Steve Matous resigned
as the president of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) at the end of November and the organization announced that he would be temporarily replaced by then Vice President of Programs, Amanda Carey.
Now, NICA has officially named Carey its new president. Carey has been involved with NICA since 2015 and the NICA Board says that Carey was unanimously selected after a nationwide search.
|I am honored for the opportunity to lead NICA as we continue the work to support our growing number of leagues across the United States and to get even more kids on bikes. Like NICA itself, I started at the local level and my passion for this sport continues to grow just as our leagues and dedication have grown as well. I’m looking forward to working together with our leagues, our national team, and the thousands of student-athletes, coaches and families to remain mission-focused.—Amanda Carey|
Carey started her local Teton Valley Composite Team in 2015 as part of NICA’s Idaho League and joined the NICA National Team in 2017, serving as Coach Licensing Manager, GRiT Program Manager and, most recently, Vice President of Programming. She is an Idaho League Coach Supporter and a Level 3 Coach. She has also served as the Team Director and Head Coach of Teton Valley Composite, and as the Executive Director of the IMBA Chapter, Mountain Bike the Tetons.
|Amanda is the ideal choice to lead NICA at this time as the organization looks to its next stage of growth and development. She brings experience and enthusiasm to the role with a strong focus on NICA’s core mission, vision and values and on servicing NICA’s leagues to get even #MoreKidsOnBikes.—NICA Board Chair Bob Burns|
Carey has a B.A. in Political Science from Colorado College and a M.S. in Sports Psychology from Capella University. Prior to her time at NICA, Carey held multiple positions in non-profit organizations including time as both a development director and executive director with different cycling and trail advocacy organizations.
Carey also brings with her many years as a professional mountain bike and cyclocross racer, winning the Breck Epic, Trans-Sylvania Epic and Iceman Cometh races multiple times. She is based in Victor, Idaho, where she continues to coach.
|Having served as NICA’s President for nearly eight years, during which I had the pleasure of working with Amanda, I can emphatically state that she is a great choice as the organization’s new leader. Her extensive history as a successful athlete, high school mountain bike coach in Idaho, trail advocate and team builder will serve NICA well; I can’t think of a better person for the position. NICA is in good hands and I look forward to seeing the organization continue to grow, diversify, and expand opportunities for communities across America to experience the benefits of cycling and youth engagement under the mentorship of trained coaches.—Austin McInerny, NICA Advisory Council Chair (2019-present); NICA President (2012-2019); NorCal League Board Member (2006-2011); Berkeley High School MTB Team Coach (2004-2012)|
|On behalf of the student-athletes, families, coaches, staff, and board of directors of the NorCal Interscholastic Cycling League, I am thrilled to welcome Amanda to her new role as NICA President. I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Amanda on many projects over the years and have consistently been struck by her incredible interpersonal skills, stellar project management, and creative problem-solving abilities. Her depth of knowledge of the inner workings at the team and league levels make her uniquely suited to run NICA. We could not be more excited to move forward with Amanda at the helm.—Vanessa Hauswald, NICA Board Member elect (2022); NorCal League Executive Director (2009-current); NorCal League board member (2005-2009); Casa Grande High School MTB Team Co-Founder and Co-Coach (2003-2010)|
The idea of a "feed zone" was alien to us coming from the gravity side of racing. My son brought a honeybun for his first race and yelled, "honeybun me!" as he approached the coach in the feed zone. He stuffed the entire pastry in one bite...dang I miss that kid. He's in the army now across the country in NY.
For a while before NICA he spoke of anything with any real uphill with disdain as "enduro" after riding perhaps a bit too much park to start out. NICA now has him interested in up and down and enjoying "enduro" rides with Dad.
But I agree. An enduro option or even more technical XC racing would be great and more in his line of interest. On the flip side we also saw a few kids flown out by helicopter this year after injuries, so there would perhaps need be some type of gatekeeping and balance.
@ggladstone: It wasn't just that one instance, and maybe I'm jaded from racing DH for so many years where it's all about having a good time with obnoxious cheering sections, but my son decided not to race the next year because he said everyone was so "stiff." He mentioned one section in a race where there was finally an opportunity to pass during the descent through a rock garden in practice but by race time they had blocked off the more advanced, but faster, line. I guess it's hard to adjust to the overly-serious calculated XC/Road culture when he's been racing bmx/dh/ds and dirt jumping since he was 5.
Kids get hurt in sports. I was a coach and roving EMT for the races and dealt with a few injuries that required time off the bike, but If we're going to sanitize a course and turn it into a road race with some dust out of fear of a boo-boo then why bother? No one is saying that the racers MUST boost the natural jumps in the course but don't penalize them if they're skilled enough to do it at race speed and maybe put some fun into a sport that is usually just a competition of who can pedal up the hill the fastest.
I race for NICA and I get annoyed bc they won’t put features into the race. Like they will take out a downhills bc they r “too difficult” for riders
I’ve watched my own son transform as a result of NICA. He’s gone from anxious, and depressed to confident and poised. He’s healthier and happier. He’s done soccer, martial arts, skiing, and par cours, but none have had the impact of NICA.
As another commenter mentions elsewhere, have you been to a BMX or motocross race with kids? ALL of them are jumping or at least attempting to. If kid A cannot/does not have the skills to jump, fine. However, if kid B does have those skills, NICA has no business squelching that. I am not saying set up a BMX course in the middle of an XC race. However, almost everyone I know attached to NICA comments on the agonizingly boring toned down courses. If average Joe can sign up for a local XC that includes jumps and technical sections, so can teens who often are in better condition. Have you see Baseball, American Football, and even Basketball? Plenty of injuries every singe year.
I applaud your son's growth in confidence in the sport and you backing him as a father. However, the kid above jumping a natural hip in NO way reduces the positive you son experiences by doing so. Are all the coaches/marshals lame? Of course not. That said, the NICA org itself has repressive 'rules' that are childish at best.
So yeah, this organization needs to change with the times and also appeal to progressing riders by making available DH and enduro formats. There are lots of kids and adults who don't want to race uphill and are more attracted to the style of riding and equipment of gravity oriented competition.
This is all coming from the Wisconsin division, so I don’t speak for all NICA groups. I’ve had so many good memories, even if it’s not my favorite, i really enjoy them anyways.
I remember Level 1 coach training taking about 2.5 hours or so. If a coach just wants to do the bare minimum, they can stay at Level 1 forever. If they want to improve as a coach and mentor, they can choose to take more trainings and increase their coach level.
I think if you want to do some more techy XC races you should look for local xc races, i know in utah we have midweek and icup but there are USAC events that happen and i think its just a matter of finding out whats around you.
I respect anyone coaching kids and providing an active outlet. However, NICA just seems repressive and anti-bike riding skills
My son would be bored stiff if someone told him he couldn’t jump or take advanced lines. Guess we won’t be doing NICA when he’s in high school.
Tell me, what happens when someone is in the landing of a jump, and your cooking in, and smack into them. They limit risk for a reason.
Not many NICA divisions have the rules against wheels leaving the ground at this point anyways. My final point being is that by making the courses more suited to the more advanced, it really discludes a lot of younger people.
"Founded in 2009, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) develops interscholastic mountain biking programs for student-athletes across the United States."
But during a race, or practice:
Any NICA coach, Pop Warner coach, or T Ball coach, will tell you: The most obnoxious riders always have the obnoxious douchedaddies with the backwards Fox Hat (or Raiders Cap, or Dodgers hat), complaining about their little Timmay not being allowed to send it, or spike the ball, or cleat the catcher DURING THE GAME.
It does seem here there is some misunderstanding of what NICA is. Part of that might be the expectation that it should be everything to everybody. NICA is not a substitute USAC. It is not even a “race organization”, although there is racing. NICA should be considered a framework or structure in which states and then community school groups can build biking programs. The power to do this comes from the love of parents for their kids, but really, it is from the love for everyone’s kids. In a nutshell, NICA is the parent along on the ride, with all that brings. Done well, NICA programs provide a place for kids to make friends with other kids around the sport of cycling. Done well, NICA is a place for kids to “fall in love with cycling”.
NICA: There might be a scratch in little Timmy! Better shut it down and pave the course!
I don’t know about all of you other parents but i try to help introduce my kids to the type of trails and riding that are found in the mountains where we live. The result is they have learned how to be well rounded riders with strong technical skills by a young age. If I told asked them to join a league where they couldn’t go too fast, jump, or take challenging lines they’d be over it so fast.