This past Sunday marks the first race of the kid's mountain bike season, I went up to Elizabeth Town, To watch my husband coach the NICA kids mountain bike team. It was packed there were around 450 kids from all over North Carolina that raced on Sunday.
My husband is a coach but he is also called the NICA-Hype man he gets all the kids no matter what team they are on all pumped up, and he gets the parents involved to help motivate the kids as they race.The race crew gets to Browns Creek trail on Friday to make sure the trail was clear and safe for the kids to ride for Sunday's race, by making sure it is clear from debris and they do a pre-ride before the kids ride the trail, the racers and parents start showing up on Saturday to camp out. These events are an all weekend thing, you get there on Friday and leave sometime on Sunday.
The race crew put up snow fences which mark the trails, sets up all signs and equipment and marks off the parking lot. and even had what they can the Hype-Zone, which is where parents, friends, and crew would go to cheer on the kids with cowbells, horns and cheer really loud, as the racers ride by to help motivate them.
On Saturday they participated in GRIT ( Girls Riding Together) this is an all girls ride, where they ride and have a learning experience.
When I arrived the girls were up, and there were so many girls on bikes, and it was so awesome to see these girls go hard, they were bad-ass, just seeing these kids enjoy themselves was great, I was happy to be there to capture moments with my camera, and to witness the passion that these coaches and kids have for this sport.
The parents were great, they were not just cheering on their kids, but everyone else kids as well. This sport isn't like football or baseball that kids are in, where parents get into fights with other parents because they think their kid was cheated. This is a community where everyone gets along and talks no matter what team their kid is on.
There are sponsors and the event including, the League sponsors are J.A. KING Precision Measurement Professionals, Performance Bicycle, Geocore films, Cutaway bike camp, Squirt, Lead sponsors TREK, platinum level sponsor CLIFF, and then you have your silver level sponsors Camelbak, Yakima, Maxxis, REI co-op, and GU.
parents and coaches cheered-on and motivated every kid that crossed the finish line, this was awesome to see because these kids were so happy and were great sportsmen's even if they came in last, they were there to have fun. All their hard work was paying off as they pushed themselves.
I didn't see one kid upset because they didn't come in first, they were so happy that they finished the race, and had a great time doing it. More sports could take notes for these kids and coaches.
A sport like this is great for kids because they can be competitive but also learn great sportsmanship and make some great friends and memories.