Meet Eric Carter
Meet Eric Carter
After decades of winning titles, Eric Carter is well into another chapter of his life in Murrieta California with his wife and two boys. Living in a neighborhood next to what has turned into a mountain bike mecca, Eric is home. Nowadays you can find him, shovel in hand, wearing jeans and a t-shirt, building mile after mile of amazing trails with natural features. Known for his mountain bike track building and being a pioneer in four cross, he now applies this experience to his local spot. Currently the brand manager for Hyper Bicycles he fields an all-star cast of athletes. Eric is in his fourth decade of the purest of bicycle careers, never having a job outside of the industry. Still one of the best cornering riders the sport has ever seen.
The history of mountain biking isn’t very well-documented. If you don’t have back issues of magazines, then you rely on whatever is available online, and you could spend a lifetime piecing the sport together. So, if you haven’t heard of Eric Carter, or you aren’t interested in history, then at least know this: he is the last rider in the sport that you want behind you when exiting the last turn at a race, whether it be BMX, dual slalom or 4-Cross. Eric made a career of passing riders to win national and world titles. The results don’t lie: 19 National and 5 World Championships, split between BMX and mountain biking.
Eric grew up in Lakewood, California, riding his BMX bike around the neighborhood like most teenagers in the ’80s. The difference was his focus and good parenting. The Carters traveled to all the races together as a family, and it was the “Bear,” Mr. Carter, who made the biggest difference for Eric mentally. In fact, Eric was probably only half as good as he could have been had he just taken his father’s advice to the limit. But what kid has ever done that? The Bear’s words were full of wisdom. He read a lot of books and was extremely knowledgeable in many practical and real-life subjects. He pointed out what it takes to win, both in training and in life. That was probably Eric’s biggest advantage in racing.
Living in a suburban neighborhood, Eric had to improvise for BMX training. Tracks were too far away to ride his BMX bike to, and the outlying areas were a little too sketchy for a kid to venture out in alone. So, Eric did laps around his block—not on the sidewalk, but on the 9-inch curb next to the gutter. He learned to avoid car mirrors, trees, fire hydrants, trash cans and plain old rubbish that was in the way. He didn’t move stuff. Everything was left in its natural location, and he had to figure out ways to navigate around it without taking his feet off the pedals or leaving the curb. He didn’t know it at the time, but this would define his bike control, turning and handling for the next three decades.
This practice forced Eric to focus on the mechanics of what he was doing. His father pointed out any flaws and suggested ways to improve. Eric grew to be positive and confident. His father also instilled a humbleness in Eric that remains to this day. Eric Carter is one of the most knowledgeable and approachable professional bicycle racers in history. He now shares his secrets on better ways to corner!
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