Management Team

 

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Mike Long – League Director

I’m one of the rare birds where I did not get my daughter into mountain biking, she got me into mountain biking. A few months after learning to ride she wanted to race. Being a junior girl racer is an exercise in having limited opportunities and I saw the clear benefits and transformational change that cycling brought to my daughter. So I set about creating opportunities for her and all the other kids like her.

In 2012 I founded the Charlotte Youth Cycling League, a 14 and under MTB race series. In 2014 I formed Carolina Youth Cycling, a kids MTB club based in the Charlotte area. I am also a board member of the Tarheel Trailblazers, an IMBA SORBA club based in Charlotte NC.

Susan Helm-Murtagh – President

I’ve been riding bikes — usually with a huge grin on my face — for more than 25 years.  I got introduced to mountain biking here in North Carolina in the mid-1990’s, and I haven’t looked back since.   From the saddle of a mountain bike, I’ve been able to experience all sorts of cool places, from Pisgah to Moab to Bhutan to New Zealand.   Having left a 20+ year corporate career at the end of 2014 and having personally experienced the transformational powers of cycling, I now devote my time, energy and experience working with organizations that are dedicated to developing youth through physical activity.  I am really excited to be part of NICA and the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League, and am committed to helping this great organization and management team bring the joy and excitement of mountain bike racing to middle school and high school student-athletes across our state.

I’m also married to another avid cyclist (and my best friend), stepmom to two wonderful young twenty-somethings, adjunct faculty in health policy and management at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill, a USAC Level 3 certified coach, and I race cyclocross and mountain bikes.

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John Bovine – Race Director

I started riding bikes that I built up from parts pulled from the trash since I was 4th or 5th grade. (Come to think of it, that’s pretty much what I still do…) I started riding MTB back in ’92.

After my daughter participated in 2011 CYMBL series, I organized the Piedmont Youth Mountain Bike League race series in 2012 and 2013 so kids in our area would have local junior races to compete in. I also organized weekly kids mountain bike rides ages 7- 15 and the 2012 and 2013 TAKMBD for the Greensboro Fat Tire Society.

John works as an Engineering Technician with the NCDOT in the Bridge Maintenance Unit, but longs for the day that he can work in the bike industry as a professional beer drinker and international man of mystery.

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Mark Gordon – Program Director

Mark, a man of many hats, but foremost is passionate about kids, creating both emotionally & physically strong families, and cycling.

A 15-year veteran of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, serving several years as a bicycle officer, Mark has witnessed firsthand the challenges for youth in the community. This experience has fueled his passion to work with youth to promote positive choices and change. He holds national and state certifications through the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association, SHIMANO T.E.C., American Red Cross, F.E.M.A. and currently assisting as member at the Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Emergency Response Team. Through both his trainings and experiences, Mark is the founder of Bikin’ Dad’s Adventures, a regional non-profit organization with the mission to work with at-risk families to improve father-child relationships through cycling. He is also a founding member of Carolina Youth Cycling, an organization that races in local and regional XC & “Enduro” style competitions.

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Michael Eastwood – Coaching and Team Development Director

Michael Eastwood is a high school counselor who dabbled in mountain biking as a high school student himself. After returning to the sport in 2009, Michael quickly realized the power of mountain biking as a personally, physically and mentally rewarding sport. The personal challenges that and the sport presents as well as the supportive community (socially, in racing and advocacy) that it provides presents an amazing opportunity for adults and kids alike. Michael is excited by the opportunity to help bring the sport to more students, especially in a state that is home to more officially recognized collegiate mountain biking programs (4) than any other state.

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Will Washam

Will is a Town Planner by trade who also splits his time between professional cycling event announcing, trail building and riding everything with wheels. Will’s first mountain biking experience was with the Appalachian State University Cycling Team. The bonds formed through that team experience have led him to continue advocating and promoting competitive cycling as a great alternative and complement to traditional youth sports. High School and Middle School mountain biking teams in North Carolina will be a great asset to our State’s already rich sporting culture and history.

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Don Brown – Communications Director

I love to see the response on people’s faces when I tell them that, in 2009, I moved from the Raleigh area to the beaches of Wilmington and took up a new sport…mountain biking.

Yes, I had grown up pedaling a bike around the neighborhood, and even bought an early-era mountain bike while attending college, but I had never officially “mountain-biked” until relocating to the beaches of Wilmington.

Shortly after being introduced to mountain biking, the riders in my area started calling me The Trail Mayor. You will have to ride with me to understand why but most learn that I am in the sport more for the social networking, skills building, and character growth.

I am an active member of Cape Fear SORBA and volunteered as their Communications Director between 2011-14.

Bryan Engle

I spent my youth on a BMX bike dirt jumping.  These days, I don’t see quite as much air, but am still in love with being on the bike.  Any kind will do, including a road bike, but given the choice, I’d rather be in the woods on fat tires.

As my own kids have grown, I’ve had the pleasure of introducing them to mountain biking, and we’ve had some pretty cool experiences together.  My son got me involved in cyclocross (CX), where I’ve both raced against other old guys and coach the Team HammerCross juniors.  In addition to CX, I help lead the KOBRA (Kids on Bikes Riding Around) junior MTB program that TeamHammerCross runs in conjunction with the Triangle Off-Road Cyclists (TORC).

I get a huge charge out of seeing kids having fun on bikes and making big leaps in their abilities. It’s great to see them progress right in front of my eyes.

Aside from working to get #morekidsonbikes, I’m also the Membership Director and At-Large Board member for TORC. And when I’m not doing something biking-related, I work as a marketer for a technology company.

Jerel Waide

I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, 3 houses down the street from a bike shop.  Yep, I was one of those annoying neighbor hood kids that would spend as much time at the shop as the owner would allow before kicking me out.  As a kid, riding bikes gave me a sense of freedom, let me explore different neighborhoods and was my summer mode of transportation to the pool and softball practice.  

In high school and college I played tennis and was a runner.  After a few marathons I got bored with running and transitioned to triathlon.  After finishing a few Ironman’s I decided to toe the line at a local criterium, figuring how hard could a 30 minute bike race be?  The answer:  Really hard.  I was instantly hooked and have competed in road and cyclocross ever since.

Cycling has introduced me to my closest friends (my teammates and competitors), my biggest fears and continues to challenge me not only physically but mentally as well.  I am a better person because of my experiences from riding bikes.  Cycling has also allowed me to travel all over the US and explore my new home state of North Carolina.  The bike can take you to so many beautiful places.

As a former educator and social worker, I now stay at home with my two young daughters and work part time in the bike industry.  When I heard about the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League I was instantly excited and wanted to work to get #morekidsonbikes.

As a female in a traditionally male dominated sport, I was instantly intrigued by the Crank Sisters program to ensure the league empowers our female student athletes by providing a platform to connect female coaches and mentors with our female athletes.  I am excited to work with the management team to  provide opportunities for student athletes, their families and our coaches to experience the joy of cycling.  

Steve Rogers

When I was young, a bike was freedom to come and go as I pleased.  Far from home, I’d occasionally encounter my Mom or Dad in the car.  The first few times it happened, I’d ride home in fear and trepidation of being grounded.  Upon getting home, I’d casually say something like:, “hey, it was cool to see you when I was almost home.”  While I got some arched eyebrows, I never lost my wheels.  And… my rides got longer and longer.

In any case, I grew up on a farm and was riding trails long before anyone was ever talking about single tracks.  Railroads, power lines and farm paths were some of the most interesting ways to the houses of far flung friends.

My kids are now grown and out of college.  When they were young, I did my best to involve them in and impart my love of cycling to them.  My son got the mountain biking bug and participated in many races with me over the years.  Like me, he still gets a huge smile riding a trail.  When I was the race director for the local mountain bike club, TORC, my daughter served as our emergency medical responder.  She now commutes on her bicycle to her classes at UNC School of Medicine.

Not all of the success of my kids is due to riding bicycles, but it didn’t hurt.  My goal in getting involved in NCICL is to see yet another batch of kids riding bicycles.

Ken Clark

I started seriously riding bikes as an adult in the early ‘80’s before there were helmets! That soon changed and I brought my wife into the cycling fold so we could enjoy the open road together. Before kids arrived, we enjoyed three summer bike tours exploring northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

We moved to NC in the 90’s and suddenly had access to great local trails. My youngest daughter really took to trail riding which carries forward today where she lives in Asheville. I was finally able to get my oldest daughter into cycling (albeit on the road instead of the trail) after her college graduation. We rode our first century together soon after that.

I can see from my own children how just a little exposure to cycling can make them a fan for life. That is why I am delighted to be part of the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League. I want every young person who is interested in cycling to have a chance to experience it in a fun environment that gives them a chance to grow as far as they want to in the sport.

Kevin Hicks

I got back into biking by touring across the United States. In the off-hours of solving the problems of major corporations at IBM, I run Triangle Bikeworks. A nonprofit dedicated to introducing youth of color to organized cycling. I think we all realize the tremendous benefits of cycling and what it has done for each of us individually. I just want to spread the love. Because you don’t know if you don’t like something until you’ve at least tried it.

Like most kids who join a NICA league I had never taken a serious ride through the woods with a mountain bike. That is until I had to help certify race venues for the league. I find it to be exciting, challenging and so much fun! I want to spread the love of this fantastic sport that is as much about land stewardship as it is personal achievement.