NJ-STT-2018
 

June 27th, 2018
In this issue:

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Greetings Friends and Family,

Sixteen months have passed since I accepted the role as League Director, and its been over a year since the official announcement. In that time we have accomplished so much together! Thank you for making this experience so fulfilling. I look forward to working with each and every one of you for years to come as we continue to provide our incredible program to the youth of New Jersey.

Now that our second season has come to a close, it is time to reflect upon our many successes, plan for the future, and learn from our past.

What does our success look like?
* Our student participation has nearly doubled this year, a 180% increase.
* We welcomed 6 new teams to the league: (Wildwood, Atlantic County, Tri-County, Randolph, Central Jersey, and Camden County).
* Our coaching ranks have grown by nearly the same ratio as students, with a 175% increase.
* "Try it Out" and NICA GRiT program fully implemented. Special thanks to the Carolan Foundation for making it possible!
* Increased league staff by 6, including student athlete representatives.
* Added two additional Advisory Board Members.
* Hosted SOLO Wilderness/NICA Approved First Aid Class for coaches, the first in the nation
* Hosted OTB 301 coaching skills training, the first in the nation
* Introduced a new race venue, Camp Edge, and our first ever overnight camping before race day.

What does the future of the NJICL look like?
* Increased growth as we expand our reach into schools and unrepresented areas of the state.
* More programs! GRiT rides, adventure camps, Teen Trail Corps, etc.
* More coaches training opportunities.
* #morekidsonbikes #moregirlsonbikes #NJShredz

Many have asked about changing to a fall-based season due to the inclimate weather which we deal with as a spring league. We established a committee this year to explore all of the options, all of the pros and cons. The findings were presented too all head coaches during the season, and I will be reaching out to them in the coming weeks for an official response, but early indications are that the league is split down the middle on the topic. One of the committee's recommendations was to consider a change only if a vast majority of the community wants it, so for the time being I do not expect a change. Regardless, nothing will change for our upcoming (third) season.

We had a whirlwind awards ceremony at Gloucester, so a few "thank you" messages were missed.

I would like to thank our League Staff for tirelessly working throughout the year to provide our students with such a quality program:

Fred Brown, Sandy Chapman, Michael Cohn, Kristine Contento-Angell, Robin Dunn, Chris Facas, Katie Foose, Jason Gonsalves, David Kahl, BJ Kisch, Amanda Klopper, Kathi Krause, Jakob Kruse, JoAnne Kruse, Tom Kruse, Robin Lauezzari, Rosie Lauezzari, Emilio Lois Jr., Don Madson, Charmaine Michaels, Jon Sherwood, Larry Towner, Ben Tufford, Mary Beth Van Wart, John Williams.

These wonderful individuals work together as a team not only on race day, but on weekly conference calls, events, coaches calls, training, etc. to make our league the very best out there. I would be lost without them, and feel quite lucky to call them friends. Thank you!

I was touched by the photos that the staff put together for you all to sign! Mary Beth explained that the poster boards contained over 1000 photos, and that it was a reminder of how many lives we have touched along the way. I am honored to be a part of this program, and if we have made a difference in just one kid's life through mountain biking we are truly blessed. NICA sure has changed mine for the better!

Please continue to read below for information about the off-season, our summer fundraiser, and a recap of the national conference. As always, if I can be of any assistance, please feel free to reach out.

Best wishes,

Ken Seebeck
League Director

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1000 stories which collectively tell our story. Thank you! #NJNICARocks

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An off-season message taken from our friends in the SoCal League, who just celebrated their 10th season.

I still want to ride!!!

As far as riding goes, NICA leagues view themselves as seasonal interscholastic sports and abide by what are called "Team Training Limits" (noted on page 70 of the 2018 Rulebook). The New Jersey League is a spring league and no TEAM activities (short of logistically prepping for the season) can occur between the last day of the season and October 15th.

Does this mean I can't RIDE?!?!?!

Heck no! You can ride as much as you like! Just remember that if you are riding you are on your own, meaning there is no team insurance coverage or sanction during the off season. Be certain your parents/guardians know you are riding and help you out appropriately as your New Jersey League team coaches are "off duty."

Can I race?!?!?!

If you want to continue mountain bike racing in the off season that is up to you but it has nothing to do with your team, the New Jersey League, or NICA. There are some great races out there including The Mid-Atlantic Super Series, the AC Daughtry Hudson to Highlands (H2H) Series, and others. Be certain you review their websites, racing requirements, etc.

Can I Rock my Team or Leader's Jersey?!?!

No problem. Ride and race in whatever jersey you like! Just remember it's not a team activity. If you ARE riding or racing in your New Jersey League jersey --- people will be watching how you conduct yourself. Remember to represent your Team and the New Jersey League well!

We KNOW many student-athletes get to the end of the season riding stronger than they ever have and they want to put that fitness to good use! No problem! Just remember to take some down time to play other sports or physical activities before next season begins. If you don't, you risk physical and/or mental burnout. If you end up hating your bike you're doing things wrong and need to immediately chill out for a while until you look at your bike and WANT to get on it!

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As you surely know by now, Gran Fondo NJ has named our students as beneficiaries, and this year we are going "all in" to make this our primary off-season fundraiser!

The Gran Fondo NJ is consistently named one of the best Fondo rides in the country, so don't miss this one! There are distances for all ability levels too.

New this year, any rider who raises $200 or more in funds through our page will be sent a discount code to register for any distance at the incredible price of $50!

Even more awesome: For every $100 raised you will be entered into a door prize drawing to win a sweet new Apple Watch!

More than a bike ride
Gran Fondo NJ is a full weekend of festivals, expos and other activities offering entertainment for the entire family culminating in the ride and post-ride celebrations. Along with raffles, great food, local shopping and the Kid’s Fondo there’s something for every member of the family. There is also an optional fundraising component to the event – it has been used by riders supporting local and national charities and has generated over $1,000,000 in donations since its inception.

So how can we help raise funds for the students of the NJICL?
Two ways! Don't want to ride the fondo or support another rider? Simply navigate to our Crowdrise page and click "donate now".

Click here for the Crowdrise page.

Want to ride the Fondo, have friends and family sponsor you, and qualify for the discount? Click the same link to the Crowdrise page, but instead click "Join the team" and in seconds you will have your own link to share with your peeps.

Once you raise the $200, send an email to info@newjerseymtb.org with "Gran Fondo" in the subject line, and we will take care of you with the discount code to join our Fondo Team and ride with Tom, Ken and the rest of the team!

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Wow, where do we begin? Six members of the NJICL Crew attended the NICA National Conference in Bentonville Arkansas: Ken & Tom left directly after the Gloucester race by car (20 hr drive!) to attend the leadership track. BJ Kisch attended as National Operations Manager Guild Leader. Robin Dunn and Fred Brown attended as coach supporters, as did Ben Tufford who is the National Coach Licensing Manager for Skills Curriculum Development & Standards. (Say that three times fast!)

The week was full of quality training, amazing keynotes and collaborative work to help guide NICA into the future. Trek Bicycles President John Burke announced even more support to our organization, with support being added to each league! Trek's support of NICA is without equal in the industry, but they envision a day where all brands step up and support our students similarly.

Major announcements were made regarding the Teen Trail Corps and Girls Riding Together (NICA GRiT) programs. We will be sharing our plans for each in coming newsletters, so stay tuned. Suffice to say that next season is gong to ROCK!

Coaches and leadership alike were treated to sessions aimed at increasing our coaching skills, and furthering the coach licensing program. NICA skills instruction has also gone to the next level, with OTB 301 (launched in NJ of course!) focusing on the advanced rider and progressing our student's skills to the next level. It is such an exciting time to be a NICA coach!

A Bentonville trip report would not be complete without mentioning the riding there! Thanks to the support from conference and national sponsor The Walton Foundation, Bentonville is a true cycling paradise. Trails are the centerpiece of the community, and connect downtown to neighborhoods, schools and points of interest, including the wonderful Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

The trails cover all skill levels, from world class downhill style, to beginner friendly flow, and everything in between. They "get it", and the stoke is spreading with the help of organizations like ours, who value time spent outside on bikes!

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The NJ Crew after an evening keynote. (Shout out to Socal timer Bryce looking on, he is an honorary NJ timer!)

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Godfather of MTB Gary Fisher rocking a NJICL wristband!

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The trail work in Bentonville is incredible! Yes, that rock in the middle is carved into an outline of Arkansas.

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BJ digging the limestone.

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Legendary Coach Dr. Jerry Lynch was on Ken's "Wristband Hit List"!

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Are you looking to go above and beyond the race-day volunteer positions?

We are currently seeking two core staff positions to increase our "bench strength". Since launch our team has only grown, so much so that we have duplicity in most roles.

▪ Registration: We are looking for a second Registration Manager. Work closely with the League Director, the Scoring Team and Katie, our Chief of Registration, to administer the race-day registrations.
▪ Parking Manager: Help us smooth out the parking situation at our races.
Registration: We are looking for a second Registration Manager. Work closely with the League Director, the Scoring Team and Katie, our Chief of Registration, to administer the race-day registrations.
Parking Manager: Help us smooth out the parking situation at our races.

For more information about these positions, please email Ken Seebeck: ken@newjerseymtb.org.

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Students/Parents who are in possession of loaner bikes should check their emails in the coming days to coordinate disposition of the bikes now that the season is over. Our policy is to first offer the bikes for discounted sale, or to coordinate transfer of the bikes back to the league until we open the season next year. Thank you for your cooperation!

Questions as always may be sent to info@newjerseymtb.org.

We are very proud to have never turned down a loaner bike request, thanks to sponsors like Kent Bicycles and Trek, and look forward to providing bikes to all who need them for years to come.

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Please support your local bicycle shop, which is the hub of our cycling community, and our amazing league and national sponsors, who make all of this possible!

New-Jersey-league-2018
 
 
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