Bear Application FAQs
BEAR DEVELOPMENT TEAM & BEAR PRO TEAM FAQS
Can I use my own coach? Do I have to follow their training plan?
You are able to pick your own coach if you have a preference or choose from our list of high performance directors. And yes, once chosen, you do need to do what they prescribe, thus follow a training plan. The Bear director does check in with coaches regularly to check on commitment to training plan and work with coaches to better enhance rider performance.
What expenses does the team cover and what is the rider expected to cover? For example, Bikes, equipment, race fees, travel fees, etc.
Expenses depend on the team that you are chosen for and your performance. We have a U23 Pro Team, a junior Elite Team and a junior Race team. Pro and Elite members have most of their expenses covered. Race members only receive some product at no cost, but are able to purchase all other product at a significant discount. Lack of commitment and progressing performance, will move Elite riders into the Race rider status and vice-versa.
Pro Riders are able to order two bikes for the season on a “line of credit”. Payment (which is about 50% off retail) is due in October at the end of the season. Riders can either sell their bike to pay off the LOC or pay the invoice themselves and keep the bike. Pro riders receive kits, accessories, shoes, helmets and glasses. They also receive many other bicycling necessities from our sponsors free of cost. In addition, they are able to purchase additional bikes at cost (up to three), and a plethora of other cycling equipment at a deep discount.
Elite Riders are able to order one bike for the season on a “line of credit”. Payment (which is about 50% off retail) is due in October at the end of the season. Riders can either sell their bike to pay off the LOC or pay the invoice themselves and keep the bike. Elite riders receive kits, accessories, shoes, helmets and glasses. They also receive many other bicycling necessities from our sponsors free of cost. In addition, they are able to purchase additional bikes at cost (up to three), and a plethora of other cycling equipment at a deep discount.
Race Riders are able to order up to three bikes at a deep discount (about 50% off retail). Race riders can purchase kits and other team clothing at a deep discount, accessories, shoes, helmets and glasses. They also receive many other bicycling necessities from our sponsors free of cost. In addition, they are able to purchase a plethora of other cycling equipment from our sponsors at a deep discount.
We are a non-profit and do solicit donations from families and friends to help support the team. These donations are not required, but encouraged. We also encourage team members to help us reach out to new sponsors to enhance our team offerings and support.
What is a rider required to come to?
As a team-member you are not required to come to anything, but we hope that want to be part of the team and attend as many team events as possible to enhance your performance and your experience. We focus primarily on all the domestic ProXCT races and especially the junior UCI series in the US as well as Canada. Elite riders risk losing their Elite status if they do not attend races and personal performance is not progressing i.e not demonstrating commitment.
We also have a few team camps, that again, are not mandatory, but highly recommended.
Can I race other disciplines such as Cyclocross and Road with other teams?
Yes, Bear is solely a mountain bike team. However, many of our riders, also race the road, cyclocross and/or track. We are open to team-member participation in other disciplines as long as it does not adversely affect your mountain bike season. We work with each rider individually on their schedule to make it work. If you do ride for another team for another discipline, we do encourage you to race with a Trek sponsored team, but if that is not possible, it is not an issue. We want to support all riders to exceed their potential on the bike and if that means multiple teams, we will accommodate!
When I travel to races with the team, are my parents required to join us? Do we stay as a team?
We typically travel as a team. Most of our riders are from various states around the country so it is not uncommon for us to fly into or drive into race “towns” independently, meet up and then stay as a team in the same lodging. U23 and 17-18 year olds can travel without parents, however, 15-16 year olds must have a parent or friend travel with them unless something is arranged with the team director. U23 riders and Elite junior riders have a travel stipend that can be used to help defray costs based on need, however, Race junior riders are responsible for their own travel costs.
What support can I expect at races? What can parents expect?
Bear Development provides the most professional and well-run support of any team in the country. At team supported races, as designated by the team director, we have transportation and lodging. In addition, at the race venue, we have a team van and mechanics, and create a “pit zone” with mechanical equipment, nutrition, water, trainers, bottles, cleaning supplies, snack foods, chairs, tables, and most of all, a sense of community. Importantly, the Bear pit zone is inclusive, not exclusive, and we invite other non-Bear riders to join us if they need a place to warm up or cool down from races.
Bear staff are responsible for feeds in the feed zone during races. We may ask parents to fill in to help with this task, depending on the number of riders in any given race. We do ask that parents respect Bear’s strategy in the pit zone and not assume they can feed their child at every race. It is important for our riders to learn to race without parental support, and it typically starts here.
Never fear parents, there are a lot of other things for you to help out with, and the team director with work with parents (using Sign up Genesis) to solicit help for race weekends. Task include, but are not limited to, bringing water, snack/lunch foods, coffee; helping with set up and break down; feed zone responsibilities and errand running. Parents are also called upon to help with “transport” if they are able.
What are my responsibilities as a team member of Bear?
- You must train and make cycling a priority. It is not a priority over school work, but it is a priority over stateboard basketball, Fortnite, and hanging out with friends every day after school. We do expect you to make progress in performance over the season and unfortunately, Bear does not have a magic wand that can make you fast. We can provide tools, but you make it happen
- You must be grateful and kind. To everyone. Your director and mechanics and other Bear staff, but even more importantly, your parents, your siblings, your grandparents that all make sacrifices to help you complete in this time consuming, travel intensive, expensive sport! You must be grateful and kind to the hotel staff, the waitress that brings you pancakes, the airline stewards. You must be grateful and kind to all our sponsors either in person, through written correspondence or through social media. You must be grateful and kind to your team mates that come from a variety of different backgrounds, cultures and family situations.
- You must be a role model to those around you and do your best to promote the sport as a whole, not just our team. That requires volunteer work, working with younger kids, providing support to your local high school league.