With a name like Ryder and hailing from Bend, Oregon, it was perhaps destiny that Ryder Uetrecht would be a successful cyclist. However, at the 2017 Montana Cross Camp, he showed he was destined for another accomplishment: eating ice cream. After some gentle heckling—and a friendly wager—from Dillon McNeill, Uetrecht stepped up to the challenge of giving the SuperNova ice cream and brownie combination a solo effort and crushed it.
Ice cream eating aside, Ryder is also an accomplished rider at just 15 years of age. Earlier this year, the Bear Development cyclocrosser finished sixth at the Sea Otter Classic cyclocross race ahead of notables such as Scott Chapin and Cody Kaiser. At the 2016 Asheville Nationals, his first, he overcame double flats to finish in fifth place in his Junior 13-14 age group.
We have already heard from young riders with a variety of skills off the cyclocross bike, but Uetrecht is the first musician we have talked to. Uetrecht plays the acoustic guitar and has been known to bring it to races every once in a while.
In the latest of our ever-growing series of Montana Cross Camp athlete interviews, Cyclocross Magazine sat down with Ryder and asked him about ice cream, cycling and his plans for being the next Gavin Haley.
Interview with Ryder Uetrecht at the 2017 Montana Cross Camp
Cyclocross Magazine: This is your second camp?
Ryder Uetrecht: Yeah, this is my second one.
CXM: What motivated you to come back?
RU: A lot of it is just the pain and the gain you get from this. You learn a lot, but you have to work for it. That’s something I like to do.
CXM: Did you learn anything new?
RU: It’s a lot of little things that you learn and relearn and take the rust off. A lot of us are coming back off of mountain bike Nationals, me included. It’s like getting back on the ’cross bike is a good jump start.
CXM: What was the highlight of the camp?
RU: The highlight of the camp must have been the camaraderie. I love the rides, especially the final gravel ride we did. It was very very fun.
CXM: The big climbs?
RU: Yeah, those are fun.
CXM: What was the hardest thing?
RU: Probably the mornings. You’d wake up all sore and tight and then go for a run and do stairs.
CXM: It looked like maybe the second hardest thing was something we did yesterday. You had a whole bunch of people around you, can you tell us about that?
RU: Oh, the SuperNova.
CXM: What is the SuperNova?
RU: It’s a dish with two brownies in it, six different scoops of ice cream and then six different toppings. Usually, people will do it together and they’ll sometimes finish. This year I got the crazy idea to try and do it solo.
CXM: And there was a little money on the line right?
RU: Yeah, Dillon McNeill bet that I could do it. He made a $20 bet and I said, “Why not?”
CXM: $20 includes you having to pay for it though?
RU: So $4 net gain.
CXM: Not bad for 20 minutes of eating and then hours of suffering?
RU: Yeah, four hours of suffering.
CXM: There was a condition though, not just that you could get it in your stomach, right?
RU: No, I had to keep it down for at least a half hour.
CXM: There were a lot of people around you with their phones in video mode. What was that about?
RU: I think they wanted me to fail more than anything. They were just waiting and waiting and waiting, but I didn’t let them have it.
CXM: You’ve spent some time with Geoff Proctor, how would you describe him?
RU: I think he is a man of extreme character. He defines what it means to have good character. He’s loyal, he’s just a great cyclist and he’s honest. He will tell you where you are wrong and what you need to fix to get better, and he will help you do that.
CXM: Coming out of camp, do you have some big goals for the season?
RU: I would love to win Nationals, but the top five would make me very happy this year.
CXM: I understand you have had some bad luck at Nationals? At Hartford, you snapped a seat post and the year before a double flat? Sounds like you’re just hoping for redemption?
RU: I just want the stars to align, and when they do, things happen.
“I just want the stars to align, and when they do, things happen.”
CXM: Besides cyclocross what keeps you busy?
RU: I play guitar and read a lot. I ride mountain bikes quite a bit. Enjoy time with friends.
CXM: Acoustic? Electric?
CXM: You ever bring it out to the races?
RU: Sometimes to the local races, I’ll bring it out. During down time or when I’m waiting for my race, I’ll take it out.
CXM: You know Gavin Haley?
CXM: We just did a little feature on him. Bringing his guitar to the races launched his singing career. Is that a backup plan if ’cross doesn’t work?
RU: I don’t know, I am no Gavin Haley.
CXM: Will you perform for us at the next camp?
RU: I would love to.
CXM: Awesome. Thank you for your time.
RU: You’re welcome.