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Smiles aplenty at High School Competitions!

Executive Director's Note

This past month has been filled with more great news for high school cycling and all of us at NICA are thrilled to share with you highlights from around the country! While each month is busy, May has been particularly exciting with NorCal, SoCal, Texas and New York all racing and Colorado, Utah, Minnesota, Tennessee and Arizona all conducting coach training and/or outreach and fundraising events! Hardly a moment for NICA staff to catch a breath!

As high schools across the country are wrapping-up their academic year, it is a good time to reflect on our accomplishments this past year and to plan for the summer and beyond. While at the California State High School Mountain Bike Championship race in May, I was literally stunned by the magnitude of how far high school cycling has come in the past decade. With approximately 2,000 in attendance, the race venue was vibrant and I saw many happy parents, young children and even a few grandparents in various locations around the course cheering the student-athletes and enjoying the wonderful weather and awesome displays in the expo area. As the happy mothers shown here attest, smiles were plentiful around the course (even on the faces of the student-athletes grinding up the uber-steep Jeep Hill Climb)!

This past month saw another milestone reached: the 100th member joined the NICA Booster Club! With the generosity of this club, we've raised nearly $60,000 towards student-athlete scholarships, coach stipends, team grants and new league start-up grants. Club members are helping NICA move forward towards our goal of bringing high school cycling coast-to-coast by 2020!

While all of us at NICA are excited for the summer months when work slows down a bit, we are excited to focus on planning for the start of fall league racing as well as new and creative initiatives all aimed at getting more kids on bikes! It is clear to me that high school mountain biking is building communities by bringing parents, volunteers, supporters and student-athletes together to enjoy the outdoors and to work collaboratively to create healthy learning opportunities for all involved.

Thanks for your continued support!

Austin McInerny

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CA State Championships - photo by Karl Nielsen

Spring Leagues wrap up hugely successful season!

It was another successful spring season as the NorCal and SoCal leagues participated in the largest high school race in history at the California State Championships, while the Texas league held its very own 2013 State Championship and Huntsville Hustle race to wrap up their seasons. The excerpts below highlight the events and link you to the individual and team race results.

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JV Boys racing for the finish at 2013 Texas State Championships

2013 California State Championships
It was a gorgeous day at beautiful Stafford Lake in Novato, California, where 599 student-athletes competed, grinded, and supported one another at the California State Championships on May 19th, 2013. Seventy-eight teams from the NorCal and SoCal leagues competed in the D1 and D2 categories, where the culmination of a season’s races led to multiple winners in all categories. Click on the links to view the individual and team results.

2013 Texas State Championships
On May 5, 2013, Huntsville State Park hosted the 2013 State Championships, where 81 student-athletes from 11 teams from the Texas league put their hard work over the season on display, showing incredible displays of fitness and character. To view the results of this hard fought race, click on in individual and team results links.

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3 executives, 3 companies, 1 movement. Read their stories, perspectives and passion to be a part of the NICA movement

NICA met up with Ben Capron, CEO of OSMO Nutrition, Brian Vaughan, CEO/Co-Founder of GU Energy Labs and Eric Russell, National Sale Manager of Clif Bar and Company to learn more about their love of cycling, involvement in the High School Mountain Biking movement, and their vision of its future. Click on this link to view the full interview.

“I’ve always loved to move on wheels. From my Big Wheel in the kitchen to my mountain bike across the Alps, I’ve never stopped. I feel most alive and stoked when I’m in the saddle, breathing hard and moving through the world. Luckily, I’ve been able to “work” in the bike industry… which is to say I’ve never really ‘worked’.”

-Ben Capron, CEO, Osmo Nutrition

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Left to Right, Brian Vaughan (GU Energy Labs), Eric Russell (Clif Bar and Co.) Austin McInerny (NICA Executive Director, Yuri Hauswald (GU Energy Labs), Ben Capron (OSMO Nutrition) at Sea Otter, 2013.

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Training in progress

Colorado League Update: 4th Annual Leaders’ Summit sparks excitement and inspires many

Colorado's annual Leaders’ Summit was held at Windy Peak Outdoor Lab School in the epicenter of the Bailey HUNDO race course. With 11 individual instructors teaching, thirty-five (35) coaches representing 21 teams and 2 states (CO, ID) were inspired and trained in how to best manage and run high school cycling programs. Additionally, 17 new CPR certifications were issued and attendees had a great time learning from one another.

Comments:

“Kate, I was impressed with the weekend. The coaches I brought all learned a lot and had a good time too. On the drive home the chatter was about how cool the weekend was, and how we should do this, and how we should do that. It is exciting to see the energy sparked in these good people to be better and to do more. Yea! Really this e-mail is just to say "Job well done."

“Sorry I left without saying "good bye". I was looking for you when I had to leave but couldn't track you down. I'm telling you I had an awesome time!! The clinic with Lee and hanging out with all the coaches sold me. I'm in!! Again, Thank you very much. I am sooo excited!!”

“Great weekend Kate - glad I was finally able to make it. Gave me lots to think about and the networking was definitely a highlight for me. Lee is an awesome teacher. Thanks again for organizing a great weekend.”

“Thank you so much for such a wonderful weekend. Brendan and Garrett were very thankful to me for paying for them to attend a seminar that will be very useful to them in their future as coaches (plus, they can now help me coach!). You really do such a great job at all that you touch! The Golden touch.....and a lot of hard work I'm sure :)”

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Colorado Leaders' Summit Participants

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First NICA Gran Corsa culinary ride

First NICA Gran Corsa is fantastic success

The Monday following the final stage of the 2013 Tour of California, over fifty cycling luminaries and distinguished supporters gathered for a wine country pedal in support of high school mountain biking. Hosted out of the Arnot-Roberts world class winery, the first NICA Gran Corsa, a culinary ride, was joined by cyclocross star Tim Johnson and mountain biking legend Gary Fisher.

The ride was generously supported by Allen Lim, Chef Biju Thomas and the whole Skratch Labs team serving freshly made rice cakes during the ride and a superb multi-course lunch. Allen and Biju co-authored the Feed Zone cookbook (available here), as well as the Portables Cookbook.

We thank Wendy and Liz from Spoke Folk Cyclery for the ride support, Fly Goat Coffee for the beans, the NICA board, Jon Suzuki for the photos, our collegiate national champ, MacKinzie Stanley for joining as well as Paul Chourre who celebrates his many successful years as the Drake High School Team Director.

The event raised $2,000 towards the NICA Booster Club which means more Booster Funds for student-athlete scholarships, coach stipend, team grants, and new league start-up grants. More Gran Corsa rides are coming soon, consider joining the NICA Booster Club here for preferred invitations. The Booster Club is not a country club, membership starts at just $10.

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Click here to join the Booster Club!

New booster club members now receive a gift

A beautiful cycling kit, designed by David Curtis, now rounds out our gift offerings for new Booster Club members. With Booster Club support, NICA grows faster, and we can create programs that are accessible to all student-athletes. In addition:

• We can provide student-athletes scholarships and help more kids afford equipment and race fees.
• We can provide struggling teams with grants to help them afford the cost of travel.
•We can provide coach stipends for those who are highly dedicated to their athletes, but need a helping hand to cover out-of-pocket costs.
•We can help leagues grow in new areas, and overcome the obstacles that come with growth.

Consider joining the NICA Booster Club today, and as a thank you for your membership donation
you will receive the following:

$10 Booster Club Sticker
$25 Booster Club Bottle + Sticker
$75 Booster Club T-Shirt + Sticker
$100 Booster Club T-Shirt + Flash Drive + Sticker
$125 Booster Club Jersey + Sticker
$250 Booster Club Jersey + Short + Sticker

(Jerseys and Shorts Shipped by August, Mens shorts are bib-shorts)

Click here to join.

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Fort Lewis College recruiting at CA State Championships

Fort Lewis College & NICA: partnering for success!

With many NICA Student-Athletes going on to study and ride at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, we are pleased to include a message from Andrew Burns, Fort Lewis College’s Director of Admissions and Advising, who attended the California State Championships below:

“It is an absolute joy for Fort Lewis College to be involved with NICA. NICA has created transformative opportunities for today’s youth, and Fort Lewis College supports these efforts. When Fort Lewis College first partnered with NICA in 2011, a majority of the leagues’ participants didn’t realize that the robust, exciting and competitive world of collegiate cycling existed . I think our collaborate partnership turned out to be a game-changer, fostering a heightened understanding of the sport, getting students to think about their combined interests in college and cycling. Three years have passed since our partnership began, and we now regularly meeting student-athletes and their families who recognize Fort Lewis College Cycling because our relationship with NICA. By connecting the NICA student-athletes with Fort Lewis College staff and riders, we’ve opened students’ eyes to a whole new world.”

We echo Andrew's words - and agree, our partnership has been a "game-changer". We would like to thank Fort Lewis College for their continued support and applaud their efforts to change the face of college cycling.

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Fort Lewis College 2012-13 Cycling Team - credit: www.fortlewis.edu

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NICA Board of Directors Seeks Committed Leaders to Join the Team

The NICA Board of Directors is looking for individuals who are passionate about high-school cycling. While not highly visible, the Board of Directors is instrumental in developing relevant policy, providing oversight to ensure the fulfillment of the organization’s mission, and keeping NICA financially healthy. Board meetings are quarterly and members are expected to help NICA's staff with efforts during the year. If you believe you might be of assistance and share the belief that high-school cycling needs to grow, please contact either Rick Spittler, NICA Board President at rick@nationalmtb.org or Eric Russell, NICA Board Vice-President, at ericscottrussell@gmail.com.

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Peggy Mozek and the Lady Wolves

Coaching runs in the family

Coaches mentor and mold today’s youth to be their best. Through hard work, coaches help develop bonds and create a sense of community. From the sidelines, experiencing this camaraderie is inspiring and infectious. Peggy Mozak was inspired by her husband Ken and other coaches work in the NorCal league and made the plunge, opening up a whole new world for herself. Learn more about this family and their story here.

“I could see how the team was catching on like wildfire, but only felt the heat from the sidelines. But what was going on was infectious. When I was able to attend mountain biking events, I observed the close bond not only among the kids, but the community of the coaches and parents drawing you in--it is so appealing.”

-Peggy Mozek, NorCal Coach, Lady Wolves

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Click poster to purchase DVD

Singletrack High showings at GoPro Mountain Games!

The GoPro Mountain Games, the country's largest celebration of adventure sports, music, and the mountain lifestyle returns once again to Vail, June 6-9, 2013, and will be featuring two free showings of Singletrack High on June 7th and June 8th.

If you are near Vail or attending the games, please join the Colorado League at the GoPro Mountain Games for these screenings.

Since it’s premiere showing in February, Singletrack High has had 37 showings to just over 5,000 viewers. The impact and notoriety of the documentary has been acknowledged by national press and the cycling professional community. For more details on screenings in your area, or to host a screening, click here.

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Favorite ride photo taken by Forrest Russell (@rusty_shacklefordd)

Best Sport Ever Winners!

Congratuations to our winners Forrest Russell @rusty_shacklefordd, 648 likes, Hannah B. @hannahbbee, 116 likes, and Kyle Skeen @kskeen95, 45 likes!

They took us on their favorite rides and showed us how it's done! These three will win a sweet prize pack of their choice:

1) the NICA jersey, with set of arm and leg warmers by Primal Wear, 2) NICA flex fit cap, socks by Primal Wear and a copy of Singletrack High, 3) Maxxis cap and socks set, Nicholas Fisher designed NICA tread tee and 4) an awesome assortment of food for the from Clif Bar and Gu Energy Labs!

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Favorite ride photo taken by Hannah B. (@hannahbbee)

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Favorite ride photo taken by Kyle Skeen (@kskeen95)

Thanks to everyone who took such amazing photos! Devan Wiggins @dwig10, Kris Quan @krisbekreamin, Marcus Warrington @kusethegoose, Jen @mtn_bkr_jen, Emily Cerna @missemily17_, Emery @evilemery, Parker Wismar @pwismar and everyone else who participated!!!

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BHS MTB Crew learns from Master Nat @hillride.

Spirit of Howdy Contest

Now get ready to whip those camera photos out again and show us how you howdy. We here at NICA are constantly talking about how to make the trails friendlier and safer. One way we do it is by embracing the Spirit of Howdy while biking our favorite multi-use trails! What's the spirit of howdy? It's advocacy, trail stewardship and helping to create lasting, positive, relationships with all people who enjoy our fabulous trail networks.

We want to see your howdy in action! Take a photo with smiling hikers you just made friends with while out on the trail over the next three weeks and tag @nationalmtb AND #NICAspiritofhowdy (so we make sure to get it to our inbox)! We'll pick just three photos with the most likes who have the chance to win: your choice of Maxxis tires in 26" or 29", a copy of Singletrack High to watch with friends and get pumped to ride and a swaggin' NICA t-shirt!

New Tires? Fresh Threads? Shred-spiration? Boom.

Remember our Instagram contests are always open to coaches, riders, parents, friends--everyone! So tell everyone and promote your #NICAspiritofhowdy pictures like crazy!

Some rules: Only one Instagram account per prize, but feel free to post as many photos as you like!

Cheers and Gears,
The NICA staff

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Upcoming Calendar Events:

June 5, 8, and 10 – Try It Out Sessions, Osseo/Maple Grove & Minnetonka Mtn Bike Teams
June 6, 2013 Ciclismo Youth Foundation Singletrack High Screening, Ft. Collins, CO, Lyric Cinema 7:00 PM and 8:30
June 10 - 12- Utah League Moab Adventure Biking Camp
June 15 – Colorado League – BaileyHUNDO Pledge Ride
June 15 – New League Bids Due
June 16-21 – NorCal League – Invitational Camp
June 22-23 – Wilderness First Aid / CPR Class – Phoenix
June 23-28 – SoCal League – Summer Camp
June 26, 2013 Highlander Singletrack High Screening, Woodland Park, CO, Ute Pass Cultural Center 6:30 PM
June 29-30 Advanced Coaches Camp, Park City, UT
Early July – Bid Results Announced
July 14: Great Hawk Chase: MN MTB Series
July 27-August 5, Texas League Summer Development Camp at Fort Lewis College

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