By Jeremy Klopper
Fourteen teams from across New Jersey came over the weekend to Morris Mania, the second ever New Jersey Interscholastic Cycling League (NJICL) race in the state and the first one held at Lewis Morris County Park in Morris Township.
The NJICL is a chapter of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) which has just expanded to 19 leagues operating throughout the country with additional leagues planned.
Sunday’s 3.7-mile race loop was one of the more challenging courses in the five race series, testing riders with 450 feet of vertical climb per lap over a mix of single and double track trail, forcing riders to carefully plan their passing opportunities.
Heavy rain on Friday followed by intermittent light rain on Saturday added to the challenge forcing athletes to contend with slippery conditions.
The Morristown Revolutions is a composite team consisting of middle- and high school male and female riders from Morristown, Randolph, and other surrounding towns.
The Revolutions picked up eight individual medals in six different rider classes and came away with first place in the team competition, edging out the Princeton Progressions team that won the first race two weeks prior.
Marty’s Reliable Cycle in Morristown is the host shop for the Revolutions, with shop owner Jesse Epstein as the head coach.
The team embraces the vision and mission of the league, accepting anyone with a desire to ride, whether experienced or new to the sport.
Cycling traditionally has been a male dominated sport and recruiting female riders has often been a challenge. While the Revolutions hope to eventually have an equal number of male and female riders, they still have a long way to go.
As they continue to build their team, all riders will be welcomed with additional efforts towards expanding their female ranks.
Anyone with an interest in the sport should stop by Marty’s Reliable Cycle in Morristown, or send an email.
For additional information on the league, check out www.newjerseymtb.org. Registration continues throughout the spring season, so there is still time to get in on the action.
Jeremy Klopper is a coach in the New Jersey Interscholastic Cycling League.