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National High School Leagues Take Another Step

The goal of establishing high school mountain bike leagues across the country took another step recently when the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) became an offical non-profit group.

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The NICA board of directors
Gary Boulanger, president
Ben Capron, vice-president (Specialized Bicycle Components)
Trevor Thorpe, secretary (Thorpe Law)
Tom Zirbes, treasurer (North Star Resource Group, SCG)
Forrest Arakawa (
David Curtis (Curtis Design, San Rafael Bulldogs – high school MTB racing team)
Sara Ecclesine (Sidi USA)
Gary Fisher (Trek Bicycles)
Mary Monroe (Trails 2000)
Eric Russell (Clif Bar & Company)
Kozo Shimano (NICA Trailblazer)
Dave Wiens (Topeak-Ergon Racing Team)

In a meeting of the USA’s fully-established high school cycling leagues, directors from NICA and the NorCal and SoCal High School Cycling Leagues met on June 27 and approved a governance model for the association’s chapters.

NICA is now an incorporated 501(c)(3) organization with bylaws, a board of directors, and a participatory process for governing state leagues.

“We spent 10 years creating the model with the NorCal League, and we would not be in the position we’re in now without the vision and dedication of the NorCal board,” said Matt Fritzinger. NICA executive director. “The national foundation is strong, the NICA board contains a wide range of highly relevant talent and experience, and we have tremendous support from our sponsors. It’s hard to imagine a better start.”

To assist with chapter governance, an advisory board will be set up comprising two members of each state league: a board member and the executive director. This board will advise the NICA directors on NICA league policy matters.

“As a service organization, we need a governance structure that involves direct input from our state league chapters,” said Fritzinger, who founded the NorCal League and remains its executive director until Aug. 1 when he transitions entirely to directing NICA. At that point, Vanessa Hauswald will take over at NorCal.

Fritzinger will shift to supporting existing leagues and building new programs in other states, starting with Colorado and then other states that are currently vying to be among the next NICA project leagues.

NICA is the National Governing Body for grades 9-12 interscholastic mountain biking. NICA was established 2009 with funding from the national founding sponsor, Specialized Bicycle Components, as well as establishing partners, Easton Foundations, SRAM and Trek Bicycles. Other sponsors include Clif Bar & Company, Creation Engine, GU Sports, IMBA, Primal Wear, Shimano, Mellow Johnny’s, CamelBak, Dirt Rag, Feedback Sports, Fort Lewis College, and Mountain Bike Action. The aim of NICA is to foster the development of high quality competitive cross-country mountain biking programming for high school aged athletes. NICA provides leadership, governance and program support