NICA

NICA sees a future where every American youth has the opportunity to build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling. Founded in 2009, NICA develops interscholastic mountain biking programs for student-athletes across the United States. NICA is an organization that creates and operates mountain bike racing leagues for middle school and high school students around the country.


Ohio Mountain Bike League (OMBL) is the statewide organization for all NICA teams across Ohio fulfilling the mission stated above. In 2021, the OMBL launched the first official race series with four races. Locally, one of the races was hosted at John Bryan State Park in Yellow Springs - this will be the home course for our region.

About Our Local Team


Welcome to the Miami Valley Trailblazers Composite Team

2022 season!


The Trailblazers team welcomes riders in grades 6-12 (during the 2022-23 school year) from the Miami Valley region to ride with the team. The team rides and races in the Ohio Cycling League (www.ohiomtb.org) comprised of an awesome supportive staff of leaders!! Our team philosophy is safety first then fun and our goal is for students to develop a strong body, mind, and character through mountain biking. There are no tryouts. Everyone rides no matter their ability and skill level. Racing is optional and not required to join the team.


The Trailblazers compete in cross-country style racing, based on National Interscholastic Cycling League standards (www.nationalmtb.org), starting in the fall.


The Trailblazers coaches and ride leaders receive background checks and are trained per NICA standards in concussion awareness, risk management and first-aid.


Practices: Practices will begin the week of July 4th. We will practice every Saturday from July 9th - August 6th, 10am-12pm (locations TBD and plan to arrive by 9:45 and ready to roll by 10am. Starting July 1, (in-season) weekday practices will be held at MetroParks Mountain Bike Area (MoMBA) from 6:30-8pm and will be set by the coaches and shared on the Heja App. Plan to arrive by 6:15 and ready to roll by 6:30pm. Practices are led by trained coaches and ride leaders. Coaches will work with student athletes on goal setting for the season.

Link to SA Practice Checklist

What will student athletes learn?

  • On the bike skills:

    • Neutral/Ready Body Position

    • Bike/Body Separation - Front/Back and Side to Side

    • Intro to Cornering

    • Shifting

    • Seated/Crouched/Standing Climbing

    • Descending

  • Trail Riding

    • Apply on the bike skills

    • Safe distance from other riders

    • Communication on the trail

    • Etiquette with other trail users


Registration and Communication: All coaches and students must register in “Pit Zone” and download and join in the team’s “Heja” App. Please contact the Team Director, Dawn Allen, if you need the link to register in Pit Zone and/or a link to download the Heja app with the team code. Trailblazers will now use Heja for all team management and communications instead of email. Our Heja page shows practice, race and events schedules and allows team members, coaches and parents to communicate with each other. Returning riders MUST be registered and “practice ready” in “Pit Zone” by their 1st practice. No exceptions. We will send unregistered riders home. In the event a rider wants to test out and try one practice before registering and paying fees, please contact Team Director, Dawn Allen directly. A waiver must be signed in order to participate.


Fees: Cost to register a student athlete is $150. Fees include a team jersey. MVMBA is providing a team jersey to each “practice ready” (registered) student athlete by July 11th. After that date, registered student-athletes will receive a team tech t-shirt.


Equipment: Riders need to have their own mountain bike and are required to wear helmets and closed-toe shoes when riding. Gloves and sunglasses are strongly recommended. Riders must carry their water, and inhalers (if needed) at all practices. Each rider is responsible for having and maintaining their own mountain bike. We require every rider to establish a relationship w/ a local bike shop (LBS) for bike tunes, equipment maintenance and questions. Many local shops offer discounts to team members for equipment and repairs.

List of Team Sponsoring LBS:

  1. Cyclotherapy - Springfield

  2. K&G Bike Center - Kettering and Xenia locations

  3. Black Pug Bike Repair - Yellow Springs

  4. Kettering Bike Shop - Kettering

  5. Creekside Cyclery - Beavercreek

  6. Mike’s Bike Park - Dayton

  7. Airborne (bikes only)


Scholarships: The Ohio League has scholarships available for equipment, registration, and racing fees.

  1. Everybody Rides - Deadline for scholarship applications is June 30, 2022. Applications will be reviewed and coaches notified of scholarship recipients by July 15th. Individual award amounts will be determined by the total number of applicants, available scholarship funds & demonstrated needs of individual applicants. Coaches will apply on behalf of student athletes with demonstrated need and outline how the scholarship fund will be utilized for the direct benefit of the student athlete. Please contact the Team Director, Dawn Allen, to apply for this scholarship on your behalf.

  2. Black Fork Scholarship Fund - Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with a deadline of July 31, 2022. Preference will be given to those with demonstrated need.


Racing: There are five races scheduled for the season and each race costs $50 per student athlete to race. Racing is optional but encouraged! Parents and students are responsible for providing transportation to/from all races. Most families and coaches camp on-site at the races as they are two-day events. Pre-ride on Saturday and Race on Sunday.

  • Length of races - The race lap is between 3-4 miles. Each grade level has a set amount of laps (6th grade - 1 lap). Student athletes are allowed to race up a level to ride more laps and can be accomodated (Parent and Team Director must submit documentation to request this). Last year, we had a 6th grader that moved up a few grades to race more laps.

  • The races are mass start and are timed. Each rider is placed at the starting line according to their race number and has to complete their lap (laps) in a predetermined amount of time before being pulled from the course. This will be explained in more detail when the season begins.

  • Link to SA PreRace Checklist


Race Dates (5)

  1. August 13th & 14th - Pre-Season Prologue @ Freer Park

  2. August 27th & 28th - Race #1 @ John Bryan State Park

  3. September 10th & 11th - Race #2 @ Paint Creek State Park

  4. September 24th & 25th - Race #3 @ Chestnut Ridge MetroPark

  5. October 8th & 9th - Race #4 @ Camp Tuscazoar


Wanna help?

Here’s a list of Team Tasks. Let the Team Director know where you can help! None of this is possible without support from the Miami Valley Mountain Bike Association (MVMBA), coaches, parents, and student athletes!!


Questions?

The coaches are here to help! Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Team Director if you need help finding a bike, have questions about the team or if costs associated with the program or equipment are unaffordable. We think everyone who wants to ride deserves to participate!



Team Director and Head Coach contact info:

Dawn Allen

mvmba.bike@gmail.com

937-581-8398