Just 20 percent of participants in National Interscholastic Cycling Association mountain biking are girls. But by 2023, the middle- and high-school program is gunning for girls to make up more than one-third of its bikers.
The nationwide youth mountain biking program started a decade ago in California. NICA now represents 31 leagues, including newly inaugurated teams in places not typically associated with the sport: Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Ohio.
To get more girls on bikes during an explosive growth period, NICA is doubling down on GRiT (Girls Riding Together). Already underwritten by the Walton Family Foundation, the NICA-embedded awareness program just received a $150,000 infusion from the newly established Rapha Foundation, the U.S.-based charitable arm of a high-end cycling clothing company out of London.