AAA 2016/2017 Mountain Biking Program Schedule

High School Students - If you have not signed up contact Mrs Padgett asap!

AAA Mountain Bike Team Information for the 2016 Race Season

Arkansas Arts Academy High School Mountain Biking team is operated under the governing body of the National Interscholastic Cycling (NICA), who provide guidance on most policies and procedures for the team. All athletes will become familiar with the NICA Rulebook, which provide for safe and fair race events.

Academic Policy

Academic Policy: To be eligible, a student must be making satisfactory progress toward the school's requirement for graduation. It is the team’s stance that the sport of cycling is a wonderful way to live a healthier and happier life, but it is extremely important to achieve good grades in school. If a student is unable to maintain passing grades, they will be asked to reduce or eliminate the amount of time they participate in team activities so that they can get those grades back up.

Attendance Policy

AAA Mountain Bike team recognizes that families are busy. Unlike many sports, we offer practices only 3 times per week because, as cyclists, it is better to have longer focused rides with plenty of rest between. This schedule is convenient for many families. Athletes are not required to attend a minimum number of practices; however, coaches strongly encourage athletes to attend all practices in order to make the most progress throughout the season. Athletes are similarly not required to attend all races, though coaches will strongly encourage them to participate because all athletes score points for their team, and the more athletes we have, the more points we score. Beyond race points, student-athletes come to depend on each other throughout the season. Attendance is a very important part of building a strong and successful community.

Trail Etiquette & Code of Conduct

1. Ride Predictability:

When riding with others always ride in a straight, steady, and predictable manner. Swerving onto sidewalks, berms or jumps is unacceptable and will result in strict discipline from a coach or League Director. There is no jumping on team rides; keep both tires on the ground (leave big drops and jumps for personal time).

2. Wear a helmet at all times.  

Under no circumstances should a student be on their bike without a helmet fastened to their head.  While other athletes may be seen cruising around before and after practice or races without a helmet, BHS Mountain Bike team members will be suspended from practicing or racing for violating this rule. If you are on a bike, there is a helmet properly fastened to your head. It is acceptable to ride a stationary trainer without the use of a helmet. See NICA Rulebook 2.1.

3. Obey Traffic Laws:

Student Athletes are required by law to obey all traffic laws. See NICA Rulebook 2.5. Athletes are required to be aware of specific laws that pertain to bicyclists which can be found here.

4. Music Players/ Headphones:

NICA student/athletes are not allowed to race or ride with headphones or other portable musical devices. Headphones are permitted while using a stationary trainer.

5. Cell Phones.

While having a cell phone during practices is a smart thing to do, it is not acceptable to make or answer calls while riding. Students must safely come to a complete stop and place both feet on the ground before using a cell phone. See NICA Rulebook 2.13.

6. Always Yield.

Even if at times it seems inconvenient.  Being sensitive to how others perceive you will assure a positive image for your sport and minimize the restrictions that follow confrontations and negative encounters. Remember that bicycles in the backcountry can be an unwelcome experience for horses and hikers.

7. Pass with Care.

Let others know of your presence well in advance.  Use a chime or audible greeting to avoid startling others.  Be especially careful when passing a horse, as each will react differently; stop and ask the rider for instructions.  By asking if the horse is easily spooked, you show an awareness of the rider’s needs.  Sometimes it may

necessary to dismount and remove your bike from the trail to allow others to pass.

8. Positive Sporting Attitude.

NICA student-athletes are expected to display an excellent sporting attitude during all NICA league events and should treat all other student-athletes, coaches, spectators, and officials with respect. Fair play and respectful, kind, supportive behavior is expected of all NICA student-athletes. Profanity in any situation is not acceptable.

9. Stay on Legal Trails Only.

Riding off-trail damages meadows and other fragile ecosystems.  Only ride on approved trails, and only when they are marked as being open. Never cut switchbacks as this accelerates erosion. Beware the types of soil you are riding on.  Never ride on muddy trails and carry your bicycle around muddy spots. See NICA Rulebook 2.4.

10. Control your speed.

Safe speeds are relative to terrain and your experience as a rider. Be able to stop safely without skidding in the distance that you can see ahead. Approach switchbacks and turns in anticipation of someone coming around the bend. See NICA Rulebook 2.2.

11. Do Not Litter.

Pack out what you pack in, and if possible, carry out more than you share.

12. Ride Only on Authorized Trails.

Check with local authorities regarding open trails and conditions, and with landowners regarding private land access.  Stay off trails that are closed to bicycles.

13. Avoid riding alone:

If possible practice riding with at least one other person. If you plan to ride alone, alert someone to your general location, the route you plan to take, and your approximate time of return.

14. Plan Ahead.

The off-road bicycle will open new horizons to you.  Some of these should be approached with respect. If distances are involved, do not travel solo. Expect weather changes. Leave word where you plan to go and when you plan to return.

15. Minimize Impacts.

The practice of minimum impact wilderness use is the philosophy of responsible off-road cyclists. Take only pictures.

Captain's Policy

Team Captains are an important part of a high school team. They serve as key motivators and leaders on rides and at races.  They mentor all riders and communicates with adult ride leaders about any rider or ride concerns. Team captains will be chosen by the head coach, based on discussions with the ride leaders and a vote from the athletes. There will be one male and one female captain, and those names will be announced by July 31st.  

Substance Use Policy

1. NICA student-athletes are subject to all U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) rules pertaining to anti-doping (a list of banned substances is available here)

See NICA Rulebook 2.16

2. NICA's list of other banned substances: Caffeine is an addictive substance that enhances performance. NICA leagues deem caffeinated products as inappropriate for young student-athletes. Caffeinated sport products (bars, gels, and sports drinks) are banned from NICA league races and activities (including practices).

No Questions asked Policy

AAA Mountain Bike team coaches and student-athletes will never forcefully encourage any rider to attempt a bike maneuver that is beyond one's ability to safely complete. As coaches we will strive to teach new and sometimes challenging bike handling skills that, once mastered, will make athletes faster, safer, and more confident. However, it is ultimately the athlete who must individually deem these maneuvers to be overly risky for their personal abilities. Coaches, parents, and athletes, will respect the intuition of others by not asking someone to ride beyond their ability.

Concussion Policy

The recognition and treatment of athletes who have suffered a concussion has become a national priority. As a result of an increasing number of studies that have revealed that concussions, not properly treated, can result in permanent physical and cognitive deficits, including learning disabilities. The data also suggests that concussions can lead to the development of dementia and other long-term issues earlier than expected.              

To better manage instances of concussion in our sports program, BHS Mountain Bike team suggests the following:

1. All coaches (and licensed volunteers) must complete annual training in the area of current concussion management practices and provide proof of that training to NICA licensing board. This training should includes up-to-date information on the identification of concussion, the signs and symptoms associated with the injury, the risks involved with allowing athletes to continue to play while symptomatic, methods of concussion assessment, and the importance of gradual return to play practices.

2. If, during a practice or race, an athlete sustains a concussion or exhibits the signs, symptoms or behaviors of a concussion, that athlete must be removed from all activity. That athlete may not return to any practice or race until he/she is evaluated by a licensed healthcare professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussion (i.e.,physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or athletic trainer). The athlete and his/her parent/guardian must provide written clearance from that provider prior to the athlete being allowed to resume physical activity. The BHS Mountain Bike team Director/Head Coach will keep evidence of all written clearance forms on file for a period no shorter than seven (7) years.

3. Once the athlete receives written medical clearance to return to physical activity, coaches at AAA Mountain Bike team will allow a gradual return to cycling.

Volunteer Policy

Parent volunteers are a key part of any youth team because it is the most effective way to keep dues manageable for families. AAA Mountain Bike team does not require parents to volunteer, but it is highly encouraged. There is much to do, and having plenty of volunteers divides the workload substantially.

There are 2 types of volunteers:

NICA licensed ride volunteers: Cycling is unique among high school sports because it requires that coaches, and parent volunteers, participate in rides with the athletes. In other words, there are some parent volunteers who are ride leaders & ride volunteers who must ride their bikes, with the athletes, to the off-road trails, to ensure safety. Coaches will run the practices, but ride volunteers provide additional oversight to keep everyone safe. This is a great way for parents to participate in a sport that their kids love, and improve their own fitness as well. AAA Mountain Bike team will not ride if a 6:1 athlete to coach ratio, or better, cannot be maintained. A "General License" is required for this role, which has a few simple requirements that can be done at home. Contact Head Coach for more details.

Non-Licensed Volunteers:

There are other roles that parents can fill that don't involve practice and race schedules. These roles can be completed on one's own personal schedule, and do not require a NICA license. The Webmaster, the Fundraisers, and the Travel Coordinator are very important functions of the team that may work with busy schedules.  

Association (NICA), who provide guidance on most policies and procedures for the team. All athletes will become familiar with the NICA Rulebook, which provide for safe and fair race events.

Practice Schedule

Practices in the Summer to be arranged as soon as schedules are finalized at the high school will be held on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00-8:00 pm and Sunday from 6:00-8:00 pm.  Once the school year begins, practice will be during the mountain bike class period from 1:50 - 4:00.  Weekend practices will be held on Saturday from 8-11am or Sunday 3-6. Most weekday practices will be held at the school parking lot or at Lake Atalanta.  Weekend practices will be on area trails.  Although we will work very hard to maintain the following schedule, please be aware that times may change due to a variety of reasons (including bad weather).

Generally, coaches will encourage/expect all kids to attend all practices (3 / wk.). Cycling is an endurance sport that builds upon previous practices. Athlete muscular and aerobic endurance will progress quickly and those who skip practice will soon find it difficult to keep pace with the others. Coming to practice is a central to how we build PRIDE: Passion, Respect, Inclusiveness, Discipline, and Endurance. Athletes should be disciplined enough to respect and support the hard work of their teammates, ride volunteers, and coaches.

f course, we understand that unavoidable conflicts happen, and there are valuable & important planned summer events that disrupt training, but the team needs it's team members. You will get stronger faster, suffer less, and have more fun if you attend every practice!

Before you can attend practice

  • Either register in Pitzone or give a copy of your signed waiver to one of the Coaches

  • Notify Coach Smith if you have a medical condition that we need to be aware of (ex. Allergy to bees, asthma, diabetes, etc)

Equipment and Supplies for Practice

These items are REQUIRED for you to attend practice and races

  • WATER! - We will be riding 2-3 hours each practice and it is very important to keep hydrated. Riders must at a minimum carry 1 water bottle on their bike (2 is prefered) as well as a 1 gallon water cooler to refill their bottles with. If you prefer to carry a camelback type bag, this can be use instead of bottles, but the 1 gal jug is still required if the water bladder is less than 1L.

  • Personal Medical supplies - if you need an Epipen, Albuterol inhaler, diabetes medication etc., you are responsible for bringing those items to every practice and race.

  • A mountain bike in good working order - Every rider will perform the ABCs check before riding, which will check the Air in your tires, your Brakes and your Chain. If these are not in good working order, you will not be able to ride until they are. If you have questions about getting your bike fixed, or if maintenance on your bike is a concern. Please talk to one of the coaches. We can get it worked out. Before you buy a new bike, please talk to a coach, they can assist with picking out the right kind and any deals that may be offered through NICA.   AAA will provide a quality mountain bike for students to use, but personal bikes are encouraged.

  • Sunscreen and bug spray - Your health is our top priority, so please bring adequate protection from the environment we will be riding in. You will be asked to reapply at breaks so please bring it with you.

  • Patch-kit and spare tube - Both during practice and races you are responsible for mechanical repairs. This is very important for the rider to learn and practice so that they can be prepared for races. During races, the NICA rule book states: “Student-athletes must repair their own flat tires and mechanical problems and carry their own tools, tubes, etc. If outside assistance, parts, or tools, are provided, a five-minute penalty will be assessed.” Coaches may be carrying a spare tire in cases of emergencies, but riders are expected to be responsible for their own equipment. A patch kit includes:

  • Spare Tube - make sure your tube matches your tires

  • Air pump / CO2 cartridges

  • Patch kit

  • Tire levers

  • Helmet - No helmet, no riding, no exceptions. If you need to get a helmet and have questions, talk to a coach.

  • Eye protection - Your eyes are very delicate. Please bring sunglasses or safety glasses (if it’s going to be dim) to protect your eyes.

These items are SUGGESTED for you to attend practice

  • Snacks - Riders need to be responsible for their own nutrition. Certain foods will work better for each individual rider, so please bring what works for you.

Things to keep in mind:

  • NICA prohibits the use of caffeine (check your GUs, chews etc)

  • Garbage in = Garbage out, if you fuel on junk food, your performance will suffer.

  • A method for tracking ride time/distance

  • A notebook to record your performance in practice

  • Jacket - in case the weather changes

  • Cycling Gloves

  • Multi-tool

  • Cycling specific or sweat-wicking clothes

Important Dates

Dates in blue are not associated with the AAA team or NICA and are fun community events

Dates in red are associated with the state NICA league and are optional

Dates in black are required NICA sanctioned tournament events.

July 9th - NICA Level 2 skills @ The RailyardJuly 16th/17th - No group ride this weekend. We encourage you to go to Eureka Springs and participate in the Phat Tire Festival! There will be multiple mountain biking race events for you to watch or participate in.

July 22-24th - No group ride again this weekend because of the Roger’s cycling festival ( This will be another great event to watch or participate in bike races.

July 23rd - NICA Level 2 skills @ Slaughter Pen

August 13th - NICA Level 3 skills @ Lake Leatherwood

August 11th - First day of school at AAA

August 20th - NICA Level 3 skills @ Lake Fayetteville

Sept 11 – FIRST RACE!! Razorback Rumble – Lake Fayetteville

October 1 – 2nd race @ Slaughter Pen Slam! – Slaughter Pen

October 23 – 3rd race @ Oz Quest – Lake Leatherwood

November 13 – 4th race @ Hustle in the Hollow – Arkansas State Championships – Slaughter Pen