After playing years of soccer at an elite level and trials with a few European teams, Mike decided to enter his first mountain bike race in 1992 and was instantly hooked. After competing in every aspect of the sport, he quickly progressed and was eventually signed by Rocky Mountain Bicycles to ride on their small US team. Mike went on to race for four years on this squad, competing on a national level in cross country, downhill, dual slalom, and 24-hour endurance races. Focusing on the mental aspect of the sport and visualization, Mike won the Pennsylvania State Master’s Downhill Championship in 1997 and 1998 along with many podium spots in cross-country races. Even willing to race on snow, he won the Big Boulder Snow Dual Slalom in 1999. An off-the-bike traumatic brain injury in 2000 forced Michael to miss Master’s World Championships and retire from mountain bike racing. However, once he was symptom-free, he soon decided to take on the challenges of road cycling. He took to this just as he did mountain biking, competing in all forms of the discipline: road races, criteriums, time trials, stage races, and cyclocross.