Les Welch began working in the bicycle industry in 1972, when he opened a community based bicycle sales and service shop in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Back Alley Bikes, in Harrisonburg. He left Harrisonburg from 1974 through 1987, but stayed mostly in Virginia, working in Tidewater, and the Washington DC suburbs, gaining industry experience, and getting involved in bicycle racing, bicycle fit, and coaching. Additional work in this time era included time with the US Cycling Federation as a mechanic at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, as well as traveling with US Cycling teams in Canada, South America, and the US.
Returning to Harrisonburg in 1987, he assisted in the development of East Coast Bicycle Academy, a bicycle repair school for aspiring mechanics. Les became the owner of East Coast Bicycle Academy in 1998, and shifted its focus to an appointment based bicycle service center, emphasizing bicycle fit, wheel building, and the sport of triathlon.
Beginning in 2001, Les traveled to Ironman triathlons, assisting athletes to prepare for their event, as well as supporting them on course, on race day. Retiring from Ironman travel in 2012, he brings his 40+ years of experience to Green Lizard Cycling, helping all types of cyclists enjoy their ride.