For those that have been fortunate enough to meet single speed phenom, Eric “The Animal” Hunner, they will tell you that Eric is one gigantor of a man. He literally out weighs his competition anywhere from 50-100lbs. To give you an idea on how big he is, check out the following photos.
Look at the people on the left side of the photos…tiny compared to the hulking Animal.
That’s all MAN right there…
Here’s another perspective, the dude is all muscle if you haven’t figured it out yet.
Did you guys get your tickets? The tickets to the GUN SHOW!!!
Though he may be huge, he’s a great guy, very friendly and a big teddy bear when his little daughter, Dana is around. So don’t be intimidated to shake hands with him if you meet him, but I warn you, you’ll feel really tiny when you’re next to him.
As we all know, Eric Hunner has earned a nick name of being the ANIMAL because of his ferocity and his massive size of man. Plus he’s got these gigantor hands that surprises anyone that shakes them. We’re pretty lucky to have him part of the team. As in traditional fashion, Eric wrote a race report that talks about the world of Single Speed Racing.
Race Day is not just a day for me, it is an event that is weeks in the making. I think of these races as a report card to myself to see how my riding is progressing and where I stand in the pack of local riders.
In order to get good grades on my report card I had better do my homework. Southridge was the last stop in the Triple Crown for our Team. I was the only person on the team that had not ridden Southridge before. Planning for the race included making time in my busy schedule to preride the course.
Time was short, but I made it out to Southridge by 4pm two days before the race. Thankfully I left my lights on the bike from an early morning training ride. The sun was falling fast, I was lucky enough to run into some other racers that were packing up to leave, and they pointed me in the right direction of the trail head. The trail head consisted of little orange arrows spray painted on rocks to lead you on your way. Some of the arrows are are far apart so preriding this course is a bit of scavenger hunt especially when the sun is going down. When making my way back to the parking lot I ran into Griffith Vertican. I proceeded to ask Griffith questions about the course and he was nice enough to show me some of the turns I missed on my preride, we ended the tour with some high intensity sprints up the hill to the water tower.
Saturday: Race Day. I am entered in the 34 and under Single Speed. I am sitting at the start line and I hear RL Yell out Go get those skinny guys Animal. The race starts I am amped, and feeling good. All of Single speeds left 5 minutes after the pros, at least ten SS together riding in a pack all pretty even paced for the first mile. The terrain at Southridge can be tricky rocks and ruts that are not avoidable, you need to be on your “A” game.
I make it though the race almost without any problems. On the second lap after some jarring downhill sections it feels like I am pedaling with the rear brake dragging. I try my hardest to just pedal and try to keep some distance in front of Andrew a fellow competitor in my class. I later discover after the race my rear SS specific hub was letting its life slip away, another rear hub with trashed bearings.
Now my other problem surfaces; holding off Andrew with my rear hub sucking the life out me. Andrew was geared a little faster than me I think he said he had to walk the hill in the back of the course, I was able to pedal up this nasty hill running 32/18. When the two of us hit the flat straight he pulled ahead, until the last major hill climb I pushed my bike and body to the max, I took the lead and held it until 10 yards from the finish line.
Andrew tried to pass in the last turn of the finish and crashed into the racers in front of us, then tangling handle bars, pedals, and plastic fencing together with me he got out of the fencing first. The difference between 3rd and 4th place ONE second. I ended up in 4th place, Andrew apologized for the mix up at the end. I kept my cool and was glad I finished the race in one piece. I did however collect a very nice Trophy for the 2nd place overall Single Speed in the Triple Crown Series.
The www.MTNBikeRiders.com Racing Team made this enjoyable team experience possible with all of our sponsors help in supporting us.
www.HossMTB.com, Ergon, Evomo Clothing, www.bikecommuters.com
From “THE ANIMAL” Eric Hunner…
Race day I was up really early as usual checking the weather, light rain. Rain was a good thing, we rode MT. SAC the day before and it was dry and dusty, transitioning into cracked dirt and rock hard singletrack. Mix the two together with a little rain and we some nice dirt to race on.
I owe a Big Thanks to Ergon USA, this was my first competitive event that I used Ergon Grips. This also happens to be the first race where I did not focus on my hands going to sleep. In the past I have had to slow down after a rough downhill section due to the fact I could not feel my hands on the grips during a race.
This was not the case during my Race at MT. SAC. I had received the grips the day before the race. Installing the grips is simple and straight forward, very little tweaking needed. I put 15 miles on the new grips before the race, I was already hooked. The adjustable Bar Ends built into the end of the grips are Awesome. The Bar Ends provided multiple hand placements, which was needed for the MT. SAC race because on the course there really isn’t a place to rest.
MT. SAC has a little bit of everything dry pavement, muddy pavement, lots of hill climbs, single track, slippery grass transitions, hike a bike, tunnel crossing, gravel, and a farm crossing. Having the new Ergon grips made the difference for my race; I could concentrate on the race and not tend to my hands. At the start line I had my toughest competitor Mark Mumea next to me and he had the same Ergon grips I had. I asked Mark if he liked the grips? I believe he said, “They are great”. He kept it short as the race was about to start.
The race started and I had a nice start. I stayed on the left side of the start line so I would not get bumped by the multi-speeders running hard to the first turn. It worked No accidents at the start. I lost
sight of Mark at the first bottleneck I had another Single Speeder in my group one of Mark’s teammates Rod Leueque. Rod and I were going back and forth the first two laps. On the first mile of the last lap Rod threw his chain on some rough single track. Rod recovered and still put up a good fight, but I didn’t let him catch me this time. From that point on I was going like mad. I made it to the podium in 5th place.
I owe another Big Thank You to our Team for all the suport and the great food, Evomo, Hoss, & Ergon.
A few days ago I was watching some “REAL” wrestling and noticed that MtnBikeRiders.com Single Speed Racer, Eric “The Animal” Hunner has a strong resemblance (IMHO) to WWE Wrestler John Cena…here scheck it out.
Heck they even have similar style shirts…