Meet Junior Bear Athlete Brayden Johnson

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


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.

Meet Junior Bear Athlete Riley Amos!

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


Racing Age: 17

Hometown: Durango, CO

Race Bike of Choice: Trek Top Fuel 9.9

Favorite Training Song: Potato Salad – Tyler the Creator

Favorite Post-Ride Snack: Anything from Bread Bakery!

Ever since second grade when my parents signed me up for Durango Devo, my greatest memories and experiences all have a bike in them. I have played and participated in a variety of activities, from playing the standard sports like soccer, swimming and lacrosse, to hunting, fishing, camping, rafting, and traveling with my Mom, Dad, and younger brother. Durango is the most amazing place to enjoy everything outdoors, and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

Durango has helped me to love mountain bikes in so many ways, if I didn’t live here I definitely wouldn’t be a mountain bike racer. The amazing trails I can ride out my front door, being able to ride with local pros, and a community that is supportive of the sport just pushes you to love being on two wheels and riding fast. When I’m not cycling I love to spend time surfing and swimming in the lakes with friends, and exploring 4×4 roads and snowboarding in the winter.

Durango DEVO cultured my love of racing through amazing people who were our coaches, camps that were all about having fun on the bike, and amazing trips as a team where we camped in the freezing rain to get up and give our all the next day. Because of this, 2018 was the first year I really felt like I wanted to give everything I have to becoming the best possible racer I can be. One challenge I have had to overcome this year is keeping calm and maintaining focus when I am faced with an unexpected challenge. At the Mountain Bike National Championships, I didn’t have any call up for the race, and the craziness and stress at the start line was something I had never encountered before. As the race started, I kept my head up, was patient, and took the holes and opportunities that presented themselves to slowly move up to the front.

Going into 2019 I have more motivation and love for the sport than ever, and I couldn’t be more excited to be riding for Bear Development. I look forward to more amazing racing and great times with everyone and cheers to 2019!

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 Björn Riley

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


Racing Age: 17

Hometown: Boulder, CO

Race Bike of Choice: The Trek Top Fuel 9.9. It soaks up all the bumps and climbs so well. I can’t wait to race it this year.

Favorite Training Song: Don’t Bring Me Down – Electric Light Orchestra

Favorite Post-Ride Snack: Cabbage & carrot salad with cardamom chicken

My name is Björn Riley and I am 16 years old and am from Boulder, Colorado. I have been riding since I can remember and still love every time I get to go out to ride — no matter what type of bike. I was born in Boulder, Colorado which is full of high level athletes, so I have been lucky enough to have great riding areas and plenty fast riders right in my backyard to help me as I progress through my racing.

I started mountain biking with my mom and dad when I was 6 and we have ridden all over the place since then. I am lucky that I got to go to so many great riding places and experience all types of trails and obstacles. I did my first race at the North Boulder Criterium when I was 4 years old. I ended up 2nd to last. I guess I was riding near the front when another kid fell in front of me, so I stopped to help him and then rode with him to the finish line. That was the start of many race line ups As I was getting older I would race in many local mountain bike races as well as go on long adventure rides with my parents all over Colorado. I really enjoy the long high alpine single track rides that have lots of technical descents.

When winter comes in Colorado I pull out my nordic skis and have spent a lot of time training with the Boulder Nordic Junior Racing team for the Junior National series. I have been racing my nordic skis since I was about 6 years old. Having a bit of time away from my bike lets me refresh my energies for riding while still getting plenty of cardio workouts along the way. There is something special about how quiet it is on the nordic trails on a cold morning. As much as early morning starts are hard, I look forward to the quietness of those early morning ski sessions.

When my training allows, I spend time going to the dirt jumps and skate park to practice new tricks. I think the air time I get at the jump parks really helps me with feeling comfortable when there are obstacles on any of the XC race courses. I enjoy the XC courses most when they have technical rock sections and jumps.

Over the years one of the hardest things I have had to deal with is how to balance racing my bike as hard as I can and then when winter comes also racing my Nordic at a high level. Learning how to rest between seasons and not get too stressed out if I am behind a little bit at the start of the season has helped me see the bigger picture for each season. This past year I decided to focus on my riding and to use Nordic skiing as a way for cross training and core workouts. I am really looking forward to a complete season focused on training for mountain biking and getting to race a full mountain bike season.