Growing the Sport and Industry of MTB, One Bike Racer at a Time

30 April, 2014

2014 Nevada Union High School Miners Mountain Bike Team.

Focus, patience, determination, and a compelling drive to finish the task at hand come hell or high water–the monikers of a high school bike racer. How do we know? Checkout a NorCal race or take a look at the photos on their social channels Look into the steely eyes of those competitors, and you’ll see the makings of champions. Think those characteristics wouldn't transfer to a future work place? Think again. 

Mix in a remarkable acumen for bikes and passion for riding in the dirt along with keen organizational, technical, and communication skills, a few qualities also honed and cultivated while training and racing with peers and coaches, and you have the makings of a future in the bike industry.

Former racers and coach, now current WTB employees at the Nevada City Office. L to R: Josh Smith, Buddy Newman, Jason Moeschler, Nate Byrom, Evan Smith, Jeremiah Newman. 

Now on the heels of opening a new office, even more north of what’s usually considered NorCal in the Sierra Foothills of Nevada City, CA, WTB is pleased to announce an exciting collaboration with the NorCal High School Cycling League for the 2014 season. “Our goal is simple,” explained Jason Moeschler, member of WTB’s factory team and OEM sales manager. “It’s to get as many kids as possible to experience mountain bike riding and racing, and be able to share with them WTB’s passion for cycling and the outdoors.”

With this goal in mind, WTB sought opportunities with the League and found a perfect match—race scholarships for a talented and highly deserving group of young athletes in the company’s newest backyard, the Nevada Union High School Miners.

“The NorCal High School Cycling League is proud to have the support of WTB for the 2014 season,” explained Vanessa Hauswald, executive director of NorCal High School Cycling League.  “They have stepped up in a major way to directly support the student-athletes from one of our longest standing, most active high school mountain bike teams: the Nevada Union Miners. The WTB scholarship fund will help deserving Nevada City kids to ride and race their bikes, which we believe directly contributes to the formation of strong bodies, strong minds and strong characters."

 Buddy Newman, WTB graphic designer, shredder extraordinaire.  Buddy also raced for the Nevada Union Miners with coach Jason Moeschler.  Photo credit: Robert Lowe

With 29 actively racing student athletes, one third of who applied for financial support, the Miners have a lot of demands on them as a team. The WTB scholarship program was designed to cover race fees and provide product support to reduce the distractions from the financial burden of racing and training for those who qualify. As a result, we hope to alleviate some stress so that students can focus solely on continually improving their performance, which they’ve done in every race this year.

“Many of these kids would not be able to participate in other, more traditional high school sports,” explained Eric Newman, NU Miners head coach. “We have no cuts. All get a shot at bettering themselves, in fact we demand it.” He added that it’s awesome to watch these kids develop a work ethic, driven by a passion for riding their bike and being thrown into a racing, competitive environment. “I want to see no kid turned away. WTB, with their sponsorship, is making this a reality,” Newman said.

It’s no coincidence that WTB just so happens to employ a slew of former NorCal High School Mountain Bike racers. Buddy Newman, graphic designer, Jeremiah Newman, OEM sales coordinator, Evan Smith, product designer, Nate Byrom, marketing coordinator, and Jason Moeschler are all former grads of NU and Miner Team alumni, in one way or another. Moeschler, who grew up riding mountain bikes before there was a high school cycling league, spent seven years coaching the NU team as a pro.


Evan Smith, product designer, leading Nate Byrom, marketing coordinator while the two raced for Nevada Union High School under Jason Moeschler's (OEM sales manager) tutelage as coach.  Photo credit: Robert Lowe

“It was a way to give back and support the growth of mountain biking as a sport in my home town,” Moeschler explained, although he never imagined in a hundred years that mountain biking would open the doors that it did to a lucrative and passion-driven career. He added that he went from being a starving bike racer to accepting a sales position that required a ton of travel and relocating to be near the company’s global headquarters in Marin County, CA. When the domestic sales job evolved into a global one, which it did when he accepted the OEM Sales Manager position, the new role allowed him to work even more remotely from home, and to Jason “home” has always been Nevada City. With the green light to relocate anywhere in the world he wanted, it wasn’t long before he returned to his favorite trails and town, and was recruiting the talent he once coached on the high school mountain bike team.

The 2008 Nevada Union Miners.  Jason Moeschler, top left, WTB's OEM sales manager coached Jeremiah Newman, WTB's OEM Sales coordinator, on Jason's right, Buddy Newman, WTB's graphic designer, furthest right, as well as Nate Byrom, WTB's marketing coordinator, second from top right.  Photo credit: Robert Lowe

“Investing in young, aspiring racers is investing in the future of mountain biking,” explained WTB’s president, Patrick Seidler.  “It provides a positive outlet to students while the sport gains lifelong riders who will be ambassadors for cycling,” stated Seidler.  When asked about WTB’s former NorCal racers and racing employees, Seidler responded very candidly, “I like employing racers.  They have an amazing ability to rechannel skills honed in focus, discipline, and perseverance to the work world.  They are productive and hard working.  Plus, with pros like Jason Moeschler and Mark Weir providing clinics to NorCal racers, it’s no wonder that tomorrow’s employees are today’s racers.”

Nate Byrom, also a former NorCal rider and professional mountain biker, followed his passion for riding and racing to a job in the bike industry at WTB as a marketing coordinator. “It’s a lot of work that’s hard to see when you’re a bike racer,” he explained. Byrom, who mostly works with the company’s sponsored athletes and social media channels, has recently added Race Director to his resume, switching hats to promote and attract top talent, directing the T.D.S., a local invitational enduro race in Nevada County at which WTB is pleased to be a presenting sponsor. 

Nate Byrom, #51 front and center, racing for Nevada Union High School during the 2009 State Championships at Boggs Mountain.  Bryom currently works as WTB's marketing coordinator helping athletes achieve their goals in an area he has first hand experience with. Photo credit: Robert Lowe

The invitational enduro isn’t the only race in town that WTB is supporting, however. YBONC (Youth Bicyclists of Nevada County) has been putting mountain bike races on for some time with proceeds benefitting eight school bike clubs with snack programs, mentoring, scholarships and trail stewardship. This year WTB is pleased to support YBONC with a product sponsorship to assist with prizing for the Dirt Classic series events.    



Nate Byrom, WTB's marketing coordinator, helping Nevada City's youth with a bike skills and tire changing clinic.

For 32 years, WTB has supported the growth of mountain biking as a recreational activity and competitive sport in its own backyard and birth place of mountain biking in Marin County, CA. Now with an expanded backyard to include Nevada City, we couldn’t be more fired up to be extending our reach and passion for building, and in this case, strengthening the mountain biking community in Nevada County and putting mountain bikers to work on and off the bike.



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