Behind the Scenes at Team Camp with the Yeti / FOX National & Devo Teams in Pacifica, California

Mar 10, 2021
by Yeti Cycles  







Looking out of the window of our Airbnb in Pacifica, California, we could see the sun creeping over Montara Mountain, lighting up the mist of the crashing waves on Shelter Cove beneath us. Quinn was already grinding espresso beans for the team. More on that later. This trip came about for a number for reasons. The first was that Yeti wanted to get the Yeti / FOX National and Devo teams together for a relaxing weekend of riding before the 2021 race season. Secondly, these racers hadn’t seen each other in a group setting, nor trained or heckled each other for almost all of 2020. Pacifica was an ideal location — good weather, rowdy trails and most of the team lives within a solid car ride of the place.

Now, back to coffee. Well, Quinn’s coffee.



Jubal Davis and Quinn Reece making coffee



Quinn Reece has a deep-seated passion for the stuff. He’s a self-taught barista who has been thoroughly spoiled by Yeti’s own, Shawn Neer. He carries around an indestructible, weatherproof plastic case (suitable for transporting a $30,000 camera) where every piece of coffee equipment has its place — as you’d expect from someone who is a self-admitted OCD sufferer. No matter the location, Reece can always pull a perfect espresso shot. Not only should we thank Neer for adding coffee to Reece’s expertise, but we must also thank him for Reece gracing the Yeti team. Neer approached Yeti Race Team Manager, Damion Smith, and suggested he keep an eye on the 16-year-old youngster. Now twenty, Reece is going into his fourth-year racing under the Yeti flag.

Reece’s success in racing truly stems from how much fun he’s having. He quickly and carefully analyzes every obstacle before hitting it without reservation, while making every move look effortless. It may appear that he’s pushing the limits every time he rides, but the double-major, doctorate seeking mathematician-physicist just operates at an entirely different level.



Quinn Reece



We threw the Shimano drivetrain into granny gear as we started the first climb up a grueling fire road. The wind was whipping, which didn’t stop the continuous no-holds-bar jesting that would ensue. Reece bore the brunt of the jabs as Davis reminded him of lost bets, and Reece asking if the Pacific Ocean was a lake. The dynamic of this group is akin to that feeling where you haven’t spoken to an old friend in months, or even years, yet you pick up exactly where you left off. The relationship between these four has evolved over years of riding and racing together and it’s nothing short of a tightly knit family.

Consciencely or not, Davis assumes responsibility of group leader. A race scene veteran, the 29-year-old millwright has been under the Yeti tent for the last five years and will be for the foreseeable future – it’s his home. Davis made his way onto the Yeti team after a solid performance going up against Richie Rude on a borrowed enduro bike his father lent him. After the race Smith found Davis in line for a hot dog, asked what his plans were and the rest is history. Davis recently completed flipping a house in Windrock, TN where he trains on the rocky, rooty trails that the Eastern US can offer and his experience riding those notoriously rowdy trails is evident in the way he rides other parts of the country.



Jubal Davis



The quietest member of the team, and perhaps most modest, is 18-year-old Lauren Bingham. She lets her riding speak volumes. With a background in competitive dancing — the Waltz, Foxtrot and Salsa — she is a smooth rider, powerful, yet light on her bike with great cornering skills. She knows how to pay attention to the lines her teammates take and quickly learns from them. The Salt Lake native began racing cross country at six years old and has been on a Yeti race rig since 2017 when she serendipitously connected with Sarah Rawley, who was running Yeti’s ambassador program at the time. Ever the eye for talent, Rawley asked Bingham if she’d like to throw herself on a Yeti and she’s been with them ever since.



Lauren Bingham



The single track we were shooting on was tight, and flanked by waist-high brush which dropped into trees providing for much needed wind relief. The exposed upper section was dry, dusty and rutted out from erosion, but the trees were a bit more manicured. Roots and fallen trees ran the trail and the berms were ripe for smashing. Surprisingly, Warren Kniss seemed perturbed. His concern wasn’t the trail. Kniss is a savage and hits obstacles with fury. Rather, his anxiety was seated in the overwhelming amount of poison oak. He was relieved when the light became too harsh to shoot and we had to call riding quits for the day. Davis was relieved to finally show Reece what an ocean was — I won’t go down the rabbit hole of Reece attending school in San Luis Obispo, a city that literally looks out over the ocean.



Warren Kniss
Warren Kniss



Kniss is a soft-spoken lad with a grin similar to Dennis the Menace. He’s always up for any bit of action and is a heck of an athlete. 2020 was his first year as a member of the Yeti National Team after earning his acceptance in 2019 when he put down a solid performance at TDS on one of Davis’ bikes — they’re close friends after all. Not only is Kniss savage on a bike but he can skate with the best of them. We watched, jaws on the ground, as he meticulously placed his trucks on the bowl’s coping and weaved through kids on scooters. We high tailed it out of there before he had the chance to collide with one of them, and we had the chance to deal with an angry mother.



Warren Kniss skating



The wind continued to be relentless and Kniss knew of a location buried within trees, complete with a couple of dirt jump lines the team could play on, and berms primed for Reece to blow up. Jump after jump, these incredible athletes demonstrated the trust they have in one another, almost clipping tires as they made their way through the lines. There were smiles, fist bumps and “Dude! I almost hit you, you pulled up too much” after landing the final double.




Jubal Davis dirt jumps

Warren Kniss getting sideways




The entire trip mimicked that same flow. Each member of the team was super stoked for one another, looking out for each other while continuing to up the ante. Each run challenged the next, grounded purely in the simple joy of riding bikes, and without one ounce of negative or belittling competition. Each pass down the trail was fast, progressive and wildly intense.






I had my reservations coming into this trip. As the clear outsider I was intrigued of the challenge of how I would be able to capture these racers, bikers and friends in a way that didn’t feel forced. But from the minute I met them, the intimidation factor was completely suppressed. It became apparent to me that this team isn’t just made up of talented riders who are only after podium finishes. Winning is core to Yeti, that much is clear. But to truly be a Yeti racer, you need to be more than that. Yeti racers have to have the right attitude, they have to be a part of the support system and they need to want to be part of a team. While mountain biking may be a solo sport, racing at this level means looking beyond individual performance — sharing line choices and cornering techniques. Fully supporting one another, ready and willing with a smile and a fist bump, no matter what happens out on the course.


Head over to Yeticycles.com for more behind-the-scenes photos in the extended photo gallery.


Words and photos: James Stokoe, @jamesstokoephotoAthletes: @jubaldavis, @warrenkniss, @lauren_bingham_, @quinnreece

Yeti / FOX Team Sponsors: @yeticycles @ridefoxbike @oneupcomponets @maxxisbike @rideshimano @dtswiss @ergonbike @girocycling @cushcore @toyotausa @motorex_bike @occamdesigns @raceface @chriskingbuzz @vcgraphix_ @stagescycling @thule @smithoptics.bike @skratcklabs @bigmountainenduro


72 Comments

  • 87 8
 Public service announcement! (My first post ever.)
Pacifica sucks!
Pacifica is all poison oak, very steep climbs, lame blown out trails, rude people and it’s always foggy. Spread the word.
  • 42 0
 Upvote this because truth. Also there are lots of mountain lions and unfriendly locals. Best to stay away.
  • 26 0
 yeah pacifica sucks don’t go
  • 18 0
 It really is terrible
  • 20 0
 @Fullsend2-13: seriously probably the worst views while mtbing.
  • 11 0
 @henndoe: Lions are both a problem and a solution, depending on your point of view.
Pacifica pirate/lion treasure rules state that if you get eaten by a lion your gear is up for grabs.
When I passed these guy’s shinny blue bikes on the side of the trap, I mean trail, I thought I finally found some treasure! So close. Maybe next time.
  • 8 0
 After getting tangled in the POISON OAK, I had major swelling so my eyes and throat closed up. No for real. Super scary!!!
  • 6 0
 I got beat up by some locals last week when I was there. Those guys are crazy over there.
  • 2 0
 Large (house) cat spotted

If you know, you know Wink
  • 3 0
 Hahaha.... I feel ya. Beat it kooks!
  • 8 0
 Plus the homeless take shits on all the lips and landings. Its not worth riding to have to avoid all the land mines.
  • 2 0
 My wife and I hiked all through California and the only time she go poison oak was at Pacifica. True story. Avoid.
  • 2 0
 Username checks out
  • 3 0
 @pacificashredder if you think Pacifica is bad, you should see the entire PNW. What a shit hole! I would never travel in to Oregon or Washington to ride again. Such a waste of time! I hear good things about Idaho from Pinkbike.
  • 39 0
 Pretty rude of Richie not to show up.
  • 4 7
 National and Devo riders only
  • 21 3
 @salespunk:

One of the coolest airplanes ever made was the SR-71 Blackbird.

It could fly so high that you couldn't see it with the naked eye.

That joke just flew even further over your head.
  • 32 1
 Am I the only one that's gutted there isn't a proper picture of the coffee setup?
  • 7 0
 Yup - I mean, we get tool box porn.. let's get coffee box porn.
  • 1 0
 Looks like an espresso forge
  • 3 0
 i hear ya, that was the most interesting part of the article and it's a cliffhanger
  • 6 0
 I heard they Yeti team is great at making some pretty strong drinks for each other.
  • 1 0
 @azogas413: Gen 2 forge, helor 101 grinder
  • 35 10
 Copy edit much? "We through the Shimano drivetrain into granny gear" "he trains on the rocky, rooty trails that the Easter US can offer"
  • 15 0
 Picnic tables are dangerous don’t forget to wear your Giro helmet.
  • 26 1
 they think the fireroad climb in pacifica is grueling????
  • 4 2
 It is literally the easiest climb in the Bay Area and can be done on a full on DH bike if you have a lever or turn up the compression.
  • 1 1
 came here to say this
  • 4 1
 @Snowytrail: I'd definitely label the climb up to crack/cave as grueling. It gets really steep in some parts
  • 7 0
 Nice Yeti, now how about helping advocate on preserving this trails that’s been built by hard working local trail builders so it doesn’t get shut down. Maybe help fund it and buy the land so your team and costumers can enjoy the trails for years to come.
  • 9 0
 San Luis Obispo, a city that literally "does not" look out over the ocean.
Fixed it for you. It is 12 miles away!
  • 3 0
 I swear during my time at Cal Poly that the ocean can be seen from some of the local peaks. I’m old now and forget though.
  • 3 0
 Just about every peak in SLO has views of the ocean. Most with panoramic views.
  • 1 1
 @extratalldirtrider: "Literally looks out..." is an overstatement. You have to do some good hiking or biking to literally look over the ocean, but most of those are not city limits. I
  • 13 3
 I thought Pacifica was quasi-Illegal? Way to go Pinkbike FACEPALM
  • 6 1
 Yeah, not sure what to call it if not irresponsible.. Pinkbike blowing up the unsanctioned spots!
  • 6 0
 Love how all the sudden it seems like pacifica is getting all this attention..used to ride out there on my suger 2+ in the 90's..no one around..like everything these days social media can suck it..there no secrets anymore ..such a freakn zoo everywhere
  • 13 5
 Thanks for your service in blowing up every spot, Pinkbike. You’re a real asset to the mountain bike community and the people who actually build and maintain trails.
  • 8 2
 They really didn’t give any trail details or trail names. So I felt like they were trying to be low key about it. The real thing blowing up spots is all these wannabe Instagram influencers posting nonstop content of all these kind of places.
  • 2 3
 @dwee: like yourself with all your clips and pics of the place haha
  • 3 0
 @Jaybirdy: lol this is on Pinkbike and no trail names or locations listed. Pretty funny to search your name on instagram and find a grown man with 2 accounts. All about getting those likes huh
  • 4 0
 Jarritos and Arizona ice tea as post-ride beverage?

To the extent my W-2's did not already confirm this point, I'm clearly not in Yeti's affluent-straightedge-not-sore-after-a-ride target demographic.
  • 6 0
 Don't forget your helmet with your post ride beverages... ha!
  • 7 1
 Why do so many Yeti frames crack?
  • 2 0
 ahhh Boy Scout & the Mile - haven't ridden Sun Valley in 16 yrs. i even remember trying to climb the Mile...f*ck that shit. used to live @ 1 Blackburn Terrace on top of Pedro Point shortly afterwards & cruise down to Safeway for groceries. those were the days...
  • 5 0
 Cali Sun, Turquoise Bikes....perfect teeth and one fine mustachio
  • 1 0
 perfect bowl too Big Grin
  • 4 0
 Carson Eiswald off the team?
  • 3 1
 Threw*. (buy also been working all night and realize I'm probably not thinking clearly, so preparing to be wrong)
  • 3 0
 It’s little baby Quinton.
  • 5 3
 No podiums out of this group last year!
  • 2 1
 No detailed coffee breakdown?
  • 1 0
 Traction
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