Profiles in Leadership: Mike Hensley

Our Profiles in Leadership series will introduce you to some of the great people across North Carolina who have been inspired to join the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League in our mission to get #morekidsonbikes.  We need YOU to help.  If you’re inspired, please consider attending our Leadership Summit on September 10-11, 2016 in Greensboro, NC.  Registration is open – so please take the next step and register here.


Mike Hensley

Where are you from/what is/are your “home” trails?

My family and I live in the town of Southmont NC on Highrock Lake, a few miles south of Lexington NC. Our home is centrally located (40 minutes from everywhere) between Uwharrie, Tanglewood, and the Greensboro watershed trails.

How long have you been mountain biking?
I’ve been riding bikes all my life, started with BMX / freestyle. I’ve been mountain biking since 1993. I took it up while at NCSU for exercise and fun.

What involvement do you have in the cycling or youth development community?

Since 2007, I raced on and off in the Southern Classic Mountain bike series, have been a member of the Cylcetherapy Mountain bike racing team out of Lewisville, NC and have raced and ridden whenever time has permitted. My wife and I have been involved in riding / racing with our 2 kids (Jacob and Olivia, now 10yrs old) since they could pedal. My racing participation of late has been replaced with lots of fun rides and bike trips with our kids. They’ve participated in the CYMBL and the PYMBL in CLT kids series races since they were 6 years old and are hooked on mountain bike racing. We are looking forward to racing with them as much as possible and supporting them as they grow. We’ve made some very good friends along the way, and want to continue the mountain biking lifestyle and help introduce other kids to mountain biking. Our family is a member of the local YMCA of Lexington, where my wife Tracy works as a fitness coordinator and I coached a recreational league youth basketball team this past fall.

What’s your motivation for getting #morekidsonbikes?

I loved biking as a kid, and dreamed of having a local BMX course but none existed in my area. I love the feeling that comes over me when I ride and race, and I’d love to be able to offer that experience to others. My wife and I would love to have more kids and families in our local area to join us and experience what mountain biking is all about.

What’s your favorite part of being involved in the cycling community?

I’ve met such great people while riding. The cycling community seems to always have each other’s back on the trails, and in life. The shared experience and friendships I’ve made while riding and racing will last a lifetime. I also love the after ride IPAs!

Tell us about a kid that inspires you.
Both of my kids inspire me every day with their kindness, and their determination. My daughter Olivia has worked very hard this year to improve her ability in swimming, I am amazed every time she jumps in the pool to see her focus, and sportsmanship. My son Jacob gave 110 percent in his last mountain bike race, I was hoping he’d just finish it but he sprinted to the end for a win and accomplished something he thought would not happen.

In what way(s) has cycling made your life richer?
Cycling has provided a sense of community, many family vacations and outings, and serves as one of the main reasons to socialize and stay connected in my busy life.

What elements of cycling do you hope to pass onto the kids that participate in NCICL?
One of the best parts of being a coach is helping others grow.

What have you learned about yourself through cycling?

I’ve learned through cycling that I can push myself past my perceived boundaries, and that nothing good or rewarding comes easy. The feeling I get when cycling make me realize how lucky I am to be alive. I’ve also learned that I’m slow, really really slow!

We need YOU! Please consider attending our Leadership Summit on September 10-11, 2016 in Greensboro, NC.  Registration is open – register here.