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Introduction

 

To properly capture the RHC Racer’s POV we’ve partnered with Specialized’s five-man five-person RHC super team: Specialized/Rocket Espresso. We’re talking about Aldo Ino Ilesic (Slovenia), Eamon Lucas (USA), Alec Briggs (UK), Stefan Schäfer (Germany), Carla Nafría (Spain); an international hit squad of RHC specialists with the express goal of taking the overall championship. To better understand their individual and team motivations, hopes, dreams, wants, needs and desires, as they relate (and don’t relate) to the RHC, MFS is going DEEP. We will live with them, sleep with them, follow them, eat with them, race with them, talk with them, video them, photograph them, write about them, etc etc etc. If we can mind meld with them, we’ll do it.

Twenty-and-twelve Questions with Eamon Lucas

What’s your name? Age? Hometown? Current Residence?

Eamon Lucas, born in Pacific Grove, CA. Split my time between Pacific Grove and Ptuj, Slovenia.

What/how/why/when did you start riding bikes?

I started to race my bike at the age of 16 and the rest is history! It’s been a wild ride since 2010 and I would not trade anything for the life experiences I’ve gained from riding my bike. I spent five years actively racing on the US National Junior and U23 team and that took me all around Europe. From 2014 to now I have spent more time stateside racing the US domestic race scene and life could not be better!

What are your cycling career High Points? Awards, palmarès, life defining moments, wins, religious experiences, etc. Make a list. Don’t be shy.

2017 Results 1st Sunshine GP Overall GC 1st Sunshine GP Stage 2 1st Sunshine GP Stage 3 1st Georgia Tech Cycling Classic Road Race 2016 Results 1st Stage 5 Tour of Fuzhou 2.1 UCI Asia Tour 1st Belmont Criterium Race #2 of Speed Week 1st Waukesha Carl Zach Cycling Classic 1st Georgia Tech Cycling Classic Day 2 1st Cherry Pie Criterium 1st Watsonville Criterium 1st U-25 BYR USA Criterium Series Winner 3rd San Rafael Twilight Criterium 3rd Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2015 Results 1st Central Coast Road Series Circuit Race #1 1st Santa Cruz Classic Criterium 1st Island View Criterium 3rd Memorial Day Criterium 2014 Results 1st Central Coast Road Series Ft. Ord Race #2 3rd USA U23 Nationals Criterium Championships 2013 Results 1st San Rafael Twilight Grand Prix 1st Kermesses 1.12 Zonnebeke (points classification) 1st kermesses 1.12 Torhout (points classification) 1st Central coast road series Ft. Ord Race #7 2nd Stage 2A ITT 2.2 Boucles De L’Artos 3rd Kermesses 1.12 De Ruiter 3rd Kermesses 1.12 Zonnebeke 3rd California Elite State ITT Championships 2012 Results 1st Steven Dunlap ITT 1st California State U23 ITT Championships 2rd Kermesses 1.12 Izegem 3rd Kermesses 1.12 Gits 3rd Kermesses 1.12 Mooresle

What are your cycling career Low Points? Crashes, mistakes, fuck-ups, etc. Make a list.

Well, you nailed it. Crashes, mistakes, fuck-ups… I’ve had them all in my career. If I made a list we would run off the page.

Do you have a day job? If so what is it? How does it make you a better racer? How does racing make you better at your day job?

I was a barista one or two days a week at a local coffee shop in Pacific Grove, CA called Crema.

Manual for Speed thinks of the Red Hook Criterium series as the future of cycling. It’s urban, it’s gladiatorial, it’s thrilling, it’s colorful, it’s a knife fight. Cycling fans and non-cyclists think it’s thrilling. To us it represents an evolution of bicycle racing. What do you think about this idea? What makes these races so special?

I think Red Hook Crits, and fixed gear crits as a whole, are for sure what the sport of cycling needed. They are fun, they bring out the best in people and the communities that host them, people race them hard. Plus, there are only four races in the the RHC championship series, so they are relatively prestigious. Winning one is a big deal!

Why do you care about racing? Why is it important to you?

It’s my life! I was born to smash gears. It’s a beautiful sport and it has so much beautiful history that has brought cycling as a whole to where it is today.

How do RHCs compare to regular crit racing? How do RHCs compare to World Tour stage racing?

Red Hook Crits go in circles with no breaks. Normal crits go in circles with breaks. The World Tour, well, that’s 500 watts all day for three weeks.

Do you think of yourself as a “gladiator of the street?” If not why not?

No, I think of myself as a savage!

What’s the one thing you wish fans and non-racers understood about racing the RHC?

I am not sure. I think it is pretty straightforward and the concept is easy to grasp.

What would make RHCs even better?

Well 2017 will be my first year racing the RHC series, so I’m not entirely sure. From what I have seen the these events look AWESOME!

In what ways are RHCs similar to the new Mad Max movie? Or any Mad Max movie?

Have never seen Mad Max new or old, but I have seen the previews and it looks like you have a lot of full-gas intensity, things that blow up, and rowdy looking folks! RHC is a race where you can’t stop pedaling, you have no brakes, it’s in the dark, and after it’s over you party like there is nooooooo tomorrow! So yeah it’s very Mad Max! JUST WILD!

We imagine that you’ve raced non-fixed gear criteriums as well. What are the big differences between these two styles of racing? In terms of speed, strategy, time of day? Promotion? Location? Media? Vibes?

The big differences between a normal crit and a fixie crit are the distances you race and what I would say is a more “I can’t eat that, it’s bad for me!” mentality in a standard race environment versus the RHC vibe where people travel to the event from all over the world and bring culture, pizazz, weirdness and flavor to the whole mix.

Is there a different sense of risk vs reward in the RHC races? What’s on the line for you as a racer?

Well, crashing is crashing… it sucks and it hurts but if you are afraid of it, go do something else! I am not saying you have to go ride so hard you almost crash in every corner, but people come to this race and races in general to fight for the win. So yeah, of course, there are going to be risks.

What about fixed gear racing makes it more interesting than geared bike racing?

Fixed gear bike racing is more interesting than a standard/geared bike race because it’s not traditional and it allows you to make your own rules, style and image. It allows you to define cool.

Tell us about bike handling, reading a race, and fitness. How do you think about them as they apply to RHC racing? How are they different from regular crits?

Bike handling and the ability to react to a crazy situation will be vital to not crashing. I am not sure how fit you have to be, but I know the ability to spin a 80-90 inch gear for 45 minutes at 120+ rpm avg will be important sooooo I hope you got a good spin!

What about the event itself? These races have a party atmosphere. Lots of action going on before, during, and after the race. Are you into it? Do think it’s an important part of the culture of these races?

HELL YEAH!!! The party vibes and high energy are what make the whole event! I am 100% for the partying.

How intense is the contact between you and other riders when you’re out there on the course? If possible please use a metaphor to describe the feeling of this contact.

Like I said, this will be my first year doing RHCs so I’m not exactly sure how much contact there is going to be, but I race the PRT and NCC crit circuits all year and there are times where we bang bars HARD—so if you want to scrap we will scrap. Just know, if you crash me you will be coming with me. And you will have to deal with me after the crash.

What metaphor best describes the feeling of the race in general? For example: Scorpion Rumble, Badger Brawl, A Storm of Falling Glass, etc.

Orchestrated Madness.

Speaking of gladiatorial combat, what is your favorite action movie fight scene?

The entire movie 300!

What is your biggest fear? What is your biggest hope?

I am not sure I have many fears. I mean, I don’t want to fail at life, and I want to be able to provide for my family when I have a wife and kids, and I get scared surfing big waves. But I don’t have much to be scared of other than the normal things in life.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done in a race? Don’t be shy, just own it. Dish.

Probably crashing myself trying to bridge to the breakaway at the Gas Town GP during BC-Super Week in Canada in 2015. Straight rookie move! I made the cover of the paper the next day on the ground!

What’s the best thing you’ve ever done in a race? Tell us all about it!!!!!

Well… win, obviously!

Speaking of fear, one a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, how afraid are you when you’re racing in one of these events? Please explain.

I have never raced a RHC soooo not sure how scared I will be! But I can guess: not that scared. I’ll be more nervous than anything, and I’ll have high self expectations.

If you weren’t racing the RHC series what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t in Brooklyn I’d be finishing Speed Week with my road team, Crit Life. If I were not going to London I would be finishing Intelligentsia Cup in Chicago. If I were not going to Barcelona I would be in St.Louis racing Gateway Cup. Milan is in October a day before my birthday (and there is no road racing then) so I don’t know what I’d be up to, but it doesn’t matter. I am excited to race on my birthday!

Is racing the RHC series your dream? If not what’s your dream? Tell us about your dream.

Wooo… that’s a big question. In cycling it’s for sure a newfound dream to win an RHC; like I said earlier, RHC Milano falls on the 14th and my birthday is the 15th so winning that race would be special. On the road side of things I would like to race “Pro” in Europe for a few years (about that!). But I am happy where I am in the sport with my current team Crit Life, and I am just thankful to be living the dream and paying my bills with my bike!

Do you have non-bike, non-athletic related hobbies/interests? If so what are they?

Everything!!! I surf a lot when I am home and in the off-season. I like to rip on the mountain bike. I am a photographer, so I shoot whenever I have the chance (waves and landscapes especially). I just like to do everything!

Do you have a power animal? If not you should, please assign yourself one. What is it? Why?

A bear, a shark or a big cat. Something that is respected and feared but is usually relaxed, with a real “savage” side.

What do you like most about your bike? Get specific.

My current bike bike is a Specialized Allez Sprint in the two-tone neon green and I just love the look and the feel of the bike in general. It’s the best bike i’ve ever been on.

What do you like most about your sponsors? Go big and get specific!

Well Specialized is huge on innovation and making the little things phenomenal, which makes a massive difference to the athlete. I am huge on detail and think it’s very important. Specialized is hands down the best when it comes to this.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done, or thought about doing? Yes, we are going to publish this but that’s not relevant right now. More importantly, this is therapeutic. We’re asking this for your own good. Please take a solid step outside your comfort zone and tell us something you’ve never told anyone before. Trust, reach deep, it’s part of the process.

Besides the typical nights of throwing up out of cars, spray painting people’s houses, full-frontal flashing the elderly and vandalizing of public property I have nothing. I know I’m boring and don’t live too dangerously!

Maybe you have a hero all lined up for this question, maybe you don’t. Either way, who is your hero and why? It does NOT need to be an athlete, but it’s okay if it is.

My hero is my Grandmother, Marjorie! She is the sweetest and hardest-working person you will ever meet. She has taught (and shown) me over the years that even when you have next to nothing to give to someone in need. When someone needs something they need it, and they will be grateful. Marj is also my hero because 99.7% of the time she always does the right thing, even when no one is looking. When I want to slack or not do something to the fullest I think, “What would Marj do?” and give that extra little bit. I love my grandmother to the moon and back and would do anything for her. Marjorie is my hero.

Fun Facts With Eamon Lucas

Favorite Food

All things breakfast!

Favorite Color

Green, red, dark blue.

Favorite Band/Song

“Rivers” by Thomas Jack.

Favorite Movie/Video Game

Don’t watch them and don’t play them...

Favorite Cartoon

Spongebob.

Favorite Book (Can You Read?)

I can read! But my ADD and ADHD makes reading hard because if there is a down/boring moment in the book I lose interest FAST!

Pre-Race Superstition

Just let the good vibes flow and get ready to kill people!

If you weren't a cyclist, what would you be?

Not sure! Buuuut I am a cyclist, sooo let’s not have those negative thoughts! 😀

What do you do when you're bored?

Find something to do so I am not bored.

Family

Love them!

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Ice cream!

Sign Sing?

Always and loudly!

Prized Possession

Nothing. Can’t take any of this stuff when you die!

If you were a superhero, what would your power be?

“Mr. 500 Watts.” I could for sure do 500 watts all day.

What's most surprising about you?

How sometimes I can be really quiet and relaxed—very different from my normal state.

Celebrity Crush

How sometimes I can be really quiet and relaxed—very different from my normal state.

Celebrity Role Model

Don’t have any.

Bad Habits

Biting my nails.

Favorite Quote

“LIFE IS EITHER AN INCREDIBLE ADVENTURE… OR IT’S NOTHING AT ALL.”

Ticklish

Only one way to find out.

What's your favorite smoothie!!!???

Peanut Butter Love from Jamba Juice.

Weirdest Dream?

You don’t want to know… I’m loose in the night!

Hidden Talents

Too many to count!

Fanmail address

Slide through on my Insta DM :D! @Eamon_Lucas

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