Q: How will COVID-19 affect the team?
A: In 2020, all statewide races were cancelled; however, practices and group rides continued from July through mid-November, as per usual. There are extensive check-in and safety procedures in place to keep our riders and coaches as safe as possible. See our COVID-19 Practice Protocol for more details. The situation will be re-evaluated before the beginning of the 2021 season.
Q. Who can join the Downingtown Mountain Biking Team?
A. Students in grades 6-12 residing in the Downingtown Area School District or neighboring districts that do not have a team (students may attend private, cyber, or charter schools in the same area).
Q. What are the coaches' qualifications?
A. Besides some of them racing themselves, they have been accredited by the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) and are recognized coaches by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Cycling League (PICL). They are certified in CPR, concussion detection and Wilderness First Aid and they are sufficiently knowledgeable to be a positive influence on all student athletes. More information about coaches and coaching is available here.
Q. Is the Downingtown Mountain Biking Team fully insured?
A. NICA provides General Liability insurance for the Downingtown Mountain Biking Team including coverage for trail maintenance and repair by the club, club rides, training rides, races and other club functions such as meetings and clinics. Coaches are covered while acting within the scope of their duties for the Downingtown Mountain Biking Team.
Q. Can I participate in another sport and race for the Downingtown Mountain Biking Team?
A. Student athletes may participate in two sports in the same season however the onus is on the student to do well in school as academics come first for the Downingtown Mountain Biking Team.
Q. I've been on several teams and never got to compete. Will the Downingtown Mountain Biking Team be different?
A. We want to introduce kids to mountain biking and make it fun for all. Everyone is encouraged (although not required) to race, and every race counts as long as you finish!
Q. What are the core values of the team?
A: The core values of NICA, PICL and Downingtown MTB Mountain Biking Team are:
- Fun: NICA inspires friendship, joy, and adventure.
- Inclusivity: NICA believes everyone should be able to participate in our programs and feel welcomed, respected, and supported.
- Equity: NICA is committed to fair treatment, equal access, opportunity, advancement, and elimination of barriers to encourage participation for all.
- Respect: NICA expects consideration for all others, oneself, and the outdoors.
- Community: NICA unites diverse people, families, and communities through cycling by creating fun and welcoming experiences.
Q. When is the Downingtown Mountain Biking Team's season?
A. We can hold six team events before July 1 and start practicing after that. We will normally practice twice during the week and have a group ride on Saturdays on great local trails. 5 race weekends will be held in September and October. Course pre-rides and adventure programming happen on Saturdays and races on Sundays. We want to get kids on their bikes as much as possible and make practices fun and effective.
Q. What will practices be like?
A. With a focus on safety and fun, practices will be split up by ability so that everyone can learn at their own pace. Some practices will focus on specific skills, while others will be focused on endurance.
Q. How is this going to help me in the future?
A. Mountain biking is a sport you can enjoy for most of your life, and exploring great trails with friends on weekends is a lot more realistic than continuing to play other scholastic sports after high school. Many colleges have mountain biking teams and you can compete at a collegiate level and, even better, Teen Trail Corps Initiative is an excellent addition to your college application.
Q. What is Teen Trail Corps Initiative?
A. NICA has partnered with IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) and REI to create Teen Trail Corps. The program is designed to educate student-athletes in advocacy as well as to encourage them to take action now and as leaders in the future. This optional leadership program for students allows cycling athletes to create a sense of community on the trails and to ensure continued access to our public land uses.
Q. How much is this going to cost?
A. Team and league dues vary from year to year. Click on Join the Team to see a dues breakdown for this season. We often organize fundraising and seek sponsors to support our team. Oh, and you'll also need a bike! If you're on the Downingtown Mountain Biking Team you'll receive a team discount from our sponsoring bike shops. If you don't have a bike yet, prices for a good, entry-level bike start at around $500.
Q. What is a race day like?
A. It's a blast! You'll hang with your friends and make new ones from all around the state. You'll be prepared to compete and race against athletes of similar experience and skill. When you're not racing you'll cheer on teammates and points from riders in all age categories contribute to the team points.