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Review for National Interscholastic Cycling Association, Berkeley, CA, USA

Rating: 2 stars  

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.

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field