President's Note

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NICA President Austin McInerny sweeping a 2016 NorCal League race. Photo:

Dear NICA Family,

After nearly seven years in my current role and sixteen years since I first started coaching the Berkeley High School Team, it is with mixed emotions that I write this note announcing my decision to step down as President of NICA. With a strong team of dedicated staff assembled and a very engaged and professional board of directors, I believe that this is an appropriate time for NICA to benefit from the perspectives of a new leader who can commit to seeing the organization through the delivery of NICA’s recently adopted 5-Year Strategic Plan.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my colleagues at both NICA National and across all the regional leagues, our licensed coaches and volunteers who give so much to get #morekidsonbikes and to the many generous donors, partners and visionary sponsors around America with whom I have had the pleasure to work with since I began volunteering for and then leading NICA - thank you!

In the last seven years since I assumed the helm, NICA has experienced consistent annual growth of 30-40% in student-athlete participation, added 2-3 new leagues each year, and has grown from four to twenty-three employees. NICA is now present in 24 states (with two more about to be announced) and accessible to 70% of the youth population in the US; in 2018, NICA’s programs engaged almost 19,000 student-athletes and nearly 10,000 coaches.

I am incredibly proud of the accomplishments NICA has made and am extremely confident that the strength of NICA’s vision coupled with the amazingly talented individuals involved will deliver significant value and benefits to participating individuals and communities over the coming years.

Under the direction of a committee overseen by our Board of Directors, NICA will initiate a national search for a new President immediately. I will continue in my role on a full-time basis until a suitable replacement is hired; I will then provide transition support for a short period before moving to a position on NICA’s Advisory Council. If you know someone who might be qualified and interested in the position, please share the full job description available here.

I look forward to the next phase of our efforts to help teens build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling! And with that, I am happy to present our first NICA News of 2019 and hope you will continue to share photos and stories with us.

With everlasting gratitude,

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Teen Trail Corps student with the Pennsylvania League. Photo: Aaron Puttcamp

Teen Trail Corps Program Relaunches

NICA is relaunching its Teen Trail Corps program which provides bike advocacy and stewardship opportunities for student-athletes. Through Teen Trail Corps, student-athletes have the opportunity to serve their communities through bike-related advocacy and stewardship activities and earn merit badges for their efforts. The program is designed to teach and expose students to the world of bike advocacy. Phil Waidner, from West Virginia, has joined NICA as the new Teen Trail Corps Program Manager and we are excited to have a dedicated staff person to help grow this innovative program! Visit the new Teen Trail Corps website HERE for more information on the program!


2018 By the Numbers

Thanks to all of our student-athletes, coaches, volunteers, parents and supporters for making 2018 a fantastic year! Here's a quick glance of the impact NICA had across the country last year!


Thank you for Sharing the Ride!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our 2018 Share the Ride campaign. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to meet our goal and raised over $150,000 across all our leagues to continue to change lives through cycling and get #morekidsonbikes and #moregirlsonbikes! We’d like to extend a special thank you to those of you who made the commitment to become NICA Sustainers to help grow our programs now and in the future.

If you missed Share the Ride, but would still like to support NICA or one of its 25 Leagues, please click HERE. We are grateful for all contributions and every contribution makes a difference!

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Nate Whitman at the 2018 Leadville Trail 100

Announcing our 2018 Share the Ride Grand Prize Winner - Nate Whitman!

As part of our 2018 Share the Ride Campaign, Western Spirit Cycling Adventures donated a trip for two to one NICA Sustainer. Congratulations to our lucky winner - Nate Whitman out of Colorado!

A competitive cyclist and Leadville Trail 100 finisher, Nate is excited about the impact NICA is having on kids! We caught up with Nate to see why he made the choice to commit to getting #morekidsonbikes as a NICA Sustainer, "I have always been incredibly impressed with NICA and the impact that it is having for cycling and more importantly for the kids involved in terms of developing friendships, life skills, and a love of the outdoors. Mountain biking has dramatically impacted my life for the good, and I try to give back where and when I can." stated Whitman.

Thanks for becoming a NICA Sustainer Nate - and enjoy your Western Spirit Cycling Adventure!

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Photo: Trek Bikes

Trek Mountain Bikes and Bontrager Tires help get #morekidsonbikes!

Trek and its retail partners make up the largest annual contribution to NICA. For every Trek full suspension mountain bike sold, Trek donates $10 directly to NICA—and many Trek retailers are stepping up to match this contribution. For every Bontrager mountain bike tire sold, Trek donates $1 directly to NICA as well. The funds from these two promotions support every NICA league at the local level and provides start-up funding for new leagues. Visit your local Trek retailer or click HERE to learn more about how riding Trek helps get more kids on bikes!


The Specialized Foundation’s “Riding for Focus” Program Grant – applications due 14 February!

The school-based program is designed to provide schools with everything they need to get middle school students (grades 6-8) riding, including a turnkey physical education curriculum, comprehensive teacher training, and a fleet of bike and safety equipment. But the program is more than just bikes and gear—Riding for Focus provides a combination of cycling, fitness, and academic performance, all while instilling a lifelong passion for cycling for students who participate in the program. Grant application closes 14 February. Learn more HERE.


Pit Zone Update

Attention Coaches! We want to take a moment to highlight a cool new change in the Pit Zone. The Pit Zone now automatically calculates your coach license level based on the certificates reviewed/completed. Previously, this was a manual process, where after each upload was reviewed NICA staff had to adjust license levels accordingly.

This new update will increase the accuracy of your coach license level as the Pit Zone will automatically calculate your license level based on the requirements you have met. The Pit Zone will also automatically adjust a license down when WFA, First Aid, CPR and CEU's (when required) expire.

When your license level changes due to automatic calculations by the Pit Zone, you will receive notification so that you will be able to submit current certifications, or complete any required trainings.

Important Note on "Level None"

When the Pit Zone is reset at the start of each season, every coach will begin the season at level none. If you are a Fall league coach and you recently received notification from the Pit Zone, this is why. Once you register, pay, complete your background check, and complete annual training requirements your license level will be upgraded as appropriate.


Welcome and Thank You to our 2019 Sponsors!

NICA exists by virtue of generous sponsors, donors and partners, including our Lead sponsor Trek Bicycles; Platinum level sponsors Shimano, Clif Bar & Company, Specialized Bicycles, and Salsa Cycles; Gold level sponsors Giro, Podiumwear, and Quality Bicycle Products; and major sponsors CamelBak, Yakima, Maxxis, REI Co-Op, GU Energy Labs, People for Bikes, SRAM, Strike Visuals, Feedback Sports, and DeFeet. A sincere thank you to all our sponsors, we're looking forward to an exciting year working with you all!

We invite you to check out our sponsors websites and give them a "Like" or "Follow" on social media! For more information on NICA Sponsors, Partners and Boosters please click HERE.


Best of 2018 - Images from across NICA

Each year we ask our leagues to send us some of their best photos. Here are a few snapshots to show all the FUN NICA student-athletes, coaches, volunteers and parents had in 2018!

Do you have a great photo worthy of inclusion in a future issue of NICA News? If so, please email to 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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Oregon Interscholastic Cycling League

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Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League

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Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League

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West Virginia Interscholastic Cycling League

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New Jersey Interscholastic Cycling League


New York Interscholastic Cycling League

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Utah High School Cycling League

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Minnesota High School Cycling League

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Maryland Interscholastic Cycling League

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Wisconsin High School Cycling League

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