GRiT Try-it-out Event Recap

The most perfect weather ever made for an amazing day of riding at Blackhawk Ski Club on Saturday, May 20. During a morning and afternoon event, female-identifying adults and kids gathered with experienced West Madison Mountain Bike Team and Driftless Mountain Bike Team coaches and student athletes to learn more about NICA/Wisconsin League mountain bike teams and gain new skills on bikes.

Small groups taught by coaches learned key skills like the A-B-C-D-Es of checking your bike out before you ride; how to stop effectively when riding; how to ride uphill with proper body positioning; how to ride downhill and over features like rollers and berms in the proper “ready position”; bike-body separation techniques; and other key skills. After practicing each important skill, small groups rode the trails at Blackhawk: The Pines, Roller Coaster, and Twist and Shout.

HUGE THANKS to all of our supporters and sponsors for the event! Dreambikes supplied a fleet of loaner bikes for riders without bikes to use; CORP provided support; and Blackhawk provided the venue. Thanks to Black Saddle Bike Shop, Trek, and other local bike shops for donating to our raffle. Thanks to the West Madison Mountain Bike Teams and Driftless Mountain Bikes teams for co-hosting with Blackhawk Ski Club, and thanks to the coaches and student athletes who volunteered their time to coach and ride with the participants! Thanks to NICA’s GRiT (Girls Riding Together) initiative and the Wisconsin Cycling League for their support of our teams. We continue to work to get more people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds on bikes, and providing a judgement-free, 100% supportive space in which to try out mountain biking is a key way we do that. Thank you again to everyone who helped make it happen and to all the folks who attended. See you on the trails!

Madison West GRiT Try-It-Out Event May 20 at Blackhawk!

Madison West Mountain Bike Teams are part of the Wisconsin League of the National Interscholastic Cycling League (NICA). NICA has a very successful and beloved GRiT initiative, which aims to recruit and retain more female-identifying riders and coaches in co-ed NICA programs. Our West teams are doing really well thus far, and we’re very committed to continuing to get #morekidsonbikes and #moregirlson bikes.

Please invite any female-identifying friends (including parents!) who are interested in trying out mountain biking to join us at Blackhawk Ski Club’s mountain bike trails (East Side parking lot) on May 20, for some instruction, games, beginner rides, and prizes! Rain date June 3. More details below!

Registration and Description here (URL can be copied and shared):

Are you a coach looking to volunteer? Sign up here.


• Saturday, May 20, at Blackhawk Trails, East Chalet, in Middleton (Rain date June 3)

• Choose one of two sessions: 10am-12pm, or 1pm-3pm

• Learn basic mountain biking skills

• Ride awesome trails and have FUN!

• Please arrive 15 minutes early to get set up with a bike.


• Student participants must be entering 6-12th grade in the fall and female identifying.

• Adults may be interested in riding with athletes this season and female identifying.


• Participants will need a mountain bike.

• Bikes will be available if the rider does not have one. Please indicate during registration if you need a bike.

• Helmets are required. Please bring your own helmet.

• Wear comfortable clothing for being outdoors that is able to get muddy.


• The event is weather dependent. If it is too wet to hold the event, the event will be canceled. Rain date June 3.

Spring Trail Work Days!

During practice season, our athletes ride amazing local trails that are in great condition, thanks to the trail maintenance work many volunteers, including from our team, do in the spring. During April and May our team helps getting the trails ready for summer and fall riding by volunteering with our local trail organization (CORP – Capital Off Road PathFinders) during their spring workdays! This is not an official team activity, but we encourage team members to volunteer. We are *heavy* users of our trails, and this is a great way to give back. Call your friends and go as a group! It’s super satisfying work, and the rest of the season you’ll say, “I did that,” in your head, as you ride over trails you helped maintain.

Intense happiness, making friends, having lots of fun, and getting into shape are experiences very likely to occur during trail work. Do it at your own risk. 🙂

Here is the spring workday schedule. Please indicate if you are joining on CORP’s facebook page.

April 15    Middleton Bike Park
April 22    CamRock
April 22    Cross Plains
April 29    Blackhawk
May 6       Seminole *
May 13     Blue Mound
May 13     Sheehan Park
May 20     Quarry Park *
May 20     The Farm
* We use these trails A LOT 

All dates are tentative and weather dependent, be sure to check the events page before heading out. Bring your gloves and wear sturdy shoes.

We are currently working on ways to take attendance via our app: Team Snap. Email Coach Paulo when you attend a spring workday with your name(s), location, and time spent making those trails awesome, so he can log your hours in PitZone.

New Athletes & New Coaches Zoom Meeting May 11, 7-8pm

The 2023 season is upon us! For families new to the West Madison bike teams (Madison West, Memorial, Verona, and Westside composite), we’ll be hosting a Zoom meeting Thursday, May 11 2023, from 7-8pm, to share info about the team and answer questions. The meeting is geared towards parents/caregivers from new families to the team, though athletes and returning families are, of course, welcome. If you didn’t receive the code via email in the weekly Dirt Digest, please reach out to us. The slides from the 2021 meeting can be found here.

Thanks for a great 2022 season!

We had such a fantastic season in 2022, with another banner year for participation. Thanks to all the riders and coaches who embraced the NICA ethos, gave their all to the team, brought kindness and inclusivity to the group, and worked hard during practices and races. We look forward to the 2023 season!

Team Trail Work

Our mountain bike team is fortunate to have many places to ride in the Madison area, and we show our gratitude by dedicating volunteer time as a team to maintaining those trails. Working on trails during our team season benefits our team by keeping the trails safe, as well as fun and challenging to ride. It also means those trails are maintained for other community members, including kids, parents, and other riders who might want to join us as student athletes or coaches someday. Plus, trail work is fun! Stay tuned for more trail work opportunities in 2023, and until then, check out CORP for trail conditions, trail work days, and other activities and events: 

2022 State Championship at Trek

Did you know that Trek Bicycle Corporation has its own trails, right next door to its headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin, for employees to ride? Yep, and they’re SPECTACULAR. Every year, Trek generously invites NICA student athletes from around Wisconsin to celebrate the conclusion of the mountain bike season with a final race–the state champtionship. It’s always an awesome weekend, and this year was made even more fun with cool events Saturday night like a dance party, and a hidden juice bar with a DJ on the race course Sunday morning. Thanks so much to Trek!

Quarry Park Fest

At the end of each season, the Madison West mountain bike teams celebrate the season at the Quarry Park trails, taking a few laps before relaxing with food, friends, and coaches. Special thanks to the Hermit of Quarry Park for organizing this festive conclusion to the season!

The 2022 Season is Underway!

We’re having a great season so far, with so many fun practices, adventure rides at Camrock and Kettle Moraine, and races in Cable, Englewood Farms, Minooka Park, and Nordic Mountain. Check out some of our great photos!