Catherine Melnarik

Never give up on something that any can’t go a day without thinking about. – Unknown

Nickname: Catie

D.O.B.: May 12, 2001

Birth city and state: Fremont, CA

Current City: Fremont, CA

Height: 5’4”

Specialty: Climber/All-Arounder

Previous sports: Swimming, Triathlon

Years racing: 1

Catie was born and raised in Fremont, California. Part of an active, nature-loving family, she backpacked the 220-mile John Muir Trail at age 11 along with her parents and sister. Later that year, she discovered triathlon and competed in the sport during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Training for USAT Junior Elite Nationals led her to a local cycling team where she quickly fell in love with cycling and decided to focus all her energy on the sport. In 2015, she raced for Team Fremont in the competitive NCNCA district, upgrading to Cat 3 after four months. She followed the achievements of the Twenty16 team and was greatly inspired by them, dreaming of someday becoming part of the team. Catie is ecstatic to join the junior development team and will race in the 15-16 division in 2016.

Catie is a high school freshman and maintains a full program of honors classes. Her favorite subjects are biology and Spanish. Catie is a passionate vegan and enjoys finding new recipes to fuel her cycling and overall health. She hopes to eventually become a professional and race in Europe. She plans to major in kinesiology when she starts college in 2019.

2015

2015 NCNCA Outstanding Junior Racer award

9th 2015 USAC Nationals 13-14 Girls Road Race

2nd 2015 NCNCA Women’s Cat 4 points series

3rd IC3 Dash for Cash – Women’s Cat 4

2nd Central Coast Road Series-Ft. Ord Circuit | CCR Women’s Cat 4

2nd Bariani Road Race – Women’s Cat 4

1st Land Park Crit – Jr 13-14 Girls

2nd Snelling Road Race – Jr 13-14 Boys

What inspired you to become a bike racer?

I enjoy the challenge and competition of racing and I love to beat boys when I race in their junior events.

Who is an inspiration to you in your life, both on and off the bike?

I’m inspired by anyone who pushes themselves to their limits in any sport. I first saw this in my aunt who competes in triathlon and was deeply inspired by her toughness and drive. My dad is another inspiration for always making cycling fun and teaching me the ins and outs of being a good person and cyclist. My mom, for showing me that hard work will ALWAYS pay off somehow and to love life. My sister always makes me laugh and inspires me to always push just a little harder. Lastly, my entire family inspires me by getting up early lots of weekends to drive me to races, and dedicating so much time into my training and racing.

Favorite meal when training?

Vegan dhal with sprouted brown rice. Yams. Groatmeal. Veggies! Medjool dates.

The best thing about being a bike racer is?

Seeing how hard you can push yourself and meeting crazy - and at the same time amazing - people.

What is your biggest accomplishment on the bike?

Upgrading to Cat 3 after only four months in the sport.

Favorite place you’ve raced your bike and why?

At USAC Nationals in Lake Tahoe, it was beyond gorgeous and made me want to live on my bike.

Favorite cross training or off season activity?

I love doing yoga. It helps me calm down and is a nice time to just relax. Hiking with my mom is also one of my favorite off-season things to do. I love being able to get out in nature and not have the distractions of technology or normal life. 

Best tip for a new bike racer?

Since I have only raced one season so far, I don’t have lots of knowledge about cycling. If I had to choose some piece of advice that I have gotten it would be to never give up no matter what position you are in a race because you never know what is happening in front of you. Another great piece of advice I was told was that if you aren’t having fun anymore, don’t do it. I think that advice is very true because cycling takes so much dedication and effort; you need to have your heart and soul into it.

What are one or two things that you do daily that are the key to your success?

Putting 100% into everything I do daily for training. After every ride I stretch and foam roll. Ice baths are great too after harder rides! And definitely core exercises help keep me steady on the bike and strong for climbing

If you weren’t bike racing what would you be?

Probably still pursuing triathlon.

What is something that nobody would know about you?

I love riding in weather (even though sometimes I complain about it).

TWENTY16 has an emphasis on education with the initiation of our Junior Scholarship program in 2015. http://teamtwenty16.com/education.htm.

Why is continued education important?

I think that continuing educating is extremely important because bike racing is amazing, but it is not a life-long job. At any moment you could crash and will need a decent job in order to support yourself. I also think that having extended education helps make a very well rounded person, and through the process you learn so many different life lessons that you couldn’t learn otherwise.

What does Ridebiker Alliance mean to you?

I think that local cycling teams are such a wonderful resource for new and experienced cyclists. My first team, Team Fremont, is like a second family to me. The cyclists support each other on so many levels and the camaraderie at weekly cycling events and races adds a great amount of fun to my cycling experience. Ridebiker Alliance’s support of local cycling teams can make their job easier and can help bring more people into this amazing sport.

Favorite things to do off the bike:

  1. Cook
  2. Yoga
  3. Hike
  4. Hang out with friends and family
  5. Watch Survivor!

Top 10 warmup/pre-race songs on your iPod:

  1. Bailando – Enrique Iglesias
  2. Country Girl - Luke Bryan
  3. Photograph - Def Leppard
  4. Heroes - Alesso
  5. Same Old Love – Selena Gomez
  6. Enya (To calm me down if I need it before a race)
  7. Not Ready to Make Nice – Dixie Chicks
  8. Apologize- One Republic
  9. Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles
  10. Walking on Air – Katy Perry

Sho-Air SRAM Felt Bicycles ZIPP Quarq JL Velo Kenda Tire