What is the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League? This month we'd like to introduce you to Susan Helm-Murtagh, League President. She joined

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League President Susan Helm-Murtagh

What is the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League?

This month we'd like to introduce you to Susan Helm-Murtagh, League President. She joined us late last year and has made an immediate impact with her passion, experience and positivity. Susan is based in Chapel Hill NC - Mike Long

The North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League (NCICL) is one of the newest member leagues of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). NICA was formed in 2009 with a mission to build strong minds, strong bodies and strong character through youth mountain bike training and racing programs. NICA’s growth has been impressive; in 2015, more than 7,600 student-athletes on 522 teams participated in NICA events across 14 leagues in 13 states. There are now a total of 19 leagues in 18 states, with 5 leagues (North Carolina included) beginning their racing seasons in 2016 and 2017.

And we’re positively impacting the lives of youth – and their families -- across the country. The outcomes have been pretty amazing. Here’s but a sampling:

88% of student-athletes report improved physical fitness as a result of participation in NICA
85% of NICA student-athletes will go on to a four-year college or university after high school
78% of student-athletes report that their respect for the environment and other trail users has increased
73% of student-athletes report that their participation in NICA has inspired family and/or friends to start cycling
Participation by girls in NICA increased by 67% from 2013 to 2015

In North Carolina, our mission is about using training, competition, teamwork and the discipline that accompanies those activities to make a difference in the lives of our youth. Specifically, we aim to:

Provide students who have the desire to mountain bike with the coaching and camaraderie that will help them achieve both competitive and non-competitive cross-country mountain biking goals in a safe and enjoyable manner;
Develop an awareness of what it is to be an amateur athlete that is both gracious and respectful to their community;
Create an environment in which they may discover new friendships and find role models;
Guide students towards learning new skills and disciplines, and spread the foundations of mountain bike racing across the U.S.;
Foster a responsible attitude toward the use of trails and wilderness;
Promote the value of cycling to our community as a mode of transportation and as a life long sport.

How can you get involved?

We will begin racing in March of 2017. While that seems like a long way away, there is much to be accomplished between now and then. We have immediate volunteer opportunities at the League level; we are looking for individuals with backgrounds in financial management, fundraising (securing grants, private donations and sponsors), and program management. Email our League Director, Mike Long, at mike@northcarolinamtb.org or our President, Susan Helm-Murtagh at susan@northcarolinamtb.org for more information.

We also need coaches. Skilled and dedicated NICA coaches are the most important aspect of NICA mountain bike teams. A NICA coach puts the safety and overall well-being of their student-athletes as the first priority. NICA coaches are role models and teachers who are open to learning the best practices of youth mountain bike coaching and actively work to hone their leadership skills. The best part? No experience is necessary – we’ll train you and certify you, using the same materials and resources that the more than 3,100 successful NICA coaches across the US have used. We’ll be training and certifying coaches, ride leaders and volunteers at our Leaders Summit this fall.

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Lights, Camera, ACTION!

Thanks to Visit Leland, we were able to work with Thom Parsons of DirtWIRE.TV in creating a league promotional video at Brunswick Nature Park in Leland, NC. We opened the video shoot to any youth rider that was interested in our league and was excited to have a wide range of experienced riders show up to participate. A few of the riders were seasoned youth racers and many of them were part of a fun weekly ride club from the Town of Navassa.

Keep on the look out for our upcoming promotional video release as we will be counting on you to share it with your schools and surrounding community.

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The Dirt Tour is Rolling Strong

Last week the Dirt Tour rolled into Winston-Salem NC to a packed house. We were excited by your interest and the great questions you asked. So far 70+ interested people have attended a Dirt Tour stop and we are not at the half way point yet. We are excited and humbled by the interest you've shown and we're looking forward to getting even more kids on bikes in NC.

Want to meet us, or learn more about NICA and the NC League? Come to one of our upcoming Dirt Tour stops:

Greensboro – Saturday, March 12 at 4:00 p.m. at Revolution Cycles
Carrboro – Sunday, March 20 at 4:00 p.m. at Back Alley Bikes
Wilkesboro – Saturday, April 2 at 3:30 p.m. at 6 Hours of Warrior Creek
Leland – Saturday, April 9 at 1:00 p.m. at Port City Community Church - Leland
Asheville – Saturday, April 23 at 12:30 p.m. at REI

You can also stay up to date with us by liking our Facebook page and checking out our website!
The Dirt Tour was brought to you by visitlelandnc.com

Don't see your town on the tour? Don't fret, we'll come to you. Email Mark Gordon, League Program Director at mark@northcarolinamtb.org.

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Thank you Mock Orange Bikes for hosting us!

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