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President's Note

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NICA National Office Staff are eager to deliver in 2018!

As we begin another year at NICA, it’s a great opportunity to look back on what we were able to accomplish in 2017 as well as look forward to all the great things we have planned in 2018!

First, I’d like to say THANK YOU to the over 14,000 student-athletes, 6,000 coaches and 10,000+ volunteers who participated in NICA races, practices, camps and clinics this past year. The dedication of student-athletes, coaches and volunteers is evident in the growth and resurgence of youth cycling and, especially mountain biking, across the country. Youth categories in cycling events across America are bigger than ever before and NICA is being recognized as the primary impetus behind this growth.

2017 started out strong as we launched two new leagues in North Carolina and New Jersey, bringing us to nineteen regional leagues across the country and the momentum continued into the past fall as the Utah League registered a record 3,082 student-athletes for their season! Additionally, our female student-athlete population continue to grow, as leagues are hosting specific NICA-GRiT (Girls Riding Together) clinics to encourage more girls and women to participate in the sport of mountain biking.

While NICA continues to expand in 2018 with the addition of three new leagues (Maryland, West Virginia and Oregon), we are also focussing inward to ensure that our various programs and services are refined and expanded in order to better serve our continually growing membership. With a talented and passionate staff and expanded and committed Board of Directors, I am confident that 2018 will be a year of significant advances in NICA’s efforts to leverage mountain biking to help teens build strong mind, body and character and to provide meaningful opportunities for caring adults to serve as youth mentors.

Thank you for your ongoing involvement and support!

Sincerely, Austin

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Here's What's in Store for 2018

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Ben Tufford, NICA Skills Curriculum Development & Standards Coach Licensing Manager teaches skills at the 2017 NICA National Conference. Photo: Todd Bauer

2018 is shaping up to be another fun and exciting year for NICA! This past fall we announced that the Maryland, West Virginia and Oregon Leagues will launch in the Fall of 2018 bringing the total number of NICA Leagues across the country to 22.

We have expanded the Coach License Program with three new hires and launched a new NICA Guilds Leadership Program for all NICA Core Race Staff. Both initiatives reflect the strategic goals of NICA leadership to not only continue to grow and reach more youth, but to also raise the bar on the quality of NICA national support to all participants.

The Coach Licensing program team will roll out new curriculum this spring and the new Guild Program will provide best practice resources for over 200 core race staff and this is only the beginning! NICA will continue to build upon and expand innovative curriculum, programs and services.

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Thank You for Sharing the Ride with us in 2017!

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Thank you to everyone who contributed to our 2017 Share the Ride Campaign. Together, we met our goal and raised over $150,000 to put #morekidsonbikes and change lives through cycling.

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Congratulations to our Share the Ride - Western Spirit Trip Grand Prize Winner - Anne Rock!

As part of our Share the Ride Campaign, NICA Sustainers were entered for a chance to win a Western Spirit Cycling Adventure. The lucky winner is Anne Rock - a coach with the Pennsylvania League. Read more about Anne and why she's stoked to get #morekidsonbikes HERE.

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Photo: Motovation Sports / SoCal League

2018 National Sponsors -Thank You!

We'd like to extend a big thank you to our National Sponsors for 2018! Their generous support enables us to continue our mission of getting #morekidsonbikes! Take a look at who's on board for 2018 HERE and give our sponsors some love by checking out their social media pages and giving them a "Like" or a "Follow".

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Are You for Bikes in 2018?

PeopleForBikes is proud to support NICA and its student-athletes for another great year of mountain bike riding and racing. They encourage NICA families to join them (for free!) to help make bike riding safe, fun and accessible across the U.S. Check out their Bucket List Bike Rides for 2018 for some new ideas and click here to add your own bicycling event to their calendar.

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University of Arkansas Hydration Study - Drink Up!

The University of Arkansas has partnered with NICA to study Hydration Knowledge and Behavior in student-athletes.

The purpose of this survey is to help NICA get a better understanding of how much student-athletes know about keeping hydrated, and also about their current hydration behavior during practices and races. The data collected will be used to provide hydration education to coaches, parents, and student-athletes.

If you would like to participate please look for an email from your coach in the next few weeks with the link to the survey.

Let's see which league can have the most respondents! The league with the most will receive some fun hydration prizes!

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2017 League Highlight Photos

2017 was a great year for NICA! We asked our League Directors to send over their "best of" photos from the season and here are some of the highlights! 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 and #TheNewNormal

2017 Alabama Andrew RaceStart

Alabama Race Start. Credit: Andrew Garza

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Muddy Race Day at Snowbasin in Utah. Credit: Selective Vision

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SoCal Varsity Girls Credit: Motovation Sports

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Getting ready to race in Pennsylvania. Credit: Clay Chiles

Nj Middle School riders at the 2017 season finale Six Mile Run State Park Photo Don Madson

New Jersey Middle School Boys Racing Photo: Don Madson

Staging WILeague aerial shot

Aerial view of staging in Wisconsin. Credit: Dave Reich

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New York riders finishing strong! Credit: E Sorenson

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Fall racing in Minnesota. Credit: Todd Bauer

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