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A Special Note from NICA Board Member Lisa Sher

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Riding at the 2018 National Conference in Bentonville, Arkansas. Photo: Todd Bauer

We've got a special note to kick off this edition of NICA News, as NICA Board Member, and 2002 National Champion, Lisa Sher, shares her perspective on the great things NICA is bringing to its female student-athletes and the entire mountain bike community!

Last month we celebrated Women’s History Month, and one of 2019’s themes was #BalanceforBetter, celebrating the idea that building a gender-balanced world creates a more exciting future - and a better world - for everyone. #BalanceforBetter is a theme that extends throughout our individual lives, whether it be on the mountain bike or navigating the day.

As a former Professional mountain bike athlete, and youth sports coach, I’m well versed in both the challenges and opportunities women face in sports. I’ve seen a lot of change and forward progress with the opportunities girls and women have in sport from a young age. This includes the chance to get quality instruction. Kids getting to choose mountain biking as their jam? That’s amazing!

While my generation may have blazed a trail for us rad women of mtb, what warms my heart is seeing young girls getting rad on the trail, or riding dirt with steezy style – the passing of the torch. It’s up to this next generation of women and men to honor the concept of #BalanceforBetter and recognize that EQUITY is not an either/or proposition – it’s an AND. We have to join together and create the world we want to see, which will only be better by getting #morekidsonbikes – and kids of all backgrounds.

BalanceforBetter aligns with NICA’s new core values and our GRiT (Girls Riding Together) Program, which is steadily working towards increasing the number of female student-athletes and coaches in our programs. The numbers of girls and women on the trails has increased dramatically, yet we’d all be served seeing more -more girls on bikes, more features on women in mtb media, and more leadership roles held by women in the bike industry.

Mountain biking builds independence, confidence, camaraderie, and fosters a sense of adventure – and is just plain FUN! I can’t think of a better or more well-rounded sport, where #BalanceforBetter really applies in all dimensions!

Happy Riding,
Lisa

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What's New Across America

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Everyone enjoying a GRiT pre-ride at a recent Alabama race!

NICA GRiT Program Gain Momentum

NICA GRiT (Girls Riding Together), NICA’s national initiative to empower more girls and women to ride bikes, has been gaining speed across the country in 2019. NICA would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all our amazing GRiT Coordinators working at the league level. Thanks to their hard work producing GRiT events and programs, NICA leagues are welcoming hundreds of additional young girls and women into all NICA programs and reinforcing that mountain biking is fun and accessible for all.

NICA's GRiT Coordinators and leagues have been busy hosting girls-only pre-rides at races, moms and daughter rides, girls-only skills clinics and girls-only mechanics clinics taught by female mechanics. Many leagues are planning GRiT summer camps and leadership summits for their female student-athletes. GRiT Ambassador programs to empower current female student-athletes to encourage more girls to ride and mentor other girls are starting across several leagues. Not only to the ambassador programs encourages girls to mentor other girls, they provide leadership opportunities in teams and communities.

It will take a full community effort to get #moregirlsonbikes and more women coaching in NICA leagues, but we are well on our way and our community is constantly growing! If you would like to learn more about how to get involved with GRiT in your league, please reach out to your GRiT Coordinator.

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Southern Nevada's Inaugural Race. Photo: Lonnie Myers

Southern Nevada Region Launches

We're excited to see the Nevada League expand into two regions this spring. The Southern Nevada Region kicked off their first race series last month at Spicer Ranch outside of Las Vegas. Welcome Southern Nevada!

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Female Student-Athletes on the Drake MTB Team. Photo: Drake MTB

NICA's Women Visionaries

In celebration of all our outstanding women across NICA - we're highlighting some of the visionary females across NICA who are making positive impacts on our mountain biking family. Read HERE about our female student-athletes, coaches and teams that are making an impact in their communities!

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Equity in the Athletic Community

NICA is committed to fair treatment, equal access, opportunity, advancement and elimination of barriers to encourage participation for all. We are fortunate to have two members on our Board of Directors who are also extremely dedicated to improving equity in the athletic community. Meet them and learn about what they're doing to not only get #moregirlsonbikes but support female athletes in the community HERE.

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Meet Rebecca Rusch at Special Blood Road Screening April 8

We are excited to partner with Rebecca and her Be Good Foundation to bring you a special screening of her Emmy-winning film, Blood Road, April 8th at 6:30pm in Larkspur, California. For tickets and more details click HERE.

Can't make the screening but still want a chance to meet Rebecca Rusch? Please consider heading out to Sun Valley, Idaho to participate in Rebecca's Private Idaho which was just named one of Outside Magazine's Best 25 Bike Rides in the World! Register today HERE and use code “NICA@RPI2019” to get 15% off!

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Photo: Adam Haynes / Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League

Trek Photo Contest

Here's your chance to have your team featured in a Trek quarterly catalog! Trek is looking for fun photos of a NICA team to include in an upcoming catalog. Photos should focus on fun and teamwork, bonus points if they include a Trek bike! Teams can submit up to 5 of their best photos to eric_bjorling@trekbikes.com by April 12.

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Custom Team Kits from Podiumwear

Podiumwear is proud to be NICA's National Jersey sponsor and offer quality Made in the U.S.A. cycling apparel for all NICA teams across the country. Check out their 2019 Book HERE for their latest product line (including their new 3/4 sleeve mountain bike jersey!)

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Be Heard on the Trail with TIMBER Bells!

TIMBER Mountain Bike Bells is again partnering with NICA in 2019 and is happy to offer NICA student-athletes and coaches a 20% discount on their bolt-on bike bells. Order directly from Mtbbell.com and use code "NICA20."

TIMBER bells offer a friendly way to announce your presence on the trail and encourage responsible riding and positive trail etiquette.

If your team is interested in a bulk order of 20 or more bells, please contact chris@mtbbell.com

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Sea Otter Registration Discount

Planning to attend this year's Sea Otter Classic April 11-14 in Monterey, California? Register by April 7, 2019 with code “NICA20” to receive a 20% discount on all events!

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NICA in Your Neighborhood

Here are some snapshots of what's been happening across our 25 leagues so far this year!

Do you have a great photo worthy of inclusion in a future issue of NICA News? If so, please email to media@nationalmtb.org and you may see it published! And don't forget - when you're posting your photos to tag @nationalmtb #morekidsonbikes for a chance to see your photo in NICA News!

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Great riding advice from @gabriella.dube with the @norcalleague - Get stoked. Stay stoked. Ride fast.

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What's better than a snow cone after a NICA race? Fun weekend with the Alabama League for Brent Wren!

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Great weekend of racing at Vail Lake for @socalleague GRiT Ambassador @dylandarnleymtb!

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Texas League Race Director Adam Finck making sure the medals are solid for a weekend of fun racing!

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The Galena Growlers of NICA-New York had a fun practice at Chenago Valley. Photo: Coach Rob Baker

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