Galena Growlers Gear Up To Start New Racing Season Sunday

By: Meagan Schulz

Galena Growlers gear up to start new racing season Sunday Submitted Photo

CHENANGO COUNTY – The 2019 National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) New York league High/Middle School Mountain Bike season is well underway with kids from in and around the Norwich, Sherburne and Oxford areas have teamed up to for the Galena Growlers second season.

The Growlers first race of the new season is scheduled for Sunday, April 14 at Catherdral Pines County Park in Middle Island of Long Island, NY.

A composite team that currently consists of riders from sixth grade to 12th grade from Norwich, Sherburne-Earlville and Oxford schools, the team will have 11 returning riders and 14 new riders with 11 NICA Certified coaches involved.

“We’re expecting a couple more riders to join the team as warm weather is finally here,” said Rob Baker, head coach and founder of the Galena Growlers team. “The Galena Growlers are open to all students, public, private or home schooled, located within Chenango County. Our goal is all about having #MoreKidsOnBikes and in our area. This year we are really trying to get #MoreGirlsOnBikes with New York’s new Girls Riding Together (GRiT) campaign.”

The Growlers currently practice three to four times a week on the Greenway of Norwich and around the hills of North Norwich as the all-inclusive sport is cross country mountain biking that focuses on both adventure and competition.

“Not everyone has to race,” said Baker. “Some kids just like the exploring aspect of mountain biking, while some thrive on the competition. The other benefit that NICA is an all-inclusive sport, meaning we don’t have cuts.”

The local NICA Composite team is an outside the school-based team for a geographic region that allows kids to get into the sports of cycling and mountain biking in particular, which is a lifelong sport.

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