Frequently Asked Questions

The registration process opens April 1, 2022 for the season that begins July 1st and runs through mid-November. From April 1 to July 1 there will be several fun rides, bike checks, and other events. After July 1, we practice three days a week, weather permitting.

NICA is the National Interscholastic Cycling Association ( There are numerous state-level leagues, and we race within the South Carolina Cycling League (, which is a NICA Project League.

All three of our teams practice together in different skill/experience groups, but the team that you officially race for, and therefor need to register within the NICA Pit Zone, is determined by what school you attend. For example, if you attend RC Edwards Middle School or D.W. Daniel High School then you will race for Daniel. If you attend Walhalla Middle School or Walhalla High School then you will register for and race for Walhalla. If you are homeschooled or live outside of those two school districts, then you will race with Issaqueena Composite.

Our main practice locations are the following:

  1. The northern section of the Clemson Experimental Forest, usually parking at the Issaqueena Trailhead (locally known as the Horseshoe parking area) MAP IT
  2. The hiking/biking trails behind Southern Wesleyan University MAP IT
  3. The Fant’s Grove area of the southern Clemson Experimental Forest, where we park at the Butch Kennedy Trailhead near the T. Ed Garrison Arena MAP IT
  4. Nettle’s Park in Clemson – We may have occasional practices here MAP IT
  5. Stumphouse Mountain Bike ParkWe may have occasional practices here MAP IT

$300 NICA fees
$25 Issaqueena Composite Mountain Biking fee
~$65 for team jersey

Fees DO cover the registration for all five races but DO NOT cover individual equipment costs such as bike, helmet, and riding gear or travel to, and camping/hotels at, the four out-of-town races during the season (the 5th race is local).

The following equipment is required at each practice and during races:

  • A proper mountain bike (not a road, hybrid, or gravel bike) in good working order
  • Helmet
  • The tools needed to change a flat tire. This generally means a spare inner tube of the appropriate size, tire levers, and a way to inflate the new tube (either a small hand pump or CO2 cartridges). We will teach students how to change a tire, but they must have the tools needed to do it.
  • Hydration. Most students and coaches ride with a backpack that holds a water bladder and with pockets to carry bike tools and a spare inner tube, but some students prefer to have water bottles and equipment mounted on their bike.

Yes! We are very lucky to have the excellent Southpaw Cycles ( as a local shop in Clemson. Southpaw sells everything you need to mountain bike and can answer all your questions about equipment.

We practice three days a week and there are five race weekends. However, we understand that all our athletes have many demands on their time and that many are involved in other sports and extracurricular activities during the season. There is no pre-set, required number of practices or races to attend.

Students race against their peers, meaning that 6th grade girls race against 6th grade girls, 6th grade boys race against 6th grade boys, on up through 12th grade (Varsity).

There are five races on Sundays during the season (see the EVENTS tab for dates and locations). Most riders and families go to the race venue on Saturday so that the student athletes can pre-ride the course, either camp out or stay in a hotel Saturday evening, and then then the races start Sunday morning in waves (e.g. 8th grade boys, then 7th grade boys, then 6th grade boys, etc.).

The racecourse consists of one lap that is approximately 4 miles long and athletes race 1-4 laps depending on their age and speed. Putting on a race for 200+ mountain bikers is a HUGE production and parents are strongly encouraged to volunteer for several hours during the weekend; it sounds intimidating but there are Volunteer Coordinators who are extremely well organized such that you sign up for a several hour shift and they teach you what to do.

Yes and no. NICA has strict protocols for safety that include low student to coach ratios which means that we need A LOT of coaches at each practice. Historically there has been enough coaches (we had 15 coaches in 2021) such that we did not need to limit the number of riders on the team. However, the sport of mountain biking in general, and participation on our team in particular, are growing quickly and if we cannot continue to recruit more coaches then we will be forced to limit the size of the team.   So PLEASE VOLUNTEER to  COACH!

Yes. For help with the NICA fees, please see this form (

For assistance with the Team Fee, please contact the Team Director.