Earlier this year the Wisconsin NICA League was given a very charitable donation from Dan Teaters, from team Wheel & Sprocket.
Dan donated his race winnings form his 2016 cyclocross season and after the story hit our social media pages it took of like wile fire.
We had the opportunity to reach out to him and ask a few questions, and his answers were just as commendable as his donation.
WisconsinMTB: What led you to want to donate to the Wisconsin NICA league?
Dan: Since joining Team Wheel and Sprocket in 2014 some team members have made it a goal of theirs and collectively as the team, to give back to cycling. In 2014 and 2015 I worked with Team Wheel and Sprocket to support the WI Bicycle Federation in hopes that my contribution, in addition to the rest of the team, would help make a difference for cycling in the state of Wisconsin.
I was really happy to be able to support that cause and as I began my 2016 season I changed gears a bit. With the support of Team Wheel and Sprocket I made it my mission to race with a purpose of giving back to bicycling by donating my cyclocross season winnings to a Wisconsin based organization that helps foster bicycle racing at a grassroots level. It took me a long time to decide where my season winnings were going but Im really happy with supporting the Wisconsin NICA League. I spent some time taking with Kathy Mock, Co-director of the league, and after talking and doing some research on the website I found an organization that has momentum and is helping to broaden sports choices for kids in school.
I'm excited that the league was willing to work with me to earmark the donation to help support the leagues scholarship fund
WisconsinMTB: How long had you been planning to do this, was it a goal you set at the beginning of your cyclocross season?
Dan: I had the idea near the beginning of my season however it evolved a bit throughout the season as I began chasing two state championships (WI & IL). Ultimately, my goal for the season was to win the WI Cyclocross Cup Overall Points Championship and in doing so I had a number of good finishes that contributed to my season race winnings.
If I can continue racing at this level I plan to continue my mission of giving back next year to another organization.
WisconsinMTB: What do you think is the most beneficial things for our student-athletes to know about life, cycling and how it all ties together.
Dan: As a young student-athlete you will have many opportunities for success; however, the main thing to remember is that life is a never ending learning process. I was an athlete in several sports in high school and I swam at a Division 1 school. I thought I knew everything about swimming when I was younger but looking back, I realize now that I was learning how to swim each and every day.
The same can be said for my bicycle racing. Each race is a learning experience and if you learn for both your successes and mistakes you will do well in any arena. Athletics can teach us a lot, not just about how to push our bodies, but about who we are as individuals. Whether it's swimming or cycling, or some other sport, it gives each of us an opportunity to find out who we are and how we react to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
As a student-athlete you will build character unlike many other people in your life. You will learn the three "D's" desire, determination, and dedication. I live by these three words and I challenge you as a student AND as an athlete to dig deep and find the three D's in every day life.
Just remember, as a student-athlete, your formula for success is different than each one of your teammates. Cycling provides each of you with the tools to become a successful person throughout life, on and off the bike.
We wish Dan tons of luck with his future cycling goals and encourage you all to thank him when you see him next. If you enjoyed this interview and want to know more about Dan, check out his blog.
NICA Stories - A social program dedicated to showcasing the memories, laughter and good times we all have as riders, staff, coaches, families & sponsors.
If you want to share your stories from seasons past, please email Richard and maybe we will post your story!