As Hunt has grown, so too has the number of people putting in the hard graft behind the scenes. Our latest recruit describes himself as ‘just another cycling junkie’ but really does know his stuff. Stan Bolyarov is a Robert Gordon University Management with Marketing Graduate who races road and cyclocross. He has even raced the Bulgarian National Road and TT Championships. To say the least… he is very handy on a bicycle. With experience of Dutch and German markets, having lived in both countries, Stan’s role will lie in pushing forward our website usability to give you the best access to tech information, spares and support you need. He will also be found in the customer service, tech and dispatch areas.
We have managed to catch Stan for our latest On The Drops interview... enjoy!
Stanimir Bolyarov (Stan for the locals)
Born and Bred:
Okay, first things first, why were you late to your first shift at Hunt Bike Wheels? Not that we mind, we know the first bike commute can be a bit of guess work.
Where do I start… I created a bike route on Garmin which I tried to follow until it led me to the A23 (pretty busy dual-carriage way) which I didn’t want to go on so I took a semi-decent looking bike path which was initially paved and just in bad condition but it turned to a dirt road which tractors were mainly using to get around the fields. I was riding my Cannondale Supersix with 26mm slick tyres and carbon wheels which were not made for this. It wasn’t too bad initially and I even thought I’m going to make it without any issues but half way through the path relatively big puddles started appearing and I had to dismount and walk in the mud with my speedplay zeros which became completely unusable since they don’t work with the smallest amount of mud and dirt on them. After having to pedal without being clipped in for about 3 km, the dirt road turned into a hard path full of small rocks which were ideal for giving me a puncture. And with 200m to go until the end of the dirt road and back on the main one, the inevitable happened and I punctured. Thankfully, I was prepared and I changed the tube and continued my journey with probably the best 20min effort I’ve ever done.
First Bike and Favourite bike?
My first bike was an alloy Drag (Bulgarian bike manufacturer) with Shimano 2300 and it was the first one I raced on as well.
I have two favourites:
- My current Cannondale Supersix Evo with a mix of Shimano DA and Ultegra and a Rotor power meter. It became my favourite because it’s the one that I feel fastest on and it looks absolutely gorgeous in my opinion.
- My first carbon bike – a Merida Theorema 909 (really nice carbon frame with lugs) with Campagnolo Centaur. This one is a favourite because it’s got a really crazy story that goes with it. It was the first one I bought all the parts for separately and built it up myself. 3 months in I was at a birthday party and my grandma decided to hang a bag on the handlebars and the bike slid down a metal post which cracked the top tube and since nobody had any experience in working with carbon before in my home town I had to repair it myself by buying carbon sheets and epoxy. I managed that and after riding it for about an year, I moved to Aberdeen to start university and 2 days before Christmas I locked it up for 20 mins in front of a shopping centre and when I got back I only saw my lock cut and the bike missing. I was devastated… Fast-forward year and a half later (I was on my Erasmus semester in the Netherlands) my ex-flatmate in Aberdeen sends me a picture of a note from the police who were saying they found it and I need to collect it. A month after that I was back in Aberdeen and went to collect it from Perth (about 85miles away) where it was found at a boot sale being sold by a dodgy-looking guy who wanted £200 for it… After that the bike came with me to London where I converted it to a fixie because I was doing Deliveroo after work and it was way faster and easier that way (also brought the weight down to 6.7kgs). Now the bike is being ridden by a really good friend of mine who’s got 3 more years of uni in Aberdeen. Happy end!
Finish this sentence: Climbing on my bike is the most enjoyable type of pain.
So you raced the Bulgarian National Road and TT Champs… what’s the story behind this? How did it pan out?
Finished 10th place on both (such a disappointment haha). Interesting thing about it is that a guy (Danail Petrov) who raced for Caja Rural previously and did the Vuelta was in it with a team of ex-professionals who made the race extremely hard. The race course was a 17km circuit we did 5 laps on with a big hill in the middle of it where all the action was happening. With just 2 kms in the race, one of my teammates who was also going for the podium got a puncture but he managed to get back to the team car and change wheels and catch back on. The team of ex-professionals was attacking all the time which tired us a lot because only me and 2 other people of my team were doing the chasing (just because the others were not as prepared and fit for the race). With 2 laps to go, there was a big attack on a stretch of road with strong headwind where a group of 10 riders went ahead, including me and my teammate fighting for the podium. I was pretty exhausted at that time already because even though legs weren’t tired, my heart-rate was through the roof due to the weather… It was 42C and training in the UK at 18-20C didn’t help at all. On the last lap, Danail (Caja Rural guy) attacked on the start of the climb (the finish was at the top of it) and nobody was able to catch him. I tried to help my teammate with conserving his energy for the sprint at the end by pulling hard on the climb until my heart just couldn’t cope anymore and when I hit 203 bpm I just couldn’t continue and finished 10th. He got 3rd though which was really good considering the competition.
What grinds your gears?
Apart from disrespectful drivers, I’m quite bad with cleaning my chain often enough so this literally grinds my gears!
Jersey pockets or Saddlebag?
Both, tools and tubes in the saddlebag and food in the pockets! Also when I get rid of the extra weight for races, the bike really feels faster!
Dream place to ride?
Passo delo Stelvio and The Gotthard pass
How long can you hold a no hander trackstand for?
Not long enough to solve a Rubik’s cube while doing it (so about 10-15 secs..)
What’s was best and worst thing about being a Deliveroo rider? Have you any crazy stories?
I’ve got too many to share them all but the most notable one was quite bizarre. I started doing it in London as a second job in conjunction with my placement job. I figured that I’m going to be on my bike anyway, so why not get paid for it… The story happened about 4 months in. I have already bought a helmet cam by this point because the close passes and potential accidents in London was too great to risk not having proof for. Anyway, I was cycling down a narrow residential street and a car passed me super close and was definitely going well over the speed limit. I initially got angry at the car but then a scooter passed with two guys on it and it looked as if they were chasing the car. After a minute, there was a junction coming up where I saw the car stopping and the two people on the scooter got off and smashed the windows of the car with a hammer and started beating the driver. There was also a girl as a passenger and she was absolutely terrified by what was happening. I made sure I was filming all and got the number plates of the scooter on the video. The guy in the car managed to drive off and went straight to the police station which was just around the corner actually. After the incident I went to the station where I saw him and the girl crying and I assured them I’ve got a video of the incident and I gave a full report to the police and gave them the footage. By the time I finished giving evidence, one of the guys on the scooter was caught which I was happy to hear about. After 1 year, I got a call that I need to appear in court as a witness which I did and giving evidence in front of a judge and a jury was quite an experience! The defence attorney was really annoying and was asking difficult questions but I kept cool and managed to provide sufficient answers for the judge to find the guy guilty. The driver of the car and the girl were also there and they were really thankful and I was happy that I could help! In comparison with this, all my traffic accidents are not that important really…
Is it true that you shaved a Mohawk for the #aero gains?
How did you know!? I said to all that it was for raising money for the Movember charity but that was just one of the reasons…
Favourite bicycle part (apart from your wheels of course)?
My Rotor Power LT power meter. My best friend in terms of improvement and evidence of such!
Most memorable ride for all of the wrong reasons?
To be honest, my first commute to Hunt HQ became that ride…
Cheers Stan! Hopefully you have the Brighton to Partridge Green Route memorised by now...