Teenagers have many choices to pursue athletic participation in high school. The traditional sport teams include football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, cross-country running, track & field, wrestling, and certainly more. And yet some high schoolers just don’t fit into these sports.
High school mountain biking. The combination of the simple joy of riding a bike with the rigors of a season of practice and competition. Ten years ago the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) was formed with the goal of organizing a competitive mountain biking league structured as high school athletic endeavor for student athletes. NICA has been a tremendous national success and enjoys continued growth.
Cycling Development is a significant part of the NICA success for student athletes in California’s Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado counties.
Cycling Development, formed ten years ago also, is a non-profit organization with a simple model. Show up and ride a bike. Regardless if you have the latest model or no bike at all, regardless if you have the lycra pants and jersey or a ripped and torn sweatshirt, regardless if you have clipped-in cycling shoes or muddy sneakers—there is a place for you. Practice as a team and as the season progresses, the student athlete improves physical endurance and gains confidence and skills handling a bike. And then race day. The student athlete will compete against the best in the state and a few will reach the pinnacle of achievement. Or maybe the student athlete will compete in races all season long to finish in the middle of the pack but always improving their personal times. And there are those who find satisfaction in belonging and fulfillment in finishing. There is a place for any and all in high school mountain biking. There is place for student athletes at Cycling Development.
The season runs from cold, wet, and dark December to the sunny springtime warmth of May. My daughter will begin her fourth season later this year. The benefits of sport are clear. Physical fitness and a mental approach to overcome doubts to achieve goals. I know my daughter has a good soul will be a terrific adult yet I am flat out impressed at her character development because of the personal connections she has made at Cycling Development.
And you cannot say enough about the organizers, managers, coaches, and parent participation at Cycling Development. Top-notch in every way.
Remember the joy and exhilaration your children experienced the first time they learned to ride a bicycle? A little trepidation but then mastery of a skill—confidence, independence—hey, I can do this! That is what Cycling Development is all about for our high schoolers. Studies show teenagers participating in high school sports will draw on that experience in their future years. Cut and paste this URL from the New York Times: https://tinyurl.com/y7kcszge You know words like “self-confidence,” “leadership,” and so forth. I’m not sure how it happens but it does, I’ve seen it. Cycling Development puts high school kids on mountain bikes, then they ride and race from December to May. No one wants the season to end so they’ll get together to ride during the summer until the season starts again.
—Patrick Murphy (parent)
Cycling Development is an amazing organization that has helped my son and family appreciate riding bikes and the outdoors. The family atmosphere and group events are always fun and help my son's confidence. I highly recommend this group to any family that has any interest in getting their children on a bicycle.
Our daughters first year mountain bike riding and the coaching and help she has received cannot be measured in STARS! The heart, the hours and the coaching are unlike any other sport my kids have participate in..Thank You
Cycling Development has been such an amazing organization for my son! Awesome team work! Fun rides! Great communication!!
My son has been involved in Cycling Development the last two years and has had a great experience. CD is organized, well run, and completely committed to it’s young riders.
Phenomenal would be the one word I can think of to describe Cycling Development. It is a truly great organization. The coaches, staff, and all the many people who donate their time are wonderful and caring. All the equipment is absolutely first rate. It is obvious everyone in the organization loves what they do. So many, many kids have been so positively impacted by their involvement with Cycling Development that it would be impossible to over-estimate the impact, not only on them, but on the world around them as they become adults. I am nothing but impressed by everything I have seen. Good job!
I have seen the difference this organization has made in the lives of High School Students. Many children from disrupted families need a helping hand, and Cycling Development is development of the entire person, not just the athletic abilities. Their lives are better because of the efforts of Cycling development volunteers
CD has been a great environment for my son, pushing him to excel in his sport and providing fun team camaraderie!
In September will be my 5th year being apart of Cycling Development. 4 days a week for 6 months out of the year it turns into a home away from home (If my home had blood, sweat, and a lot of dirt in it ;) I have learned many important life lessons through this organization such as getting tossed off a bike, thrown down a hill, bleeding from 4 different parts of my body... and I have to get back on and keep up with the group. You can't learn that in school.
Amazing group which takes in people of all abilities. And turns people who could not even ride a bike into mountain bike racers! Great program from top to bottom - how to ride, what to eat, how to train, they help everyone of all abilities.
When my son was entering High School he saw a table on the Mountain Bike Team. At the time he could not ride 2 miles without stopping. I asked how long the rides and races were - they said they rode over 20 miles for practice and the races were about 15. I looked at him and said you sure?! It took a lot (big understatement!) to get him to learn about conditioning, diet, discipline, teamwork to lean to be a team race member - it is not all about the individual. They did that, and more. The caring, understanding, mechanical and mentality ability of the coaches is the best I have seen in a youth sports program. Definitely a good investment for our future!
My kids practiced and competed with Cycling development this last school year at the high school level and they both had a great experience. I love that they can compete in a sport that doesn’t focus on their ability level but rather getting them out and moving and making new friends in the process. All of the coaches and leaders were great and took such great care of both of the kids. We will be back next year.
this was my first year and as soon as I got to the practice I felt welcomed and the people were very happy that I was there and it was just a great feeling.
This organization is the best organization I have ever been in. Every person in cycling dev is super keep me and is always ready to help. They really do care about the kids and there are no bad apples. Everyone roots on everyone even if they aren’t technically on your team. They are super organized and want everyone to do well as well as grow as people. My time in cycling dev was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Cycling development is a great non profit team. they greet middle school and high school boys and girls all over El dorado county and Folsom to participate in a fantastic athletic
out door competitive sport. The coaches and parent participation is over the top. Simply said it has been the best experience for my son, who's coming into his fourth season. Its also been good for Dad whose become an assistant coach.
I have been able to participate in cycling development as rider for three years and have found it an uplifting and fulfilling experience. The level of dedication shown by the coaches is exemplary and they facilitate an environment in which young riders can build character and develop strong social connections while improving their riding skills and learning the joy achievement.
Wonderful team working hard to provide healthy life long habits for our kids. Can’t say enough about how positive an impact Cycling Dev has had on my son.
I am a member of Cycling Development and they have built my character up so far that I am a totally different person now. They are such great people and I look forward for another season with them.
I have been a volunteer coach with this organization for 10 years and watched its reach in the community grow from an organization that served about 12 local teens to more than 100 this past year. It has been a pleasure helping high school age youth find and enjoy mountain biking, a healthy activity that has grown in popularity due to our organization and others like it. Awesome leadership, awesome teens, awesome community.
Great organization getting more kids on bikes. All the volunteers and parents work hard to make it a awesome organization to me part of
Most amazing program for high school students! The dedication and level of commitment to getting students out on bikes is top notch.
My son joined Cycling Development as a sophomore without any prior experience. He loved his time with this organization, and looks forward to the coming years being part of Cycling Development.
I have been a part of many non profit organizations. I can say Cycling Development is a top notch organization. From the camaraderie they build to the professionalism they exude, everything about this organization is what you want to be part of.
The positive impact that Cycling Development has on kids of all ability levels is like nothing I have ever seen before. It has been a privilege to be involved with such an awesome organization.
Last year my son joined Cycling Development as a freshman and loved every aspect of the team. He made some great new friends, was mentored by some fantastic coaches and older riders, and became a much stronger and confident rider and person as the season progressed.
My wife and I appreciated the “family-like” atmosphere of the team and how organized the coaches are (online calendar for races and practices, great communication from the coaches, race day set-up and take-down, etc).
In short, the whole season was pleasant and enjoyable. We are already looking forward to the 2018-2019 season.
Jim and Erin Shoemake
Our family was first introduced to Cycling Development a few years back and have been continually impressed. By no means is it an exaggeration to say that the opportunity provided by Cycling Development changed and improved the lives of all entire family. Cycling Development offers a lifestyle to each of their athletes that allows personal growth within team environment. The growth my son David has experienced directly attributable to Cycling Development is immeasurable and we as a family are thankful to each and every person associated with this outstanding group. I often describe Mark Ferry and the outstanding volunteers as, "The Real Deal". We just completed the first season with our second son Mark and i could not be more pleased. God Bless this group.
We are so thankful for Cycling Development and the opportunity it has provided for our son to pursue a non-traditional team sport. He is so excited about cycling! At times it’s challenging to balance school, homework and training, but he’s learning some great lessons about scheduling and managing his time. He’s also learned a lot about working hard, being consistent and committed. We are so impressed with all of the volunteer coaches and parents, who are just amazing!
- Dion Goldsworthy (parent)
My daughter was new to cycling for the Spring 2018 season and the Cycling Development Team welcomed her with enthusiasm, caring and support. They stayed with her each moment and cheered her on as she was able to challenge herself and push herself beyond limits and see success. The coaching staff was always there to help and answer questions, and the team offered flexibility with her scheduling conflicts when needed. Overall, it was a great experience for her and has made her a stronger, more confident person. It confirmed she can do anything she sets her mind to and overcome any obstacles in her way.
Cycling Development cares about every member, students and adults. They have so many caring adults that coach, cook, set up and take down equipment, store equipment, make deals with cycling companies to get deals for the student athletes and many more jobs like this. The caring is shown on the athlete faces (gleaming smiles) when they accomplish their goals, or even when just riding their bikes. Cycling Dev is not only a great non profit, but a great community. I love it.