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President's Note

Team photo 2021 TVC

Amanda Carey is a coach for Idaho's Teton Valley Composite. Photo: Cody Downard

Greetings NICA Community!

As we wrap up the 2021 NICA Season, we would like to express our gratitude to our community for again rising to meet the variety of challenges this year brought us with optimism, enthusiasm and determination to continue to build strong minds, bodies, characters and community through cycling. Our gratitude for NICA coaches is immeasurable! Thank you to our 14,312 registered coaches who through the entire 2021 season have dedicated their time, resources, and energy to getting #MoreKidsOnBikes!

With a heavy heart, we announce the resignation of Steve Matous from his role as President of NICA. Steve joined NICA in 2019, and was an effective leader for the organization, including guiding NICA through a global pandemic and challenging times. We are grateful for his passion, leadership and commitment he brought to the NICA community.

As NICA looks ahead to the next stage of its growth, Amanda Carey, an experienced NICA leader and the current Vice President of Programs, will step in as Acting President. Amanda has been involved with NICA since 2015 at the league level as a Coach and Team Director. At the national level, before her role as VP of Programs, Amanda served as a GRiT Program Manager and Coach Licensing Manager. With the support of a strong Leadership Team, Amanda will continue to work with strong and thriving NICA leagues, coaches and student-athletes across the U.S., and remain focused on NICA’s core mission, vision and values and on servicing our leagues to get even more kids on bikes.

Earlier this month NICA National Leadership and League Directors met in Madison, Wisconsin to connect and plan for NICA’s future. The future is bright and we are all stronger together sharing in the vision that every youth is empowered to be part of a thriving and engaged cycling community.

As the end of the year approaches we have launched our Annual Share the Ride Campaign where we are celebrating all the ways that NICA is more. We invite you to join us this season of giving to Share the Ride and celebrate how NICA is more!

With Gratitude,

Susan Helm-Murtagh
Chair NICA Board of Directors

Amanda Carey
Acting NICA President

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What's New Across NICA

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PICL Adventure Weekend. Photo: Abe Landes / Firespire Photography

Adventure in Pennsylvania

Last month as their season wrapped up the Pennsylvania League hosted an Adventure Event at Raystown Lake in Hesston, Pennsylvania. Over 550 student-athletes, coaches and parents attended the event. The Adventure event was an end of season celebration to ride awesome trails with friends and the PICL family in pursuit of checkpoints that add up to mild, medium, spicy and muy caliente rides! Teams spent the day traversing the amazing Allegrippis trail system scooping up the checkpoints and eventually returning to home base to report on their accomplishments. The weekend also included a costume themed GRiT ride, PICL's first ever Queer and Questioning Affinity Group meeting and ride, and a trail stewardship day on Sunday morning to give back to the amazing trail system.

Sparkle On Scholars Shine at College Nationals

We are THRILLED to see the Sparkle On Scholars sparkling! Last month at the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals - all four scholars earned podium finishes! Congratulations to Gwen Sepp and Darcie Bushee for finishing 4th and 5th in Women's Club Cross Country, Justin Peck for finishing 4th in Men's Club Cross Country and Toby Hassett finished 4th in Men's Varsity Short Track!

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Gwen Sepp and Darcie Bushee

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Gwen Sepp and Darcie Bushee

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Toby Hassett

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Justin Peck

Images Courtesy of The Sparkle On Scholarship

The Sparkle On Scholarship presented by Kate Courtney in partnership with Scott bikes, Syncros - Precision Bicycle Products, SRAM and RockShox recognizes and supports student-athletes who have demonstrated academic and athletic excellence during their time with NICA and will attend college and continue to compete in mountain bike racing. Learn more at: https://www.nationalmtb.org/sparkle-on-scholarship/

More than Racing, More than Riding, NICA programs enrich the lives of our student-athletes and coaches in so many ways. NICA is Belonging, Friendship, Confidence, Health, Hope -- and More! This season of giving, we invite you to celebrate with us all the ways that NICA is MORE and help us in our mission to build strong minds, bodies, characters, communities -- and MORE through cycling! Support NICA National or your favorite league today HERE!

FALL LEAGUES!! We would LOVE to get your thoughts looking back on your recent NICA season so we can work to continually improve your NICA experience. Please consider giving us a few minutes of your time to complete our End of Season Survey HERE. PLUS - if you provide your contact information at the end of the survey - you'll be entered to win one of 10 RoadID gift cards!

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Opal racing for Madison West. Photo: Emily Green

“The Power of One” By Emily Green, NICA GRiT Program Manager

I want to share a story that happens to be from my own team, Wisconsin’s Madison West. However, it’s a story that can and is replicated all over. In sharing it, I urge you to think about how you can exercise and/or inspire the “Power of One” on your team.

At the end of 2017, our composite team had just one 8th grade female student-athlete -- Opal -- and essentially no female coaches on our roster.

In the spring of 2018, Opal convinced 10 female student-athletes to join our 80-athlete team through her joyous enthusiasm for riding bikes on dirt. Over the next couple of years, she continued to build the stoke and encourage those athletes to recruit others.

Fast forward to the end of this season and we now have 74 female student athletes and 41 female coaches on our team. The team’s overall membership has tripled in 4 years. The number of female student athletes increased by over 700% in that same time period.
While Opal isn’t responsible for all of this growth, she is definitely the spark that started the fire, and a breeze that’s continued to fan the flames.

NICA is built on the collective power of thousands of individual actions like this. Every coach, volunteer, athlete and parent who gets involved has the power to create a ripple effect that may impact hundreds of kids’ lives. How will you use your Power of One? It all adds up to make a massive difference, and you never know what you might start.

Talk to your GRiT Coordinator or reach out to Emily at egreen@nationalmtb.org if you are interested in getting involved as a coach with GRiT in your league! Learn more about NICA GRiT HERE.

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Thank You Rebecca's Private Idaho

Earlier this fall participants at Rebecca’s Private Idaho were pedaling with a purpose as proceeds from registration, the VIP party, online auction, merchandise and rider fundraising went to supporting organizations, including NICA, that are recognized as using the bike to heal and empower the world. As a result, $15,000 was given to NICA National and the Idaho League through Rebecca Rusch’s Be Good Foundation! Thank you to all participants and thank you to Rebecca Rusch for your continued support of the NICA community!

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If You Give a Girl A Bike - You Help Get #MoreKidsOnBikes

"If you give a girl a bike, she will ride and ride and ride." When you give a girl a bike - there's no end to the adventures she'll have! Thanks to author Hayley Diep, 15% of proceeds from sales of her rad book ‘If You Give a Girl a Bike’ will be donated to NICA through the months of November and December -- just in time for the holiday season! Order your copy HERE, and be sure to select NICA when you place your order!

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Special Access to VeloNews or BETA for NICA Members!

NICA student-athletes, coaches and community members can get an annual subscription to your choice of VeloNews or BETA magazine PLUS digital access to member-exclusive content from the title of your choosing for just $12!

Here’s Whats Included:
* Your choice of an annual print subscription to VeloNews or BETA magazine.
* Access to premium and exclusive online content from VeloNews or BETA
* Gear discounts

How to Access Your Benefit:

Use the code NICARULES (all caps, all one word) at checkout on VeloNews or BETA’s website, or just click one of the links here - the coupon code is embedded for easier checkout.

VeloNews Membership

BETA Membership

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