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 2023-24 school year (must be able to ride a bike without training wheels).
When: Practices are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6 – 8 pm from June 27 to November 7. 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, shirt, and first aid kit supplies).
Registration is open now.
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:
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 Moms (&Dads/Coaches too) 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 27 to November 7.
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.
At Morsches Park in Columbia City, we park in the lot at the very back of the park by the pond.
Winona Lake Trails
Winona Lake Trails in Warsaw has a new trailhead with parking off Pierceton Road. The link below is the location of the new Trailhead for Winona Lake Trails. From Fort Wayne, if you pass the Miller Athletic Complex you have gone too far. If you use the address to google map please be aware it currently takes you to the wrong location.
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”.
- 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 – November)
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Come camp with us, ride the trails and cheer for your teammates on race day!
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 NEICmtb@gmail.com.