Meet Junior Rider Mina Ricci

This Friday marks the sixth week of Bear Development Team’s Junior Series! We are honored to dedicate our weekly post to the introduction of one member of the Bear Development Team.
Check in every week to get the inside scoop on Bear’s Junior Team!
This week, meet…

MINA RICCI

Racing Age: 18
Hometown: Woodacre, CA
Race Bike of Choice: Trek Top Fuel 9.9 RSL
Favorite Training Song: “Son of Sam” by Azad
Best Post-Ride Snack: Avocado Toast

It’s kind of funny now to think that I didn’t want to mountain bike.

In fact, I was vehemently, heatedly against the idea. For five years, up until my sophomore year in high school, I’d been an avid soccer player. Midfield had been my home–I saw myself going to college with a soccer scholarship and graduating from my gold-level team to the professional leagues.

That all ended when we moved to Nevada City. A small town south-west of Tahoe, Nevada City was the 16th place I’d moved to in my lifetime. My family was simply born to travel; my younger brother was born in Ireland, we moved every few years, and we’d lived in Costa Rica twice. I loved traveling and exploring the world, but sometimes it had its drawbacks.

Because of town’s small size, the soccer team wasn’t as developed, and I ended up sportless for awhile–until my dad found out about the local high school mountain bike club and aggressively convinced (AKA forced) me to join.

That’s right. Forced.

I’d always loved riding mountain bikes on the weekends occasionally with my family, but the idea of dedicating hours upon hours to training every week in the cold and rain (Nevada City winters are brutal) only to race once in awhile did not appeal to me whatsoever.

But after three weeks of riding with some incredible people on amazing trails and after winning my first high school race as a sophomore (much to my surprise) I quickly fell in love with mountain bike racing. Through the next year, I rapidly ascended through the ranks to win many high school races, was accepted onto the Bear Development Team (go Bear Dev!), and then traveled with USAC to Canada!

I went from a novice rider who rode once a month to an avid racer training 5 days a week. I found a sport and activity that I truly love and will continue to do for many, many years to come.

But despite my absolute adoration for mountain biking and the many hours I spent devoted to that sport, I have several other interests to fill my little spare time. I am an artist–I have been drawing and painting since before I can remember, and am currently taking studio art classes at my local community college. In addition to art, I work as an independent journalist specializing in sports related articles, and hope to major in journalism in college!

Together, art, journalism, and mountain biking make up who I am–a creative, expressive, highly athletic dork who hopes to continuously improve myself and help others! So here’s to many more years of having fun with incredible people (like my friends in the Bear Dev gang) and simply riding my bike!