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.
In late July, close to 50 women gathered beside the Willamette River in the mountains of Oregon to connect, learn from experts and each other, and ride mountain bikes. In a sport still dominated by men, the retreat provided an oasis for women to share their experiences and brainstorm ideas about how to attract more girls to mountain biking and more women to coaching.
We had the honor and privilege of having a conversation with a small group of NICA student-athletes during our 2022 National Conference in Philadelphia. Elizabeth Allen, Associate Director of Organizational Development at Valley Youth House and a Board Member of the PA League, facilitated this honest, heartfelt, and fun exchange.
Great things happen when young adults are encouraged to do their best. A group of teens in Houston, Texas, are waking up to the reality that they can make a difference in their community, one shovel at a time. Bryce Cole is what you could call a puritan in mountain biking. He is a Houston-based trail advocate and Head Coach for the West Houston Composite Team. When he’s not working with local NICA student-athletes to maintain a beautiful trail system within his community, he works his regular 9-5 job like everyone else.
We are excited to announce our new partnership with The Feed! The Feed is an online resource to get all the nutrition, performance supplements, and recovery gear you need to get more out of your training. The Feed has over 300 of your favorite brands, and you can even set up a subscription box to be sure you’re never reaching into an empty box for the fuel you need before a ride.
NICA unites diverse people, families and communities through cycling by creating fun and welcoming experiences. Community is one of NICA’s Values and central to our mission to build strong minds, bodies, character and communities through cycling. Recently, we caught up with Carmen Luna, the Team Director for the SoCal League’s Eastlake High School and South …