“It’s going crazy. We need to make this a national movement. This is a great way to get kids off their butts, away from screens, outside and active.”

– Steve Matous

EPISODE PREVIEW:

There are a ton of people who want to raise their hands and belong to cycling…if they’re given a chance and welcomed in. My guest today is doing just that, and there are lessons for all of us in the methods.

Through the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), Steve Matous and his team are not only introducing mountain biking to tens of thousands of teenagers, they’re also developing lifelong cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts.

The organization is growing like mad, with more communities asking for a “league” (aka a “chapter”) than NICA has the resources to serve. Every non-profit (and heck…every commercial business) wants to see growth like NICA is experiencing. How are they doing it?

Much of the success can be attributed to Matous’ strategy to build a broader foundation of participants than the traditional cycling demographics. With objective and subjective strategies toward increasing inclusivity and gender equity, as well as providing tools (ahem…bikes and access!) for underserved and non-affluent communities, NICA is leveling the playing field for every kid who wants to be involved.

GUEST PROFILES:

Steve Matous

Steve Matous is president of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). He comes to NICA from a broad-reaching and successful career in the outdoor industry from both the commercial and not-for-profit side, having led Outward Bound, Entre-Prises Climbing Walls, and the American Alpine Club, among other organizations. He is a strong advocate for youth participation and developing lifelong outdoor enthusiasts.

TOPICS COVERED:

Recreation advocacy, youth advocacy, healthy lifestyles and habits, bike industry, mountain biking, unifying voices, developing lifelong cyclists, gender equity in sports, inclusivity in cycling

SELECT QUOTES:

“I think we’ve done a great job of working with the cycling industry in the cycling world, but what we haven’t done is expanded to the greater community, the greater populations.”
“It’s going crazy. We need to make this a national movement. This is a great way to get kids off their butts, away from screens, outside and active.”
“It’s very important to us organizationally that we are developing good healthy habits and lifestyles.”
“When I look at our community and our cycling and our world as a whole, there are more women and girls in this world and there are men and boys. We need to move the needle on that number.”

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