1) How/when did you get into cycling as a profession?
I first started coaching cycling in 1987, primarily on a volunteer basis. In 2001, xXx Racing-AthletiCo hired me as their coach and I used that money to cover my own racing expenses. After my son was born in 2005, in order to gain more flexibility with my schedule and spend more time with him, I expanded my coaching to about 40% of my income. A short time later I moved that percentage up to 80% and started Warren Cycling Coaching Services and Camps. For the other 20% I work at Active Transportation Alliance.
2) How does your organization directly benefit cyclists?
Warren Cycling helps cyclists to reach their cycling goals through one-on-one relationships and group experiences. I still coach xXx Racing-AthletiCo, as well as individual cyclists, and run cycling clinics and camps. For 2011, Warren Cycling is hosting camps in Italy, California, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
My work with Active Transportation Alliance focuses on utilitarian cycling in Chicagoland and has literally changed the face of cycling in Northeastern Illinois.
3) Do you specialize in a certain type of cycling?
Most of my cycling revolves around racing. Although I do significant work with utilitarian and recreational cyclists (especially through my work with Active Trans), my coaching work is primarily centered on road, track, cyclecross, and mountain bike racing.
4) What are your "must-have" items for cycling (this could be a tool, an accessory, a food, etc.)
An attitude and willingness to always try to do your best. In my mind, winning is doing the absolute best you can under the given circumstances. I'll never ask more than that of my athletes and always expect that of myself.
5) What do you see as the biggest area of opportunity in your niche market?
I really enjoy working with young and developing cyclists. They are the future of our sport and I have had good success with juniors in the past. Rebecca Much won a silver medal at the 2004 Junior World Cycling Championships and multiple national championships as a junior and at U23 (under 23 years of age) nationals and John Tomlinson won Junior National Championships in '09 & '10 and represented the US at Junior World Track Championships in 2010. I have also worked with many juniors who may not have won any major competitions, but who have gone on to a life-long love of cycling.
Another aspect of cycling in which I see significant growth potential is in running more camps. A cycling camp is a focused time dedicated to riding your bike. Through camps, people find new limits to what they can do all the time and renew their sense of commitment and love for the sport. Warren Cycling has plans to expand our current camp opportunities to a larger audience in the near future.
6) How do you think the cycling community has changed in the last year or two?
I have seen a lot of changes in the Chicago cycling community since I moved here in 2000. In the last year or two there seems to have been a significant increase in most areas of cycling. We see more commuters, more people riding in colder weather, and more racers of all types—including women and juniors. Cycling is more popular, not only because of the price of gas, but because of the sheer enjoyment of riding and the chance to be competitive in something people love.
7) What is your favorite bike?
Lelli Team bike is my favorite bike to ride. Max (14-time Tour
France racer) is a personal friend of mine and it is great to get to ride
one of his bikes. We are currently racing for his team in the Giro
8) What do you find to be the most challenging part of your job?
The biggest challenge in my line of work is that I'm always
LOVE getting to have so much flexibility and doing something that I love as
my job but separating my job from my personal life is a big challenge.
9) If you could go on a bike ride with anyone (living or dead), who would it be?'
I would love to go on a bike ride with Major Taylor. Not only was he the first African-American World Champion, but he also raced bikes at a significantly different time in the social life of the world as well as from a completely different perspective than myself. Time spent on the bike with Major Taylor could be enlightening as well as thrilling.