Red Hills Composite - Florida's First NICA Team
Hello everyone and welcome to the Florida Interscholastic Mountain Biking site. My name is Maxwell Gledhill and I am a public school science teacher, advocate for NICA and a member of the Florida League Development Committee. We are working hard to bring NICA to Florida and we welcome your interest and support in this movement. From time to time we will post happenings, thoughts, and results of our endeavors. Please enjoy the site and let's make mountain biking the new normal. Below are some thoughts on my new team and the experiences so far.
Think back to your time in middle or high school. No really, take a moment and re-live those years....welcome back. What came to mind? Awkwardness, confusion, discombobulation, uneasiness, nervousness, joy, excitement, embarrassment. All of these, and more, are emotions that youth of America experience on a daily basis. Many overcome these feelings by the time they are in 8th grade, only to succumb to them again as a freshman. By the time they become a senior most no longer feel emotions relating to awkwardness but it's the unknown future that looms over their shoulders. Stepping out on your own and being independent is a challenge in itself. So what does any of this have to do with mountain biking?
Well, cycling is a sport anyone can do. Cycling is a sport one can participate in their entire life. Cycling is a sport in which every member of a team can earn points for that team, but they can also challenge themselves as individuals. Cycling is a sport that leads to adventure and exploration if one allows. Most importantly, cycling develops confidence, determination, independence, self-reliance, grit and a love for the outdoors. Think about a ride in which you were exhausted or frustrated due to a mechanical issue, but you kept going. You finished the ride or fixed the issue and pedaled back to your car. This is what cycling can do for student-athletes. It instills confidence and demonstrates that hard work does pay off.
Red Hills Composite is the name of Florida's first NICA team and we are composed of 4 middle school aged student-athletes from two different schools. Three of the riders are new to the sport and one has experience and loves riding wheelies and jumping over anything in his path, be it a pebble or a log. I am a new NICA coach but experienced in mountain biking. Please follow me and my amazing team of awkward, confused, nervous and excited student-athletes (and coach) as we forge ahead into the unknown territory of mountain bike racing (we will be racing with the Alabama league). I can tell you from my experience in the pre-season that this is going to be a great year and NICA is going to be an amazing addition to the sunshine state in so many ways. Most importantly, these four student-athletes are becoming confident, strong cyclists that can't seem to stop smiling.
Red Hills Composite. Maxwell Gledhill on left and assistant coach on right. NICA Florida will ensure every kid has an opportunity to ride. If you wish to assist with this please see the Get Involved page.