From Athlete, to Coach, to Advocate: Meet Alumni Gabby Huffman

November 20, 2023

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Written by: Olivia Nicholls

When Gabby Huffman’s parents started the San Domenico Mountain Bike Team, she knew she wanted to spend her high school years racing with the NorCal NICA league. And, after being named the Team Captain her senior year and graduating, she knew she wasn’t ready to leave NICA behind.

“Being a part of my NICA team was the most impactful experience I had in high school. Typical sports were not my thing and NICA is the place where I felt a sense of belonging and where I was able to cultivate my own community. Because of this experience, mountain biking is much more than just a hobby.”

Over the summer, Gabby returned to the NorCal league to coach summer camps. She felt it was important and impactful to give back to the community. “Every NICA alum knows the importance of getting more kids on bikes and how youth-cycling has changed and grown the sport to where it is today”, she says.

After graduating in 2019, Gabby moved to Bellingham, Washington to continue her education. While there, she was able to forge friendships with countless other NICA alumnus.

“I met so many former NICA racers that have moved to Bellingham to continue riding, working in the mountain bike industry, and living amongst like-minded outdoorsy individuals that love the sport. NICA was a big reason I was able to connect with them because many of us, regardless of league, had friends in common or could simply relate because of our shared passion. It's been an incredible experience meeting people and connecting with fellow riders who share the same NICA background, witnessing their enduring passion for the sport and this organization.”

When it was time to choose a career path, Gabby knew what she wanted to do.

She started work for the Access4Bikes Foundation, her local mountain bike advocacy non-profit. Since 2019, she’s also supported the California Mountain Biking Coalition, Trail Boss, and the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

“I met my best friends through the sport, met my partner, and was able to connect with my parents in a way I never had before. NICA and mountain biking as a whole has changed and become my entire life.”

No matter where she goes next, one thing is for sure— mountain biking will always be a huge part of Gabby’s life. Staying connected with NICA is what drew Gabby to be one of the first members to join the NICA Alumni Program*!

*The NICA Alumni Network, launched on November 15th, is an initiative designed to create space for NICA graduates to connect with one another and stay engaged with the cycling community. Learn more about how to sign up here!