Sunday, March 28, 2010
Over the past few years I have had an idea of getting more youth involved in the sport of cycling, specifically mountain bike racing. When we started the races at Lake Orion High School a few years ago I included categories specifically for students and cut the entry fees way down for them. We haven't had a big turnout of students but did get some new to the sport.
One of my thoughts was that someday we could get an interscholastic league started in the state. Michigan has a big racing community but spread out over the state. There is a mountain bike race of some sort almost every weekend from May through September.
I started looking into the idea a little more and discovered that there is a big school league out in California that has also spawned a national program that is still in its infancy. Colorado is starting to organize under the national guidelines. I thought we might be able to do something similar in our state.
I have been talking about it for long enough and decided to finally see what i could organize. A few weeks ago I held an informational meeting and invited anyone interested and made sure to include the advisers of school clubs already in existence. Also in attendance at that meeting were a few members of the Michigan Mountain Biking Association state board.
The meeting was well received and positive communication generated a follow-up meeting with the advisers to work on how to get other schools involved and put together a club start-up document. The MMBA members and I talked about possibly incorporating my ideas as part of the MMBA. This would provide many benefits, including insurance, resources, and fit into the MMBA mission as well.
It was decided to present the concept at the state board meeting this past Wednesday. I was put on the agenda and a copy of my presentation was emailed to the board members. During the meeting, which was held via phone conference, I presented my ideas and answered questions. The motion to be a part of the MMBA was unanimously approved.
Now the work begins, forming our own board of the Michigan Interscholastic Cycling Association (MICA) and getting the word out. We have to develop brochures, a web presence, budgets, race schedule, school literature, etc., etc. The 2010 race schedule will be a trial run of only two races, including one already on the Michigan calendar in September and another TBD. At this late date in the school year it will be hard for schools to put together a team for the fall but we hope to have a few schools participate.
I started another blog for the MICA site as a placeholder for now but hope to have our own website soon. Stay tuned for more details of this exciting new venture.