Meet The Spring League Directors: Mike Long

How long have you been a League Director?

Since the founding of the NC league so it’s getting close to a year and a half.

What led you into this position?

My Daughter.
She discovered mountain biking and then mountain bike racing during elementary school. As long as she wanted to do this I was all in but I was dissatisfied with the MTB opportunities available to juniors.

I had heard about NICA and was completely jazzed about everything I had seen and heard about the program. My daughter was too young for the program so I became and avid observer of all things NICA. When the middle school program was announced I knew it was time to get moving. A meeting was called to organize an NC NICA league and I jumped in head first. We came out the other side of that process with a league and myself as League Director.

What is your favorite thing you get to do as a League Director?

Hmmm…. I’m not sure I’m there yet. I’m very much looking forward to our first race, walking the pit zone and seeing the kids out there on the course.

I’ll have a much better answer after this season.

How has being a League Director changed your life?

I’m internet famous now so I might need to create a Facebook account under an assumed name. I’m thinking Spinny Cogsworth…

On a more serious note….
I have to mange my time a lot more carefully for one.
More importantly, I’ve met a lot of great people, visited parts the state I’ve never been to before and ridden some great trails.

What inspires you?

I like possibility and I tinker with stuff.
The ability to ask “what if we…” and make things a little better than they are is pretty exciting to me.

How has being part of NICA helped you and your region’s efforts to get more kids on bikes?

North Carolina has a vibrant and diverse bike culture and NICA is helping bring us together to answer the universal question of how to get more kids involved in cycling. Up till now it’s been a ride here, a skills clinic there but nothing focused soley on the kids at any real scale outside of some great local cycling clubs and teams. There is now a statewide movement to gets kids on bikes.

What is one thing you would like to say to other states about your league?

If you’ve never ridden a bike in North Carolina you’re missing out.

To the exisitng leagues, thank you. We’ve learned a lot from your trailblazing.

If you don’t have a league yet, you need one and we’d be happy to help.

When my last race of the season is complete…

I’ll be thinking about how to make the next season even better.

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