Meet Miles Crumley, NWCCC Director

  
  


Miles in the green of Portland State.
Miles in the green of Portland State.
How did you first get involved with cycling?

I first got involved with cycling about five years ago. I had just transferred schools and was looking for a way to get to campus. At the time, I had a roommate that was into bikes and he convinced me to buy a bike and start commuting. Prior to that, I was interested in bikes as a kid but never considering riding them for transportation until much older. 
 
What about collegiate cycling?
I would say that I have always been a pretty competitive person. After a few months of commuting another friend of mine, Yode Walker, introduced me to the Portland State Cycling Team and suggested I come out for one of their team rides. That year I did not race since I was graduating. After working for a year, I returned to school and began racing shortly thereafter.
 
How long have you been conference director?
3 months as director and one year as assistant conference director.
 
Why did you decide to get involved?
Our conference director, Bill Wykoff, was retiring having done it for the past decade. At the time I was in charge of coordinating logistics for the Portland State Cycling Team and figured I could go for an even larger challenge.  
 
Describe a typical race weekend; what do you do?
A typical race weekend has a road race, team time trial, and criterium. We usually run the road race and team time trial on Saturdays with the criterium on Sunday mornings. This past season, I mainly assisted with the posting and processing of results, registration, and officiating at the races. 
 
What about during the week? What kind of conference duties do you take care of then?
During the week I answer questions about racing and coordinate with teams regarding their events. Occasionally, I have to review the results and correct errors. I also update and maintain the conference website.
 
What are some unique challenges or requirements of managing the NWCCC?
I think one of the things that every conference faces is geography. Traveling to and from races weekend after weekend can become quite exhausting at times. We have teams that travel 12+ hours weekly to compete; all of that driving makes for interesting "management" scenarios. People forget that being packed inside of a van with 10 others for eight plus hours will make you go stir crazy. My goal every weekend is to make sure that everyone that wants to participate can and does.
 
What are your goals for the conference?
My main goal for the conference is to increase overall ridership and diversity of the participants. I recall Jeffrey Hansen saying that our conference had the highest percentage of collegiate women cyclists; I would like to see an even higher number of women participating. What can we do as conference directors to make cycling more inclusive of potential participants? Another goal is to get more things written down. Often I find that we in leadership positions know how to do stuff in our head but do not have a written version to pass along to others. If we had more things written, transitions between leadership would be a lot easier (at least that is what my mother taught me).
 
Do you ride very often? -Race? -Road or mountain?
I still commute by bike most days of the week. Occasionally, I do get out and ride and will eventually start racing again. With graduate school winding down, however, I have to be more deliberate about how I spend my time so that each moment is maximized. When I start racing again, I will participate in the local criterium series we have here. (My goal is to upgrade to a cat 3 at some point.) I wanted to be a racecar driver as a kid but was too poor to race cars so I started to race bikes in college. I am considering taking up mountain biking eventually.
 
What kind of bike(s) do you have?
I own two bikes right now: a Kona Paddy Wagon and a steel road bike I built up a few years ago that I race on.
 
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Interacting with the students and watching them meet their goals is probably my favorite part of the job. During the road season I occasionally gave pointers to the newer riders based on things I observed while they were riding. Being confident and comfortable on the bike will make it so that other riders will want to ride with you in the future.
 
Least favorite?
Pinning numbers and being a nag. I do a lot of this both as conference director and as an official. But I find that even with these tasks it is all in how you frame it: If you tell a rider why pinning their number on will facilitate them being placed correctly, over time I end up pinning less numbers. 
 
Why do you keep doing it?
I do it because of the happiness that the riders bring to the conference. Seeing a rider that has struggled at the beginning of the season ride across the finish line at conference champs or watching as a team rallies behind a rider in need. These stories and experiences fuel me to continue to lead and direct the conference. Even though the lows can be frustrating at times, the smiles and appreciation the riders bring to the conference can be quite invigorating. 
 
What is special about collegiate cycling?
Collegiate cycling is unique in that it provides young athletes with a venue that allows them to experience the sport of cycling without the intense pressure that racing for a team may present. While many of the riders in our conference ride for other teams or go on to have professional careers in cycling, collegiate cycling is geared towards the development and growth of students both academically and through competition. Each weekend, I see students forming new relationships with each other, discussing ideas about research, and making new friendships. Some of the relationships in the conference go beyond collegiate racing and ultimately enriches the lives of the participants. 
 
Two generations of NWCCC Dirctors: Miles and his predecessor, Bill Wykoff.
Two generations of NWCCC Dirctors: Miles and his predecessor, Bill Wykoff.
Do you have any good stories (funny, heartwarming, dramatic) from being a conference director?

I do not have any good stories per se; we always have a handful of riders that never know what order they finished and the occasional rider who thinks they got first but really placed much lower. One rider in particular claimed he won all the primes in a race so I sent him a screenshot of all the first place winners during the race and that took the wind out of his sails.
 
What is your paying job?
I work in a biophysics lab at Portland State University. I am in charge of all of the lab supplies and the instruments. The lab researches how light enables the metabolization of proteins in the body.
 
Tell me three things about yourself that don’t involve cycling.
(1) I am in graduate school working on a master's in psychology and systems science. My area of research is on adolescent identity development, specifically at the intersection of ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. I am interested in mapping out the different pathways and outcomes that adolescents go through.
(2) I collect books. My library right now is approaching 500 books. Most of them have been cataloged and the collection is pretty diverse. I do have a few rare books that are hidden in my house, as well as a vast library of textbooks and reference books. I also have a small collection of comic books. I do not know if I would classify myself as an avid reader but I do tend to collect books based on things I am interested in.
(3) When I am not doing cycling stuff, I can also be found either refereeing soccer games or instructing soccer referees. It is something I have been doing for over a decade and I still enjoy it to this day. Lately, I have been doing more instructing off-the-field and less officiating on-the-field, but I plan to get out on the field more in the coming years.
 


This Article Published June 27, 2011 For more information contact: