BERKELEY, Calif. (June 18, 2020) — The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), Blackburn Designs, and Bikepacking Roots are excited to announce a new partnership that establishes a bikepacking curriculum and traveling gear library for NICA student-athletes and coaches. Bikepacking Roots is providing the on-trail expertise and Blackburn is providing the funding and bikepacking kit for 20 riders as part of their Bronze Level sponsorship with NICA for 2020.
Blackburn Designs is an industry leader in innovative bicycling tools and accessories. Founded in 1975, Blackburn focuses their product design on the user’s perspective, showing respect for materials and their functionality while bringing unprecedented innovation to the cycling industry.
“We’ve been looking to get more involved with the future of bikepacking for the past few years,” said Blackburn Marketing Manager Dan Powell. “This partnership with NICA came up after the release of a video project ‘Wild Virtue’ we sponsored, and we felt like this was the opportunity we’d been waiting for. We’re very proud to be working with these two organizations.”
Bikepacking Roots is the first and only non-profit to support and advocate for the bikepacking community. The organization develops and sustains impactful multi-day off-pavement cycling routes, advocates for the conservation of and access to the public lands and wild places through which we ride, and cultivates stewards who create a positive impact while exploring by bike.
“At Bikepacking Roots, we're passionate about facilitating human-powered adventures in wild places and reducing barriers to those sorts of empowering experiences. I've watched the remarkable transformation new bikepackers go through in just a handful of short bikepacking trips, and I couldn't be more excited to partner with NICA and Blackburn to create such an opportunity for kids across the United States,” shares Bikepacking Roots Executive Director, Kurt Refsnider, Ph.D.
“At NICA, our mission is to build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling. With Bikepacking Roots’ expertise and Blackburn’s generous support, we are excited to develop this innovative opportunity for self-sufficiency, exploration, friendship and joy,” said Steve Matous, NICA President. “With student-athlete participation in NICA programs growing at over 20% annually, we are continuing to diversify our programming to include activities that promote adventure, build community, teach respect for the outdoors and are fun at the same time. Through initiatives like this, our student-athletes have the opportunity to develop a lifelong passion for mountain biking and outdoor recreation.”