For our 2021, season we will continue to follow all COVID safety precautions. Our practices start July 6, and the season will include some racing and adventure ride options. See below for more details!
Pre-Season Events (May/June)
May 2021: Try It Out Events throughout the Madison area
May 4, 2021, 7pm: New Athlete/Family Information Meeting – West Madison NICA Teams
Meeting ID: 882 0544 8405
Sunday June 6: Intro to GRiT & NICA Clinic (specifically for girls and female-identifying students)
Wisconsin Mountain Biking is a summer-fall sport, starting the first week of July and ending near the end of October. Practice times and locations vary based on the school you attend.
- Students in the West High School district meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:30 – 6:30 PM.
- Students in the Memorial, Verona, Oregon, Belleville and New Glarus school districts meet Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:30-6:30 PM.
Early season practices start July 6 this year, and are held at local schools or parks (exact locations for 2021 TBD) for a few weeks, until all riders have practiced the skills needed to safely ride trails. We are fortunate to have two great mountain bike trail systems located off of bicycle commuter paths, so most riders are able to ride with the team to practice.
Adventure Rides (July-October)
Adventure rides are fun rides that can include scavenger hunts on bikes, exploring new trails, or even overnight camping trips to destinations further afield. The goals are to have FUN, support riders in developing confidence and new skills, and provide opportunities for non-racers to experience trails in new ways.
Although this is still a developing part of our program, we hope to offer several opportunities for adventure rides throughout the season. These can be half-day or full-day trips or overnights!
Coaches will provide more details as we get into the season.
Girls Riding Together (GRiT)
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!
We welcome and encourage female and female-identifying riders (student athletes and potential coaches) to check us out, whether you are a complete novice or an experienced rider! We welcome riders of all abilities and do everything we can to create a team and practice environment that is supportive of our female riders.
Sunday June 6: Intro to GRiT & NICA Clinic (girls only)
Summer/Fall Adventure Camps and Weekends
July 16-18: WI League Adventure Camp @ Mt. Ashwabay (registration TBA)
August 28 & 29: WI League Adventure Weekend @ 9 Mile (registration TBA)
Sept 17-19: WI League Adventure Camp @ Hayward (registration TBA)
Race Schedule (September-October)
- 2021 RACE #1. Sept. 11-12. Minooka Park. Waukesha, WI.
- 2021 RACE #2. Sept. 25-26. Lowes Creek. Eau Claire, WI.
- 2021 RACE #3. Oct. 2-3. Nine Mile Rec Area. Wausau, WI.
- 2021 RACE #4. Oct. 16-17. Nordic Mountain. Mt. Morris, WI.
- 2021 RACE #5. Oct. 23-24. Trek Trails. Waterloo, WI.
What does a race weekend look like?
Each race weekend is composed of a pre-ride on Saturday with racing on Sunday.
The race course opens up on Saturday afternoon for athletes to come and pre-ride the race course. Although this can be done any time the course is open, as a team, we coordinate a pre-ride, so that coaches can ride with the athletes, discuss challenging areas, and develop a race plan (where they can pass, what are the slow sections vs. the fast sections). Pre-riding is a great tool for anyone who is nervous about racing.
Sunday is our big race day. The morning starts with the middle school boys’ race. As with all the grade levels, athletes are grouped according to age. Each age group then has “waves” of riders. These waves ensure that no one group is too crowded at the starting line.
After the middle school boys, it’s the girls’ race. All the girls race during the same time frame, in waves and heats according to age, with the 6th grade girls starting off.
After the girls’ races, the day proceeds with Boys JV1, Boys JV2, and Varsity.
The award ceremony is the finale of the weekend.
Many riders stay for some portion of the day after their race, but we understand that weekends go by quickly, and there are other things to attend to! We sometimes have the option to camp at the race venue, which can be a lot of fun.
We encourage you to participate in race weekends in the way that works best for your family. We are a family-oriented team and we respect and understand that each rider and family needs to make their own choices.