Award Recipient Quotes

Specialized League Founders Award

Kate Rau, Colorado High School Cycling League

“One of the parents in the Colorado league told me how his child had been depressed and lost, but then on joining the high school mountain bike team and connecting with his team-mates, that turned around. We’re making change one pedal stroke at a time!”

Primal Wear Digital Media Award

David Curtis, NorCal High School Cycling League/NICA

“I’m a parent, and I can see this is a great sport for girls as well as boys. The daughter of another parent was very excited about her result: ‘I lost a full dress size!’ she said! NICA is going to be a big part of cycling in the USA and I’m proud to be part of it.”

QBP Race Production Partner Award

Jason Ranoa, SoCal High School Cycling League

“In all my years of putting on Mountain Bike races, organizing the NICA races is one of the funnest times I’ve had.”

Trek All-Star Athlete Award

Dominique Fenichell, Boulder High School, Colorado High School Cycling League

“Mountain biking has improved my life in every respect: spiritually, it’s what makes me happy; physically, I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been and I’m eating healthier; and character, it takes a lot of that to finish some of these races! Mountain biking is a life-changing sport.”

Joel Titius, Corona Composite Team, SoCal High School Cycling League

“I’ve been riding since I was little, but got into racing aged 15. I just love racing, and I can’t wait for the season to start.”

SRAM Coach of the Year Award

Fred Maxwell, Salida High School, Colorado High School Cycling League

“Anywhere I travel I know I will make the best friends of my life through cycling. In Salida we didn’t have cycling. But now 10% of our student body is on the team. A lot of local businesses have got behind the team, so no kid has to pay to be on it.”

Dave Peery, Woodcrest Christian High School, SoCal High School Cycling League

“There are two things that stand out for me about this job. Sometimes I’ll have a child on the team who is not athletic, but soon I’ll see a positive change in them as they become part of the team. The other thing is that parents can spend time with their kids actually doing something they both enjoy.”

Julia Violich, Redwood High School Mountain Bike Team, NorCal High School Cycling League

“I admit that I didn’t have a driving inner voice telling me to coach a high school mountain bike team when I started back in 2002. But now, 10 years on, I’m inspired by my high school team.”

Kari Studley, Northshore Composite Team, Washington High School Cycling League

“I feel blessed to be in the right place at the right time. High School mountain biking is such a great thing, I will do anything I can to make sure kids now have the opportunity that I didn’t have in school.”

Clif Bar & Company Volunteer Service Award

Walt Lee, Colorado High School Cycling League

“l love the heck out of doing this. Cycling has meant a lot to me throughout my life and it means a lot to me to be able to help provide similar experiences to kids while they’re still in school.”

Ezra Coleman, NorCal High School Cycling League

“Helping out at these events, you get to see these young athletes in action, and the trials and tribulations they experience. I would encourage anybody who’s not attended one of these races, or has not been out on course during a race, to do so.”

Sean McCoy, SoCal High School Cycling League

“As a long-time mountain biker, I believe this league, and all the other emerging leagues are it! High school mountain bike racing is changing the course of our sport. If you’re a mountain biker you’ve gotta be involved, whether you’re in high school or not. I see these kids riding the course and I feel connected to them. It’s like we’re all part of the same family.”

Visionary Leader Award

Gary Fisher

“How can you relate to this thing called a teenager? Through Sport! Teaching the NICA values to kids, the mind-body connection, that way we have a chance to make a difference.”

Jeep Extraordinary Courage Award

Hannah Mendro, Arlington/Lakewood Composite Team, Washington High School Cycling League

“I never thought of myself as extraordinary anything. Because of my visual impairment I go by feel a lot when riding. I don’t consider it debilitating, but it effects some things, like light and dark, and depth perception. I find the balance difficult and the ground seems so very far away. So I’ve always been afraid of falling when riding a bike. When I got my mountain bike I named it Victoria, because then I’ll know what victory is.”

Fort Lewis College Distinguished Alumni Award

Todd Norwood, 2004 Alum, NorCal High School Cycling League

“My participation in the NorCal League is one of the reasons I stand before you as Dr. Todd Norwood. The discipline of cycling and training helped me to success in school as well as on the bike. It’s also a great stress reliever. There’s nothing better than a little singletrack riding to help focus the mind before an exam.”

Legacy Award

Gary Erickson, Founder, Co-Owner and Co-CEO, CLIF Bar & Company

“I made an early decision to support NICA, but really it’s the people at Clif Bar that have made the sponsorship work well, and make it such a beautiful thing. This was a no-brainer for us. We do a lot of sponsorships, but getting our product to an organization like this is what it’s all about for us. It’s a perfect win-win situation for us, for NICA, for the health of the planet, the kids, and all others involved.”

Easton Foundations Student-Athlete Community Service Award

Josh Hodges, Rim of the World High School, SoCal High School Cycling League

I started volunteering at age 11. Because of that volunteer work, I got into Mountain Biking. Being able to help put a smile on peoples’ faces is what it’s all about for me. If not for my volunteering I wouldn’t be where I am.”

Angelique Margve, John Burroughs High School, SoCal High School Cycling League

“I’ve been transformed from a 13 year-old girl who wanted a beach cruiser and couldn’t change a tire into a cyclist who would rather have a new bike than a new car. Mountain Biking has become part of my lifestyle. The true satisfaction of giving back to my community cannot be replaced by anything. Thankfully I have two more years in this league. We are much more than a Mountain Bike team. We are a family, a community and a group of future leaders getting ready to take on the world.”

Specialized Student-Athlete Leadership Award

Dillen Maurer, Crescenta Valley High School, SoCal High School Cycling League

“Riding is therapy for school. It’s a perfect outlet. A rider on my team told me how riding cleared his head and got all the important things where they need to be. And that’s what Mountain Biking is, and that’s what it is for all the high school riders: A way to figure out what’s important, and a way of having fun.”

Jencee Reardon, 7220 Racing Team, Colorado High School Cycling League

“I was the only girl on my team in the first year I rode, but I was welcomed and made to feel part of that team. I love how accepting the bike community is. I feel a real sense of family with my team-mates. And it’s staggering how much support we have from our families. Our parents spend the weekend with us and stand out in the chill winds of Laramie. After I graduate I plan on being a ride leader so I can give to others what Mountain Biking has given to me.”

Shimano Community Impact Award

Officer George Martinez, NorCal High School Cycling League

“I come from a community, South Sacramento, where there’s a lot of gang violence. A group of kids I recruited in the first year would wear gang colors every day. We made them a group, got them to go riding, and gradually we saw less of the gang colors. I saw them recently, and no more gang colors. We don’t always have the fastest kids but we’re doing something positive.”