Video – Single Track High: Redux

Is it possible that any cyclist who is a parent wouldn’t want their kid to find their way to cycling? Yeah, it’s possible, but it doesn’t seem probable. When I first heard of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA)—the high school mountain bike racing league, I was filled with avarice. If only that had existed when I was a kid. Next best thing: Our kids can do it.

For those who don’t know much about NICA, Singletrack High is a documentary about the program. It takes a look at a number of kids from different backgrounds, schools and teams and follows them over the course of one spring season.

Honestly, this is less a documentary about mountain biking than it is a peephole view of awkward teens finding themselves, experiencing the self confidence that comes with athletic endeavors and finding their people. They come from all over Northern California. Some come from affluent families, some from teams organized by people who struggle to find bikes for the kids.

The first time I watched this my eldest was not yet out of diapers, so I had yet to experience trying to shepherd a teen through adolescence, but seeing these kids blossom, to emerge from their shells, to being to find their footing in this world made my throat close repeatedly.

NICA is, compared to other sports leagues, a tiny organization. They will never enjoy a surplus of supporters … or support. This film shows us an alternate path through those tough teen years and leaves the viewer feeling each small victory the kids experience as if it were their own.

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