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NICA teams in Missouri and Maryland partnered with local IMBA chapters to bring new riders into the fold in 2023

Photo courtesy Comet Creations & the Maryland Interscholastic Cycling League

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day and NICA are a natural fit. NICA’s vision is that every youth is empowered to be part of a thriving and engaged cycling community and Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day seeks to introduce the joy of mountain biking to the next generation.

MORE kids on bikes in Maryland

Mid Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE) and the Maryland Interscholastic Cycling League threw a combined event at the Windy Ridge trail system in Mt. Airy, Maryland. The goal was simple: get kids, families, local trail liaisons, and NICA coaches together to play bikes, work on trails, and build community. It worked! 

The day consisted of learning about trail building tools, a lesson on how to build sustainable trails, a trail building session where kids were able to help create a new bench cut section of trail, lunch, a trail ride, and trunk or treating!. This was all organized with the support of the Maryland League, MORE, and the local NICA Linganore Mountain Bike Team. 

The Windy Ridge trail system was inspired by the need for more trails close to where people live and the Linganore Mountain Bike Team. Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day and NICA partnerships with local IMBA chapters can really inspire and/or reinvigorate relationships with land managers. Getting kids and families out to work on trails is an easy win for NICA, IMBA, and communities. 

Photos courtesy Comet Creation and the Maryland Interscholastic Cycling League

Making memories in Missouri

The Missouri Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) hosted a Take a Kid Mountain Biking  event in conjunction with the Missouri Interscholastic Cycling League as well. MORC hosted their event at the same venue and the same weekend as the Missouri NICA race at Two Rivers Bike Park in Highlandville, MO. While Missouri NICA athletes and coaches were pre-riding the race course, MORC hosted an event for younger siblings, parents, and athletes that hadn’t found NICA yet. MORC taught some skills to the younger riders, introduced them to trail building and trail work, and led rides at Two Rivers Bike Park..  


Anna Sweeley, a level 3 coach and parent with the Mid County Composite team in St. Louis, raved about what the Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day event added to the Missouri race. “The race weekend at Two Rivers Bike park was even more fun with lots of positive energy thanks to the Take a Kid MTB Day by MORC! My two younger kids were able to attend an encouraging skills class where all abilities and kids too young for NICA were welcomed. Having the two events together let my family have a positive family friendly activity to keep us busy while also inspiring a new generation of mountain bikers! We look forward to the next event!” 

Jessica Ball, a level 1 coach and parent form the West Plains Composite Team also loved the ability for younger siblings to see a place for themselves in NICA and in trail building. “TKMBD was amazing! Younger siblings of NICA athletes come to a lot of races and see these older kids riding. TKMBD gave these younger kids a chance to learn a few new skills and a chance to show what the future of NICA in Missouri is going to look like. Two Rivers Bike Park was a great place to host this event. We loved every minute of it! As both a parent and a coach who has been bringing along a younger sibling to all of the Missouri NICA events, this was a real treat!”

Both events supported younger athletes by providing a fun safe environment to experience mountain biking. They also provided a place for older NICA athletes to act as mentors and examples. The younger participants were able to see their near-future selves in the NICA athletes providing a pathway to the mountain bike community. 

We know that riding bikes is the best! When we come together as a community to celebrate the joy of riding bikes, building trails, and being together great things happen. 

NICA and IMBA would love to support more local chapters and NICA leagues to co-host Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day events in the future. 

The official Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day (TKMBD) is always the first Saturday in October and IMBA provides resources and SWAG for organizations that hold events. If that date doesn’t work for you and your community, you can schedule a TKMBD with your local IMBA chapter when it works best for you all.

NICA Partners like IMBA are enabling NICA to reinvent youth sports and engage families in a thriving cycling community, for life.