Nikki Peterson, Nevada North League Director, co-led a GRiT Ride with NorCal Coaches and NICA Alum Kate Courtney. It was a day dedicated to inspiring girls, making connections, and just having fun! Check out her story below.
With May bringing a focus on mental health awareness, we want to feature one of our coaches who recognizes and teaches the interdependence of physical and mental health. This coach’s message of “shred for your head” is a powerful one that emphasizes the importance of mental health in the context of sports and physical activity. By promoting balance in training, the coach is setting student-athletes up for success, both on and off the bike.
On Tuesday nights, somewhere beyond the flashing neon signs of Las Vegas, you can find the bright lights of the Wheel d’Beast Mountain Bike Team weaving through the trails of the Southern Nevada desert.
NICA coaches are trained to emphasize values like teamwork, sportsmanship, and mutual respect, and to create an environment where athletes feel supported and encouraged to take risks and push themselves to achieve their goals. This includes recognizing and celebrating the achievements of all athletes, regardless of their level of ability or performance, and encouraging athletes to support each other through both successes and setbacks.
What is your reason for joining NICA? Many have different motivations but we are all here for one purpose – getting more kids on bikes!
My success in this sport was a slow burn. By the time I was a senior, I had lost 35 pounds, and I secured a spot on the podium in my only race in 2020. This sport has taught me how to believe in myself, be confident in who I am and that I can do anything I put my mind to. These lessons extend far into all of the other parts of my life. This sport has made me who I am today; without it, I don’t think I would be here today.
Darin Jesberg didn’t think anyone would want to mountain bike in Modesto, California’s mostly flat, arid, agricultural city. But he discovered a trail alongside one of
the city’s creeks, found some like-minded friends, and began cleaning up and creating trails long before it was a common activity for avid bikers.
Coach John Buchanan welcomed two new riders to the Linganore Mountain Bike Team in Maryland in September. A pair of siblings moved from Texas with their family so that their father and older brother could receive medical care for severe illnesses. Although it has been a very difficult time for everyone involved, Coach John shares how he has seen joy expand throughout the family since they joined NICA.
In all his years of riding and coaching, Evan Kruse never considered that one difficulty faced by young riders is adapting to the occasional isolation of mountain biking. Even when there are other bikers on the trail, riders can sometimes feel all alone in the middle of nowhere.
Richard Bennett, a head coach in the Utah League, wanted to start a team in the same underserved community where he provides health care. He gathered bikes, got some help, and got to work. The results were life-changing, for both him and the kids. Here is his story.