• TODD BROWN • HUNKR
Previously posted on HUNKR.com
SURE THE RIDE IS DONE, but we’re not. We’re hoping you all made it home safely and are resting up on this fine Veteran’s day. You earned it!
We’re working on a couple of things for you:
Robert Plumb is busy touching up photos and uploading them. Like you, he has immense talent on the bike… and behind the lens.
Podium finishers returned throughout the afternoon and a number of you missed out on your photos and awards. This week we’ll mailing out to awards to those who missed the podium ceremony.
Here’s the link to all the results: https://revolutionbikefest.com/results/2018-hunkr-la/
The men’s and women’s podium earned $550 each. That’s real money, and it was earned by some of the fastest racers in Southern California: Brian McCulloch, Brian Scarbrough and Tinker Juarez finished in that order; and Rhonda Quick, Kirsten Darley and Tina Burch took home the Women’s honors in that order.
That’s a tough, tough crew of racers right there. No shame in finishing behind them.
The only thing we are feeling is inspired. Inspired by your warrior spirits. The course was not a casual ride. It required a 100% effort the whole way. Inspired by the beauty of Castaic and the surrounding mountains. Inspired by each other, the team pulled off a great event.
Why are you still reading this?… shouldn’t you be out for a recovery ride or a massage or an ice-cream cone? training for HUNKR OC in March ’19?
Y’all Are Awesome!
• TODD BROWN • HUNKR
Previously Posted on HUNKR.com
WE’RE GOING TO BE PRE-RIDING THE HUNKR-LA COURSE SATURDAY, 9/22. You should come. You’ll get a chance to ride Historic Route 99 – cars haven’t been on it in 50 years. We’ll then be on a pristine country road before we turn off onto the dirt. It’ll be an adventure.
Seeing any race course ahead of time is one of the best we can do to make the big day go better.
Racers looking to do their best pre-ride.
Why do they all pre-ride? Because familiarity breeds…. speed, confidence, tranquility. It gives us a chance to determine which equipment set up, apparel, food will be best.
A proper pre-ride is done at a pace that lets us take it all in. If need be, we can go back over a tricky section a few times to burn it into the brain.
The more you pre-ride the more you can dial in the course’s features. It will always, ALWAYS, be worth the effort.
It’s not the end of the of world if you can’t make it. Heck, many of us have had amazing days on courses we’ve never seen.
But, if you can make it happen… do it.
Come prepared and be sure to bring a riding buddy,
3 water large water bottles,
and plenty of food.
Details: We’ll be meeting at the corner of Ridge Route and Castaic Lake. The CBS Cycling group ride will be coming through about 7:30am. We’ll ride with them through Lake Hughes then we’ll turn and hit the dirt finish of HUNKR. There should be water stashed, but no food. The only store will be closed. Be prepared, the group won’t be waiting. Plan on an elapsed time of about 5 hours, and 90 degree heat. Whippee!
• TODD BROWN • HUNKR
Re-Post from HUNKR.com
GRAVEL, MIXED-SURFACE, ADVENTURE RACE... WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT, it's the fact there's no right name (yet) that is so perfect. Because there's no right bike either!
They all work: MTBs with skinny tires - road bikes with fattish tires - CX bikes - "gravel" bikes. They're all great on most surfaces, not as good on some.
That's the fun, trying to figure out which rig will be the best. Which tires and pressures. Which gearing. Which foods. Which shoes - road or MTB. Which helmet - vented or aero...
The unknown of what lies ahead is refreshing.
Every ride is an open invitation to explore. See some fresh smooth tarmac, enjoy it. See a dirt trail, carve it. See an abandoned road, raid it.
That's how we're creating our courses too.
For HUNKR - LA we're going to be starting on a highway that hasn't seen cars in 50+ years, then we'll be on a beautiful country road through a tiny town, followed by our last segment of rugged fire road.
What's the right bike?
Only the adventurous will know.
DON'T SWEAT IT, WE'LL JUST CRUISE was Eric's promise to me. A promise I made him commit to before I ventured out to his famous Black Friday course. His other promise was that if we used part of or all of this course it would be the toughest HUNKR ever. One those promises would be broken... and as my head dipped forward, my body and bike searching for traction, the Garmin registered a 26% incline and my top tube was covered in sweat!
You no good son of a biscuit...
... damn I love this stuff.
A ride like today is so lovable because: the weather was perfect, overcast mid-50s; good people who are good riders; a route of stunning views absent cars; and my virginity... it was all new to me. That's the perfect combination. Oh, oh, oh... and tasty Mexican food after.
What defines good people... mainly attitude I think. Not just a "good" attitude, but a similar attitude - one that says Let's go ride some challenging terrain and enjoy each other's company. Good riders, in this case, means people of similar ability with good handling skills and bikes in good working order.
There was a life size Easter Island statue, a miniature polo rider statue, countless avocado groves, beautiful estates, gorgeous horses, all of it accessed by tiny country roads. For the most part, they were smooth. I rolled with 100 lbs of tire pressure which seemed just perfect.
But, there were those terrible pitches, the worst being about 900' in 9/10's of a mile. While Eric was grabbing PRs and KOMs I reverted to back a more innocent time. My magazine route, delivering Sports Illustrated and National Geographic through the hills of Fullerton where I mastered the "paper boy". No shame here, if ya got a skill use it. If you don't know the paperboy... LMK.
Check out the ride: https://www.strava.com/activities/1567906221
I knew what I was getting into
and packed my RaceDay Bag accordingly.
Is it HUNKR worthy?
• TODD BROWN • HUNKR
Repost from HUNKR.com
Hey there HUNKR Nation!
I have 3 rad announcements:
First – KASK helmets has developed a special Protone helmet for us in our colors. This is my favorite helmet, it’s comfortable and super-fast. It weighs a scant 215g and uses 3D Dry padding to provide delicious comfort.
Retail is $300… our price $199.99 (stock is limited). Click to order/learn more
Second – The Rankings
We’ve worked long and hard on our rankings systems: Overall Rankings and Series Standings. Coolest part? Well, seeing how you rank! Second coolest part, it’s live. Cross the finish line, and you’ll see how you rank.
The Rankings take into consideration the two most recent seasons. The Series Standings are based on your results in a given calendar year. While the Rankings are a good indicator of how you stack up with your fellow riders, the Series Standings will determine the season’s champions.
Click here to dive in and see how you rank and stand.
Third – June 9th event has been moved to September 29th
I know many of you had June 9th on the calendar already. It really bums me out that we have to change the date, but nailing down a killer course the first year takes quite a bit of moving heaven and earth. GMR will happen, but not this year. We looking at 2 venues, one in Ramona and the other either in Murrieta or Southeastern San Diego. Wherever we end up, I promise you HUNKR epicality.
Phew!… that’s three important updates for y’all. Please forward along to your pals. I can’t wait to see you in September.
• TODD BROWN • HUNKR
THE SUV GAVE US PLENTY OF ROOM AS IT PASSED ON AN EMPTY COUNTRY ROAD. The weeds growing beneath the oak tree canopy smelled nothing like the weed inside the Toyota Highlander. Weaving through the turns, irony lingered.
Mike saw my Strava upload, What did you think?
I think it's an amazing area. Beautiful. A combination of Silverado and Mojeska Canyons. Gentle, twisty rollers with an occasional heckuva pitch to get over. Much of the course is shielded from the sun by old, friendly trees. The road surface is glassy, minus a couple of miles that are "privately maintained". There are a total of 3 stop signs: two right hand turns; one four-way stop.
The school I thought could work for the Start/Finish is perfect, except it lacks parking. The ranch across the street has a field with potential.
• TODD BROWN • HUNKR
TOMORROW PETE AND I ARE GOING TO RIDE A POTENTIAL HUNKR ROUTE.
First I tried to map it with Google.
Then, Bierman told me to use Garmin. Great idea. With Garmin, it's easier to map and you get the elevation too.
That's where my tech adventure ended and Pete stepped in to download the route onto his Garmin - I'll learn that another day.
Here they are:
Andy lives down there and says it should be epic.
SATURDAY, 3/17/18, WAS HUNKR #2. Could our second edition be better than the first? Months out confidence was high, but as the day approached we were all apprehensive regarding the weather. If it rained it would be an epic day, if not it would be awesome.
Either way, it would be a who’s who of Southern California cycling: Olympians and World Champions Amber Neben and Thurlo Rogers, national champions Rahsaan Bahati and Charon Smith, ex-Continental Pro Jon Hornbeck… I’m sure I’m missing names… let me just say their participation is humbling and gratifying and a tiny bit nerve-racking – we want to deliver a professional product for them.
The idea that “normal” people… really, what’s normal about racing your bike 100k?… nothing!… it’s so outrageous truly normal people don’t get it… yes, the idea that normal people get a chance to line up right behind the talented riders at the front is what makes HUNKR special.
The FUNKR team competitions were even more popular this year. We had more teams in more categories going for top level prizes like Shimano Durace pedals (for the entire team).
With some creative thinking we managed to simplify the start from last year while still using the private roads only available to HUNKR. This was a huge improvement.
Mother Nature didn’t seem to care that we had so many stars ready to race, so many improvements. 50% greater participation – over 22% of whom were female (that’s huge).
Each day showed rain.
Each day didn’t actually rain much at all.
Packet pick up at Shimano headquarters was dry. A beautiful Mazda signaled where to go. Many competitors were so excited they were arriving hours early.
By 4pm we were ready to get them checked in. The line was long, but quickly got up to speed. It was fun chatter as racers met up… a lot friends saying high to friends. After they were checked in they were able to see historic Shimano product as well as all the new shiny gear we drool over.
We went to bed hopeful. We woke up around 4:30 to get an early start. A 4 hour squall moved through and flooded our parking lot in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Ugh.
We had a contingency plan, and put it into action. The backup parking was a mile down the ride. It would prove to be a nice warm up for the racers, and a chance to see part of the private roads they’d soon be racing on. Part of the contingency was pushing the start back 15 minutes.
By 8:30 the racers were in their respective corrals – they lined up based on projected finishing time, fastest up front. 8:35 final instructions were being given. Passion poured through the group. 8:40 we all sang the Star Spangled Banner a cappella. 8:44:55 the 5 second count down and final instruction…
What could be more fun than racing with over 300 of your closest friends?
Because we are always racing for 100 kilomters, there is a race within the race which is “How fast can I do this?” TJ Eller posted:
“I went 26 minutes faster than last year: a substantial improvement that I’m very proud of!“
How did he do this? No doubt he trained, set goals, etc… but somewhere out on that course he made some friends. Together they were all working hard. For sure, chasing the riders ahead, and desperately fending off the riders from behind played big parts.
Those riders ahead included the main bunch. Over 50 riders came through lap 1 together. On lap 2 it became 40ish. Andy Schmidt reported, “It was the fastest race I’ve ever done. Guys would attack and we’d bring them back. The pace was tremendous and never let up. It was so fun! ”
The drama is in the details… heading out for that last lap in the lead group were the best of the best, many flanked by teammates: Methods to Winning, Cannondale, Davis Phinney, Freakshow, Red Monkey with a hungry pack of lone wolves ready to tear up the final kilometers.
Just before the turnaround 4 riders went clear and blasted out of the tunnel. They had 15 seconds on the bunch by Cook’s Corner. Present were pro/ex-pro racers Coulton Hartrich, Stefano Barberi, Marco Arrocha and 17 year old local Andrew Vollmer.
This is Andrew’s home climb. Nobody knows it better.
Stefano knows what it’s like to launch a long range attack. Last year, he was off the front the final two laps only to be caught and passed in the final meters.
By the top, Marco had lost the group.
They were now 3 against 30 with 10 miles to go. Most of it was downhill, favoring the group. But, there was a tail wind… negates much of the big group’s advantage.
At the finish line we saw 3, then 1, then the bunch. They roared onto the private roads out of our sight.
We could only wonder.
It seemed impossible to stay away.
But, it’s a technical finish with rises that would seem easy at the start and now had to be stinging their legs.
Who would win HUNKR #2?
1st Place Coulton Hartrich
2nd Place Stefano Barberi
3rd Place Andrew Vollmer
15 seconds later Marco came in for 4th.
15 seconds after that teenager Ama Nsek won the bunch sprint for 5th.
The top women were able to finish with men in the main bunch – we don’t have a good photo of that, as they came through in a swarm.
1st Place Chrystal Anthony
2nd Place Amber Neben
3rd Place Larissa Conners
4th Place Esther Walker
5th Place Rhonda Quick
How fast are these racers? They covered 100k, 62 miles, with 4000′ of climbing in 2 hours 35 minutes, an average speed of 24.5 miles an hour. That’s blazing speed.
But, HUNKR isn’t just about the fastest or the equal cash pay out for men and women. It’ s about racers like the father and son duo of Eric and Vincent Ngheim, who battled the course together in 4 hours 23 minutes and teenage brother and sister Luke and Sarah Swan. It’s about 22% of our riders being female… we aren’t to our goal yet, but we are far closer than I had imagined we would be.
In the end, it’s about friendly competition. We are so happy with the HUNKR Nation… as a whole, you are a classy bunch we are thrilled to be part of.
There are lots more pictures for you to check out and download free from MSD Photography here.
We look forward to seeing ya at HUNKR 3 on June 9th.
(Reposted from an article I wrote on HUNKR.com)
I'VE NEVER NEEDED AN ALARM ON RACE DAY. I always set it, but sleep is evasive the night before. The bigger the event the more alarms and the less likely I'll sleep deeply or need them. Nothing is bigger for me than HUNKR.
There is nothing I want more than to have HUNKR go off without a hitch. Months go into the preparation, and the daily percentage of time devoted to HUNKR goes up as until the final day of 100%.
Yesterday was an awesome day for HUNKR - 50% more racers - 22% of whom were women (that's huge), a who's who of Southern California bicycle racing, and a dude on an elliptical bike.
We had to fall back on a few contingencies... the main one being our parking lot turned to mud by a late night squall. We had planned for them and things worked out well. I'm very proud of our production team. We all worked so hard.
Our volunteers were amazing. Some drove down from LA just to help out. They were all so proactive and caught up in the energy of the day. When promoters say they couldn't do it without volunteers that's true, because volunteers bring their time AND their energy AND their experience. They aren't punching a clock, they are there to serve. It's humbling.
As I pulled up the corral flags,
the wind was blowing and the sun was setting.
It was just me.
Alone at the starting line.
Reflecting on how this concept began.
Grateful for those who caught and supported the original concept.
It felt like we have some momentum now.
I drove home,
and that's what makes winning so sweet.
I wish you the best of luck to everybody tomorrow
and an epic tale to tell.
• TODD BROWN • HUNKR
I KNOW A LOT OF MY PALS LOVES ZWIFTING. The courses are cool, and the pros have laid down fast times which allows my pals to see how the measure up. Time crunched, weather trapped friends keep the fire burning for when it's time to get outside.
My pals will be on the same course as real pros, at the same time, up to the same challenge. This Saturday we'll have...
and World Champions lining up.
The pros will be racing for cold, hard cash... well it will probably be a soft, warm check. We've put $2500 up for the fastest men and women to split... EQUALLY.
While the pros are chasing dollars... my pals
who train hard and work hard
and really just want to have fun and ride their best 100k
Will be inspired and sucked along in the pro's wake.
---> SO MANY LADIES ARE REGISTERING... I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS BECAUSE IT'S ONE OUR PRIME GOALS TO GET MORE LADIES INVOLVED IN COMPETITIVE RACING... WOOHOO! <--
They bring all kinds of cheer.
we are including a $25 gift card to any of our other events:
HUNKR, OverTheHump and Revolution Bike Fest.
or you're a little banged up
or just not ready to HUNKR down
we'd love your help... you'll get:
a t-shirt, great Brazilian food, a beer and a $25 promo code
THERE'S NOTHING LIKE A FINISH LINE. It marks the end of the effort. There's nothing beyond it, nothing to conserve for. This is it.
Everything that went before is moot, sunk costs.
It started when I put it on my calendar.
Then I trained.
I worked on my bike.
I got signed up.
I drove to the venue.
I lined up.
Off we went, me and 400 of my closest friends.
The energy was savory and electric.
We were going all out for 100k.
I surfed up to riders my pace.
We worked together.
A bond of brotherhood/sisterhood formed.
The speed was beyond anything I could do on my own.
All along, it felt like I could throw down my fastest 100k EVER.
As the end neared, it seemed to get farther away.
My legs ached, my lungs burned.
Could my bike be getting heavier?
Do I have a flat?
Are my brakes rubbing?
Questions only a loser would ask.
I'm a winner and I'm wringing every ounce out of my body.
Because I know this is what it feels like to do my best.
It's not how I start, it's how I finish!
Is your FUNKR team ready?
IF THERE IS A SEASON FOR FLAT TIRES, it's right now. I felt bad for Charlie. He'd gotten up early and hustled down to the start of our ride to put in some fast racepace miles and flatted. I didn't see it, just got the report...
It's 7... let's go.
Just around the corner.
You didn't wait?
Nope... I waited for a flat on Tuesday and missed the ride.
We always leave on time, and as a group we never stop for flats... those lucky enough to have a friend on the ride might have the good fortune to have help for a speed flat fix. But we aren't friends... at least not on the rides.
This no stopping policy isn't true on all rides just the hard rides. I think that's because we are all too lazy to do intervals alone and use these rides in lieu of such idiocy.
Pete flatted later in the ride. I stopped. What a hypocrite I am! Kinda... Pete and I friends, sure, but my son Trevor is getting back into riding and had been shelled on the 133. Here was a chance to help a friend and wait for my kid - who is not really a kid.
Peter got rolling and I turned around to find T... called, but no answer.
Then a ring.
Where are ya?
I'm up by the toll road. You?
We took a short cut.
Cool... I'll see you at the finish.
I guess there are still tales to tell even with flat tires.
Just different ones, not the ones you'd planned on.
Sometimes they are better...
• TODD BROWN • HUNKR
AS WE GO OUT AND VISIT LOCAL BIKE SHOPS TO TALK ABOUT HUNKR, the reception is much different than last year. Last year, HUNKR was a brand new concept and took some 'splaining. This year, it's a totally different conversation.
Hey, yeah... I've been hearing about the race already. A few riders are already signed up. This, I heard way down in San Diego at a super cool shop -> Revolution Bike Shop. That's awesome, who is it? The Sisterhood of Cycling.
How sweet is that? 80 miles away, a team of ladies are signed up and spreading the word at their local shop.
The conversations ranged from enthusiasm that a SoCal road race series is on the calendar to confirming the shop would be there with their canopy ready to support their riders and customers.
IT'S THE SAME WITH SPONSORS. The sponsors this year get it, too. The ability to reach a new section of they cycling community in terms of the athletes along with multiple venues is a big draw. Many of the sponsors came out and checked out HUNKR last year as participants.
THE TEAMS GET IT TOO. This year the local cycling teams see the value in this kind of event and the opportunity to involve their riders in a challenge that focuses more on teamwork and personal best. It's a unique approach that giving all a reason to train together and work together to have their best days ever going 100k. Plus, a lot of the teams are reaching out to the Under 23 crowd and getting them registered for free.
It ain't easy pulling all this together, but it's worth it because we know how impactful an event done right can be. Having this momentum really helps us able to continue to add value to HUNKR.
• TODD BROWN • HUNKR
A MASS START BIKE RIDE OR RACE IS AWESOME, because it's so much more of a shared experience.
The energy when everybody starts lining up in their respective corrals is off the charts. Every single person can feel it, and you just get the idea that this is going to be a great day... that today could be your best ever HUNKR time.
We are all competing under the same conditions. This is cool because it gives us all a good idea of how we truly compare. For the slower people, it's a chance to appreciate the speed of the pros. For the pros, it's a chance to witness the heroic efforts of the first timers... to be a real pro at the finish and welcoming them to the party.
It's like the best group ride ever: we time it and make sure you don't have to stop along the way so you can go after your PR.
The after party kicks in as we all arrive back at the start. There's great food and music, and cool exhibits to check out. Because we all start together, we get back to the finish about the same time as our friends and hang out and recover. What could be better?
Bonus: it makes the driving so much better when we can carpool with our friends. The animated chatter on the way over is sprinkled with laughter and big bets. But, it's the drive home, reliving the highlights of the day that are the best... the way we take it all apart, congratulate each other and get right at planning how do better next time.
At HUNKR, you'll be starting at the same time as everybody else. Everybody lines up based on their projected finish time - our supercrazypowerful software makes sure everybody is where they should be.
IT EXPIRES 2/1/18, USE IT.