo or video if you choose.
Texas League Director Adam Finck
Happy Fathers Day!
Get to know Texas League Director Adam Finck! This father of two is a former motocross racer, professional mountain biker and served as Team Director for the Lubbock Bombers during Texas’s Inaugural Season in 2012. Catch up with Adam HERE.
Shimano’s Latest Off-Road Racing Shoe
Making the move to clipless pedals or just looking to upgrade your current set-up? Our friends at ShimanoMTB have you covered with their XC-701 off-road racing shoe – designed for comfort and maximum performance, it pairs perfectly with their DEORE XT PD-M8100 XC pedals! Plus don’t forget – NICA Level 3 Coaches are eligible for a discount on Shimano components and gear!
Oregon League student-athletes take a break from the Oregon Timber Trail during their bikepacking adventure in 2019. Credit: Dylan VanWeelden
Blackburn and Backpacking Roots Partner with NICA on New Curriculum
NICA is excited to welcome Blackburn Designs as a new Bronze-Level Sponsor for 2020. This new partnership will bring together NICA, Blackburn Designs and Bikepacking Roots to develop a bikepacking curriculum and provide a traveling gear library for use by NICA student-athletes. Bikepacking Roots will provide on-trail expertise, and Blackburn is providing the bikepacking gear library as part of their sponsorship.
Blackburn Designs is an industry leader in innovative bicycling tools and accessories. Founded in 1975, Blackburn focuses their product design on the user’s perspective, showing respect for materials and their functionality while bringing unprecedented innovation to the cycling industry.
Bikepacking Roots is the first and only non-profit to support and advocate for the bikepacking community. The organization develops and sustains impactful multi-day off-pavement cycling routes, advocates for the conservation of and access to the public lands and wild places through which we ride, and cultivates stewards who create a positive impact while exploring by bike.
Check out Salsa Cycles Latest Film
What inspires YOU to ride? Salsa hopes you enjoy their new short film: Choosing To Live, a beautifully told story of passion, love, loss, transformation and celebration using the bike and bikepacking as a means for exploration and adventure. Click HERE to check it out today.
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 build strong minds, bodies, character and communities through cycling. Be a Roll Model, consider supporting NICA or your favorite league today and help us impact the future of cycling!