NEWS

Meet Junior Bear Athlete Santiago Sciutti

Every week we will introduce a new member of the Bear Development Team. This week, meet…

SANTIAGO SCIUTTI


Racing Age: 17

Hometown: San Rafael, CA

Race Bike of Choice: Trek Top Fuel 9.9

Favorite Training Song: ‘Till I Collapse – Eminem

Favorite Post-Ride Snack: Garden burger

I have always been involved in sports including soccer, baseball, basketball, and track. I rode bikes recreationally through middle school and loved spending hours riding around with my friends and combing the bay area for the best dirt jumps. When I did not make the basketball team freshman year, a friend suggested I consider joining the high school mountain biking team. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The San Rafael Bike Dawgs thankfully let me join even though registration was closed. 

After my first race, I was hooked. I’ve always had a lot of energy and I liked the adrenaline rush of competitive cycling.  Plus it was really fun. Even though it’s an “individual” sport, I appreciate the strong team aspect and the amazing support we receive from it being a fully parent run team. 

Sophomore year, I decided I wanted to get more serious, so I sold my dirt jumper and MTB bike and upgraded to a better ride. Going into season I hoped to do well and was pleased with the results, but knew I could improve if I dedicated myself to increasing my skills. Riding with experienced and stronger riders has been and will be a great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season.

One of my biggest challenges is my learning difference that I have lived with since I started school. My struggles with dyslexia have taught me to persevere. Since school comes with academic challenges, I feel my best when I’m on my bike especially because it allows me to focus and gain confidence in myself.  

When I’m not riding my bike on the trails of Marin, I’m chilling with close friends and family. I can be found outdoors participating in activities like backcountry camping, hiking, and sun chasing.  

Meet Junior Bear Athlete Brayden Johnson

Every week we will introduce a new member of the Bear Development Team. This week, meet…

BRAYDEN JOHNSON

Racing Age: 16

Hometown: West Jordan, UT

Race Bike of Choice: Trek Top Fuel

Favorite Training Song: Not Afraid – Eminem

Favorite Post-Ride Snack: Sweet pork burrito

The first time I rode a bike without training wheels I was 3 years old, I had a knack for it. I grew up watching the Le Tour De France with my dad who has been a cyclist my whole life. However, it wasn’t until 2015 when I truly discovered cycling as a sport when my older brother and Dad got involved in NICA. After going to a few races and practices I knew I wanted to give it a shot. That Christmas I got my first mountain bike and started racing NICA in 2016. Cycling is such a great community, I’ve met some life long friends, have traveled to new places, and have been to places only my bike can take me. I love everything about cycling and have been hooked ever since I began.

Before I started cycling I played football for 4 years. Football was my whole life. I loved it and thought I would spend the rest of my life playing. But after my 3rd year things changed the football community was negative, everybody just wanted to beat each other and nobody was friends inside or outside of the game. But, in cycling when we race, we are all in, we want to beat each other but still support and encourage one another. As soon as the race is over we are still friends on and off the bike.

I have loved doing anything on my bike from tricks, balance skills to messing around on jumps and sending it on the trails to suffering and being in the pain cave. This will be my 4th year racing and I am so stoked to be apart of the Bear Development Team for the 2019 season. I have more motivation than ever to train hard and race even harder.

Off the bike, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family. I like traveling with my family and doing anything outdoors, like hiking, running, building jumps or just exploring. Twice a year my family and I go to Santa Barbara, California and I spend my time at the beach boogie boarding and learning to surf.

Pine Mountain Crusher Cup Race Report

Pine Mountain Crusher Cup
Dylan Fryer
1st Place

For this round of the Crusher Cup, the course was much shorter and so we all knew going in that was going to mean a much faster overall race because we didn’t need to hold as much in the tank for long distance.

The race started just above Brown’s Bridge and winded up towards the Pine Mountain loop. The cast of characters was similar this week but a fast opening pace whittled the field down to just 5 pretty early on; Jim, Phil, Sean, myself, and Ryan. As we moved towards the top of San Geronimo ridge, Phil and I were taking the lead and really stringing Sean, Jim, and Ryan out behind us.

Nearing the end of the fireroad, there was a pretty technically intensive section of uphill that I hit with full speed and managed to pull away with a solid 15 or 20 second gap. On the following flatter sections, Phil caught up to me and we were now leading with the other three following about 30 seconds back.

As we began the Pine Mountain loop, Sean bridged up to the front group before we began the very technical and demanding singletrack descent to the lake at the bottom of the loop. Our lead proved to be not enough to hold off a flying group of Jim and Ryan, who flew by as pulling away by almost 2 minutes by the bottom.

I thought that we may have lost the race on that descent but decided not to give up and hit the following climb hard, sprinting away from Sean and Phil, to try and catch Jim and Ryan. I caught both of them with about 2 minutes of climbing to go and rode right past them trying to get as much distance before the next singletrack descent.

I managed to keep my lead through the next singletrack and was with Jim as we entered the steepest climb of the race, returning us to the top of the trail we had just ridden. I hit this climb hard as well and pulled away from Jim, knowing this was the last, albeit long, climb of the race.

I only saw Jim once more during the race on a particularly open section of trail when I looked back to see him across the ridge and just put my head down and sprinted through the final bit of the climb.

I cruised through the final descent and finished about 30 seconds ahead of Jim with Sean coming in 3rd not that much farther back.

It was a super fun race again and I can’t wait for round 3 to be announced.

Bear Valley Crusher Cup Race Report

Bear Valley Crusher Cup
Dylan Fryer
1st Place

This was the first round of the Crusher Cup and so while most of the racers had experience with events set up by this group of people, we weren’t exactly sure what to expect. The race had us meet at the bottom of Olema hill at 10 AM to be ready for a couple miles of neutral start before the race would actually start.

We rolled out to Inverness and to the bottom of Mt. Vision where the race would officially start. We began, in a very casual manner, so I quickly went to the front of the group and set a solid pace and the group strung out pretty quickly. After the 15 minute climb up Mt. Vision, the group had been whittled down to the key players; Jim Hewett, Phil Mooney, Skyler Taylor, Sean Middleton, Dylan Anderson, Finn Melton, Toby Coughlan, myself, and a couple other riders.

We flew down the road back to Hwy 1 hitting speeds upwards of 40 MPH on our way down but regrouped as we hit the coast and settled into a solid pace line for the next 15 minutes or so. We soon turned off of the highway and began the second trail portion of the race, led by Jim.

As we hit the climb, it started to get sloppy and steep and Phil and I rode around Jim and put some distance between ourselves and the rest of the group. We rode hard through the swampy singletrack, sometimes in water up to 18 inches deep, but Jim caught back up nevertheless and rode by both of us. I passed Phil to stay on Jim’s wheel as I knew that he was familiar with the trails and terrain and would choose good lines that I could follow.

We sloshed around for another good 20 minutes before exiting onto the road in Dogtown with about a 20 second lead on the rest of the front group. That gap stayed about the same as we headed into the long and final climb of the race up Bolinas-Fairfax Road.

The Bo-Fax climb was anticipated to talk about 25 minutes on mountain bikes and gain a lot of elevation in the process. As we hit the bottom, Jim slowed up a bit to pace himself into the climb and I continued to ride hard trying to take this opportunity to ride away from the rest of the riders.

I managed to drop everyone except Sean Middleton, who made up the initial 20 second gap on the climb through a massive effort, which would prove to be too much as not long after getting on my wheel, when my pace didn’t slow, he dropped right off the back again.

I turned onto Bolinas Ridge which was about 10 miles to go in the race and put everything I could into making sure I stayed as far ahead of the rest of the group as I had no idea what was going on behind me.

It turns out I put almost 3 minutes into the group on the climb but managed to lose almost all of that on the descent to the finish. I simply couldn’t compete with the power Phil could put down on the flats and my exhaustion almost proved to be my demise as I saw him drawing closer with another mile to go.

I managed to stay ahead and finish about 15 seconds ahead of Phil, a pretty short margin over a two and a half hour race.

I had a great experience and I was glad I could race with such an enthusiastic group of riders.

Meet Junior Bear Athlete Sydney Palmer-Leger

It’s that time of year again!

We are honored to introduce our new team members for the upcoming 2019 season in a featured newsletter each Friday.

Check in every week to get the inside scoop!

www.beardevteam.com

This week, meet…

SYDNEY PALMER-LEGER

Racing Age: 17

Hometown: Park City, UT

Race Bike of Choice: Trek Top Fuel

Favorite Training Song: Jump Around – House of Pain

Favorite Post-Ride Snack: Chocolate Coconut ProBar

I have been mountain biking since I could walk. Some of my earliest memories are out on the trails with my family and my dogs. It only made sense for me to ride and compete in something that I am very passionate about. Another reason I got into mountain biking is that  I have always wanted to follow in my brother’s footsteps, so when he joined Nordic skiing and mountain biking I wanted to do exactly what he did. Ever since my first mountain bike race on a little loop at the bottom of Deer Valley in Park City, Utah  I have always loved the excitement and adrenaline that you get when you compete. I have been racing since I was eight years old and have loved it ever since.  The thing I love most about mountain biking is all the amazing opportunities and people that you meet when you compete around the country.

When I am off the bike I live in Sun Valley, Idaho for school and cross-country skiing. As well as being a competitive mountain biker I am also a competitive Nordic skier. I have traveled all around the country and have competed in Finland for the Scandinavian cup to compete against the best Junior athletes. When I am not biking or skiing I love to bake, take photos, and be outside with my family and my dog Tux.

Challenges that I have overcome in my life is moving to a new place and a new school where I only knew a few people. I moved from my childhood home to Sun Valley, Idaho. Even though I knew it was the right decision it was still difficult. It has been an adjustment living away from my dad who works in Park City who travels up whenever he can.