I became a volunteer coach once I registered my son to be a rider in 6th grade.
I love to witness the personal growth, the mastery of skills and friendships that are created after a brand new student-athlete joins the team!
The best part of coaching is the community and friendships that are formed!
Joining NICA was a life-changer. I didn’t know what to expect in the beginning, but I was hopeful that it would be a positive experience for my son. You see, our son had to work extra hard with many things when he was younger. We were always seeking out new experiences hoping to find a place where he felt he belonged. The youth mountain biking team turned out to be that thing! Our son Maddox finally found a place where he could be himself. He was able to participate as a team member on his level, make friends and lifelong memories, while challenging himself to overcome the obstacles he faced on the singletrack and off. He learned that there are adults and kids who will always cheer each other on! Whether it was a skill building game or his first race, there were smiling faces all around who were cheering for him!
Heather and her daughter Katie.
And that's the power of NICA!
NICA is a community that cheers each other on. No matter where you come from, no matter what team jersey you wear, people will cheer for you! It's a community that believes in one another. Whether a student-athlete sets their heart at racing or their soul prefers discovering new trails and adventuring, there’s a place for all.
Mountain biking continued to shape our lives. My husband Christian and I coach. My children; Katie and Maddox, ride for NICA. Our closest friends and their children are NICA members, (or soon will be)! NICA touches our lives everyday, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The race weekend at Gettysburg. We gather as a team and host a post-race team dinner at the campgrounds. Parents, families, coaches and athletes gather for a potluck, and tell race-day stories as they roast marshmallows over the fire. It's a great weekend, where memories on and off the singletrack are made.
Talk with your student-athletes, not at them.
Don’t let fear hold you back from trying something new, on the bike or off. Your life will hold countless possibilities!
On the path of life, you get to choose which “line” you will take along the way.
There will be cool surprises, tricky turns and seemingly impossible features to overcome, and you will navigate them all!
When in doubt of your ability to take on new challenges that seem too hard or too scary, instead of telling yourself “I can’t do that.”, get in the habit of telling yourself “I haven’t done this thing… yet”. Be open to growth and new adventures!
Don’t let fear hold you back from trying something new, on the bike or off. On the path of life, you get to choose which “line” you will take along the way.
I want to give a shout-out to every person who has ever touched our lives in the mountain biking community…but that would take up way too much space!
However, I do need to shout out to Carryn Purdon and John Sonnstedt whose friendship was the catalyst in our lives for all things bike related. They taught my husband Christian and I how to mountain bike in the first place! Since that summer 7 years ago, my husband and I have met some of the best people around!
Their friendship led us to mountain biking, which led us to racing in MASS, which lead us to joining NICA & the Great Valley MTB, which led us to co-found the Phoenixville Inferno MTB along with other amazing mountain bikers, which led to a dozen of us creating the nonprofit organization; “More Kids On Bikes”, which led to the creation of The Phoenixville Bike Park! WHICH is scheduled to open in June of 2023, which you can learn more about by visiting MoreKidsOnBikesPA.org!