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President's Note

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Student-athlete racing Oregon's Cascade Challenge. Photo: Ben McLeod

Dear NICA Community -

Happy Holidays! On behalf of our entire NICA National Staff, we would like to wish you and your loved ones a warm and wonderful holiday season and a fantastic New Year as we ring in 2022 with hope and happiness.

As this year comes to a close, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support, enthusiasm and dedication to getting #MoreKidsOnBikes. This year has brought us a variety of challenges and hurdles to overcome. Still, I am consistently impressed and in awe of how our NICA community comes together and rises to meet any challenge with optimism, kindness and strength.

This season of giving, I’d like to encourage you all to consider making a gift to NICA National or your favorite league during our Share the Ride Campaign. Your tax-deductible contribution supports all NICA programs like NICA GRiT, Teen Trail Corps, Coach Licensing, Event Production and more. We are incredibly grateful for all the support our community provides on an annual basis - it takes a village to get #MoreKidsOnBikes. Thank you for all the ways you help us fulfill our mission across the country.

Thank you and again, we wish you and your loved ones all the best this holiday season!

With Gratitude,

Amanda

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What's New Across NICA

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Photo: Adam Haynes / Idaho League

NICA Award Nominations are OPEN!

Let's CELEBRATE our community! Nominations for the 2021 NICA Awards are now OPEN! The NICA Awards recognize student-athletes, coaches, volunteers, League Directors, and alumni who have made outstanding contributions to the youth cycling community over the past year. Submit your nominations HERE for the 2021 NICA Awards.

Details on the NICA Award Categories and past recipients is available HERE.

Nominations will be accepted through January 12, 2022.

Being a NICA student-athlete, coach, volunteer or parent means that you BELONG to something bigger. You’re part of a team that empowers you to make new friends, learn new skills, and experience new adventures. You’re part of a league that gives you opportunities to race, to learn, to teach, to connect. You’re part of a community that wants to support you, that wants to see you succeed in every aspect of your life. You belong. NICA is belonging. This holiday season, make a gift to NICA National or your favorite League HERE!

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BIEA - NICA Bicycle Technician Scholarship

NICA is excited to partner with the Bicycle Industry Employers Association (BIEA) and announce the BIEA NICA Bicycle Technician Scholarship. This scholarship will recognize and support two graduating NICA student-athletes from the Class of 2022 who plan to pursue a professional career in the bicycle industry. Through this scholarship, recipients will receive financial assistance and the opportunity to attend BIEA-accredited programs at either the Minneapolis Community Technical College or the Northwest Arkansas Community College. Both schools offer programs that will prepare students for immediate employment in technical positions in the bicycle industry. Application material will be available starting November 1st on NICA's scholarship page HERE.

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Photo: Peopleforbikes.org

Safety Tip of the Month: Reminder to get out those lights!

While lights and bright or reflective clothes are always beneficial to improving your visibility and therefore safety, they're most important as we head into the darker months. Whether commuting or attending a NICA activity, you'll receive the most benefit from a front (white) and rear (red) light. For more tips on being seen and keeping riding during the changing seasons, please see this helpful article from Peopleforbikes.org!

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Photo: NICA GRiT

NICA’s GRiT initiative exists to give girls and women equitable access to the transformative power of mountain biking.

The sport of mountain biking is truly impactful for all, but especially for female riders. The challenge and adventure inherent in the sport develops confidence, competence and leadership, along with a deep sense of community and belonging among girls and women who participate.

However, girls and women are dramatically underrepresented in mountain biking, in NICA and more broadly. Just 21% of NICA’s student athletes are female. One-quarter of NICA’s licensed coaches are women.

The GRiT initiative exists to bridge this gap. The short term goal of the GRiT initiative is to increase female participation to 33% by 2023. Long term, we seek equitable access for all.

As we close out 2021 and look ahead to 2022, we invite you to join these efforts next year. In order to be successful, we need to create a ripple effect of actions across the country that collectively bring more girls and women into our community. We want to empower all members of our NICA family to help create the safe spaces and opportunities necessary for women and girls to engage, build confidence, belong, and thrive as riders and humans.

We are working on new resources and tools for our coaches that will help those who want to implement GRiT at the team level. But there’s a role for all who want to help, even if you are not a coach! Reach out to your GRiT Coordinator or to the GRiT Program Manager (egreen@nationalmtb.org) if you’d like to get involved! Thank you for your support in getting #moregirlsonbikes!

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The Florida League's Tallahassee Thunder is an Outride Grant Recipient. Photo: Bree Van Oss

Outride Grant Applications - Now OPEN!

Now through January 7, 2022 Outride will be accepting applications for its 2022 Winter Grants. Outride provides matching grants to NICA teams and other community partners to increase access to cycling for young people so that every kid can experience the freedom, joy, and community that riding a bike can provide. Learn more today about Outride and its community granting program HERE, where you can also find a link to an upcoming information webinar on January 3. Thank you, Outride!

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NICA Holiday Gift Guide

NICA Holiday Gift Guide is Here!

Check out NICA’s Holiday Gift Guide to find some special deals and the perfect gift for your favorite mountain bikers this season!

Specialized’s 2FO Roost Mountain Bike Shoes

If you’re looking for a versatile MTB shoe that can transition from hot laps in the park to cold beers at the base without missing a step, then look no further. The 2FO Roost Clip brings a casual, relaxed vibe with all the right DNA to get sendy on the bike. It combines a durable leather and textile upper, cushioned EVA foam midsole and relaxed fit last that can stand up to the rigors of daily trail use without sacrificing off-the-bike comfort and style. Last but not least, a SlipNot™ FG rubber sole delivers confident traction on and off the trail.

Click HERE to learn more!

Bontrager’s Rally WaveCel Mountain Bike Helmet

This off-road helmet with WaveCel technology balances comfort and performance for trail riders who value safety. WaveCel, a leading technology in the protection against cycling-related head injuries, offers peace of mind as your athlete hits the trail.

To purchase your Rally Wave helmet click HERE.

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Give and Get GÜP This Year!

GUP's Bundle pack includes: One 6-Pack of your choice, One Fleece-Lined TÜK beanie of your choice, GÜP Fender, Two Hölsters! Click HERE to orders yours today and use code NICA21 for an extra 10% off!

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