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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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.
Where to start? This was my son's first season with NICA in Alabama. He's never been a "team sport" kid, but mountain biking captured his attention and he never looked back. The events have been great and well attended and the coaching and mentoring has been top notch. We're really looking forward to next season.
This was my son’s first year of mountain biking and we thouroghly enjoyed it. Each event was run in a professional manner and the student athletes all supported one another. The coaches and volunteers are top notch.
I’ve been a coach and volunteer with the Alabama league since it’s first year, four years ago. I’ve watched the coaches and core staff from across the state change lives of hundreds of kids. If it weren’t for NICA and the Alabama Interscholastic Cycling League, a lot of kids would’ve not had the opportunity to get outside and experience something new and find a niche where they do fit. Kudos to the entire NICA staff, Alabama core staff, and all coaches.
I've been involved with NICA since 2015, as a volunteer and board member. I've seen firsthand -- and had many grateful parents attest to (sometimes tearfully) -- the transformative power of NICA's programs on youth, their families and their communities. Mastering a new skill, setting and achieving goals, and having the opportunity to participate in a team sport are just a few of the benefits that NICA student-athletes experience. In addition, participating youth not only are more active and spend more time outdoors, but they also learn to appreciate our outdoor spaces and the need to build and protect them. Finally, our programs are stimulating economic development in cities and towns across the 23 (and growing!) states in which we operate. I feel fortunate to be involved with this organization, and am grateful to the thousands of volunteers, parents, youth and staff that make NICA the amazing nonprofit that it is!
As a coach and parent I've seen the transformative impacts for the youth at our school. The mountain biking team allows participation for both athletes and non-athletes; racers and adventures, and everyone in between. I especially enjoy hearing the buzz and excitement from the team about their accomplishments, experiences, and looking forward to the next challenge!
I first got involved with NICA as a coach, working to build the women's program for the Berkeley High Team. Such an amazing experience! Their programs help student-athletes gain self-confidence and learn a sport they can continue throughout their lifetime. Their values of inclusivity, equality, strong mind, body and character are clearly visible throughout their programs!