An Interview with Micah Rice, Managing Director of National Events, USA Cycling
31 Oct, 2010By: Sports Destination Management Team
Micah Rice is managing director of national event for USA Cycling, overseeing USA Cycling's national championship events as well as the development and implementation of the national governing body's domestic and international racing calendars in the road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross disciplines. In addition to his extensive experience with event and team management, Rice is an active racer. Starting out as a collegiate rider for the University of Georgia, Rice worked his way into the professional ranks, riding for Zaxby's Professional Cycling Team in 2000 and 2001.
Years in industry: 15
Years in current position: 1
What is the mission of your organization?
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. USA Cycling's mission is to achieve sustained success in international cycling competition and to grow competitive cycling in America.
USA Cycling was organized in 1920 as the Amateur Bicycle League of America and incorporated in New York in 1921. In 1975, the name changed to the United States Cycling Federation. In 1995, USA Cycling incorporated in Colorado. On July 1, 1995, the two corporations merged with USA Cycling as the umbrella corporation.
Nationally, how many participants do you have?
There are 70,000 members of USA Cycling with approximately 7000 that participate in the USA Cycling National Championships. USA Cycling membership grew for the seventh consecutive year in 2009. In addition to competitive cyclists, USA Cycling also licenses coaches, officials and mechanics, has over 2,200 affiliated clubs and teams, and is represented nationwide by 34 local associations. In total, USA Cycling had 7,698 total participant training and race days logged through our development programs in 2009.
How many national events are held each year?
In 2009, USA Cycling sanctioned over 2,600 events total, four percent more than in 2008. We run seven national-level racing calendars and hold 17 national championship events across the country to offer cyclists of all ages and abilities the chance to win a national title across all disciplines: road, track, mountain bike, cyclo-cross and BMX. Local Associations since 2003.
In what regions/locations are they held?
USA Cycling events are held all across the nation.
As an organization, what do you look for in a location?
We look for quality cycling venues/courses, accessibility, strong spectator/media base and solid Sports Commission/CVB support.
From an event management standpoint, what is the most challenging aspect of your job?
One of the biggest challenges is juggling the logistics of 17 National Championship events with such a small staff.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
All the work is worthwhile when we get to see our members compete and enjoy memorable experiences.
What is your biggest challenge in organizing your events?
Executing a cycling event is a complex project, but ensuring road closure and course safety rank among the biggest challenges.
Please describe how you feel your knowledge, skills and experience have contributed to the success of the sports events in which you are involved.
I have many different perspectives of the sport of cycling including: race promotion/event organization, professional team ownership and racing. Now being in the position of running these top-tier events I can pull from my past experience to create the best events for our sport and organization. We work hard to not just put on another bike race for our members, but to create an experience they will remember forever.