Candidate Statement from Michael Rowell
January 21, 2020
I came onto the NEBRA board this past spring as a replacement for Dave in his unfortunate passing. Throughout the year I’ve tried to lend insight to the board from the areas that I have experience and visibility into. Those areas are primarily as a masters cyclocross, mountain bike, and road racer but also as an event volunteer. Additionally, I have insight into the masters women’s race scene via my wife Cathy and still take an interest in and have visibility into the junior race scene. I’ve also been a long time supporter of cycling advocacy groups both on and off-road and as such, try and add that perspective, whenever applicable.
I started racing bicycles competitively back in the early 1990’s. It literally changed my life, shaped and has come to define me. As a fairly steady fixture on the New England race scene for the past fifteen years I have met countless wonderful people that I call friends. I’ve benefited greatly from the tireless work of  promoters, officials, fellow racers and the folks right here at NEBRA.
There are so many wonderful memories of the amazing family that is New England cycling, a family that I feel fortunate to be part of. Over the past decade and a half I’ve competed in countless events across most of the primary disciplines together with my wife and team mate Cathy. I’ve had the privilege of starting and running a successful junior development program for the North East Bicycle Club (NEBC). This program introduced teen age kids to multiple disciplines of cycling and bicycle racing and fostered a simply passion for the sport of cycling. I still look back on this as one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. I’ve captained and managed MTB and cyclocross teams and provided numerous free skills clinics for club members over the years, while active with the club.
I’ve been very fortunate and have been able to compete at many levels of the sport over the years. As a late comer to competitive cycling I was that overweight twenty something newcomer who struggled to finish their first beginner MTB race nearly last. From there it was a long slow journey and learning process but the sport and the people were always welcoming, encouraging and respectful. This encouragement kept me going and instilled in me the desire to not only encourage others but to respect them, their efforts and their races as much as my own, a premise that I hold very dear to this day.
After years of being on the receiving end I’d like the opportunity to continue to lend a hand and be involved; to help out and try and be part of the solution. Anyone that knows me knows that I am passionate about cycling. I ride my bike every single day of the year not because I have to but because I want to, love to. The only thing that I love more than riding my bike is convincing others to come out and ride bikes with me. Ask anyone that participates in the long standing weekly cyclocross practice sessions I host throughout the season or the stream of folks who have participated in various group rides that have gone continually from our house for the past couple of decades.

As such, I ask for your vote so that I may continue to add my voice and passion to the NEBRA board of directors.