The Berkeley, California-based National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), a new high school mountain bike racing league umbrella organisation in the United States, is partnering with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) to cross-promote efforts and engage the American cycling community.
"We are very pleased to formalise our partnership with IMBA -- the continued growth of high school mountain biking depends on trail access," NICA executive director Matt Fritzinger said Thursday. "Riding bikes is a freedom all youth should enjoy, and parents greatly support their kids riding on trails away from the dangers of traffic.
"IMBA does an incredible job of working with communities to build and maintain sustainable trail systems that work for all trail users."
IMBA, based in Boulder, Colorado, was established as a non-profit organisation in 1988 to develop and maintain trails for mountain bikers, and use the strength of its membership base to lobby local, state and federal government agencies. Recently, the Colorado High School Cycling League was launched in IMBA's backyard.
"This is a new partnership, with regard to high school age outreach," IMBA executive director Mike Van Abel told BikeRadar. "The success of the Northern and Southern California High School Mountain Bike Leagues has been truly remarkable.
"When I learned about the plan to replicate those successes on a national scale under the NICA banner, I hoped IMBA's club network might become a useful resource," he added, also noting that the partnership would help expand IMBA's demographic diversity and compliment existing youth programmes such as its National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.
According to a statement released by Fritzinger, the two groups plan to resource share its board members when developing a master plan of collaboration to take advantage of each group's strengths.
"We've been talking with IMBA for years, and presented our proposal at their summit in 2008," he told BikeRadar.
Current IMBA partnership organisations include Trips for Kids, Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, League of American Bicyclists and Adventure Cycling Association.