Language is important. When we first launched this league, we noticed the reaction we got from people when we said that middle and high schoolers will “race” and can say it had varying effects. To a new rider, even the words “mountain biking” can bring up images that don’t really represent what our version of mountain biking is, as explained in this article.
The Oregon Interscholastic Cycling League came up with a great acronym for what a race is and we wanted to share it with you here: Really Awesome Challenging Event – because that’s exactly what it is. A race will be a timed event on a closed course and the rider can choose what they want to accomplish out there. That may be getting on the podium or just finishing one lap without getting off the bike, but whatever it is, it’s gonna be rad and we’ll be there to root and cheer each and every rider that comes out.
One of the great things about a NICA League, which separates us from other youth cycling development programs, is we produce our own youth-specific events. This means we pick out race venues and work directly with landowners and managers to produce the highest quality youth development race courses and events. Our student-athletes get a stage of their own, away from adult competitions, and we strive for safety and fun above all other factors.