New Rider Parent Info

FAQ: Who can ride with the team? Where and when are practices? How do I register? How do I contact team leadership? How do I get to Franke? How do I get to Morsches? How do I get to Winona? What do I bring to practice? How do I find out about the races and camping?

Who: Pre-K through 12th grade for the 2021/2022 school year (must be able to ride a bike without training wheels).

WhereFranke Park in Fort Wayne, Morsches Park in Columbia City, and Winona Trails in Warsaw.

When:  Practices are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6 – 8 pm from June 29 to December 1. Check the NEIC Calendar for the location of practices.

Price: $60 first youth rider +$30 for each additional sibling.

The cost includes a $30 3RVS family membership (covers insurance among other benefits) and $30.00 team fee per student rider (helps cover team registration, shirts, and first aid kit supplies).

How to Register

Register through 3RVS website.

Click on the Family Membership & NEIC Registration. This automatically chooses the family registration option.

Sign up the whole family even if they don’t ride yet! 3RVS has social rides throughout the summer and fall that are fun for the whole family.

Choose how many student riders are being registered and then click on the NEIC Registration Page link. This will open a new page where you will tell us information about each rider including their experience level on mountain bikes, t-shirt size and allergies (each rider gets their own page). When that information is all filled out, submit the NEIC MTB Membership pages and you will be back to the page pictured above.

With the NEIC MTB Membership done, you can fill in the check box and click next page to go to the payment portion of the site.

Welcome to the team!

There is so much to learn about mountain biking, racing and being a part of the team. We are here to answer your questions and help you get your family outside enjoying life on two wheels! You can reach us by:

Email: neicmtb@yahoo.com

Text Reminders: TeamSnap. This is a free sports team management app for your smartphone and the team’s primary method of communication. After you have downloaded the TeamSnap app from your appstore, please contact us with your phone number and email if you have not already received an invitation to join our team on the app. TeamSnap contains a calendar of all of our practices, races, and events. There is also a message center that is useful for coaches to communicate with the whole team, but also for you to notify the coach if you happen to be running late for practice.

Website: Check our calendar for the latest events!

Facebook: There is information on our public NEIC MTB Facebook that includes how to find us and posts about mountain bike events happening in our area. If you take a great photo at the events you are welcome to add them to our albums on that site.

We also have a private team Trailblazers Facebook site that helps us organize the camping and fun side of the team events. Team families generally camp out at races and events and information on events and campsites will be posted under the events tab on this page.

Instagram: We also post to NEICMTB Instagram if you want to follow along.

Where and when are we practicing?

Where:  Franke Park in Fort Wayne, Morsches Park in Columbia City, and Winona Trails in Warsaw.

When:  Practices are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6 – 8 pm from June 29 to December 1.

Practices rotate between Franke, Morsches and Winona. The practice calendar has the locations planned for the entire season. Check TeamSnap on your way to practice for any last minute notifications or updates.

Franke Park Trails

Turn into the main entrance for Franke Park/Zoo on Park Drive, then curve left. At the stop sign go straight, past the main pavilion, past the duck pond and up the hill towards the BMX track. Go through the gate at the far side of the BMX lot and turn right at the T. At the end of this road is the parking lot where we gather when we practice at Franke. If you see Traiblazer friends in the BMX lot when you drive through, tell them where we are!

You may have to turn your mode of transportation to bicycle on your navigation when you get close to the park if you try to get turn by turn directions all the way to the lot.

https://goo.gl/maps/zTwJk9JDgk8jFyvt9

Morsches

At Morsches Park in Columbia City, we park in the lot at the very back of the park by the pond.

https://goo.gl/maps/NCndez7b8bKmqDBk8

Winona Lake Trails

Winona Lake Trails in Warsaw has limited parking at the trailhead and our team would quickly overtake the parking lot and leave other mountain bike riding and trail hiking friends no space so we park at Christ’s Covenant Church at 2090 E Pierceton Road.

https://goo.gl/maps/ej7mf8pZo6sp7Auz9

What do I bring for practice?

  • Bike – in good working order (with spare tube and basic tools).
  • Bar plugs – No open bar ends or bar “horns”.
  • Helmet!
    • Riders must wear a helmet any time they are riding or have a leg over the bike. The helmet should be correctly sized and adjusted to the rider’s head. There are a variety of great helmets on the market. The right one for your rider will be comfortable on their head and not move at all.
  • Team Shirt
    • Please wear your orange team t-shirt or team jersey to practice. Each rider will receive two orange practice t-shirts. The color of the shirt makes it much easier for us to keep track of everyone in the woods.
  • Water bottle or hydration pack and food – enough for two hours.
    • It is our goal that everyone stay safe and have fun, and making sure we’ve all had enough to eat and drink for our rides is a big part of that.
  • Repair kit
    • Each rider should have a pack made up with at least one spare tire tube for their particular size of tire and a method to inflate that tire. Other ideas for items to keep in their packs are: tire levers, a bicycle multi-tool, a small portable bike pump or a CO2 cartridge/inflator.
  • Bike light (late September – December)
    • Lights for riding at night are required for fall practices. It is recommended to have a light mounted on the handlebars and a light fixed to the helmet to allow for maximum visibility. We recommend the NiteRider Lumina 750

Ride Groups

Before the first practice, you will receive a document with ride groups. The groups are based on age and presumed ability (unless we have ridden with your rider before).

Check the ride groups and meet with your colored group at the start of each practice. If your rider would like to be in a different ride group or skills group, please let me know so we can discuss it together. We are open to change as the goal is for your rider to have fun in the woods.

Bike Maintenance

Before the season starts, it is highly recommended to take your bikes to a local bike shop for a full tune-up. Bike shops tend to get very busy with work once the weather gets warm, so a tune-up can take a few weeks.

Ensuring that your rider’s equipment is in excellent working condition for the start of the season will maximize the ride times and fun for all participants.

Trail Maintenance

All three trail systems we ride are 100% maintained by volunteers. Please consider volunteering at your local trail maintenance days. Information about trail conditions and maintenance can be found on their FB group sites.

Racing/Camping Opportunities

There are many options for racing or just camping and riding the trails in different locations around Indiana and Michigan. The Trailblazer team is hosting the Zoo Lander race at Franke Park here in Fort Wayne! The racing opportunities and links to the DINO and MiSCA series are listed on our website under Racing. The camping details are under the event section of the private Facebook page so the details are under wraps a bit. If you want to camp with us and don’t have access to Facebook, let us know.

Our team is part of the Michigan Scholastic Cycling Association (MiSCA). MiSCA has a six race series in the fall. To race in any MiSCA race, each student rider must register with MiSCA ($50 annually). There is a cost associated with the races, but the pre-riding the day or two before is free. Even if you decide not to race, the kids races are always amazing to see. MiSCA races are limited to 650 kids and SELL OUT.

Come camp with us, ride the trails and cheer for your teammates on race day!

Parent Volunteers

We are always looking for parents to get involved! We welcome parent riders of all skill levels to ride with the participants at practice, but it is important that you register and complete a background check before you do so. You can find information on getting involved here.

If you have more questions and are interested in riding with the participants at practice please contact Jake Fitzmaurice at NEICmtb@yahoo.com.