Sunday, June 6 was our second annual Try-it-Out Event for our GRiT/NICA program. It was an AMAZING day! We had over 50 girls participating. We ran 2 sessions that included learning basic skills, riding Roller Coaster and Twist and Shout, and a fun raffle. Thank you to Blackhawk for all their support and for opening their trails to us! Shout out to Erik’s, Machinery Row, Budget, West Madison MTB Team, and Coach Mindy for providing raffle prizes! And shout out to Dreambikes and Matt Martinez for bringing his fleet of rental bikes for us to loan out to girls who needed a bike! HUGE power clap to Coach Kristin for her awesome organizational skills, her outreach, and most of all her energy for making this event happen! Thank you, Kristin!! Tons of coach help made this day successful: Thanks to Coach Stella, Coach Nikki, Coach Nancy, Coach Michelle, Coach Melissa, Coach Grace, Coach Brooke, Coach Mindy, Coach BJ, Coach Heidi, and Coach Patty. Thanks also to our inspiring riders who make all the difference: Opal, Sarah, Maddie W, Maddie S, Emily, Lily, Anja, and Tess. YOU GIRLS ROCK!! Here’s a link to the coverage from Channel 3 News: ‘GRiT’ event gives Dane County girls a chance to learn mountain biking skills.
You may be ready to ride, but is your bike? NICA coaches and Dreambikes staff will be at the Quarry Ridge Shelter to do quick bike checks and small repairs. Sign up here for a time slot to get your athlete’s bike looked over before the season begins. Suggested donation per bike is $5-10. All proceeds will go to Dreambikes. New riders to the team are highly encouraged to get their bikes checked either at this event or at a local bike shop prior to practice starting.
- Join us June 6 at Blackhawk from 12-2pm OR 2:30-4:30pm for a GRiT try-it-out event!
Do you have a female-identifying friend who is interested in joining the team, but may be new to MTB and wants to try it out first? We welcome new and current female-identifying coaches and riders to join us! New riders, please use this sign up link. No need to sign up if you are already on the team and have a Blackhawk membership.
Join the Wisconsin League’s GRiT Ride on Sunday, May 16, at Hartman Creek! The ride is FREE and open to all female-identifying riders and coaches! Angela Brooks, our new WI GRiT coordinator, has posted an eventbrite sign-up for the Sunday ride and is asking interested girls to sign up, so that she knows she has enough coaches to lead and sweep rides that day.
Sign up and get more information here!
Topic: New Athlete/Family Information Meeting – West Madison NICA Teams
Time: May 4, 2021 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 882 0544 8405
Even during a global pandemic the 2020 season was our largest year yet, with approximately 130 riders from 6th-12th grade participating. We’re gearing up again for our 2021 season. Stay tuned for updates on May Try it Out events.
Practice will begin July 5, starting with bike skills sessions and building up to trail riding after mastering (or reviewing) the basics.
We encourage new riders and parents who are interested in learning more about the team to sign up here for more information.
Last fall, the NICA Wisconsin League hosted an essay contest for student athletes to describe how mountain biking has made an impact on them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s an excerpt from one of our students essays:
Thanks to the dedication of our coaches and parent volunteers, and the patience and positivity of our student athletes, our mountain bike team had a great 2020 season. Rather than racing and riding as a whole team like we have in the past, we tried new things. We formed small pods of athletes in similar grades and at similar skill levels, with several coaches per pod. Our pods met to ride to practice at area mountain bike trails. We also piloted a new idea that was so successful and popular, we’re making it an integral part of our team: adventure rides! Pods met at mountain bike trails throughout the Madison area and beyond to ride on dirt together for a morning or afternoon. We look forward to using the great ideas that emerged from our “pandemic season” and getting more kids on bikes to join us this year!
The Girls Riding Together (GRiT) initiative is an effort by the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) to recruit and retain more girls and female coaches in NICA programs. The goal of the NICA GRiT initiative is to increase the overall participation rate to 33% female riders (coaches and student-athletes each) by 2023. #moregirlsonbikes!
Stay tuned for updates on our GRiT programs for 2021!
Check out this great video of the 2018 WI MTB State Championship. We are SO LUCKY to have Trek in our home state (and as a major sponsor for NICA in general). The video gives a great overview of what a race weekend looks like. Keep an eye out for West MTB Head Coach Mike McGarry and riders Lily, Opal and Jake giving interviews. Cameos by the ghostbusters, bacon, biggest cowbell ever and so much more….