Getting Started

Skilled and dedicated coaches are the most important aspect of Oregon Interscholastic Cycling League youth mountain bike teams.  An Oregon League coach puts the safety and overall well-being of their student-athletes as the first priority.  NICA-licensed coaches are role models and teachers who are open to learning the best practices of youth mountain biking and actively working to hone their leadership skills.

Coaches quickly learn that volunteer coaching a NICA team can be a lot of work yet perhaps one of the most rewarding experiences of their lifetime. Many coaches report improved personal well-being and fitness after just one season. Many coaches echo the sentiment:

“I thought I was doing this all for the kids, but it turned out I benefited perhaps more than the kids, with regular practices and leadership opportunities.”


How do I become a NICA Coach?


The Oregon League will provide all the NICA risk management and best practice training you’ll need to jump right in and start working with youth mountain bikers.  Seminars called Leaders’ Summits and Ride Leader Training are held throughout the year, including online webinars and annual retreats. Read more about what it takes to become a NICA Coach here. 


How do I get started?

All NICA coaches start with NICA License Level 1 and take it one step at a time throughout the year as opportunities arise to complete additional requirements. Minimum requirement to ride with/coach students is NICA License Level 1 as per NICA “Safe Kids Policy”.


STEP 1: 

Look to see if there’s a team already in your area. If so, get in touch with them!


If there’s not a team in your area, get in touch with the Oregon League Director, Heather Wolfgang ( We’ll set up a call to talk about what you’re looking to do, who else you have interested in helping, where your team practices could be, and what recruiting riders for your team could look like.

STEP 3: 

Start talking with other people you think would be good coaches and build your relationships. Some resources that may be helpful to spread the word include:

  1. Info about the Oregon League – This doc gives a brief outline about what the league is, what the season looks like, what scholarship opportunities are available, etc.
  2. Do I have what it takes to be a NICA Coach? – Chances are that you know some awesome people that would be great coaches. This doc can be helpful to share with those you’re looking to recruit to help you run your school/community’s new mountain biking team.