The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), a youth development organization governing interscholastic mountain biking in the United States, announced Alabama and Virginia as the newest states in its growing nationwide school cycling program, bringing the number of new leagues added in 2014 to three, and the NICA league network to 13. NICA made the announcement at the Sea Otter Classic on Saturday.
Austin McInerny, NICA's executive director, said, "The experience and quality of people coming in as organizers to the NICA leagues is very encouraging and I think bodes very well for the future. But not only that, we are making substantial strides toward our goal of coast-to-coast high school mountain biking opportunities by 2020. We have been laying a solid foundation in previous years, and 2014, with 30% growth in the number of NICA leagues, I think is going to be very significant for us."
One of the key features of NICA is its structural ability to work in concert with existing organizations that have parallel missions. Two of the leagues added in 2014, Virginia and Wisconsin, are built on established existing mountain biking programs.
NICA now has league clusters in several parts of the United States. Northern California, Southern California and Arizona; Utah and Colorado; Minnesota and Wisconsin; Texas; New York and Virginia; and Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
Opportunities for planned and monitored mountain biking sessions are now available in all of these regions.
NICA has over 1,300 licensed coaches who are working with 3,500 student-athletes in the USA, giving a very favorable overall supervision ratio of one adult to three student-athletes.