By Stephen Harrison
High school mountain bike racing is coming to Hot Springs!
The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) of Arkansas is growing to include Hot Springs! A new junior high and high school team is being formed to include students from Hot Springs and the surrounding area.
Hot Springs has become a major attraction for mountain bikers in the region with existing trail systems such as the Womble, Little Blakely, Ouachita Trail and Cedarglades. Further development of newer trail systems include LOViT, Iron Mountain and the Northwoods Project. The Northwoods has been funded equally by Visit Hot Springs and the Walton Foundation to create a 1.3 million dollar investment in multi-use trails. With 200+ miles of trail within an hour of town, it was only natural to develop a team to continue to grow mountain biking in the community.
In January of this year, the NICA of Arkansas leadership team, including Kyla Templeton, Bob Ocken and Corey Johnson, came down from northwest Arkansas to discuss the potential for development in Hot Springs. Adam and Briana Moore of Red Light Roastery hosted over 30 people for a lively, fun informational meeting and discussion. NICA Hot Springs has a promising future with a team of riders, coaches, shop owners and administrators agreeing to make the needed sacrifices to create a successful team.
A leadership team for NICA Hot Springs will be attending the NICA retreat in northwest Arkansas in April to gain further knowledge for successful development of competitive mountain biking in Hot Springs and Arkansas.