Meet Junior Bear Athlete Shelby Kawell

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


Racing Age: 17

Hometown: Yucaipa, CA

Race Bike of Choice: Trek TopFuel 9.9

Favorite Training Song: Power Over Me – Dermott Kennedy

Favorite Post-Ride Snack: A bowl of fruit

When I was a kid, I loved to be involved with my family and doing the things they loved. I grew up around a race track. My family was into activities that involved motors, my dad grew up racing dirt bikes and then he got my sister and I into go karts. I personally hated it but for my sister that was opposite, she raced many different types of cars for many years – from go karts, to off-road trucks, and even rally cars. Then later down the line, my family got into road biking because I thought it was the coolest thing ever, come to find out I hated road biking, so then we stopped doing our family Sunday rides.

As a kid, I didn’t care for sports until one day changed everything. At 11 years old, I had a severe asthma attack which collapsed both lungs. My left lung reopened, and my right lung hasn’t. When I got out of the hospital 5 years ago, my doctor instructed me to find a sport to keep my one lung healthy. That was the day I thought about mountain bikes – all because of my dad. My dad was involved with racing Enduro, which, at the time, I thought was pretty cool, but not my thing. Many of our family/friends had their kids involved in high school mountain biking and later down the line I got into it too.

I got into mountain biking about 4 years ago now which I started 8th grade year and from there on it’s been a learning process I wouldn’t want to change anything. I love this sport with all my heart there’s so many amazing people behind you in mountain biking and there’s always someone or something to look up to. There’s also new goals to achieve on the daily.