Bear Devo
Centers of Excellence

Get to know Bear Development Team

By: Page Heller  July 31, 2020

Bear National Team is located in Marin County, California, and supports a mountain bike and enduro team. The program currently has fifteen U23 elite riders and 27 junior riders ages 14-18. Members of Bear have won numerous National Titles and State Championships in both mountain and road disciplines. Many riders have been invited to race at World Cup and World Championship events with USA Cycling in North America and Europe. While Bear does have impressive racing results, the team also focuses on fun, gratitude, awareness of others, and personal growth driven by values and goals.

We had the opportunity to talk with Julia, Bear’s team director, to learn more about their program and understand their team goals!

How has cycling impacted your young athletes?

Cycling is different from other sports because young athletes get the opportunity to become advocates for the environment and nature, as this is where they ride. They also get to advocate for commuting on a bike rather than the alternative of driving a car. Bear athletes get to learn about nutrition, sports psychology, and teamwork as well. They get first-hand experience with time management, discipline, attention to detail, and integrity. Additionally, they are taught about professional skills such as branding and marketing.

What is your focus for youth development?

Bear National Team focuses on much more than just racing success. Bear encourages their athletes to build lasting friendships and be the best people they can be. They put a big focus on always being grateful and giving more than you receive. Bear wants their athletes to seize every opportunity but also to thank everyone who helped them get there.

How has teamwork helped develop your athletes?

Although cycling is an individual sport and athletes are ranked on their personal performance, Bear puts a strong emphasis on the importance of team. Being a part of a team helps Bear athletes push each other to be the best they can be when riding and as people. Sometimes before a race athletes have some nerves, but knowing they are racing alongside their teammates helps reduce their stress and just enjoy riding. Furthermore, being on a team improves self-confidence which helps promote taking risks and accomplishing high goals.