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.
Senior Molly Kaplan recently won the Teen Trail Corps Captain award for her work in the Pennsylvania NICA league. She went from knowing absolutely nothing about mountain biking to becoming a passionate biker and advocate for trail maintenance. She led her team on several trail clean ups, and passed along her newfound knowledge with the hope of inspiring others to care for the trails and environment as
much as she does.
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.
In late October, 650 student athletes, 300 coaches and other assorted friends and family gathered in the Pennsylvania mountains to have an adventure. The Raystown Radness and PICL Jam was an end-of-season celebration for members of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League (PICL). There was no racing involved, but plenty of riding.
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.
NICA introduced a new generation of female cyclists to the sport. Now, they’re giving back to the programs that started it all.
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.
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.