If you haven’t heard, NICA (the National Interscholastic Cycling Association) is doing some great work to get kids onto bikes thanks to the help of a number of great people and volunteers. I think for any of us that consider bikes to be a big role in our lives can appreciate the work that is being done to introduce the next generation to the sport. Even as interscholastic mountain bike leagues are springing up across the country, the teams, leagues, and NICA themselves need funding to operate.
In order to help out, NICA is introducing the “Girl Scout Cookie of mountain biking” with NICA branded stem caps for your bike. Spearheaded by Kurt Wolfgang, NICA Development Consultant and a volunteer coach of San Francisco’s team, SF Composite and Noreen Irving, the headset caps are a joint effort with a number of local Bay Area companies stepping up to volunteer goods and services…
After the idea for the caps took hold, Kurt ended up talking to his friend Cameron who happens to run Falconer Cycles. While discussing the project, Cameron whipped up the first prototype on a lathe in his shop. From there, the duo got in touch with White Industries who were able to make up a mechanical drawing to enable the production of the cap on the spot. With the drawing in hand, the cap project ventured over to Paragon Machine Works who is actually machining the production caps. The turned caps are then sent to Laser Impressions for finishing, keeping the entire process in the Bay Area.
The first round of stem caps are being sold through the NICA website and the plan is to get the product out to teams in the future to use for their own fund raisers. No matter where the caps are purchased 100% of the proceeds benefit NICA and Interscholastic Mountain Biking but the allocation of funds varies slightly depending on the source. Once the $20 caps are available from your local school team, the team will keep $10, the local league gets $5, and NICA will also get $5. If the caps are purchased directly from the NICA site, the local league will get a portion of sales based on the zip code of the purchaser, while the rest will go to NICA for the Booster Fund. This Booster Fund is intended to fund new leagues or the scholarships which have already been extremely successful in introducing kids to bikes.
While the first batch of 400 caps used money out of NICA’s pocket (limited thanks to donations from the companies involved), Kurt’s goal is to underwrite the entire cost of production for the next batch. Currently the NICA web store is the only spot you can buy them online, but if you’re planning to attend the Sea Otter Classic you should be able to pick one up in Monterrey. Just look for the NICA crew!