Sam Nill - Head Coach / Founder
Sam Nill’s love affair with anything and everything two wheeled started when he was six and he got his first purple, banana seat bike for Christmas. It has been quite a journey since and he certainly never thought he would make a living on two wheels. Although he started riding bikes when he was quite young he struggled at most sports and was not what anyone would call a natural athlete. He has been teased about his funny walk since he was a kid and never came close to passing the “Presidential Fitness Test” in school. Growing up fast (6 feet tall in the 7th grade) he wasn’t the most graceful kid and his asthma didn’t help. Despite never even winning a “novice” class race he was at the BMX track racing every Sunday for two years in his teens.
In the spring of 1987, just a few months after learning to ride Sam competed in the Snowboard World Championships where he finished 20th in the amateur half-pipe competition. Following that season he moved back to Virginia to finish college but continued competing on the East coast. After graduating from Old Dominion University in 1989 Sam Nill accepted the position of Director of Snowboarding at Wisp Resort in Maryland. While at Wisp he continued to snowboard professionally and was the coach of the race team. After nearly 10 years of spending the winter living in ski towns Gene tired of the cold and moved to the warmer climes of Boulder, Colorado in the fall of 1998.
West Coast Cycling was founded that fall and it has been quite an adventure over the last 10 years. Sam has coached over 1,200 riders from beginners to top pro racers, filmed a special for the Discovery Channel, written mental training articles for Dirt Rag, been featured in The New York Times, Decline Magazine, Mountain Bike Action and USA Today. Over the years his passion for coaching has continued to grow and he continues to learn and improve his coaching with every session taught. His mountain bike coaching highlights include coaching many top pro racers, top junior experts and over a 1000 riders who just want to get better. He is a pretty good racer too, in 13 seasons as a pro racer he has won a Silver (2002) and two Bronze Medals (2006, 1999) at the UCI World Masters Championships.
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