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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

National Interscholastic Cycling Association

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Amateur Sports, Children & Youth, Sports, Youth Development

Mission: Founded in 2009, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (“NICA”) develops interscholastic mountain biking programs for student-athletes across the United States. NICA provides leadership, services and governance for regional leagues to produce quality mountain bike events, and build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through interscholastic cycling. NICA envisions a world where every youth is empowered to be part of a thriving and engaged cycling community.

Results: NICA experiences an average growth of 30% year-over-year. Currently, there are 18,500 student-athletes on 1,000 teams in 25 leagues across the United States.

Target demographics: We build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling.

Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 18,500 student-athletes and 11,000 adult volunteers each year and growing!

Geographic areas served: In communities across the United States.

Programs: Inclusive and equal youth development opportunities centered around the sport of mountain biking to support NICA's core values of strong mind, strong body, and strong character; including programs such as Girls Riding Together (GRiT), Teen Trail Corps, and Pathways.

Community Stories

26 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

I am a 52-year-old mountain biker, my “ credentials are. certified better ride coach in 2009, professional trail builder, former BMX track operator, former cycling retail store owner Who has educated himself on the sociology and psychology of mountain biking, and this is what I see. Remember, this is my opinion take it as you will, but please consider my credentials before you judge my Review ratingand my comments.
The NICA Program is definitely boosting mountain biking popularity, In the 20 years I have been involved professionally I have seen it grow, but in the last five years exponentially.
A lot because of what the NICA program has done.
As a professional trail builder at a mtb venue I am involved with our first Scholastic race, and what I am seeing is this,

Coaches and students and parents complaining about trail conditions, like for instants, corners. It seems you are Creating the mindset that corners need to be mountain bike specific, if anyone who is reading this knows anything about the progression of mountain Biking, corners have always been a learned skill that could win or lose races.
And somewhere called switchbacks!
It starts with parents complaining how tight the corners are, these are not professional riders making a judgment on something they know little about, it turns into students hearing these comments and taking them is true. Then the worst thing, it turns into a coachs belief that the corner needs to be mountain bike specific, as a trail builder this is very concerning, we are creating a very insecure mountain bike community, a corner, is a corner is a corner when it comes to trail riding, if it is a slop style or a dirt jump line or a race track Etc. etc
Then a corner Has to be specific.
People now are coming up to corners with less gumption, and a whole lot of criticism.
Another thing, trail conditions.
The nica league is bringing the soccer moms and NASCAR dad’s into the community, the soccer moms are saying the trails are too dusty is there something we can do about! our trail system is decomposed granite, and dirt, the slopes are at the angle of repose,or more dirt and decompose granite do not have the fractured surface to lock together So compaction does not work, and the amount of silt in the soil relates to the amount of water it would take to soak a section of trail just to have it duff up again because of the soil type.therefore slopes And a trail of design are very important To maintain a low maintenance status.
Another problem, debris on the side of the trail, either from construction or natural circumstances, it is a common part of mountain biking all across the world! These nica coaches are Grouping parents and Rider’s alike to clean debris off of the side of the trail, if you are on aware of the dangers of pointing out the hazards that are on the side of the trail to your students then you should not be coaching, I have two words, Object fixation!
Now these kids are aware of the things I can stab them on the side of the trail, it is FOOLISH to bring young riders into a trail system and have them focus what is not on the trail, this is out of our control worldwide. There might be situations we can control as we get rid of fallen trees, it is our obligation to take care of the potential hazards of the trees we are working on beside the trail, but it is an overwhelming situation to think we have to look for this all over our trail system never mind across the world.
Your coaches are convincing students that corners have to be mountain bike specific to work, they are excepting feedback From unprofessional riders like soccer moms and NASCAR dad’s about dust conditions and your coaches are pointing out hazardous objects with no concern to object fixation!
The one coach I had the displeasure of conversing with was very abrupt To the young kids, when we grouped up, I had a simple question for everybody. Who is into cross country!?
Who is into Enduro!?
That coach. Spoke up to the students saying, we are a cross country team you better raise your hand for that. That is a narrow minded aspect of any coach, not sure how they’re getting their credentials to call themselves coaches whenever they cannot see that all aspects of cycling works with all aspects of cycling, another words a downhill racer will train on a road bike, a dirt jumper will train on an Enduro bike, it is all crossing over very well and as a coach, if you Do you not see that, again you should not be coaching, at one point that very same coach asked. Me to tell the rest of the volunteer group of kids dads and moms to hurry up and get their asses up here.!

You are changing the mountain biking mindset from a lot of gumption, to a lot of criticizing.
Regards.

2 Adam W.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son started on the high school mountain bike team last fall and I immediately saw the amazing things these leagues do and how they create strong minds & bodies through cycling. The events here in Colorado support every single rider regardless of their abilities and strive to be inclusive and welcoming. The races give me shivers they're so positive and just such a great vibe.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to this organization via the Arizona Interscholastic Cycling League (FKA Arizona High School Cycling League). The AZ chapter of NICA leadership is incredible and professional. The mtb races are extremely well organized and the kids are all having a blast. The mission is not solely promoting mountain bike racing, it is all about building strong mind, body and spirit. All aspects of the events very focused on inclusivity.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

NICA has a lasting and life changing impact on our youth. The NICA program is all inclusive and builds character and a sense of accomplishment in all the kids that participate. It's also the building blocks for an active lifestyle and for America's future Olympic and World Cup Cyclists.

3 yotwells

Board Member

Rating: 5

NICA is an amazing organization. I have watched it's growth since it's inception and have seen it change kids lives for the better in so many ways. NICA isn't just about #gettingmorekidsonbikes , it teaches kids camaraderie, competition and gives kids another outlet to gain confidence while growing up in the challenging high school years.
I was a professional cyclist for over twenty years and NICA is by far the coolest thing I've seen and been a part of through out my career. I helped with the 2018 NICA Colorado High School State Championship in my hometown of Durango, CO and will again be helping with the promotion of the race this year. Thank you NICA for everything you do.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Excited to be a new Board Member for NICA and seeing the great things our organization does to get more kids on bikes! Was very excited to recently be involved with locally supporting a team in Fort Mill, South Carolina where they will be very excited to participate in their own league very soon!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Absolutely honored to be a current and founding board member of this organization that is positively impacting children's lives (and their families) like no other!

1 Julia G.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Serving as a member of the board of NICA has been an incredibly valuable way to contribute to the education and enrichment of the lives of young adults and kids learning to get out and adventure in a competitive and supportive environment.

This organization touches so many lives. I'm delighted to have had an opportunity to assist this organization.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

NICA is getting thousands of young people onto bikes and into a lifelong activity through its wonderful high school mountain bike racing program. Organized bike racing has always been difficult for schools and young people to get involved with, but NICA has found the winning formula that is getting more and more schools competing and enjoying mountain biking. The program is designed to reward participation and teamwork while encouraging and developing athletes at the highest level. I have nothing but admiration and awe for what NICA has achieved.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is our first season with NICA in Alabama. Everything about this organization has been top notch - great use of our funds, great race experience, great staff, great mission. Seriously - this has been the most positive youth sports experience I have ever been involved in. I am so thankful Alabama has become part of NICA and I look forward to many more years of being a part of this organization.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After my first year with NICA, I am very impressed. The ability of parents to participate and receive training is a great feature. The coaches were super and very supportive. The events were well organized. My only wish is that the season was all year long. My son and I are looking forward to restarting in the winter and improving our skills all summer long. Best sport program I have experienced.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This was our first year with NICA, as our 14 year old son has only biked casually in the past. This has been the best sporting experience we have ever had, and we can't wait for next year. Truly a great organization and nonprofit.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

BikeFlights.com is thrilled to support NICA through our Buck Up For Bikes program. The money we raise every year helps get more middle and high school students riding bikes as part of school. What a positive impact NICA chapters bring to those communities!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first experience with NICA was when the Berkeley High School team rode by my youngster and I while we were resting on our ride in Redwood Park. The student athletes were all incredibly supportive of my son. That just made his day.

I knew the coach of the Berkeley High School team at the time and got involved as an assistant coach. I could tell right away this sport was instrumental in building stronger minds and bodies of students who likely wouldn't otherwise be involved in sports. And they were enjoying the outdoors and gaining an appreciation of nature. The team helped turn around several struggling students and helped them graduate from high school.

Based on this excellent experience, I then joined the NorCal league board of directors. I worked first hand to get more kids riding bikes -- whether or not they wanted to race. Getting more kids on bikes has shown to get significantly more adults and families on bikes as well. The benefits of stronger minds and healthy bodies spreads, as does the love of nature.

Now I am back to being an assistant coach with Galena High School in the NV league. Both my middle and high school boys (young men!) ride with the team and experience considerable benefits, along with many student athletes from our community and many of their parents.

NICA is really a unique non profit. It engages students and families in healthy and beneficial activity beyond what many sports do. We could really use your help! I suggest contacting your local NICA league, or simply NICA HQ if you aren't sure where to begin.

3 Marissa E.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became involved with NICA in NC when it first started in the state last year as Team Director, coach and parent. Beginning that first year, we have had student athletes ranging from true beginners to those that have been racing for years. NICA, the NC league and all the coaches make sure everyone belongs. I have met many fellow coaches and parents through NICA that share a passion for biking and for helping kids become well-rounded individuals through biking. As a composite team made up of athletes from many different schools, my kids have become friends and riding buddies with people they would never have met otherwise. It has been a great experience for all of us and one we intend to continue with for years to come.

2 Bryan E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The folks at NICA are super dedicated to getting #morekidsonbikes. Along with thousands of volunteers around the country, they've created a movement that I'm grateful to be a part of.

I've seen the results in North Carolina. The Student-Athletes that I've had the honor of working with have developed a love of the sport that will last them a lifetime - and for those for whom traditional sports aren't a fit, they've found an identity that builds confidence and character.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former Board member, coach, and most importantly a parent of three athletes who each participated all four of their high school years it was a high school sports experience like no other. Too many happy contradictions to count. Fiercely competitive yet warm and welcoming to every kid and every family whether an elite competitor or timid beginner. Kids and families on opposing teams form lifelong friendships and cheer for every rider. The commitment to the long season of training and racing while balancing academics is a huge and transforming experience for kids who need that kind of life lesson in responsibility and time management before leaving for college or entering the workforce. I can't think of another high school sport where parents have so many opportunities to participate right along with their kids whether in training or race-day support. What a great whole-family experience!

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wish I could give it a hundred stars instead of just 5! This is our first NICA season as a family. My 13yr old heard about the Mtn Bike team from a friend back in the fall. We went to a meeting and were very intrigued. We were amazed at how organized and prepared the coaches were. This experience has made a lasting impression on our family. My husband is planning to get trained as a coach. My son has given up baseball after playing travel ball since he was 7 to pursue mountain biking!! The lessons he has learned over the last six months go way beyond riding a bike! This is a character building sport and NICA has such good organization that every rider that participates will be impacted for the rest of their life!!

4 Perri K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our son has participated in a local NICA chapter in Chapel Hill, NC for the past two years. To say he was a beginner last year would be an understatement! After the first practice we were sure he would throw his hands up and never get on his mountain bike again. But through the dedicating coaches and team members, he felt encouraged to keep trying and was probably the most improved kid on the team last year. He willingly signed up to participate again this year and has truly enjoyed the experience. He loves nature and being out in the woods on his bike has become one of his favorite activities. He has also gained confidence about riding around town with friends and trying new things that are at first challenging for him. I can't say enough wonderful things about the dedicated coaches for our local NICA group--they encourage him to push himself and remind him of how far he has come. And we love the emphasis on being students first, and athletes second. I honestly think he concentrates better on his school work after a ride! NICA is an amazing group of professionals who take biking seriously but keep it super fun for the kids.

4 Kristine U.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a member of the NICA community in a variety of ways. First 2 of my 3 children have been NICA student-athletes with the third one planning on becoming a student-athlete next year. I have had the benefit of being a volunteer member of the North Carolina NICA League which ultimately led to a position with NICA National. I feel for student-athletes and adults alike NICA is building Strong Mind, Body and Character throughout US communities.