Photo Credit: Rubber Down Photography

What Schools are part of the West Madison MTB Teams

Our group of schools includes Madison West/Memorial, Verona, Edgewood, Oregon and Belleville as well as the associated middle schools which feed into these high schools as well as other private schools in this area. If your student does not attend one of these schools, then you can check the Wisconsin league MTB website for information on the team that is right for your interested athlete. (you can also contact a coach to help get you to the right team).

What is NICA? What is Wisconsin MTB?

NICA is the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. NICA is the national organization that helps to create great infrastructure around insurance, training, racing, practices and so much more for our local teams. You can learn more about NICA here.

When do we practice (and where)?

Wisconsin Mountain Biking is a fall sport, staring the first week of July and ending with a fun ride after the last race. Practices are Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:30 – 6:30 PM. Early season practices in July are at West High School for a few weeks until we are ready to ride trails. We are truly lucky to have two great mountain bike trails located off of a bike path so most riders are able to ride with the team to practice.

When we are on the trails, athletes can choose to meet at West High School or Verona Parn-n-Ride. Students meeting at West High School roll out at 4:30pm along the southwest commuter bike trail heading south. Students who live near Verona meet at 4:30pm at the park and ride near highway M / Military Ridge and ride north on the southwest commuter trail. All athletes and coaches meet by 5:00 PM at the grass behind U-Haul and ride in 8-10 person ride groups with at least 2 coaches until approximately 6:00 PM. Athletes are back at West or Verona meeting spots by 6:30pm. Athletes that can ride home from the trails must check out with a coach when they leave practice.

How old do you have to be to join the team?

Students entering 6th – 12th grade in the fall can join the team.

Can I miss practice?

Yep. A head’s up to your coach is appreciated.

How big is the team?

In the 2019 season we had 100 athletes and 55 coaches/parent volunteers from all of our teams (Madison West/Memorial, Edgewood, Verona, Belleville and Oregon). We had 20 female athletes and 12 female coaches (we hope to have equal m/f ratios over time).

How do I learn how to ride trails safely?

Early season practice (first 2-3 weeks) is all done on the grass near West High School. This is a great time to review key bike handling skills as well as learn new ones. We practice in groups on the grass so we can all learn the fundamentals of safely riding a bike before we head to the trails. Many of the skills we practice are via games.

We also spend 1-2 practices learning bike path etiquette. Riding to the trails with 50 new mountain bike riders is one of the biggest safety challenges we face!

Wisconsin MTB is the local Wisconsin NICA league. There are now NICA leagues in nearly every state. Wisconsin MTB runs all of the races, provides local coach training and certification. You can learn more about Wisconsin MTB here.

How much does it cost?

The total fees to join the team are $165 which includes $100 team fee, $40 Wisconsin League fee and $25 NICA (national organization fee). Wisconsin League and NICA fees are paid via Pitzone during registration. The $100 team fees are paid via PayPal or check (payable to ‘West Madison NICA MTB Teams’) directly to the head coach or team director. Scholarships are available – just ask.

Do I need a $3,000 mountain bike race machine to join this team?

Nope.

Through a partnership with Dream Bikes, athletes can rent a bike for the season. Local Bike shops are a great local resource for getting fitted on a bike as well and are very supportive of the NICA teams. Bike scholarships are available for rentals!

Can Parents Ride at Practice?

Signing up as a parent is a simple process involving a background check, watching a concussion and risk management video (and a short quiz). Then you can ride with the team all year and even help with the team pre-ride at races if you’d like.

With numbers expecting to reach 100+ this year, we absolutely need parents to help out at practices. We are looking for a variety of skill levels so even if you are relatively new to mountain biking but love being around bikes and have lots of positive energy, we would welcome you. Please drop us a line.

Parents after completing the above training are considered “Level 1” coaches. Note that we ask Coaches to pay for their own background check and coach registration fee. Coach Scholarships are available!

Racing is a separate fee and is either $40/race or you can purchase a bundle pack of all races for a discount. Scholarships are available! Money shouldn’t be a barrier to having a blast on bikes.

Do I have to race?

Nope. We encourage athletes to join the MTB weekend and cheer on their teammates as well as pre-ride the course with the team. Camping, friendships and fun are big and important elements of of MTB racing.

Where are the races?

The races schedule does change from year to year. In the last few years we have raced in Waukesha, Eau Claire, Mt. Morris and Wausau. Our State Final is held at Trek Trails in Waterloo, WI.

I’m an enthusiastic lover of bikes, can I still help the team?

Absolutely! We have many humans who help at practice or take on a volunteer roles with the team. We are also looking for sustaining financial backers to help with scholarships so money isn’t a barrier to riding or being on the team. Contact us for more information!

How can I contact a coach?

Didn’t find what you are looking for here? Drop us a line.