FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FAQs

What is the Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League?

About IICL

The Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League was founded in 2014 as a non-profit (501(c)3) Project League of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). We facilitate the development of high school and middle school teams/clubs for grades 6-12 and provide the education, training, licensing and insurance for coaches and volunteers. We also produce high-quality mountain bike events and races that emphasize the value of participation, camaraderie, positive sporting behavior and well-being over competition.

Our Mission

Provide high quality, safe and fun mountain bike programs for Idaho’s youth, exposing students to the opportunity to build strong body, mind, and character through an equal and inclusive scholastic-based program.

Our Vision

To improve the lives of Idaho’s youth and communities through cycling.

About NICA

Click here to learn more about NICA.

Who operates the IICL?

Dylan Gradhandt - Founder

Dylan fell in love with cycling at the age of five when he took first place in the AAA Bicycle Skills Rodeo in his hometown of Nevada City, California. With the inspiration of winning that first trophy and the support of his family, he continued to ride and race into his teens. In 1990 he had the opportunity to attend and race in the first ever UCI-sanctioned Mountain Bike World Championship race at Purgatory Ski Resort outside Durango, Colorado. He was racing as a member of one of the nation’s first true, fully funded and supported Junior Development Mountain Bike Racing programs in the country through the Volz Bros Racing team. He was 16 years old.

He has worn many hats in the years as a cyclist since those early days of riding and racing. In 2001, he met Matt Fritzinger and quickly played a large role in the development and implementation programs of the NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League. Additionally, he coached Nevada Union High School’s mountain bike team for three years; coaching that team still ranks as one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. He also produced the first four NorCal State Championships alongside his then-girlfriend (now wife), Jessica. Finally, he authored sections of NICA’s Coaching Manual, which was a tangible and gratifying endeavor.

These days in Boise, Idaho, he enjoys a truly wonderful life with his beautiful family. They feel Idaho is their home well into the distant future. You can find Dylan riding his xc mountain bikes, road bike, enduro bike, commuting bike, hauling loads (his daughters) with his cargo bike, gravel road grinding on his cyclocross, and bike packing on his pack bike any given day of the week, year round. Cycling is his passion and he particularly loves mountain biking. It has added so much incredible value to his personal development and approach to the world around him. Most importantly, he strongly believes that all league programs were born simply because the kids wanted and needed programs like NICA… if you build it, they will come.

Jessica Gradhandt - League Development

Jessica spent her entire 20’s involved in event production, especially mountain bike events, working for NORBA, UCI and Sea Otter Classic in event promotion and registration. Alongside her husband, Dylan, she worked with the NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League in its early years, co-producing the first four state championship races. She loves to cycle, especially on the road, and with two young daughters recognizes the benefits NICA has brought to youth nationwide. Jessica is also a Pilates Instructor and owns Pilates at Thrive LLC, a full Pilates studio with a focus on both therapeutic and fitness-based movement and continuing education in Boise. As she continues with her Pilates passion, she is also thrilled to be coming full circle with this return to working with high school cycling and NICA.

Bob Shannon - Team and Coach Development

Bob grew up in the flatlands of Illinois and as a 10 yr old used cycling as a way to deliver newspapers more quickly and as a means to roam the neighborhood, wreaking havoc along the way. As an adult, a friend introduced him to mountain biking in the Arizona desert and he was instantly hooked.

Bob is now an avid recreational cyclist, accomplished ultramarathon trail runner, mountaineer, skier, and all-around adventure seeker. He has completed races from short distances to covering 3 days non-stop. Bob recently achieved a lifelong goal of completing the 100 Mile Western States Endurance Run in under 24 hours, earning the coveted silver belt buckle. He has been dubbed “Captain Midpack” by his friends for his ability to rock the middle of the pack with flair.

Bob is an experienced business development leader with a wealth of management and leadership experience. Outside of the office, he has spent countless hours mentoring student-athletes while coaching cross country and most recently directing the Eagle High School mountain bike team. He loves to see student-athletes grow and become the best version of themselves both on and off the bike. He has 2 boys (both currently on the Eagle High team) and one daughter whom he is grooming to be his newest shredding partner. He’s lucky to have a great wife Heather, who tolerates all his activities and shenanigans.

IMAG1482 - 2012-07-25 at 15-56-58

Renée Kline - Program Manager

Renée Kline comes to the Idaho League as an International Sports Professional, bringing her comprehensive knowledge of event operations from working on seven Olympic Games,12 World Cups and the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. As an athlete, coach, and major event consultant, Renée is passionate about inspiring and empowering other people to follow their dreams. 
Since an early age, Renée has actively pursued an outdoor lifestyle, which has been characterized by adventure and extreme sports. Growing up in Western Maryland she would spend summers riding motorbikes and waterskiing and winters were spent swimming competitively. Entering adulthood, what started as a search for adventure turned into a job as an adventure racer. The specific sport of mountain biking quickly turned into a full-blown passion. Finding that it was possible to be on the mountain bike for 24 hours at a time she then found her niche in 24-hour races. Her combination of lifestyle and determination to succeed in all environments is the foundation of Renée’s background.
Over the course of her career, Renée has also called Aspen, CO, and Moab, UT home. Upon discovering Idaho, she realized Boise was the place to lay some roots and she’s been here ever since. With all of the wonderful access to mountain biking throughout our state, Renée is grateful to expose Idaho’s youth to an adventure that lasts a lifetime.

 

How do I Start a Team?

Who

Administrators, teachers, parents, students and/or community members can start a NICA cycling club or team at their local high school or community. While it is not necessary that the person who initiates the club be a school “insider” (teacher or administrator), this can be very useful. A teacher, administrator or school volunteer within the school possesses certain advantages, such as knowledge of the school community, bureaucratic systems and channels, and how to access potential teen cyclists. Extensive cycling experience is not necessary. One should simply have the desire to introduce kids to the sport of mountain biking. Once you have decided to create a team, the League can help educate you and provide you with all the tools necessary to be an excellent coach.

What

Most mountain bike teams start small and grow quickly; it’s a tremendous challenge but highly rewarding!  An Idaho League mountain bike team can be any size, as long as correct coach-to-student-athlete ratios are abided by. Teams are broken into Division 1 and Division 2 categories based on their team size (and not their school size). Please see the rulebook (PDF) for more info on Division specifics.

Where

The Idaho League includes the entire state. Neighboring states may participate if a League does not currently exist in that region. Click here to see where the latest Idaho teams are located.

When

The Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League operates a Fall sport based race series schedule:

April – August: Registration for Idaho League teams happens in April. At this time anyone who intends to coach a team should register with the League so that they are covered under our insurance. League teams are limited to the number of weeks they can have pre-season practice. In addition, teams are not insured outside of these limits.

April 1 – June 30: Pre-season activities can commence limited activities on April 1st.   Allowable pre-season activities are bike checks, fun rides, mechanical workshops or skills clinics. Between April 1 – and June 30, teams are allowed to have up to 8 scheduled pre-season activities.  These activities must be approved by the League director and comply with NICA training limits.

July 1- October 31:  Regular season training practice (3-4 times a week) can commence on July 1. All team rides or other training activities must end within two weeks of the final League race. A more detailed description can be found in the rulebook (PDF).

How

Visit our Coaches Resource Table and click on “New Coach/Team Starter” guides and education resources.  These guides and resources will give you a step by step approach to starting your new team. Additionally, contact information for advice and mentoring is contained within these guides.

How do I recruit kids for a team? 

Various teams have had success with many different recruiting techniques. Hosting a Bike Club table at Club Rush (or whatever your high school Club recruitment day is called) is a great way to garner initial interest. Meeting with the Athletic Director in order to educate he/she about your new club is another idea. Email the Idaho League at info@idahomtb.org and ask if there are current teams or clubs that you can connect with in your area. Put an article in the school newspaper, get parents to talk to other parents, send an email to your school's Boosters Club. There are lots of ways to get kids interested in cycling!

Do I have to have insurance for a club or team?

Yes. Do not run a program without adequate insurance coverage! NICA provides comprehensive liability insurance to all teams and coaches who officially register with the Idaho League.

Can I get a scholarship for race entry fees?

The Idaho League is able to provide scholarships to registered League athletes who are in need of financial assistance. Please email info@idahomtb.org for information on how to apply for a scholarship.

Do you have any cycling gear that our team can buy?

Yes, we do. The Idaho League runs a lycra drive program and gets new and used gear donated for the sole purpose of donating to teams and individual riders. Please email us, let us know what you need, and we will get you set up. Also, we always bring all our donated cycling gear to our Leaders Summit for coaches to access for their teams.

Can I become involved by volunteering?

Idaho Interscholastic Cycling League is a volunteer-based organization and can always use more help

We rely on a dedicated group of volunteers to make our races happen. We value all those who give of their time and energy to help our student-athletes succeed. If you want to be a part of this exciting opportunity, take a look at the positions and get involved! There are many opportunities to contribute to the success of the League through volunteering. Check our Volunteer Sign-up page frequently for opportunities.

Committees

The League has several important committees for those that want to contribute their time and professional skills. League events, community outreach, and media exposure are important aspects to the success of the League. We need your energetic spirit!


Race Day

Race day would not be possible without the incredible work of our volunteers! It takes a “village” to put on quality youth mountain bike races. Many parents and cycling enthusiasts find that getting involved with race production is a fun and rewarding experience. Saturday and Sunday positions are available.

We know some positions can look complex and possibly overwhelming for first-time volunteers. Rest assured ALL of our volunteer positions are fun and straightforward. With the help of our training videos and onsite review, you’ll feel confident and well-prepared volunteering for a race. So pick one (or two!) that sound interesting to you, and look forward to the fun! Thank you for helping us make this first year of races a success!