When kids set and achieve realistic goals, they build self-confidence that can last a lifetime. Just finishing a race can be a huge boost!
Cycling is all about progression. It doesn't matter if you are 5, 15, or 50... improvements to your riding always feel like a great accomplishment.
Seeing the same faces week-to-week during a series helps to break down the barriers and build lasting friendships among competitors.
Young cyclists learn to be independent on the trail, relying on nobody but themselves to get them across the finish line.
The overarching goal of CYCL is to give kids the opportunity to have a great mountain bike race experience that is scaled to fit the age and ability level of a child in a fun, safe, and low-cost setting. Through mountain bike racing we promote good sportsmanship, skill building and a bias towards healthy activity as a lifestyle. We also want to give Charlotte area kids a leg up on preparing for the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League.
We are very excited to bring this opportunity to our kids and we’d love for you to come grow with us.
We hope to see you out there!
Our founder, Mike Long introduced mountain biking to his 7 year-old daughter five years ago. He didn’t realize what a fire he had started and how it would change their lives forever. Searching for races for her to enter, he discovered a void in the Charlotte cycling community that needed to be filled. There were very few cycling/ mountain biking opportunities in the area that provided an authentic race experience for kids.
When he started asking people in the Charlotte Cycling community about starting a kids series, Mike found a lot of people were already talking about doing something similar. However, it just had not taken off. He knew that if it was ever going to get off the ground, he needed to get everyone together and get it moving. It didn’t take long before he had organized a core group of like-minded people from the Charlotte cycling community, and after a few emails and a survey to gauge interest, Charlotte Youth Cycling League became a reality.
2015 brought a lot of changes. Mike’s Daughter had outgrown CYCL per her skill and fitness level, and that’s when he discovered an opportunity to introduce an interscholastic cycling league to North Carolina. He has since made the league come to form and is spending every spare minute he has to get the racing started in 2017. With this move, he needed to find someone who is as passionate about CYCL as he has been.
Jamie Conger's son had started his second season with CYCL at 6 years old. Jamie knew already that Mountain Biking was something that he would do with his son for a lifetime. When Mike asked Jamie to step up and take the helm, he was both honored and super-excited! Together with the help of Shawn Gentry, we plan to grow this league into something that will be a part of the Charlotte area for years to come, and we want Mike to always be able to look back with pride in the legacy he began. Don’t be fooled, though! You will still see him around occasionally.