Dan Dodson was an assistant coach for the Wake County Trailhawks who started his NICA coaching career at the 2016 Leaders Summit in Greensboro. Here’s what he had to say about his first season:
I never considered myself a “hardcore” MTBer and thought I may be over-stepping by volunteering to be a coach for NICA as many of the coaches are quite accomplished riders…. However, it was a great decision and I’ve found that the other coaches, parents, and riders are fantastic where the emphasis is on fun versus pure competition.
This is a super supportive group and we all have a great time getting out and simply riding. The races are exciting, but the environment has more of a festival feel with music, food and fun folks (although there is always good-natured competition). Getting to see all the different teams/riders from across the state and meeting other MTB enthusiasts makes this certainly worthwhile.
If you are on the fence, come join us and be part of a growing league within NC!
If you’d like to help get #morekidsonbikes please consider attending our Leaders Summit on September 16-17, 2017 in Wilkesboro, NC. Registration is open – so please take the next step and register here.
The Profiles in Leadership article below was originally published in the fall of 2016.
Where are you from/what is/are your “home” trails?
I am from Cary, NC (Raleigh area) and my main trails are Lake Harris and Lake Crabtree, although I try to hit a bunch around the Triangle area.
How long have you been mountain biking?
I started mountain biking in the early 90’s, but with kids and work I didn’t do much “mountain biking” for a number of years but still rode casually (greenways, trails, etc…). I got back into mountain biking this year in a big way.
What involvement do you have in the cycling or youth development community?
I am a member of IMBA and also TORC (Triangle Off Road Cyclists) – I am also a member/volunteer for TLC (Triangle Land Conservancy) that isn’t really directly related to mountain biking, but we do partner together on many projects (creating trails, etc…)
What’s your motivation for getting #morekidsonbikes?
I think many kids today are too “plugged in” with their phones and electronics and have lost touch with nature and being outside. Getting kids involved in a fun sport, that has a cool factor tied to it, will hopefully get them to set down their phones and pick up a bike.
What elements of cycling do you hope to pass onto the kids that participate in NCICL?
Cycling is an all-inclusive sport – you don’t need to be 6’8” or 325Lbs to be successful and have fun. Many sports may be too intimidating for some kids to try, and others may feel that if they didn’t start in the sport when they were 5 years old then they will never catch up with their peers. Being part of a sport that you can do by yourself or with friends will give them something to enjoy for years to come.
What can you teach others through cycling?
I think the best part of cycling is connecting with nature – be it on a trail or road you really get to see and be part of what is around you. I also think kids should be involved in helping build/maintain the trails as giving back to the sport is important.
What was mountain biking in high school like for you?
We really didn’t have mountain biking when I was in high school but I was a big BMX fan and used to ride my bike all the time (this was actually before I started to drive).