Fun at Winter Camp!


NorCal Race #1 South Conference – Seaside, CA

February 24, 2018

Varsity Boys

1st Noah Hayes

NorCal Race #1 North Conference – Seaside, CA

February 25, 2018

Varsity Girls
1st Mina Ricci
3rd Clodagh Mellett
Varsity Boys
1st Dylan Fryer
3rd Julian LePelch
4th Sebastian Dow
16th Liam Howard
JV Boys
5th Toby Coughlan


U23 Team Camp Report

by Carson Beckett

Saying that I both had a great time and learned a lot at the Bear Pro Team Camp is an understatement. I was so amped to kick off the year and officially get back together with the team. It was so exciting to be packing the bike again and getting things together for another travel day, something I’ve missed over the long winter months. Partnered up with the boys, Jason Jablonski, Shaums March, and Stephen Ettinger, our team camp commenced on Friday afternoon.

The first day was kept mild and filled with just getting things together for the long weekend along with some meet and greet. However, Saturday was busting at the seams with events. We started off the rainy, 40° day with skills work under an enclosed pump track. Shaums put us all on flats and BMX bikes to shake things up and teach us about balance, cornering, and grounding yourself of the bike. We spent a couple hours getting worked over on the pump track–even though the BMX bikes felt weird then, switching back to our XC bikes was a whole new beast. We followed the skills up with lunch and an afternoon ride to apply what we had learned. That evening, we went to the Terrain Gym and learned a bit about some applicable strength workouts. To follow up that night, we had Kristin Keim come and discuss some important points regarding the mental aspect of racing and training. This was HUGE for us, especially as we begin to buckle down for a new season. With dinner out in town, Saturday was a full dose of learning and I know each of us benefitted from it.

Sunday we rose to meet Shaums and work on skills involving drops, jumps, and steep terrain. A good dusting of snow and frigid temps didn’t keep us held back. We started with cornering in the street, then moved to the trails to work on our drops/jumps–progressively working up to bigger ones. We got a quick lunch after this session and then headed out with Stephen to rip some phenomenal Bellingham single track. Working on applying those steep skills, this day was a huge help to all of us involving comfort on the cross country bike. My “dinner partner” and I (Eli) made burritos for the crew and we finished off Sunday with some nutritional, training, and Q & A talk with both Jason and Stephen.

Our final morning came quicker than imaginable, and we packed everything up Monday morning to be ready to go after an AM trail ride. Shaums treated us to some pristine (and frozen) single track to close out the trip. After heading out of Bellingham, we had a good bit of time at the SeaTac airport to reflect on what was a phenomenal weekend. Along with an amazing group of resources, it had the full spectrum of skill work, mental work, and strength work. Not to mention the fact that it was a total stoke builder for everyone on the team. We are completely blown away by the support from sponsors, USA Cycling, and those involved in this coming season and this team camp just amplified our excitement. Time to get the 2018 season rolling!

NorCal Race #1 “Fun at Fort Ord” Report

by Mina Ricci

I had my game face on.

Head down, hands tapping to the beat of my music, breathing through the nervousness. Pre-race nights were always hard for me–a few restless hours filled with anxiety–but as this was the first race of the season, the nerves were worse than ever.

The NICA NorCal Race 1–set in Fort Ord, California–marked the start of my 2018 season and the end of my NICA career. It would be the last NorCal race I ever raced and I went into the event with a combination of sadness, happiness, and nervousness. It seemed like only weeks ago that I first started racing mountain bikes in the NorCal league my sophomore year, and yet here I was, racing my last varsity race as a senior after five months of intense base training.

Race morning was a bittersweet flurry of activity. I tried my best to stay calm and focus on every moment, remembering the faces, the sounds of announcements, the whine of trainers, the familial nature of the NorCal league. I was nervous, yes, but underneath that all was a confidence and surety that this would be a good day.

And before I knew it, I was at the start line with five seconds until go time. How had the time gone by so fast?

Four seconds, three, two, one — And we were off!

Varsity girls were set to race three laps on the sandy, 5.5 mile, fast-paced course, so I planned to go out slow and let the some of the other girls lead the way. But when all the girls funneled in behind me, I realized that I would be the one leading the pack and sped up, setting a quick pace. Soon, the top three varsity girls and I had broken apart from the rest of the pack and were racing ahead.

All was going smoothly until I came around a sandy, downhill corner in the first lap and crashed, giving the varsity girl ahead of me time to sprint away. Remembering my cyclocross skills and months of mental training on how to stay calm during a race, I hopped back on my bike and raced to catch up with the lead, cursing my clumsiness.

For the rest of the first lap and into the beginning of the second, Stella Sisneros, Zayetzy Garcia Bareno, and I traded places, drafting off of each other–until I made a break on the first climb of the second lap, sprinting my heart out and gaining a lead.  And soon Stella and Zayetzy fell behind.

So came time for the last lap. The lap of pure pain, when your legs are cramping and you feel as though you could never pedal any harder than this, yet you manage to sprint even faster. Throughout that last lap, my only thought was “Do not give up, Mina Ricci, you’ve trained so hard for this.” Fighting past fatigue, cramping legs, and a residual cough, I put in one last effort on the final climb and crossed the finish line elated, exhausted, hands in the air and 1 minute 7 seconds ahead of second place.

What a way to start my international season!

Junior Team Camp Report

by Clodagh Mellett

The 2018 Bear Junior Team Camp did not disappoint! It was packed full of fun socializing with the new team, nutrition talks, goal setting, injury prevention and of course shredding the Marin trails on our awesome Trek bikes!!

Our Team camp began on Friday night with a fun social dinner at Julia’s house; we discussed the importance of goal setting for successful athletes. We had a chance to get to meet the new faces in the room and to reconnect with those who we hadn’t seen since last season. The night was full of balance board competitions, backflips, games of pool and trampoline shenanigans!

The first official day of camp started with a beautiful ride through my backyard. We headed up Mt. Tamalpais on Railroad Grade dropping down on the Coastal trail overlooking the ocean where we stopped to get some media footage, we made our way down to Muir Beach and finally climbed back up Diaz Ridge on our way back to the Trek store, our home for the weekend. After our ride we were all ready for food, a couple of team parents had prepared a fabulous meal with everything we could have wanted after a long ride. After lunch, Yuri Hauswald from Gu talked to us about all their products and the best ways to get the most out of them. He explained why we are sponsored by them, not because we were making podium or because we are on Bear Development but because we are ambassadors for the sport. Next Craig Upton talked to us about training, performance and the importance of hard workouts, base training and the massive importance of rest days! Our last speaker of the day was Dara Richman, a physical therapist who talked about stretching, injury prevention and common bike injuries and how to best prevent them. After a long and informational day of fun, we had a couple of hours to go home and rest up before the taco party at the Howard’s house.

We had another night of casual socializing while we enjoyed tacos on the deck with the team.  After we were done eating we made our way into the living room to hear Russell Finsterwald’s fireside chat on life, we got to listen to his life story of becoming a pro athlete. He gave us insight on things he had learned along the way and through his journey. He told us about the hard times and about the amazing experiences he had traveling the world as a pro rider.

The second day came fast, we were at the Trek shop at 8:15 in our gym clothes ready for a hard workout. Aaron Lautman, an amazing all-around athlete was leading our class, we started with core and really focused on form and getting the most out of each exercise. There had been a rumor going around that Kate Courtney was joining us for our ride, I was excited! We were all kitted up and when we walked down stairs, there she was; Kate Courtney. We got to ride with her and talk to her about her life as a pro athlete and as a new college graduate. The girls especially had lots of opportunities to ride with her and get to know her a little better. We worked on some skills with her as we made our way through Tamarancho making conversation with a girl who started out where we all are today! Another fun ride with good weather and lots of footage taken, we got to shred Tamarancho as a team in our new Castelli kits! By the time we made it back to Trek we were starving and like the day before, parents had prepared a yummy lunch for us! After lunch Jack Ricci and Julia talked to us about the importance of nutrition. We discussed different strategies to try throughout our training, the timing of food intake, the amount of nutrients, when it should be eaten, and intermittent fasting. After another long but enjoyable day, we had a couple of hours until dinner at Nina Frank’s house.

Our last night of the Bear Junior Team Camp was full of fun times. Alex Wassmann, and Dana Martin joined us to discuss social media strategies, community action ideas, and branding. We learned lots of tips about representing The Bear Development team, and what that means, we are ambassadors for this sport! And to top the evening off, we played the annual game of charades.

On Monday, we met at Trek at 8:15 for our final ride, we planned to do some sightseeing. We headed out to the Golden Gate Bridge, getting some awesome team shots, we rode up and over Hawk hill and hit the beach, some of us were very excited to see the ocean, and some of us even went for a quick swim in the freezing Pacific ocean. After our final ride we came back to one last team lunch before those from out of state packed up their bikes and headed home.

The 2018 Bear Development Junior Team Camp came and went so fast! I learned so much and had lots of fun. I can’t wait for the upcoming season to get going! Thanks to everyone who was willing to help educate this remarkable team, thanks to Julia and everyone who helped her organize this amazing weekend! And thank you for the fantastic photographers and videographers who chased us around all weekend capturing us all in action!

Junior Team Camp Report

by Dylan Fryer

This year at the Bear Dev Junior Team Camp in Marin, California, there were a whole host of things planned over four days to get to know all the new team members and start off the race season.

On Friday night, we all went to the Julia’s house for a fun team dinner and a first chance to meet a lot of the new faces. After dinner, we talked for a bit about goal setting, going over all the different parts to think about when setting, and achieving, your goals. And to top off a great first night, we all walked out with a bunch of GU products (Thanks GU!) to help keep us fueled for the camp and for the races to come.

Saturday morning brought our first ride of the camp. Our route started at the Trek Store Corte Madera and went over Camino Alto into Mill Valley before heading up Mt. Tam to the West Point Inn. Once there, we headed down Old Stage Road to Pantoll Station where we regrouped before hitting the super scenic Coastal Trail, which took us all the way down to the ocean. After that we headed back up over the hill and ended at the Trek Store for lunch. We were fortunate to have several guest riders that day including Yuri Hauswald, who works with GU, and professional rider Russell Finsterwald. This ride was the perfect landscape for epic photos and we were lucky to have several people out on the trail to do photos and videos, including Nico Tuton-Filson and Rob Evans taking photos and Elliot Jaramillo and Jeff Jungsten taking drone footage. After lunch courtesy of some awesome Bear moms, we had Yuri talk with all of us about the importance of sponsorship activation and promotion, Craig Upton came and talked about training and race preparation, and Dara Richman came and talked about recovery and injury prevention for athletes. That night, we had dinner at the Howard’s house and got an opportunity to hear Russell talk about his path to becoming a pro and his tips for how we can achieve the same goals.

Sunday started in a very different manner with a strength training session thanks to Julia and Aaron Lautman. Aaron took us through some core and glute workouts and talked about the importance of training muscles other than just our quads. After that, we kitted up and headed over to Tamarancho to do some singletrack riding and take more photos, this time joined by professional rider Kate Courtney. We rode the flow trail and stopped by the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame to take some group photos. After another Bear mom supplied lunch, we listened to Julia and Jack Ricci talk about the importance of nutrition and properly feeding our bodies so they can handle the stress that this sport puts them under. We ended the day with dinner at Nina Frank’s house, a talk about sponsor promotion and social media, and some fun games of charades.

Monday, our last day of camp, we had to turn to the tourist side of the coin with a ride to the Golden Gate Bridge, and out to Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands. This culminated a great team camp and wonderful opportunity for all of us to ride together and get to know one another. Let the season begin!