Meet U23 Member Tate Meintjes
Every week for the next month, we will be introducing a member of the Bear Development Pro Team!
Check in to get the inside scoop on Bear Dev’s U23 Riders!
This week, meet…
Racing age: 19
Hometown: Reno, NV
Race Bike of Choice: Trek Top Fuel
Favorite Training Song: “Believer” by Imagine Dragons
Best Post-Ride Snack: A smoothie with a scoop of GU Recovery Protein Powder
All my life, I have been pushed to achieve my full potential in every endeavor I take on – whether that be school, sports, or work. When I was taught to do my best, I think my parents were hoping I would just do the best I could in different aspects of my life. I don’t think they ever saw it coming when that translated into me trying not just do my best, but to live my best. I have lived in Reno, Nevada for my entire life and it is a great base for everything I do in my journey to live my best.
Part of this is going to school. I am attending the University of Nevada, Reno and am studying mechanical engineering. I live on campus and when I am not in class I am outside doing something I love. During the winter I work at a ski resort teaching young children how to ski. I am an instructor in the same program that I went through when I was a young kid learning how to ski. This makes my job rewarding because the program that I am teaching in gave me the building blocks to become the skier and snowboarder that I am today.
Skiing and cycling have been a huge part in my quest to live my best life. My parents introduced me to a wide variety of outdoor sports when I was young such as running, hiking, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, and cycling. However, when I was younger I didn’t think about cycling as a competitive sport so the way I fueled my competitive nature was through soccer. I joined a team when I was very young and enjoyed it but looking back on it, it never made me feel as ecstatic as cycling has. I was a good soccer player, went to team practices, and played the games, but I never had the motivation to work outside of my time with the team to get better.
This was due to the fact that while I was playing soccer, my friends and my brother were out joining our first local mountain bike team. So instead of working on my soccer in my free time I started going on rides with them more and more, constantly getting heckled because they were getting structure training and were faster than me. After what would be my last soccer game, which we won, I went with my dad to spectate one of my brothers and friends race. I saw the comradery between the riders and the laid-back atmosphere and was immediately hooked. I joined the local mountain bike team and started the most exciting and rewarding sport I had ever done.
When I started my cycling career I never thought of how far it would take me. Last year (2017) especially was huge for me. Early in the season I had the best form I have ever had in my life and immediately took care of one of my long-term goals of winning a Pro XCT. While this in itself was a dream come true, it led to something bigger. I got chosen to represent the United States in Canada which would be my first international races and another completed dream of racing for the U.S. National Team.
Last year was also big for me on a local scale. After my time racing in Canada I was added to the Reno Gazette Journals: Murray’s Top 100 Local Sports Figures of 2016-17. While Reno, Nevada is a relatively small community, many professional sports figures reside or are from the Reno-Tahoe area. This list put me next to names such as 5-Time Olympian Katerina Nash and Professional Freestyle skier David Wise. While I am not anywhere near the level as them, I am honored still to be listed beside such big names.
As I enter the 2018 cycling season I am moving into the U23 ranks and am looking forward to proving my abilities racing against the hard hitters. While there are no indicators telling me how I will perform this next year I am resolving to not just race my bike as fast as humanly possible; but to also excel in my education as a first-year college student, and to somehow still have time for the friends and family that I have been riding bikes with for longer than I can remember.