Mike McCabe

 

Mike started riding on a Honda CL-72 Scrambler in some abandoned coal mining strip pits.  He was also reading a motorcycle newspaper from England every week. The pictures and stories about guys riding trials bikes fascinated him so in 1966 he ordered a Greeves bike from England. After riding the Greeves some he wanted to ride trials but could not find any in his area so he started the Northeastern Oklahoma Trials Team (NEOTT) and they began putting on events.

In 1968 or 1969 he went to a Sammy Miller trials school in St. Louis. Sammy convinced him to buy a Bultaco. Mike found a dealer and traded in the Greeves on a Sherpa T. During the next couple of years he went to trials schools both taught by Mick Andrews in Kansas and Missouri. The format was school on Saturday and a trials on Sunday. With some luck he won both of those events and in the process became friends with Mick. NEOTT decided to promote one of Mick’s schools but while Mick was in New England practicing for the ISDT he got injured. Mick called to cancel the school due to his injury and in conversation said he was trying to find a doctor to repair his shoulder. Mike knew an orthopedic trauma surgeon who agreed to see Mick. After the surgery Mick needed to recoup, so Mick and his wife Jill stayed with Mike for two weeks. It was during this time that Mick started talking to Mike about riding the Scottish Six Days Trials (SSDT).

In 1972 Mike became the first American to ride in the SSDT. At the time he was buying and reselling Sammy Miller trials products and had become Sammy's importer for the USA. In 1973 Sammy loaned Mike a 250 Bultaco for the Scottish and Mike along with a group of Americans, entered the SSDT as the "NEOTT Team".

Also about this time Mike was involved with the formation of the North American Trials Council (NATC). In 1974 and 1975 NEOTT hosted a national trials as part of the new national championship series. Those two trials were voted, by a poll of riders, as the two best trials of the series.

Mike went on to ride a few Nationals, one World round and a few Ute Cups. In 2014 while out riding one winter afternoon he broke his right femur. His wife said that she’d had enough of nursing him and would “prefer” he not buy another trials bike. But in 2016 he discovered mountain biking so now he is riding an e-mountain bike at some of the local mountain bike parks and he is really happy to be back riding.

Mike was surprised and very grateful to be inducted into the NATC Hall of Fame for 2018. Mike would like to thank all involved. "This is a great honor and I sincerely appreciate it."

Hall of Fame Historian’s notes. The facts are here, but the context and the effects of the contributions of Mike McCabe need to be described in detail. Mike’s formation of the NEOTT led to the setting national events in the first two series of the NATC. Both events were voted best event of the year by the riders, which set the bar very high for all of the other organizers to strive for, and that striving has spread through the half century of excellence of the national events. In that manner it is clear where it all began, a singular contribution to our sport. There is another contribution that is more subtle but still very important. Mike became close friends with Mick Andrews at the time Mick was World Champion. Their friendship continues with annual visits either in this country or to England. Mike developed also close ties with Sammy Miller and many of the other great English trials riders. That opened the way for Mike to have led the way for many other Americans to ride the SSDT. It also led to the many trials schools that Mick and Sammy and others have held in this country. In these ways, Mike McCabe deserves great credit for the development of the excellence of NATC trials in the United States.