Eric Hunner: SRC #4 and a training ride to follow. A long day in the saddle

Articles Main Mountain Biking Single speed Team

RL Policar-Eric never stops to amaze me. Not only did he race, but he went on a training ride right after the event!

My race prep started days before the actual race, this included shopping for healthy food, riding my local spots, and making a trip to Shimano to drop off some cleats to hopefully get replaced under warranty. I didn’t plan on the tread ripping from the bottom of my cleat only days before the race. It is just something I have gotten used to, bike parts breaking on me at the worst possible time. As I expected the cleats didn’t make it back in time. It was on to plan “B”; I pulled my old cleats out of retirement. I arrived early at Southridge to preride the new cross country course; I had some trouble in the fresh cut winding single track on top of the hill so I rode it few times until I cleaned it. I was warm and ready to race. I made my way back to our base camp and the rest of the MtnBikeRiders team was setting up now. I made what I thought was the last of adjustments to the bike before the start of the race.

The call goes out “All cross country racers go to the start line” I make my way over to the start and the bike feels sluggish. I spin the rear wheel and nothing until I set it down in the dirt, totally flat. I run back to our base camp and ask for a foot pump. Kim Finch {Champ} runs over with pump in hand and turns into my own personal PIT Crew. RL runs over with a new tube. I am in and out of camp fairly fast and make my way over to the start with a few minutes to spare. Teammate David Sanderson and I had a strong solid race free of mechanicals thankfully. In short course racing I have found just throwing your chain off will cost you positions on the podium. Better make sure your ride is solid. David Sanderson finished fourth, and I finished third. I just finished my seventh short course race 18 miles or less since the longer events of 2008. The shorter races every couple of weeks is great for staying competitive and prepared for the longer races.

I left Southridge shortly after my race concluded and headed towards Saddleback Mountain to add some more miles for training and to break my body down to see how far I can push myself. The next event for me is the “Counting Coup” put on by the Warriors Society this event is 44 miles long and is a real test to even finish. I will be doing this on a single speed again as I did in 2008.

I parked my truck on Blackstar road and grabbed my bike and backpack that was still set up for short course [one tube, pump, tire irons, no patch kit]. After some grueling miles climbing Blackstar Canyon especially after a race I made it to “Beaks Place”. Moments later the rear flats again just as it did before the race. What a perfect time to take a break at “Beaks Place”. I tear into the rear tire and find that the rim tape had failed. I now remember that my tools and tubes are limited and not set up for epic rides. I carefully reset the rim tape and install my only tube. I continued for another mile and a half on Main Divide road and came up and some shuttled Downhillers, they were about to drop in but hit me up for some allen wrenches, that I had. I chatted with these 4 guys wearing assorted items from “The PATH” before they dropped into Corona, I decided it best that I turn around and head for home.

This part of the story ends much like it started. My Team & Friends bailed me out-and kept me rolling. Upon my decent down Main Divide I came up on a couple taking a break at “Beaks Place”, just as I pass the woman she said, “Hi Eric” I then realize it is my friend Shannon. Shannon is one of my friends that rides in our group on Wednesday’s (Shannon was out training for the Counting Coup as well).
Shannon and Robert were resting after their climb up Blackstar. We chatted for a bit and continued downhill. About ten minutes later I was out of the game with a pinch flat no more tubes or patch kit. I tried to tie the inner tube in a knot at the cut, but it didn’t seal. Just then Shannon and Robert came around the corner and threw me a tube. Luckily they stayed with me, it was not my day. As I was filling the tire with air the valve stem broke in half. Shannon throws me a second tube this one was Animal approved much better quality. The tire holds air and we ride for another six miles, we get to the road safely without walking. Day’s Total 6 mile warm up lap, 12 miles of racing, 23 miles of post race training, 4 inner tubes, 2 gallons of water, 1 gallon of Gatorade, 5 Power Bars, 1 bag of Turkey Jerky, half pound of trail mix, 4 bananas, 2 apples, 1 orange, 10 sport legs, and a hard lesson to bring the proper supplies when going on longer rides= priceless.

It’s nice to have great friends to help you when you need it, and don’t hesitate to stop and help someone on the trail. You just might meet someone really cool.

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RL Policar

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of and Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).

9 thoughts on “Eric Hunner: SRC #4 and a training ride to follow. A long day in the saddle

  1. Damn Eric, that is a heck of a lot riding in one day! Not only did you go through quite a few bike parts, you also ate a small grocery store along the way, Animal. I think you’ll do very well at “Counting Coup”.

  2. “2 gallons of water, 1 gallon of Gatorade, 5 Power Bars, 1 bag of Turkey Jerky, half pound of trail mix, 4 bananas, 2 apples, 1 orange,”

    Dang I’d hate to see the size of your poop after that ride…

  3. Hey D-Man, I was late for dinner. Time was not on my side after the race but I think I made to Beaks in about 1.5 hours not my fastest, I was still burning from the race.

  4. Eric, very impressive day on the bike. I was curious what your race schedule is like for the summer. Are you racing Bonelli on Sunday? Racers and Chasers at Vail Lake? (very fun course) Rim Nordic series? See you again at Southridge #5.

  5. Whats up Adam, No racing on Sunday. I need to train for the Counting Coup it lands on the same day as Southridge #5. I will look into the Vail and Rim Nordic. I am signed up for “The Traverse” in May again, last year it was in the low 100’s most of the race for 44 miles and 8000′ of climbing, it was a burner.

  6. Golf is a ridiculously difficult activity both mentally and physically, but mainly mentally. A round of golf can be most likely very similar to writing a interesting blog post like you have managed to do. You have to focus mentally as you form your ideas for people to enjoy. Wow, perhaps you should try golfing if you don’t already, your blogging is already very good. 🙂

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