The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), a youth development organization governing middle and high school mountain biking in the U.S., announced new leagues will form in Arkansas, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

The expansion, announced at a press conference during the annual Interbike trade show in Las Vegas, NV, will grow the NICA network to include 19 state and regional leagues across Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Northern California, Pennsylvania, Southern California, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Austin McInerny, NICA’s executive director, said, “There is now an almost unbroken chain of interscholastic cycling leagues spanning from coast to coast. With the addition of these four new leagues, nearly 60 percent of the country’s population will now have access to interscholastic cycling. One of the most exciting things to me is the quality of regional organizers joining the NICA program. A lot of our league directors have many years of experience pre-NICA providing cycling opportunities in their communities. They’ve been watching and studying NICA and now they’re getting involved. In partnership with these committed individuals, through cycling programs we are both enabling adolescents to achieve personal wellness and building stronger communities in the process.”

As of September 2015, NICA has more than 3,000 coaches working with nearly 7,500 student-athletes from 522 high schools in the country.

NICA-NetworkFrom left to right: Keith Bowen; North Carolina, Austin McInerny; NICA Executive Director, John Bovine; North Carolina, Mike Long; North Carolina Co-League Director; Chris McQueen; North Carolina Co-League Director, Larry Towner; New Jersey, Jeff Lenosky; New Jersey, David Kahl; New Jersey, Chris Facas; New Jersey League Director, Eric Russell; Clif Bar & Company Director of Sales, Martin Sahaydak; QBP Eastern Regional Sales Manager, Matt Spohn; Pennsylvania, Mike Kuhn; Pennsylvania League Director, Alan Ley; Arkansas League Director, and Lou Mazzante; Pennsylvania.