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.