Profiles in Leadership: John Taylor


Our Profiles in Leadership series will introduce you to some of the great people accross 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.


John TaylorWhere are you from/what is/are your “home” trails?
I am from Lewisville, NC. My home trails are Tanglewood and Hobby Park.
How long have you been mountain biking?
I started mountain biking on a fully rigid Diamond Back I purchased at the Clean Machine in Chapel Hill, at the urging of my roommate at the time, and started riding single track. Thank goodness our youth allowed us to tolerate all those vibrations. That was in 1987.
What involvement do you have in the cycling or youth development community?
I have been coaching my three kids in several sports mainly through the YMCA, but as my daughters have chosen sports I know very little about, I have been engaged in riding with my son, improving trails in my area, racing mountain bikes, cyclocross, and occasionally road bikes. I have been encouraging juniors to participate for some time in hopes NC would get started before my son moves on to college.
Which is your favorite of NICA’s 5 core values and why?
I’m obviously a child of the 60s and back then we didn’t know what soccer was. We played football, basketball, and baseball. We rode what today would be a $50 bike for fun and transportation around the neighborhood; there were no races of any sort for bikes back then where I grew up in Virginia. I was lucky in that I was a good all around athlete, but I love NICA’s vision of all kids participate. I saw parents of 7 year olds on some of my Y teams who confronted me because I had a strict equal play policy and they thought that was compromising our ability to win. With NICA, every participant will be able to toe the line at every race and go for it. No coach can put you out in right field or forget to put you into the game. No politics, no stipulations; if your fitter and more prepared you can be the quarterback of cycling that day.
What elements of cycling do you hope to pass onto the kids that participate in NCICL?
I’m very excited to work with kids at my local high school. Cycling has been an inspiration to me in my adult life. It helps me have a healthy lifestyle doing something I love to do. I love to ride; from rail trails to racing at the National Championships, sharing those experiences with family and many friends.
What have you learned about yourself through cycling?
Cycling has taught me that you can do anything you want to; I had a very close friend tell me early on that if you ride within your aerobic capacity, and you eat and drink, you can ride all day. I love to see how far I can ride. A few years ago I was doing the Bridge to Bridge 100 mile ride and I couldn’t figure out a ride back to Lenoir, so I decided to just ride back. I ate and drank and rode 170 miles in a day.
What can you teach others through cycling?
I’m 52; I want to impress this determination to kids who now have the ability to enter this sport several decades before I did. I hope to impress on these juniors the value of riding and racing bikes compared to becoming a spectator in their adult life. I see to many people who just want to see who’s making headlines instead of making headlines.

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