Starting a new venture is difficult at the best of times. Factor in the coronavirus pandemic and it might seem impossible, especially for an endeavor that relies heavily on fundraising and donations.

But that hasn’t deterred Missouri Interscholastic Cycling League (MICL) Director Chris Mileski, who still hopes to kick off the nonprofit’s inaugural season in 2020. “We’re going to be as fluid with this season as we can at this point, but we’re moving forward with our plans to host races across the state this fall,” he said.

MICL is an emergent league of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), the governing body for middle- and high-school mountain biking in the US. NICA currently has 31 state leagues. It’s mission: to build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling.

Since announcing that MICL would join NICA last summer, the league has been creating its leadership team, identifying and certifying race venues, and spreading the word about the league at a series of “road shows” held around Missouri. The next steps are to continue to generate donations and sponsorships, and to register coaches, teams, and student-athletes for the upcoming race season.

Coaches must be certified through NICA, something that can be done in part through MICL’s online Pit Zone, which will go live April 15. “Launching the Pit Zone portal is our next big step. This will allow us to register coaches, teams, and riders, and will let the coaches begin their initial certification training,” said Mileski. “Hopefully, with families and youth having more time at home, and with the importance of community being top-of-mind these days, MICL can keep the positive momentum rolling.”

To learn more about the MICL, coaching, or volunteering, or to donate or sponsor the league, visit