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President's Note

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The 2005 Berkeley High Mountain Bike Team

This past month, we’ve been highlighting on social media some of the phenomenal coaches we have working with teens across America. Amazingly, there are over 6,000 licensed NICA coaches dedicating countless hours working with our student-athletes to not only make them physically stronger and more confident riders, but, most importantly, to also to help them develop character traits that will serve them throughout life. Coaches are more to our student-athletes than just someone who teaches them how to ride a bike and leads them on rides. Our coaches are mentors, community advocates, fundraisers, teachers and role-models for our student-athletes. They are physically at team practices and races growing the next generation of mountain bikers and their evenings and weekends can be filled with planning team events and organizing training plans, ensuring their riders have proper equipment and nutrition, preparing for race day and recruiting future riders. And all of this is done primarily on a volunteer basis!

As a former head coach of the Berkeley High School Mountain Bike Team back in the early years of the NorCal League, I know very well the challenges and rewards of working with student-athletes and other coaches. I also know that the culture that coaches help establish on their teams can positively influence those involved in many positive ways. To join the Berkeley Team this season and see a number of past team members now coaching and leading the team is confirmation that by emphasizing NICA’s core values, coaches have the power to create future leaders.

To all our coaches - THANK YOU! Without the dedication, enthusiasm and hard work of coaches, NICA would not exist. What started in 1998 as one coach looking to share a passion with cycling with four students has grown to over 6,000 coaches sharing that passion with over 14,000 student-athletes. Let’s keep the momentum rolling!

Sincerely, Austin

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Here's What's in Store for 2018

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NICA Safety Study Launched!

NICA has partnered with the University of Utah to develop and administer the NICA Safety Study. As we are committed to protecting the health and wellness of NICA student-athletes this long-term safety study will provide a better understanding of the risks involved in middle and high school mountain bike riding and racing. The outcomes of this study will drive NICA training programs for team practices, races and camps and ultimately provide powerful information to make the sport safer.

Director of Risk Management and Training, Chris Spencer shares, "The key component of the Safety Study is comparing exposure to incidents. Exposure is simply how many athletes are riding and how much they are riding in NICA practices and races. Each team's Designated Reporter submits weekly exposure reports to the study which takes about 60 seconds. These weekly reports contribute directly to making the sport safer because we're able to see the full picture of how time spent mountain biking relates to injuries."

With over 800 teams participating across the country as of February, NICA's Safety Study is the largest middle and high school sports surveillance system based on number of teams involved.

For more information, please see one of the following brochures or visit the Safety Study Website.

Safety Study Brochures
Student-Athlete and Parent Brochure
NICA Volunteer and Coach Brochure
Designated Reporter: Team Director or Head Coach Instruction Sheet

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NICA Rockstar Coaches

This month we want to show our appreciation for our amazing NICA Coaches. There are over 6,000 licensed coaches across the country who put in hundreds of hours each year to help get #morekidsonbikes.

We think all of our coaches are awesome, so we wanted to hear from the NICA community which coaches you felt have made positive impacts for your team and league.

The coaches highlighted HERE were nominated by their community for their dedication to furthering youth development through interscholastic mountain biking. Thanks to everyone for your input - and thank you to ALL our NICA coaches for all the work you do in NICA Leagues across the country!

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NICA - DIRT RAG Student-Athlete Literature Contest

Calling all NICA student-athlete writers! We're teaming up with Dirt Rag to bring you an opportunity to highlight your experiences with NICA and win some cool prizes. Has your NICA coach helped you develop not just as a rider but in character as well? Describe in 750-1000 words how you have been able to develop a strong character with the support of your coach through interscholastic cycling. Email your essay in .pdf form to media@nationalmtb.org by March 23, 2018 for consideration. The top 3 essays will win some cool schwag from our sponsors!

*By Submitting an essay - you give Dirt Rag and NICA permission to use all or part of your essay in publication and/or promotional materials

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NICA Student-Athletes at the 2017 Trek Certified Service Course

2018 Trek Certified Service Course

Are you interested in learning more about bicycle assembly and maintenance? Trek Bikes is again offering their Certified Service Assembly Technician 101 course for NICA student-athletes and coaches. They are offering three sessions this June and July, with one specifically for female student-athletes and coaches!

Registration and details can be found HERE.

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8 Things to Know When Placing a Team Custom Cycling Kit Order

Custom cycling kits are important. They help your team stand out on the trail, show off your team style, and boost your athletes’ sense of pride and team spirit. Being the person in charge of ordering team apparel can seem like an overwhelming responsibility. At Podiumwear, their mission is to make this process easy for you. HERE are 8 things to know to ensure things go smoothly.

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Check Your Sock Game!

Our friends over at SockGuy have created an out of this world pair of socks to help support NICA! Pick up your pair today HERE. We can't confirm if they'll give you extra-terrestrial speed, but they'll turn heads on the trail and 20% of the proceeds go back to NICA and getting #morekidsonbikes!

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NICA in Your Neighborhood

We LOVE seeing what our student-athletes, teams, coaches and leagues are up to across the country. Here are some of the highlights from the past month!

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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Photo: @richmondcomposite

@richmondcomposite showing the love for their riders and coaches on Valentine's Day!

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Photo: CCA Mountain Bike Team

The girls from @cca_mountain_bike_team crushed it at their first SoCal League race - earning a 1st in JV, 2nd in Sophomore and 3rd in Varsity!

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Photo: Caldwell Black Bears

The @caldwellblackbears had a great time chasing darling on one of the first warm days of the year! The team rode a fun Pisgah Back Country trail and had a blast!

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The @marylandmtb has been out on their Dirt Tour getting folks stoked for their Inaugural Season!

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Photo: Stephen Gialamas

@stephen_gialamas finishing his first NICA race with the SoCal league

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Photo: RAHS-MVHS Mountain Bike Team

NICA President, Austin McInerny hanging out with Mounds View (@rahs_mvhs_mtb) rider Chihiro Gustafson at this year's Frostbike in Minneapolis!

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