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Meeting, NICA Style. Photo: Jason Gonsalves

July 2017

League Director’s  Welcome Aboard Message

Wow! What a journey it has been since Jason snapped this “over the shoulder” selfie back in February. The league crew had just met at Halter’s Cycles for a weekly meeting and ended with a ride along the canal path to eat lunch in Princeton. On the way back, Tom Kruse casually asked if I would be interested in leading the league. You can see Tom in this photo speaking to me, but you can’t quite see the shock or emotion I felt. So many questions; Where is Tom going? Could I dedicate the time needed to succeed? Is this right for my family? Learning that Tom planned to transition to Board President, ambitious excitement and a little fear of the unknown danced in my head.

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June 28, 2017

We did it, New Jersey, we put New Jersey on the NICA map with a BANG! A huge thank you to the amazing NJ Core Staff, our rock-star coaches and volunteers, and our inaugural season sponsors – without all of you we wouldn’t have been able to make this magic happen! And of course a big hurrah to you, our awesome student-athletes – you have made us proud through your athleticism, perseverance and sportsmanship, and have definitely made it all worthwhile!

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Vol.2 No. 6 – April 6, 2017

League Director’s Note

Schedule Change Overview

After our unfortunate cancellation last weekend, I’m stoked to report a slight rejiggering of our schedule to maximize the racing fun.

1. Race #1 is going ahead on April 23, but has been moved to Chester. This is in addition to the June 4th race, which will also take place in Chester.
2. Our race at Six Mile Run will be added to the end of our racing schedule, as Race #5 on June 11.

If you registered for the Wild West Windsor race, your registration has been moved to the April 23rd race: Wild West Chester.

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Vol.2 No. 5 – March 26, 2017

League Director’s Note

Let’s Make This Happen!

The day is almost here! Let the fun, racing and camaraderie begin. Most importantly, let’s make it a great experience for everyone involved. I can’t wait to see everyone out at Mercer County Park next weekend.

Below please find a few reminders pertaining to registration, mechanical issues during a race, safe passing and scoring rules.

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Vol.2 No.4 – March 21, 2017

League Director’s Note

Less than two weeks to go until our first race: Wild West Windsor on April 2nd. I must admit, I was a little worried a week ago today when the blizzard was raging outside, but Mercer County Park only got 3-4 inches of snow. I hiked the course yesterday and was psyched to see that the snow is well on it’s way to being melted, and the ground is drying up quickly. Let’s all channel warm temps and no more snow over the next 12 days!

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Vol.2 No. 3 – March 13, 2017

League Director’s Note

In just under 3 weeks we will make history in New Jersey with the first interscholastic middle and high school mountain bike race in the Garden State. My excitement, anticipation, and appreciation for this day continues to grow. Check out this recent story about the NJ NICA league on NJ.com! I also heard that News 12 NJ might be at our first race, camera crew and all – it’s gonna be a blast! I look forward to meeting you, or seeing you again, on race day.

Below please find important information. Keep up the good work and I will see you soon. And don’t worry about that impending blizzard, I have it on good authority that April 2nd will be a gorgeous spring day. Stay warm and be safe out there.

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Vol.2 No. 2 – February 26, 2017

League Director’s Note

Winter is winding down, practices are in full swing and there are exactly five weeks until the first race of our 2017 season.

Dust off those cowbells – the New Jersey League’s inaugural season is almost here!

I am so proud of the efforts underway by our students-athletes, coaches, parents, staff and volunteers making this all happen. We’re already at 166 “Race Ready” racers, with many more just a few clicks away from that status. I’m cautiously optimistic we’ll reach 200 student-athletes by our first race! WOW!

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Vol.2 No. 1 – February 9, 2017

League Director’s Note

Less than two months to go until our first race, ARE YOU STOKED? We sure hope you are, I know I speak for the entire League Core Crew when I tell you that we are beyond stoked.

I continue to be amazed and humbled by the flurry of activity that we have inspired by bringing NICA to New Jersey! Our teams are holding practices, recruiting community sponsors and finalizing their jersey designs; the League Core Crew is building out our trailer, getting to know our timing system, designing tents and leaders’ jerseys, testing radios, cutting Schedule 80 piping (you’ll see why at our first race), finalizing insurance and permits, and that’s just this week. We have over 250 potential racers who have been invited into our Pitzone registration system by our coaches, and close to 150 of you have paid your dues and are “Race Ready” (more on what that means below).

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Vol. 1 No. 7 – December 2016

League Director’s Note

Welcome to the New Jersey NICA League. For many readers of this Newsletter, this is your introduction to the NJ Interscholastic Cycling League. The NJICL Core Crew is stoked to have you on board as a student-athlete, coach, parent or volunteer in this, our inaugural season.

It is inspiring to see many teams already out in the woods on bikes, training indoors, or attending bike-repair workshops. After a couple years’ background work, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and endless conference calls, it is super-rewarding to see everything coming together, and for things finally to be getting real! As of today, we have 135 registered student-athletes, with 85 registered coaches, on 16 teams. We are well on our way to exceeding our Year One goal of 150 student-athletes. We couldn’t ask for a better holiday present.

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Vol. 1 No. 5 – October 2016

League Director’s Note

We just wrapped up our inaugural Leaders’ Summit two weekends ago, and it was an amazing experience – I described it on Facebook as one of the most intense and gratifying weekends of my life, and I stand by that. The commitment and passion of every single participant was inspiring and humbling. We walked away with commitments for 15 teams. Our amazing coaches are trained and licensed, and ready to get #morekidsonbikes.

It’s definitely go time for the NJ Interscholastic Cycling League, and I hope you will join us on this exciting journey! Check out the articles below on how to find a team and get involved as a student-athlete, coach, ride leader or volunteer.

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Vol. 1 No. 4 – August 2016

League Director’s Note

“Building strong mind, body and character through interscholastic cycling” – NICA’s new tagline.

Since realizing our original vision of “Coast to Coast by 2020” four years ahead of schedule, our revamped tagline highlights NICA’s central focus as a youth development organization. The recently announced induction of Matt Fitzinger, NICA’s founder, into the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame is just a small testament to the impact NICA has had on the face of mountain biking across the US, and we are stoked and proud to be part of the movement!

We’ve been keeping busy at NJICL headquarters. Dirt Tour info sessions are in full swing, our inaugural Leaders’ Summit is just over a month away, we are proud to welcome a couple of new sponsors, our core race staff ops team is almost fully recruited, and lots more. I hope you’ll keep reading for more info, and I hope to see you soon – either at a Dirt Tour stop, or our Leaders’ Summit in September.

Feel free to reach out any time at 908-872-7940 with any questions or to get involved with the league – we are 100% fueled by volunteers, so more volunteers = more horsepower. Keep the rubber side down, and thanks for your continued support. Best, Tom Kruse

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Vol. 1 No. 3 – July 2016

League Director’s Note

Wow, I just returned from the NICA National Conference in Eagle, CO (file under tough job, but someone has to do it (-; ). The riding was indeed epic, but even more inspiring was the passion and energy in the room, all focused on getting #morekidsonbikes and continuing to grow NICA as a sustainable youth development organization. New initiatives introduced at the conference include a revised MTB101 curriculum to train our coaches, an online incident reporting system that’s tied into a risk management study being conducted by the Center for Sports Medicine at the University of Utah, and so much more!
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Vol. 1 No. 2 – April 2016

League Director’s Note

Spring has sprung, and for the NJ NICA league that means only one thing: we have started our 12-month countdown to our first racing season. That’s super exciting and maybe a little daunting, but mostly exciting. Sooo much remains to be done, and this newsletter highlights a few of our initiatives, calls to action and the importance of our volunteers in making the NJ league a success.
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Vol. 1 No. 1 – February 2016

League Director’s Welcome

We are so excited to bring organized High School and Middle School Mountain Bike racing to New Jersey!Our story starts just over a year ago, when several individuals banded together to bring the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) league to the Garden State. In less than a year, we have established a dynamic leadership group, submitted a bid to launch a NICA league in New Jersey and were honored with NICA acceptance in September 2015 at Interbike, the annual bicycle industry trade show.
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