It sure would be great to just whip something up to solve all of this. That’s not going to happen. There are just far too many unknowns. To address those we have developed a flexible plan that, in this situation in which we find ourselves, could enable any of us to engage as soon as we are allowed to engage. There is a lot to like about it.
The staff, board of advisors, and coach council provided valuable feedback on that plan and together we realized something.
While a flexible approach addresses many of our needs and the variability of county reopenings, a huge question remains, “Will we actually get to PICL this year where we live?” That question needs answers before we can proceed with registration.
As you are likely aware, the PA COVID guidelines specifically prohibit organized sports while in the red or yellow phase of reopening. It is only once an area is in green that organized sports may recommence.
Pennsylvania has released no information (as of this writing) on the process for regions or counties to move to green status. Until PICL receives that information and can then discuss with our staff, board, council, and coaches what that means registration will remain closed.
We know that there will be a delay between the release of the PA process to “go green” and the movement of any region to green status. We will use that intervening time to readdress the plan so that it is ready to go for when your region is ready to roll.
Practices and Local Dirts are our most likely activities this fall. We hold a slim hope that we will gather everyone together, but we recognize that guidelines for events the size of our state gatherings are likely to come months after we first go green. The permission for such events might well happen after the end of our fall season.
At this point all of our event venues are being held for us. If conditions permit then we’ll get together for some fun. However, because of the uncertainty of any events and the strong likelihood of phased reopenings across the state we will not offer a season-long cross country points series this year.
We are working to make sure that we can celebrate and reward individual and team accomplishments in TTC this year — we certainly don’t need to gather in one spot for us to continue our Teen Trail Corps efforts and to share those achievements across the league. We are doing really great things for trails and parks across PA and perhaps that effort of giving back is something we focus a bit more on this season. We end up improving something we love and there will probably be a lot of communities and parks who can use our help this year.
- PA regions are opening differently.
- Dr Levine has stated that organized sports activities may not occur in the yellow phase.
- There is no guidance or any timeline regarding a move to green status.
- Once we see green guidance we will provide a plan
Events and activities
- There will be no season-long points series this year.
- There will be TTC
- All of our event partners are standing by (and we’re all crossing our fingers) for weekend event possibilities
- IF we can get together in a big groups it is most likely that these will be Adventure, “time trial” style, or other non mass start events
- IF we know that we will not be holding state events we’ll let you know ASAP. You will be given at least 4 weeks notice for any weekend events because we all need that much time to properly prepare.
- Local Dirt training is underway and will roll out this fall, as long as guidelines allow for it and teams are ready for it.
- Team led Day Camps may be possible with appropriate guidelines and practices in place.
- GRiT rides and activities could be a great fit as part of Local Dirt
- On-line activities are in the works – we have a plan for a series of “Trailside Chats” and look forward to starting to roll those out next week and a few other things in the works.
We all know it. Practices are when and where so much of what is important in all of this happens.
There’s more time in them, more riding during them, more friendships built through them, more learned, more experiences shared, and more laughs and fun at practices than in anything else we do.
Practices are the heart of the NICA experience and will continue to be even as we adapt them to meet this challenge.
Practices will be what allows us to relaunch this league and practices will be the last things we do this season as we look to 2021.
What can we do right now?
Get out and enjoy all this spring greenery, it’s beautiful out there, fresh air and sunshine feel great and they’re fantastic for you, ride, walk, run, break out the hammock, and trails are always needing some loving too.
Work on the TTC Captain badges! These will count toward the season ending points and you don’t need a scheduled work day to knock some of that out.
I think we’ve all had more than our fill of working at home, but some TTC Captain effort could help you earn some a leaders jersey this season, help the team take the team prize, and get yourself a sweet trail tool. You’ll also be doing that thing we love – helping to make more great mountain biking trails happen.
Eat broccoli, spinach, kale, mint chocolate chip ice cream, pickles!!…IDK…can’t hurt.
Figure out how to help your coaches – they are working hard to make sure that they are ready too. How can you help your team?
Keep telling your friends about this fantastic sport. This thing that we love we can keep doing in some way right now and not a lot of people can say that these days. In fact there are a whole lot of new people finding riding now — there are more people out on bikes than we’ve seen in an awfully long time. Let bring them in.
You can join in
We started all of this from a pretty tight spot. We didn’t have a lot and we built it together. It is going to get tight around here again.
There is something much different though now — ALL OF YOU! You’re amazing, you’re talented, you’re strong, your passionate and we didn’t have you six years ago as we formed this movement.
We want to tell more and better stories, could you help us work on capturing them?
Could you help with general outreach through press releases, social media, video production so that we can spread the message of the fun more widely?
Can you help us share these amazing stories of our riders and families with people who you know at foundations or other organizations who just might find that supporting our league and our mission is a great way to invest in the future?
Do you have connections to media outlets who might be interested in hearing about how the surge in cycling coincides with the surge in interscholastic mountain biking and could we tell that story?
Might you have some interest in joining the effort we’re making to assemble grants that can help us in the short and long term? We have a lot of information together, you could be invaluable in helping us find opportunities and send proposals – this particular effort is vital in the coming months.
We are always looking for motivated individuals to join our event production team too and though you’re right, maybe you don’t get the fun of working a PICL weekend this fall, what we do this fall will translate to a better and stronger league in the future.
We are not talking about just moms and dads either, we know that some of our student-athletes would be great for some of these roles too.
Hit us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more.
Chins up, look where you want to go.