Executive Director's Note While school may be out, we are super busy hitting the books to ensure that we continue to strengthen our programs and part


Executive Director's Note

IMG 7283

Reaffirming to cross paths with Arizona League student-athletes riding the iconic 401 Trail in Crested Butte, Colorado!

While school may be out, we are super busy hitting the books to ensure that we continue to strengthen our programs and partnerships to bolster our efforts to grow interscholastic cycling across America.

The past month has been insanely productive and we are excited to report on the success of our annual conference and the opportunity to induct NICA's founder, Matt Fritzinger, into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. I hope you will join me in voting for Matt as it was his vision and tireless efforts that created the first ever high school mountain bike team at Berkeley High (BHS), then the NorCal League and, eventually, NICA.

I have Matt to thank for entrusting me with Head Coach duties at BHS and then asking me to serve as the President of the NorCal League. Where would interscholastic cycling be without Matt?

Thank you all for your continued involvement and support,

Sincerely, Austin


2016 NICA Conference in the Books!

13529141 10208550092463011 5521232866550603678 n

The 6th Annual NICA National Conference brought 77 leaders from 18 of the 19 NICA leagues across the country together to share lessons learned over the past year and to strategize on how to strengthen interscholastic cycling in America. The conference empowered NICA League Directors to better serve their growing membership and equipped NICA licensed coaches with a holistic approach to working with adolescents. Conference attendees enjoyed the opportunity to spend time together in Eagle, Colorado where the trails are incredible and the locals have embraced mountain biking as an economic driver for their community.

Read more here


Vote for NICA's Founder

To Join the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame

This year's Mountain Bike Hall of Fame nominees are in! Please consider voting for NICA's founder Matt Fritzinger by visiting the following link HERE.


Founder of the U.S. Interscholastic Mountain Biking Movement

Due to Matt’s efforts forming the NorCal High School Cycling League (NorCal League) in 2001 and the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) in 2009, nearly 10,000 student-athletes and 3,500 coaches will participate across the country in interscholastic mountain biking this year alone, with an anticipated 20,000 student-athletes in 2020. Because of Matt’s vision, passion and work, mountain biking is experiencing the largest resurgence in the cycling history of the United States, and is now a legitimate, national interscholastic school sport.

In 1998, Matt and a small group of students founded the Berkeley High School Mountain Bike Team which took to the East Bay trails and began competing at regional races such as the Sea Otter Classic and Billycross. With very few other youths participating at these rather adult-focused races, the Berkeley teenagers became frustrated; Matt realized the need for mountain bike races that were youth-focused and modeled after the traditional high school sports.

After three years of registering students to race in other promoters’ events, Matt formed the NorCal High School Cycling League in 2001 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, inspired a number of other local high school teachers to form teams, and began putting on a race series open only to high school students. With just under 100 students participating in the first season, the word spread quickly and the high school mountain biking movement began.


By 2008, there were over 400 students participating from approximately 30 Northern California schools. To ensure sustainable growth, Matt began working very closely with a dedicated group of volunteers, other high school coaches and professionals from various relevant fields such as youth psychology, endurance training, skills instruction, and risk management to create the first of its kind high school mountain bike coaches manual.

This manual became the basis for developing school programs for a new generation of student-athletes. With the success of the NorCal League, Matt began to pursue the vision of building opportunities outside of Northern California and worked closely with a number of talented individuals who shared that desire. By securing a significant grant from the Easton Sports Foundation, Matt was able to partner with local leaders to launch the Southern California League in 2009. With nearly 1,000 high school student-athletes competing in two leagues, and proof that the model could be replicated, Matt now envisioned a future where every American teenager could have the opportunity to participate in a high school mountain biking league.

Matt responded by assembling a small group of well-known cycling visionaries, including Gary Fisher, to form NICA in late 2009, to take interscholastic cycling “coast to coast by 2020!” With strong support from many bicycle industry leaders, including Specialized, Trek, SRAM and CLIF Bar, NICA launched new leagues across the country at a quick pace: Colorado in 2010; Washington in 2011; Texas, Minnesota and Utah in 2012; Arizona, Tennessee and New York in 2013; Georgia, Wisconsin and Virginia in 2014; Alabama and Idaho in 2015; and Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Nevada in 2016; and North Carolina and New Jersey currently developing for their 2017 opening seasons.


To ensure all student-athletes experienced the same fun, challenging, safe and supportive culture, Matt led the creation of NICA’s league building program and race production manual to support league founders and staff. As a result, the United States is seeing an unprecedented surge in youth mountain biking that benefits communities across the country by getting kids active and inspiring parents and adults to resume or begin riding as well. These student-athletes, coaches and many family members are becoming life-long cyclists and are doing great things both on and off their bike to advocate for this sport. With a new class of incoming students enrolling every year, the program that Matt originally envisioned and launched from humble means and four student-athletes, is now a national organization that is systematically growing this life changing, empowering and character building sport–and it is here to stay.

Matt left NICA in 2013 in capable hands so he could dedicate more time to family and now provides consulting for startups and nonprofits in Sonoma County.

Please consider voting for NICA's founder Matt Fritzinger by visiting the following link HERE


To support the interscholastic cycling movement, please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.

facebook instagram linkedin twitter youtube