MISSION: We build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling.
VISION: Every youth is empowered to be part of a thriving and engaged cycling community.
FUN - NICA inspires friendship, joy, and adventure.
INCLUSIVITY - NICA believes everyone should be able to participate in our programs and feel welcomed, respected, and supported.
EQUITY - NICA is committed to fair treatment, equal access, opportunity, advancement, and elimination of barriers to encourage participation for all.
RESPECT - NICA expects consideration for all others, oneself, and the outdoors.
- COMMUNITY - NICA unites diverse people, families, and communities through cycling by creating fun and welcoming experiences.
Greetings NICA Community -
Thank you for your continued support of our student-athletes, teams and leagues in this unprecedented year. We are inspired by and grateful for the way the entire NICA community has come together to find new and innovative ways to carry out our mission to build strong minds, bodies, character and community through cycling, even in a pandemic.
Although NICA events were limited in 2020, our community continued to thrive and grow. We saw a 15% growth in registered NICA Coaches and an 11% growth in student-athletes.
Many leagues were unable to hold standard weekend events; in response, our creative and dedicated League Directors, coaches, volunteers and staff found ways to provide meaningful and engaging outdoor activity opportunities, along with much-needed social connections and stress relief, to our student-athletes. NICA teams and leagues held Adventure and GRiT rides, weekend time trials, and Teen Trail Corps activities.
This fall, “Foot down, mask up!” was the rallying call that enabled some of our leagues to hold races and provide a welcome sense of normalcy for our student-athletes, coaches, volunteers and families. All activities were held in accordance with local government and health department guidelines to ensure the safety of all participants.
This annual report highlights the many ways that NICA was able to pivot and provide valuable services and activities to our community, in continued fulfillment of our mission.
On April 29, 2020, NICA received proceeds to fund payroll, rent and utilities through the Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP Loan”) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without these funds, along with the cancellation of most National and League events during the time period, we would have been challenged to operate. Additionally, many of the organization’s grantors released their normal grant restrictions during the year so that we could allocate those funds to areas most critical to continuing general operations.
We are grateful to all of our generous sponsors and partners who supported us through the early, uncertain days of the pandemic. In recognition of the circumstances, many provided crucial funding flexibility, enabling us to not only continue operations, but also to develop new and innovative ways to safely engage with our community.
Since NICA’s inception, we have been guided by our values of inclusivity, equity, respect and community. We stand with all who share in these values and do not tolerate hate, racism or discrimination in any of our activities. This past year also amplified the significant issues of discrimination and inequity facing our country. In light of this, we are reinforcing our commitment to inclusivity, equity and diversity across NICA, and we are continuing our work with diversity and inclusion expert, Risha Grant, to create an environment where all members of our community feel welcomed, valued and included.
We now look to 2021 with an energized sense of hope and community. While 2020 proved challenging in many ways, it was the ability to ride and safely spend time in the outdoors that provided a welcome relief and sense of normalcy for our community. One of NICA’s core values is community, and that was extremely evident this past year. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our community as we work to get #morekidsonbikes and build strong minds, bodies, character and communities through cycling.
Susan Helm-Murtagh, NICA Board Chair
Steve Matous, NICA President
Stories from the Year
Expanding Our Reach
Even during the pandemic, new leagues launched in Florida, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina; and student-athlete and coach participation increased 11 percent and 15 percent, respectively, from 2019. Congrats to the Florida League for a successful inaugural season opener in March! And we were super stoked that the Indiana League hosted its inaugural race in September. Across NICA, all gatherings were held in accordance with state and local health department regulation.
Adapting and Innovating
The suspension of in-person activities was an opportunity for us to find new ways to connect coaches and student-athletes across the country. While many in-person NICA league Leaders’ Summits were cancelled, our Coach Licensing team quickly pivoted to offer a full slate of online virtual Leaders’ Summits. GRiT went virtual, too, as female student-athletes and coaches came together in national and regional online gatherings to share strategies, stories, and successes of getting #moregirlsonbikes!
Getting Out in Our Communities
Due to Covid, many NICA teams and leagues limited activities primarily to practice and fun rides in their communities. For the Patterson Park Composite, from the Maryland League, the urban park nicknamed "Best Backyard in Baltimore" provided an amazing space and varied terrain to keep things interesting and Covid safe. Pictured are members of the team visiting a Black Lives Matter exhibit displayed in the park where they practice.
Working with local health guidance, it was still possible for many teams and coaches to have fun with NICA Adventure. Examples from around the country: In October, the Galena MTB in the Nevada League had an Adventure weekend in Black Rock Desert (pictured). In August, Wisconsin League coaches participated in an Adventure training weekend to help them envision how to create adventure activities for their teams. The Pennsylvania League hosted an end-of-season Adventure event where student-athletes and coaches had the opportunity to design their own course to challenge themselves and have fun!
Increasing Trail Advocacy and Access
Around the country we were excited by all of the new trails being built and planned in 2020 to increase access for NICA student-athletes and their families in communities like Lebanon and Terra Haute, IN, Shakopee, MN, and Florence, SC. Lebanon and NICA announced a partnership to develop a world class bike venue, the Stone Eater Bike Park. Thanks in large part to efforts by our West Virginia League, two new trails opened in state parks (pictured), with funding by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.
Voices from Our Community
“Being involved with the SoCal League and NICA as a parent, team director, and coach has been a blessing. I love to ride with and coach student-athletes at all different levels. They each have their own story, challenges, personality, and personal growth path, and I am privileged to be a part of their biking journey. I believe that with Covid, NICA offered an invaluable program providing a safe outdoor activity to stay connected with people, exercise, and get outdoors which is just as good for our mental health as it is for our heart health. I have a passion for getting more kids on bikes, creating a biking community, and will support this organization for as long as I can. ”
“Learning to ride with Mukwonago Composite freed me from fears surrounding the pandemic because it took my focus off the media and I was able to put new focus on the skills it takes to ride the local trails. My team and coaches like me for who I am, and I think I found a place I really belong. I am proud to be a NICA athlete with the Wisconsin League, wear my uniform and grow in this new sport. ”
“The bicycle provides so many things. It builds strong bodies, strong minds and strong character. And in 2020 that two wheeled wonder provided a chance to enjoy something that resembled normal. Sure, the event formats changed, we worked in pods and there were a ton of new policies and procedures - but that time spent riding a bike at practice or at events, it was an opportunity for our student-athletes to just be kids and have fun despite everything else going on in the world. It wasn't the year that we had hoped for, but we are so thankful we had the opportunity to ride our bikes.”
NICA by the Numbers
2020 National Sponsors
2020 Corporate Booster Club
Filmed by Bike
Thanks to our National Supporters
Jim and Cathy Haagen-Smit
Donald and Elena Hunt
Timothy and Amy Louis
Austin McInerny and Celeste McCartney
Muffy L Ritz
Kristine E Urrutia
Brian J Zeilinger
Anonymous x 1
Al and Cheri Baumann
John and Tania Burke
Cyrus Brennen Christensen
Dino and Barbara Ciarlo
Peter Fredrick Crossno
Joseph R DiStefano
Daniel James Dyer
Narciso H Espinosa
Beth Pride Ford
Stephen Dey and Ashley Gibb
Roger Francis Harrison
Matt T Hedges
Thomas E Kottke
Andrew Franklin Lee
William D Mattson
Amy M Pesa
Ben & Sarah Raby
Ken Jones and Rebecca Ratcliff
Jessie Michael Simms
Andrew & Jen Spain
Robert Mark Stumpus
Wendy and John Taylor
Charlotte D Unger
Timothy D Yerkes
Anonymous: SBT GRVL 2020 (172)
Anonymous: Crusher in the Tushar (17)
Anonymous: Leadville 100 (1)
Anonymous: Benevity (7)
Anonymous: YourCause (5)
Anonymous: United Way (1)
Anonymous: Cybergrants (1)
Corporate and Nonprofit
Arthur J Foundation
Be Good Foundation
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
Bright Funds Foundation
Charities Aid Foundation of America
Health Care Service Corporation
Industry Nine Wheels
JustGive - Great Nonprofits
Life Time Fitness
MontGo, LLC; CrankTank
Morgan Stanley Gift Fund
Network for Good
Paragon Machine Works Inc
PayPal Giving Fund
Phillips 66 Corporate
S & P Global
Spur Community Foundation
The Benevity Community Impact Fund
United Way California Capital Region
Nonprofit and In-Kind Partners
CrashCourse by TeachAids
Positive Coaching Alliance
University of Utah
Western Spirit Cycling Adventures
2020 NICA Management Team
Susan Helm-Murtagh, Chair
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health
Jerry Pomije, Vice Chair
President, Q Enterprises, and Executive Vice President, Quality Bicycle Products, Inc.
Timothy P. Rogers, Treasurer
Chief Financial Officer, Continental Automotive, Inc. and Continental Tire the Americas, LLC
Robert Burns, Secretary
Vice President and Senior Legal Officer, Trek Bicycle Corporation
Managing General Agent, Bicycle Shop Retail Insurance Program, Marsh & McLennan Agency
Attorney, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP
Senior Vice President of Sales, DKS Technology, and League Director, Minnesota High School Cycling League
Vice President of Human Resources, Lutheran Home & Harwood Place
Executive Director, Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League
Director of Sales, Clif Bar & Company
Senior Vice President of Media and Events, Life Time
Owner, Fluxx Collective
Steve Matous, President
Amanda Carey, Vice President of Programs
Lauren Haughey, Vice President Finance and Administration
Kristine Urrutia, Vice President of Development and Strategic Partnerships