The Maryland Interscholastic Cycling League (MICL) is a fun, safe and high-quality mountain biking program for students in grades 6 to 12. Registration for fall 2020 is open on July 1.
In 2017 Maryland joined the growing National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), a youth development organization governing interscholastic mountain biking in the United States.
“NICA teaches kids a lot of responsibility, it makes them stronger physically. Emotionally, they learn to overcome obstacles,” says Steve Harper, field course manager and director of the Anne Arundel Blur team. “And they develop this grit that teaches them that . . . you know, maybe you don’t get over the obstacle today. But if you try, maybe in a couple of days, you’ll be able to get over that obstacle.”
Since racing in Maryland started in the fall of 2018, the league has grown to nearly 20 teams, including the Anne Arundel Blur and Eastern Shore Composite Club. In addition, MICL also features the Girls Riding Together (GRiT) program, which gets middle school girls involved in racing and is “working to increase female participation through numerous outreach events throughout the state.”
This year’s season will open for registration on July 1, and races will likely begin in September. Last year’s season consisted of four races around the state. “The team atmosphere, not just your individual team, but like the whole league is so cool,” says GRiT coach and mom Rachel Varn. “Everybody cheers so hard for kids that they don’t even know, from other teams.”
You can see the league in action at in the video above, shot in 2019 at Rosaryville State Park.
For more information about the Maryland Interscholastic Cycling League, visit marylandmtb.org or follow on Facebook: @MDinterscholasticMTB and Instagram: @mdmtb_org.
—Ann Levelle; video by Caitlyn Mateik
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