Meet Junior Bear Athlete Izzy Heinemann

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


Racing Age: 16

Hometown: Mill Valley, CA

Race Bike of Choice: The Trek Procaliber

Favorite Training Song: I don’t have a favorite training song, I prefer to listen to the nature around me

Favorite Post-Ride Snack: Toast with almond butter and banana or toast with avocado and an egg

Growing up, whether my family was riding through Yosemite Valley, along the nearby reservoir on Bicycle Sunday, or around the school blacktop on the weekends, I have always been around bikes. I did a little mountain biking, but it wasn’t until middle school that I really got into it. I started riding with a local group and had lots of fun trying to keep up with the boys. I quickly learned to love technical challenges because while I wan’t as strong as the boys, I had a better chance of making a switchback or clearing a challenging root section. By the end of sixth grade, I knew all the local trails and was showing my parents around the mountain. I couldn’t wait to join the high school team and start racing.

During the winter I am an avid alpine skier. For the past fifteen years I’ve been skiing every weekend of the winter at Squaw Valley. I started out in the Mighty Mites program and I was skiing the entire mountain by the time that I was eight. Then I joined the race team and have been racing ever since. It started out as something that I just did, but I’ve grown to love skiing and the unique challenge of racing.

When there is not snow on the ground, you can find me camping, traveling, rock climbing, kite boarding or mountain biking. I love any type of adventure and I am always looking to try something new.

Both of my parents and my two younger sisters bike, so we’ve gone on lots of mountain biking adventures together. From Tahoe, to Moab, Baja, Downieville, and Hood River, mountain bikes have become my preferred method of exploring new places.

With my amazing friends, I have also been known to ride around the campground with five people on a tandem, raft down the Truckee river on a blowup sleeping pad, and go paddle boarding in the middle of the night.

Another one of my favorite places is Baja where I enjoy spending time with family friends, camping on the beach, snorkeling, kite boarding, and recently mountain biking.

I like to have fun, but I also like to work hard. This year I am super excited to train hard and push my limits mountain biking, gain race experience, and have lots of fun with my new amazing teammates. Product Review, by Ryder Uetrecht

Ryder & Bear Alum Lance Haidet stretch their hamstrings in downward dog pose.

When I was first introduced to the videos by Abi, I saw an easy way to access yoga courses and lessons while keeping it short enough to not feel like a chore. With a variety of videos as short as 15 minutes, it is very easy to work whatever part of your body that may be tight or unusually sore in a short amount of time.

Ryder and Lance practice some hip-openers with pigeon pose.

If you want to work your core there are core oriented yoga workouts. If you want to open your hips there are hip opening sessions. The amount of sessions are endless and can work every aspect of your body. Abi does a wonderful job making yoga accessible to novices as well as experts. They generally run from 15 minutes to 20 minutes, meaning you can bust them out in the morning when you wake up or on your lunch break.

Ryder and Lance work on their core stability with plank pose.

I cannot recommend these enough. I can already feel a great shift with my existing cycling related tightness relieving since starting these yoga exercises a few months ago. Even when my schedule is packed I can find the time to do these and reap the rewards. There is absolutely no excuse not to do them as they will only better you going forward.

Meet Junior Bear Athlete Sean Middleton

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


Racing Age: 17

Hometown: Greenbrae, CA

Race Bike of Choice: Trek TopFuel 9.9

Favorite Training Song: Nonstop – Drake

Favorite Post-Ride Snack: Chocolate milk + a quesadilla

I started out as your average 3 year old, riding my bike with training wheels. Then one day, my older brother managed to take off my training wheels. That led to me riding a bike to school everyday since the 3rd grade. At that time, I had never thought of cycling as a sport… I was more of a baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming type of guy.

Sean was an athlete from a very young age, and was always staying active. When he was 13, he completed the Silicon Valley Kids Triathlon, which consisted of a 200 meter swim, a 6 mile bike ride, and a 1.25 mile run!

It just so happens that my father is an avid cyclist himself. He was always able to convince me to go out for a ride with him, even when I dreaded it. Every time we went out for a ride, we would return to the same fire road, and every time we rode it, I would try to get one turn further than the ride before. Luckily for me, I was able to find mountain bike racing my freshman year of high school. Ever since that first race, I knew that this was something I wanted to continue.

Nowadays, If I’m not on a bike, its probably because I’m traveling. From going into the forests to go backpacking, to getting to go on a cruise to Antarctica… I’m lucky to have the opportunity to travel so much. Getting to see all different parts of the world has been amazing. I think that all of the outdoor trips I’ve been going on my whole life have made me enjoy the outdoors even more. I appreciate our planet, and I respect mother nature. So far my favorite trip has definitely been getting to explore Sweden with my family. Other than traveling, I work on my scheduling and time management. Staying focused on school, a cycling schedule, and maintaining a social life all at the same time takes hard work and commitment!

Coming from a great town, I have always had the support from everyone around me. I was luckily enough to have an older brother that is a great influence. From being beaten up on the ground, to playing chess at night, I’ve gotten to learn how to have fun from my brother. Also, throughout my entire time cycling, I have always had my mother to guide me. I’m super happy of where mountain biking has taken me so far. It has been a great experience learning this incredible sport.

Meet Junior Bear Athlete Quinn Felton

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


Racing Age: 17

Hometown: Belmont, CA

Race Bike of Choice: Trek TopFuel 9.9

Favorite Training Song: Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Favorite Post-Ride Snack: Peanut Butter + Banana Smoothie

Both my parents raced mountain bikes in the 90s, so naturally, I was introduced to riding at a very young age. However, I switched to “regular” sports once I got into elementary school: Baseball, soccer, flag football, track, cross country and this is also when I discovered my love for ice hockey. I spent the next six years with skates on my feet and assumed I would play it for the rest of my life.

My obsession with ice hockey came to an end in middle school when I suffered a series of severe concussions, resulting in missing almost 8 months of school over three years. My doctors told me that another head injury could cause permanent damage and advised me to find another sport. I was devastated, but began exploring other avenues.

During middle school, I had begun to explore the local MTB trails with friends but I still didn’t consider biking much of a competitive sport. That all changed when I met Cameron and Alistair, who showed me the wonders of Strava and invited me to join their constantly expanding MTB riding group of other 8th graders. Immediately, I was hooked. Every day I would try to beat my times, or complete new goals that I had set the day before. This ability to see any improvement and then to be able to correlate it with what I had changed or worked on fascinated me and caused me to want to work harder and improve as much as possible. The only time I had this feeling prior was in running but I found it a lot more fun to clear a new technical descent or even complete a weekly mileage goal than the try and run in a circle faster than the week before.

I have always had a love for animals and when I was younger. This love manifested itself into an obsession with reptiles, especially snakes. When I wasn’t on skates, I was probably either researching or out looking for snakes in the surrounding neighborhood.

Since my younger days of reptilian wonder, I have resorted back to more “normal” animals and spend a lot of my time off the bike playing with my two cats. I also spend my time computer programming which is something that I started learning at school this year. I enjoy the logic needed to do it, and I love the ability it gives to custom tailor a program for a specific job. I also enjoy how it allows me to see how computers work and how websites are made.

Looking back at all of this, I am forever thankful for my parents for supporting me in whatever endeavor I was currently occupied with and for their own love of the sport of cycling which is the reason that I can live next to world-class roads and trails. I am extremely excited and honored to be racing for Bear Development this season and can’t wait for the racing to get underway!

Remembering our Teammate, Tate Meintjes

Our beautiful, kind, thoughtful & playful teammate Tate Meintjes passed away yesterday.

We are heartbroken, devastated, and overwhelmed with emotions.

Tate was one of the good ones. A young man that always had a smile on his face, went out of his way to touch base with friends, and took time out of his crazy school and racing schedule to teach others about the sport he loved.

Tate grew up skiing, kayaking, hiking, playing soccer, and cycling in Reno, NV. In the wintertime, he taught skiing & snowboarding lessons to kids at a local ski resort. During the cycling season, Tate absolutely crushed it on the bike, participated in teaching local skills clinics, stayed focused at school, and spent time with friends & family. Tate always had his priorities straight, he was always improving & growing, on and off the bike, helping others, and sharing his love.

Tate was raised by two incredible parents that were always supportive and loving. The two of them, and Tate’s step-mother, have been a huge part of our Bear family over the years helping during race weekends and being there for Tate’s teammates. His brother, also a cyclist, was his bestie and friends of Tate’s teammates as well. We don’t want to accept that his life has come to an end; his strong and playful spirit will always be with us. Please join us in the hashtag #RideForTate to honor our memories of him.

We love you, Tate. Rest in peace.