When does official practice begin?
Casual recruiting and informational fun rides will be held in November and December. Practice officially begins the second week of January.
Who can join the team?
Males and females in grades 6-12 that live in Southwest Florida may join our team
When is the season?
December 1 - May 20
Where do you practice?
We practice at various locations throughout Southwest Florida. The typical practice schedule may include:
Skills practice, fitness rides - Punta Gorda - South County Park
Endurance Building - Punta Gorda - Babcock Cecil Webb Environmental Area gravel trails
Trail Riding - North Port - Myakkahatchee Environmental Park
Trail Riding - Alva - Caloosahatchee Regional Park
What if I have never ridden on off road bike trails?
Our licensed NICA coaches are trained in teaching kids the skills ot ride off road. We begin on flat surfaces and work up to more difficult terrain. We encourage kids to walk any section of trail when they are not comfortable riding. There is a common phrase in mountain biking "if you're not hiking, you're not biking!" We will have different ride groups set according to ability and fitness levels.
Can I ride a cross bike or gravel bike?
No. To participate on a NICA team, the proper equipment is required for safety. A mountain bike with knobby tires, well tuned gears, and properly working brakes is required. the wheel size should be 26, 37.5, or 39 inches in diameter with a minimum width of 1.75. If at any time a coach deems a bike to be unsafe, the athlete will be asked to have the bike repaired by a qualified shop mechanic prior to re-joining practice.
No kickstands or "toe clip cages" are allowed on bikes.
What kind of helmet can I wear?
Athletes should wear a properly sized bicycle helmet that meets one of the following criteria:
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z90.4.
Snell Memorial Foundation Standard "B" or "N" series.
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard F-1447.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard for bicycle helmets.
European Committee for Standardization (CE EN1078) standard for bicycle helmets
What if I can't afford the dues or don't have a bike?
The NICA values are based on inclusivity and we invite everyone to participate. Please speak privately with Julie Lang to inquire about the availability of loaner bicycles and/or scholarships.