In today’s interview we sit down with DDA head coach/founder Nate Dunn for a quick look at what makes him tick.
10 Questions with Coach Nate
- Q – Why did you and Christy pick Sacramento, CA as the place you settled down to raise your family?
- A-I love Sacramento. It’s close to all the activities we enjoy most as a family. Hiking and short weekends in the San Francisco Bay Area, backpacking and camping in the Sierras, and of course a passionate cycling community with opportunities to ride and race year round.
- Q – What has being a dad taught you about cycling?
- A-Context. There is no race disappointment or training frustration that is bigger than my role as a father. We cyclists tend to take ourselves so seriously but at the end of the day, family and friendships are more important than winning a dumb bike race.
- Q – We all somehow had an introduction into this sport, what initially got you started with cycling?
- A-After graduating from college I started to put on a few lbs and was having none of it, so I finally caved to a good friend who was trying to get me to try road cycling. After that first ride I knew my life had changed. I went home and bought a used Lemond Zurich on Craigslist the next day.
- Q – What’s with all the pink?
- A-3 years ago I received a live-donor liver transplant. In California, a person’s decision to be an organ donor is denoted on their driver’s license with a “pink dot”. After my transplant I came to our team and said, “we’re going to have pink on our kit and if you say no you’re a terrible person”. It also doesn’t hurt that pink is my daughter Louisa’s favorite color.
- Q – How many selfies have you taken on your bike? Do you know what it means to be “insta-famous”?
- A-I have taken a total of zero selfies on the bike. I have no idea what it means to be “insta-famous”. Is that a Paris Hilton thing?
- Q – You’ve just ridden 6.5 hours, you have a bottomless pit for a stomach and your nutritional/diet concerns are completely out the window. What do you eat?
- A-Easy. I would demolish a margarita pizza from One Speed in East Sac. Without a doubt my favorite pizza in the history of the world.
- Q – What is your best memory on your bike?
- A-I was in Maui with my family in 2014 staying at my Uncles’ home when I headed out early in the AM to do the West Maui loop. The sun was coming up over the ocean as I was carving brand new pavement while listening to music. It was one of those rare times where your experience on the bike feels bigger than life itself.
- Q – You get to be a world class coach in a sport other than cycling. Other endurance sports excluded, what do you pick and why?
- A-Basketball. I coached high school boys for 6 years and it’s still deep in my blood. When I was coaching on the sideline I always felt like I was in the Matrix. You’re watching all these details in the game, making small adjustments, strategic decisions in time-outs, all while leading a group of young men you care deeply about. There’s nothing else like it.
- Q – This year has been quite a breakthrough for you, as you’ve been on the podium a bunch, won a few races, and earned your Cat 2 upgrade. What are some of the key components to this success?
- A-Training and eating purposefully. Every ride or meal doesn’t have to be purposeful, but the overall trajectory of your choices pull you backward, maintain a plateau, or make you better. When you plan and model these choices into the future you can be confident in your progress while still enjoying periods of rest off the bike or occasional gluttony at the dinner table.
- Q – Given your educational background and coaching experience, if you could sum up the most important aspects of coaching in one sentence, what would it be?
- A-More than all the X’s and O’s of training, coaching is about helping a client discover what they’re capable of.
Nate’s entire career has been spent in education and coaching. As a former teacher and now full-time cycling coach, he is most excited about helping clients discover more about themselves as they achieve their goals on the bike.
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