Defend The Bend

October 9 - 10, 2021
North Bend State Park will host race #4 of the 2021 season. Found among the Mid-Ohio Valley’s rolling hills, lakes and streams, North Bend State Park offers a multitude of recreational facilities in a beautiful setting. Named for the horseshoe curve of the North Fork of the Hughes River, this year-round park is lush with hiking trails and abundant wildlife. Located near Cairo and Harrisville, North Bend State Park is best known for the 72-mile North Bend Rail Trail, which follows a railbanked B&O Railroad corridor with several tunnels along the way. This is a course that offers something for everyone! Tough climbs, flowy open singletrack, grassy meadows, and true West Virginia woods. It’s also great for spectating, so be sure to bring your binoculars!
North Bend State Park
202 North Bend State Park Rd
Cairo, WV 26337

Highly dependent on direction approaching from, but these are general directions from Harrisville. Leaving Harrisville, head west on Main Street/WV-5. Turn right at Cokeley Recreation Area. There will be WVICL signs here. Please be careful using GPS as they have gotten people lost in the past.

Race Photo

Parking and PitZone Drop Off Information

  • Please park in designated areas
  • All vehicles must abide by the instructions of parking volunteers and/or league staff. Any violators risk imposition of penalties against their respective team
  • Vehicles must use the designated loading/unloading zone and immediately move to designated parking areas after unloading at the Pit Zone area.
  • Vehicles must follow one-way directional traffic in/out of Pit Zone drop off area (see venue map)

Race Registration

Online registration closes Wednesday before each race at 11:00pm

  • Students must be league registered and “race-ready” in order to participate
  • Registration is done on the NICA Pit Zone website
  • DO NOT LOSE YOUR RACE PLATE! Students will receive a race plate for the race series to be used for all races, so please take care of them. Race plates have chips on the back and require care to avoid damage. There is a $10.00 fee to replace race plates if lost, or forgotten. Replacement plates are at registration.

Race Fees

League/NICA Registration (annual)$100$100$10
Race Entry Fee (per race)$40$40$10

* After Wednesday, you will have to register at the race and pay the late fee. Scholarships and financial assistance are available, for more information email

Volunteering at our Events

Race day would not be possible without the incredible work of our volunteers. It takes a “village” to put on quality youth mountain bike races. Many parents and cycling enthusiasts find that getting involved with our events is a fun and rewarding experience.

Saturday and Sunday positions are available

We know some positions can look complex and possibly overwhelming for first-time volunteers. Rest assured ALL of our volunteer positions are fun and require no previous experience, and our Core Race Staff are with you every step of the way. You will feel confident and well prepared for your task.

For more information contact our Volunteer Coordinator,

Pick one (or two) that sound interesting to you, and look forward to the fun! SCAN QR CODE BELOW TO GUARANTEE YOUR PREFERRED VOLUNTEER SPOTS FOR EACH OF THE RACES!

Scan QR Code


Pit Zone Information and NICA Rules

  • Pit Zone is open for loading/unloading
    • Saturday: 11:00am - 5:00pm
      There will be no riding on course prior to the pre-ride opening
    • Sunday: 7:00am - 8:00am and after the infield is taken down
  • Garbage expectations - pack in/pack out
  • Fire/Grilling expectations
  • No Gas Generators in the PitZone
  • No inappropriate language allowed
  • Teams must remove all garbage from Pit Zone and camping areas whether or not a dumpster is on site
  • No Smoking, Alcohol, or open flames in Pit Zone
  • Dogs must be on leash and under control at all times
  • Conflicts and/or disputes should not be dealt with in the team Pit Zone area
  • Any violation of the above rules may result in a team penalty and/or expulsion from the Pit Zone and infield area

Event Weekend Schedule


9:00 AMVolunteer Shifts Begin
11:30 AMRegistration Opens
12:00 PMPit Zone Access Open
12:30 PMCoaches Meeting
1:00 PM* Pre-Ride Open to all riders
4:00 PM* NICA GRiT Ride - meet at the NICA GRiT Tent
5:00 PMPre-Ride Closed - (No riders allowed on course after pre-ride is closed)
6:00 PMRegistration Closes


6:45 AMVolunteer Shifts Begin
7:30 AMRegistration Opens
8:00 AM*Pre-Ride Open to all riders
8:30 AMHead Coaches Meeting under pavillion
9:00 AMPre-Ride Closed
9:15 AMStaging - Wave 1 MS Boys
9:30 AMRacing Begins
10:15 AMStaging - Wave 2 Girls
11:30 AMRegistration Closes
12:15 PMStaging - Wave 3 HS Boys
2:00 PMRacing Concludes
2:15 PMPit Zone Break Down Begins
3:30 PMAwards Ceremony


Pre-Ride Hours
Coaches Only (Saturday 12:00PM - 1:00PM)
Saturday afternoon (1:00 PM – 5:00 PM)
Sunday morning (7:30 AM – 8:30 AM)

All racers should pre-ride the course


TO BE ON COURSE: ALL RIDERS (STUDENTS & REGISTERED COACHES) must be fully practice ready in the Pit Zone and have their number plates affixed to their bike

Coaches Meeting

A mandatory head coaches meeting will be held at 12:30pm on Saturday, and 8:30am on Sunday. Each team must have 1 representative present at the meetings.

Wave Start Times

  • STAGING will begin 15 minutes before each wave.
  • If you miss your call up, you will be placed in with the rest of the group.
  • Note: Final lap count decision per category will be finalized and confirmed at the start of each race in addition to any lap cut-off times.

Race Duration Guidelines

  • <30 mins for Middle School
  • 30-50 mins for Frosh/Soph boys and girls & and JV girls
  • 45-90 mins for JV boys and Varsity girls
  • 45-90 mins for Varsity boys
  • Race officials reserve the right to determine these time limits at any time.
  • Time limits may be imposed for reasons that include, among others: safety, heat, cold, rain, and muddy conditions.
  • Course closures may be announced at any time.
  • Due to weather or course closures, these duration guidelines may be changed at League Discretion.

Wave 1: Middle School Boys

8th Grade Boys (3000’s)9:34 AM210:01 AM25-45 minutesBLUE
7th Grade Boys (2000’s)9:32 AM29:59 AM25-45 minutesRED
6th Grade Boys (000’s)9:30 AM29:57 AM25-45 minutesWHITE

Wave 2: Girls

Varsity Girls (1-49)10:30 AM411:51 AM60-100 minutesBLACK
JV Girls (100’s)10:32 AM311:26 AM45-90 minutesBLUE
Sophomore Girls (400’s)10:34 AM311:28 AM45-90 minutesRED
Freshman Girls (700’s)10:36 AM311:30 AM45-90 minutesWHITE
8th Grade Girls (6000’s)10:38 AM211:05 AM25-45 minutesBLUE
7th Grade Girls (5000’s)10:40 AM211:07 AM25-45 minutesRED
6th Grade Girls (4000’s)10:42 AM211:09 AM25-45 minutesWHITE

Wave 3: High School Boys

Varsity Boys (50-99)12:30 PM41:51 PM90-120 minutesBLACK
JV Boys (300’s)12:32 PM31:26 PM60-100 minutesBLUE
Sophomore Boys (500’s)12:34 PM31:28 PM45-90 minutesRED
Freshman Boys (900’s)12:36 PM31:30 PM45-90 minutesWHITE

Chip Timing Info

All riders will receive a permanent number plate with chip timing transponder on the backside. Riders will use the same plate for the entire race series, so please remove this number plate before mounting the bike for transport to prevent loss. Replacement number plates will be available at the registration tent for 10$

Category Petitions

Those petitioning for exceptions to category placement must do so by Sunday August 22, 2020 by midnight.
  • No race day petitions will be accepted
  • Contact your Team Director or Head Coach to be invited
  • Independent riders contact

Refund/Weather Policy

Our primary considerations are the safety of riders, support staff and spectators, and potential damage to the venue and trails. Any decisions regarding canceling, postponing or altering race start times, lap lengths, number of laps, etc. will be made jointly by league staff and the land manager. Often this decision cannot be made until the morning of the race due to the unpredictable and rapidly changing nature of severe weather. The league will make every attempt to notify the racing population as soon as possible via email, social media and website updates.

More Information

Nica Handbook

Handbook: West Virginia Policies and Rules

All participants are required to read, understand and abide by all league policies, rules and protocols while attending any league event.

Camping and Lodging

The West Virginia League encourages racers, coaches and parents to camp out!


We have reserved Cokeley Campground (closest to venue) for the weekend, but space is limited!

  • Camping reservations on a first come basis.
  • Two campgrounds full hook up(Cokeley & River Run).
  • Primitive sites are also available in the Cokeley Recreation area.
  • Make sure to mention WV NICA when making reservations
  • Call 304-643-2931

Primitive Field Camping Guidelines

  • Parental supervision required, no exceptions. League staff and team coaches are not responsible for student athletes outside of pre-ride and race day
  • No hookups for RV’s unless you make a reservation at the resort campground.
  • No campfires or open flames allowed. Propane grills and stoves allowed as consistent with current local fire restrictions
  • Pack in/pack out trash *no trash service provided
  • Port-a-johns will be provide


North Bend State Park
  • 14 lodge rooms and 3 two-bedroom cabins available.
  • Reserve by asking for “WV NICA discount”
  • Guaranteed discount expires 30 days before reservation, but can still ask for discount after
  • Call 304-643-2931
Sleep Inn
  • 15 rooms available.
  • Reserve by asking for “WVNICA discount”. 304-699-2919
  • 29 South Main Street, Ellenboro, WV 26346

Food Service

Maple Valley Meat Market

Food truck will be on site Sunday morning

Contact Information

Please note that most staff arrive onsite Thursday or Friday of each race weekend and may not have sufficient cell/data coverage to respond to calls/emails. Please plan accordingly.

General League Questions:

Cassie Smith
League Director

Rule Specific Questions:

Bradley Schmalzer
League Chief Official

Registration Specific Questions:

Crystal Ballentyne
League Registration Manager

Bike Service

Marietta Adventure Company
We are so grateful to have support from our community, and Marietta Adventure Co. has been one of our biggest supporters since the very beginning! Take time to stop in for last minute supplies, or just to say hey!

Neutral technical support on race weekend is provided by: Marietta Adventure Company. A great local place to shop for any adventure. Stop by the tent and give them a thumbs up for all they do for the West Virginia League.

Marietta Adventure Company

2021 Race Season

Race DateNameLocationLinks
August 28-29, 2021Rally in the ValleyCanaan Valley State ParkDetails
September 11-12, 2021Battle at Big Bear LakeBig Bear LakeDetails
September 25-26, 2021Rock and Roll at CacaponCacapon State ParkDetails
October 9-10, 2021Defend The BendNorth Bend State ParkDetails
October 23-24, 2021Brawl at Twin FallsTwin Falls State ParkDetails

Stay up-to-date

Information in this race flyer is subject to change. Please check back just prior to the race weekend to make sure you have the most current information available.