We know there are a lot of questions when it comes to joining a NICA team. Find answers to some of the most common ones below. Also, visit the NorCal NICA website along with the National NICA website for more information about NICA. If you still have questions, feel free to fill out the contact form with your questions and we’ll get you an answer.
Since we train in the winter after school (typically meeting at 6:00pm) it’s dark. Helmet and bike-mounted lights are a requirement for riding with the team.
We train in all kinds of weather. Occasionally, if forecasts and/or Doppler radar show a particularly nasty storm, we may cancel the ride or, if possible, move the workout indoors. Rain gear is required in order to ride with the team during rainy weather.
All of our rides have at least two coaches who know the route intimately. Many of the more senior team riders know our routes as well. It’s best to stick with a group if you don’t know the trail, even if they’re a little slower than what you would like. If you do find yourself in the middle of groups, stop at the next intersection and wait until the next group catches up.
Another option that a number of team members have is a premium account to Strava. The premium level includes a tracking feature where coaches, teammates and parents can track a rider’s progress via the web. Science!
For every ride, a rider should bring:
- Fully functioning and maintained bike
- Helmet, gloves and eyewear
- Energy food (Clif Bar, Power Bar)
- Bicycle multi-tool
- Spare tire and pump
- Proper clothing for expected weather
Without these items, the rider is not fully prepared and may not be allowed to participate on that ride.
Alan Taylor is the Head Coach for the Folsom Bulldog Cycling team. He is supported by an awesome group of coaches and parents who are all registered with NICA from volunteer all the way up to a Head Coach level. See the coaching requirements from NICA here.
And remember, you can become a ride leader or NICA coach and help the team as well!
Cycling is not inexpensive but we can help take away some of the roadblocks if you need equipment or a bike. NICA has a number of sponsors that provide discounts on bikes and cycling gear. Below are some costs for a season of cycling if you’re starting out from nothing. Of course, you can spend a lot more than this – these are costs for getting the basic level of equipment. Also, all costs aren’t required up-front: some, like hotel and travel expenses are spread out through the December – May cycling season.
Riding clothes: $150
Riding shoes: $50
Tools & Pump: $75
Water bottles: $10 (camelbacks are nice to have and start around $50)
Season dues: $175
Race entry fees (6 races total): $300
Hotels and meals for 6 races. $100/night hotel + 4-6 meals
We typically train four days a week beginning in December with some introductory days prior to that time. Our training days are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and one day on the weekend (usually Saturday but it sometimes changes to Sunday depending on logistics). We typically meet within Folsom city limits around 6:00pm and ride for two hours.
Since we’re a team, we like to ride as a team. In order to remain in good standing with the team, you need to ride at least two days a week with the team.