We operate what NICA calls a “composite team”, defined as a team made up of student athletes from multiple cities and schools. Most of our athletes live in Marquette County, but in 2018 we had an athlete from Houghton travel with us. If you have a child who is interested in racing against other kids his or her age contact us. Athletes range from 6-12th grade.
The Season National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) fall leagues cannot practice until July 1st, per league rules. Prior to the season athletes are encouraged to participate in the Adventure Bike Club. We will begin practicing July 9th, practicing a minimum of two times per week (Monday/Thursday). We encourage riders to participate in the Wednesday night ride hosted by Range Area Mountain Bike Association. The ride is open to youth and adults of all ages, offering a range of ability-based sub-groups. 906 may offer additional training opportunities based on athlete and coach availability. Races begin after Labor Day and end in late October.
How we group athletes
We will group the athletes by age and grade. Exceptions to this rule are made on occasion but infrequently. Middle school athletes 6-8th grade will focus on core skills and fun rides. High School athletes will train with more intensity and emphasis on performance. All grades will experience hill-climbs, interval-like efforts, and a variety of challenging practices. Groups form based on riding strength, speed, and proficiency. Coaches will determine groups. We will not group an athlete with friends if he or she cannot perform at the group level. Athletes will earn their way up and down the group ladder based on performance. If an athlete wants to move up, he or she will need to put in the time and earn the move. Conversely, if an athlete is not putting in the time and starts to hold a group up, he or she will be moved to the group below the current group.
Consistent participation in practice is critical – athletes will be expected to attend all practices. We realize some exceptions will be necessary based on vacations and family commitments. Athletes who do not attend practice on a regular basis struggle to hang with the athletes who show up every week – allowing your athlete to miss regularly is going to put him or her in a very difficult position.
All athletes are expected to arrive 10-minutes early. They are required to have all required gear, hydration, and nutrition, and perform pre-ride bike checks on their equipment. Arriving to practice without required gear results in no practice for that athlete.
Code of Conduct
Athletes and parents will review NICA and 906 code-of-conduct policies. Violation of either policy could result in expulsion from the team. We prioritize character, integrity, sportsmanship, and teamwork above winning. Substance abuse, profanity, poor school performance, and conduct considered detrimental to the team may be grounds for removal from the team. The code of conduct extends to parents: we are not coaching an elite mountain bike team, this is a high school mountain bike team. Our coaches volunteer their time to work with your student athletes. Our goal is to help kids develop an appreciation for cycling as a life-long sport and activity. If this approach is not sufficient, professional mountain bike coaches can be hired to coach your athlete outside of our practices.