Team Campmor

Team Campmor

Monday, December 1, 2008

Campmor H2H Series Awards

It was a fun night at the Campmor H2H Series awards dinner in Mt Arlington NJ on November 30. 150 racers gathered to celebrate the 2008 race season. Brian Larivere from Team Bulldog hosted the evening of events where top racers were recognized. Sports, Experts and Pro's received winners Jerseys.

Fast Eddy Ceccolini, winning the pro field for 2008. Joining him on the podium is Daughter Evelyn dressed in purple to match his winners jersey, as well as Art White taking second place.

Marianne Santangelo winning the sport 35+, and every race entered, all in her first year racing.

Ben Williams winning the Expert 40-49.

Zach Koop taking 3rd in the Expert 19-29.

Tom Stanowski winning the Expert 50+.

Laura Winberry winning the Expert 12-34.

Darlene Phillips taking 2nd in the Expert 35+, and Ellen White finishing 3rd.

Team Campmor Results
Ed Ceccolini - 1st Pro - 3.5 hours of Paydirt
Art White - 2nd Pro - 101.5 hours of Paydirt
Joe Azze - 13th Pro - 8 hours of Paydirt
Ben Williams - 1st Expert 40-49 - 15 hours of Paydirt
Tom Stanowski - 1st Expert 50+ - 20.5 hours of Paydirt
Laura Winberry - 1st Expert 12-34 - 31.5 hours of Paydirt
Darlene Phillips - 2nd Expert 35+ - 42.5 hours of Paydirt
Zach Koop - 3rd Expert 19-29 - 11.5 hours of Paydirt
Ellen White - 3rd Expert 35+ - 56.5 hours of Paydirt
Jeremy Swift - 4th Expert 30-39 - 8 hours of Paydirt
Joe Baldacci - 8th Expert SS - 16.5 hours of Paydirt
Tahir Thomas - 12th Expert 30-39 - 8 hours of Paydirt
Joe Barros - 13th Expert 40-49 - 9.5 hours of Paydirt
Jeff Coneys - 14th Expert 40-49 - 17.5 hours of Paydirt
Marianne Santangelo - 1st Sport 35+ - 29.5 hours of Paydirt
Tyler Conlon - 3rd Sport 15-18 - 5 hours of Paydirt
Matt Watters - 17th Sport 19-29 - 9.5 hours of Paydirt
*Jeff Sauerman - healing - 5 hours Paydirt
*Tara Walhart - healing ........*and we miss riding with you both!

The team put a total of 399 hours of Paydirt (trail work) in 2008.

Team Campmor would like to thank our very generous sponsors for 2008: Campmor, Titus, Easton, Giro, Sidi and Vredesteine.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

SCCX - State Championship

Congratulations to Laura Winberry for winning the SCCX race and also taking the state championship. Great job Laura! I got out on the course as well for my first cross race. Fun stuff!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Three Ways to Skin A Cat

We were out on some of the new section of trail up at Ringwood and got some video clips. It is apparent everyone sees their own line, but all of us see it different dimensions. .... I stay to the beaten track, Tom a variation of that, and Art goes for the blowhole line ....

Get out and ride! - Ellen

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Revenge at Blue Mt Ride

After such a wet and discouraging race last weekend at Blue, some of us could not put our Blue love to rest for the season with out some sort of revenge ride. We needed to go back and master the flow, roll the faces and just have a fun day of play.

Art, Willy, Marianne, Ben and I met up with Alex and Jane, resident pro, for a somewhat epic tour of Blue, well epic for me these days.

Trails included: ....... some new trail that Marianne and I got lost on in two minutes, Dr Jekyll (the fun way), Neds, Sis's the other way than the race (where I took a good endo), Criss-cross, middle and lower Stinger .......

...... My Favorite Trail (which I now can say is my favorite trail), and the "new" Monster. The new monster trail is awesome!!!

It was truly a #10 day with blue skies, temps in the 70's and the colors of fall starting to turn. Afterwards, .....lunch and a yummy porter at the brew pub in Peekskill. The boys were getting leg cramps in their bar stools. Nice day indeed.

Ben riding a roller.

Art ready to clean up the carnage with a spatula.

- Ellen

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Campmor H2H Chain Stretcher at Blue Mt

Team Results:

Ed Ceccolini - 1st Pro
Art White - 8th Pro
Darlene Phillips - 1st Exp
Laura Winberry - 1st Exp
Tom Stanowski - 2nd Exp 50
Ellen White - 3rd Exp
Zach Koop - 3rd Exp 19
Ben Williams - 4th Exp 40
Jeremy Swift - 7th Exp 30
Marianne Santangelo -1st Sport

Monday, September 22, 2008

Campmor H2H Rumble in the Jungle

Racing at Jungle Habitat, is one of the highlights of the year for many mountain bikers. The defunct 70’s safari theme park has taken new form, with 30 years of new growth and vines entangling trees and structures of another era. Jorba, the main force behind the extensive trail planning and building in the park, has done a great job on the trails, and this race shows them off well. Racers were certainly challenged with rocks galore and tight off camber single-track with trees nipping at their handle bars the whole way. And if that wasn’t enough to keep their attention, racers could also take in the historical sites along the route as they would ride past a monkey cage, an amphitheater, to the top of a hill, in between tiger and baboon pens, through fences, past an umbilical cord vine, through a tunnel, into the deer pen and around the 80 acres of crumbling parking lot.

It was nice to see Team Campmor out racing on the trails they helped to build! - Ellen

Team Results
Ed Ceccolini - 1st Pro
Art White - 4th - Pro
Laura Winberry - 1st Exp Wom
Darlene Phillips - 2nd Exp 35+
Ben Williams - 3rd Exp 40
Ellen White - 3rd Exp 35+
Tom Stanowski - 4th Exp 50
Zach Koop - 4th Exp 19
Tahir Thomas - 8th Exp 30
Jeff Coneys - 8th Exp 40
Jeremy Swift - 9th Exp 30
Marianne Santangelo - 1st Sport Wom 35+
Tyler Conlon - 3rd Sport Jr

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Campmor H2H Ringwood Fall Classic

Team Results:

Ed Ceccolini - 1st Pro
Joe Azze - 4th Pro
Tom Stanowski - 2nd Expert 50+
Laura Winberry - 2nd Expert 12-34
Darlene Phillips - 2nd Expert 35+
Tahir Thomas - 6th Expert 30-39
Joe Barros - 7th Expert 40-49
Jeremy Swift - 8th Expert 30-39
Ben Williams - 9th Expert 40-49
Marianne Santangelo - 1st Sport Women
Tyler Conlon - 5th Sport Jr

Lauras's report here:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Shenandoah 100

It’s All in the Family

With over 500 competitors attending the 10th annual Shenandoah Mountain 100 the atmosphere was nothing short of a grassroots festival. At the local Stokesville campgrounds a myriad color of parked cars, Porto-Johns, tents and Ez-ups scattered the outskirts of the start/finish area. Saturday’s check-in and registration was followed by a classic pre-race meal of spaghetti and meatballs. Despite the number of hungry riders eager to fill their stomachs, dinnertime was a rather relaxed mixture of conversation and laughter among a gathering of distant members of the same cycling family.

The evening rolled on with the hoot and holler of a rowdy riders’ meeting, and eventually night blanketed the sacred mountains of Virginia. Headlamps and flashlights searched for tent zippers leading to slumber and just before midnight an assembly of clouds decided to deluge the sleeping campers below. Bellows of thunder accompanied illuminating flashes of energy between each drop of rain and the next day’s course became progressively more interesting. The campsite faded into sleep amid sheets of rain and pages of mountain bikers’ dreams.

The following morning a rain-soaked pre-dawn darkness greeted hundreds of five a.m. risers rubbing fistfuls of night from their eyes. The breakfast scene was typical—bagels and boiling oatmeal water, peanut butter and bananas—and within minutes of consumption the diffused light of an overcast day began to stretch itself over those preparing for the trek ahead. Come six-thirty there was just enough light to get a clear view of the multi-colored sea of spandex congregating about the start/finish area. With a simple “go” the click of cleats entering pedals resounded as hundreds of members of the same family embarked on a hundred mile odyssey through the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia.

No more than ten minutes into the ride did I find myself with a swollen tongue and sore throat after having ejected some sort of bee from the depths of my mouth. Was this a premonition of things to come or a minor hindrance to surmount?—I decided on the latter and kept a steady pedal while attempting to assuage some of the pain with squirts of cool water. It was not until we hit the first singletrack climb that my throat actually began to close, thus restricting the necessary flow of oxygen to my already out-of-breath body—needless to say, I pulled to the side and began to yell in hopes that someone might have the denouement to my particular dilemma. Someone did. Kristin Eddy, who turns out is the second ever female to win an off-road iron distance triathlon, was passing and happened to have a flask each of Ledum Palustre and Apis Mellifica, which when combined form an excellent homeopathic solution for the swelling caused by a bee sting. Thank you, Kristin.

With a freshly reopened throat I settled into enjoying the mixture of singletrack and fireroad descents and climbs, all of them fairly long in length, that straight up begged me to partake in the greatness they had to offer. Throughout the day, several mantras played consistently inside my mind, with frequently interjected guest appearances of a few choice songs. As well, I remained focused on a list of simple yet personal goals: no longer than seven minutes at each aid station; middle ring or nothing, granny gear was not an acceptable option; push the limits of turning; love and appreciate what you are doing (this one goes without saying); complete what you have started. I am grateful to say that all of my goals were achieved, and as a bonus my low expectations in terms of projected finishing time were knocked clear out of the water when I arrived at the campgrounds at 10:58.56 to take 11th in an open field of 40 plus women. I’ll take that for my first shot at a 100 miler.

My goals, however, might not have been so obtainable without, at least, two outside factors: the first was the dedication of all the volunteers at each blessed aid station—the smorgasbord of heavenly comestibles, the tech support eager to lube a thousand grimy chains, the youth and adults alike prompt to refill bottle after bottle with your beverage of choice; the second was Al Yoon, of GFK Racing, whom I encountered shortly after leaving aid station 4 (mile 57). Feeling a little sluggish in the false flats, I asked Al if he minded my sitting on his wheel for a bit. He did not, and for the remainder of the race Al and I would trade back and forth; pacing, pushing, and encouraging one another; devouring, consuming, and rushing through aid stations; keeping the flow rolling and constant. We would finish the race together, high-fiving as our grins crossed the finish line. I am a firm believer that we cross paths with people for a reason, however blatant or indeterminable that reason might be; Kristin and Al reaffirmed my belief, and with that, a hundred miles of riding mountains reached a culmination at contentment and peace. In retrospect, I have come to the conclusion that it was more than simply a solo effort. Rather, it was a family working together towards a common goal, a unity without which I might not have faired as well. Certainly, I could have gone it alone, and physically I did; yet, why deny the fact that we are here to help each other out, to learn from one another? If we begin as family, regardless of the outcome of events, we still end as family, comprised of those who we have affected and those who have affected us; and that, perhaps, is what we must remember to take home in the end.

- Laura

Top Five Men
Chris Eatough 7:14.19
Sam Koerber 7:26.55
Jeff Schalk 7:37.25
Chris Beck 7:39.05
Aaron Oakes 7:41.51

Top Five Women
Cheryl Sornson 9:08.14
Trish Stevenson 9:19.42
Betsy Shogren 9:44.13
Johanna Kraus 9:57.11
Andrea Dvorak 9:59.11

24 Hours Of Allamuchy

Waking up to a beautiful race day....

After nearly a decade of the dreaded Allamuchy rain curse, good fortune finally came to 24 hour racers. Clear skies, cool nights and dry conditions were enjoyed by all. A slightly lighter turn out, made for a festival style atmosphere with the return of the disco ball to the Jorba campsite. While racers embraced the new found dusty conditions, and night festivities, sleep deprivation was still the main challenge. And as always, we ask ourselves afterwards, “why do we do this?” … and then three days and 40 hours of sleep later, we are ready to do it again.

- Ellen

Race Results for team Campmor were:

1st place women’s team – “Team Campmor” Dar Philips , Laura Winberry, Ellen White and Jen Barden.

2nd place corporate team – “Jorba All Stars” Art White and 9 other Jorba board members.

3rd Place 5 person coed – “Yes Deer” Tom Stanowski, Joe Baldacci, Marianne Santangelo, Bryan Petersen, and Steve Kane.

over tired girls getting silly

Jorba board representing

members of "Yes Deer"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Titus Demo at Ringwood

Titus Demo Day at Ringwood State Park, August 2, 2008 - Brought to you by Titus Bicycles, and Team Campmor. Special thanks to Titus Demo guy Mike Wirth, Regional Rep. Bill Cohan, Campmor bike manager and team rider Tahir, and the other Team Campmor riders Ellen, Marianne, and Joe B., who helped make demo day a success!

While our first responsibility was to be on hand to guide riders around the Park as they test rode a Titus, our real agenda was to get on a few bikes ourselves, and put them through their paces. Getting a chance to demo bikes in my home Park was an opportunity I didn't want to miss, so I made the most of it.

My personal race bike is a titanium Racer-X, which I rode as a benchmark on my first tour. I enjoy the precise handling and almost telepathic steering of the Racer-X. The ride, while I wouldn't call it plush, certainly is quite comfortable, with the rear suspension being set up firm, it still absorbs Ringwoods' rough terrain, allowing me to ride it for hours without being punished. Pedaling efficiency rewards the rider, while the suspension lets the tire hug the ground for traction.

On my second tour, I tried a 29'er Racer-X. I have to preface this review with the caveat that I'm not a big fan of 29'ers, having only tried one once before. My first impression was that I felt like I was riding my big brothers' bike, or was driving a large truck. Once I got moving though, things sort of worked themselves out, and I got a little more comfortable. I think the suspension was a little firmer than I like, and I wasn't getting all the travel out of it. At any rate, it felt more like a hard tail than my 26" wheel Racer-X. I was surprised when I tried to wheelie over a log, and could barely get the front wheel off the ground. The skill requires a lot more effort than with a 26" wheel bike. On the other hand, I did notice that those big wheels just keep going over all those "baby heads". Even at low speeds, I could just plod along, and the bike just kept rolling.

I saved the best for last... On my third trip showing folks around, I took out an El Guapo. I was eager to try the "handsome one" and compare it to my current favorite ride - My Yeti 575. The El Guapo was similarly equipped with a Fox 36 Talus fork, which I rode in the full open (6" travel) position. The first thing I noticed was that this is no ordinary 6" bike. For starters, it felt light. I think the test bike came in just over 30 lbs. My Yeti is around 32 lbs. Secondly, the rear suspension is more like the Racer-X, in that it was incredibly tight, and not the least bit sloppy. I can attest to the fact that I did get all 6" of travel, but it climbs like a shorter travel bike. What more could you want in a trail bike? Another tester mentioned that he thought it should be illegal- How could so much suspension feel so light, and climb so well?

My opinion? The Racer-X is a full on race machine that loves to be pushed hard, and rewards the rider with lightning fast response, yet is comfortable enough to not be punishing in rough terrain.

29'er Racer-X? Not necessarily my cup of tea, but then again, I'm not fond of the big wheeled bikes in my home terrain.

The El Guapo Is hands down my favorite trail bike, and I will most likely purchase one for next season.

You may ask where does the Moto Lite (5" travel) fit in? Although I didn't ride one myself, My wife, Ellen, rides one, and she loves it. I might suggest that a rider of smaller stature would get out of the Moto Lite what a larger rider gets out of the El Guapo, without having to deal with the issue of increased stand-over height, and weight. Besides, If you already have a shorter travel bike, like the Racer -x, and want more suspension, then I say go big! Skip the Moto Lite, and go right to the El Guapo.

Art White / Team Campmor

Monday, July 21, 2008

National Championships at Mt Snow

Team Campmor Sweeps the podium in Super-D ...... all on Titus bikes

Team Campmor did a great job representing at National Championships at Mt Snow, Vt, this past weekend. The team earned 8 podium spots including three 1st place finishes. During the past two weeks, the National attending Campmorians worked incredibly well together, washing bikes, prepping bikes, making meals, cleaning up after meals, doing laundry, feeding each other and drumming during the race. Those not racing the next day, gave up beds for floor space with out asking. The teamwork was incredible, and I feel lucky to be a part of this team of outstanding people! Congratulations and thank you all for your support.

My race report here:

Laura's race report here:


Team Campmor Results:

Cross Country:
Art White - 54th - Semi-Pro
Ellen White - 1st - Expert 50-54
Laura Winberry - 3rd - Expert 19-24
Tom Stanowski - 3rd - Expert 60-64
Darlene Phillips - 4th - Expert 40-44
Zach Koop - 25th Expert 19-24
Marianne Santangelo - 1st - Sport 40+
Matt Watters - 9th Sport 19-24

Darlene Phillips - 1st - Women 40+
Marianne Santangelo - 2nd - Women 40+
Ellen White - 3rd - Women 40+
Laura Winberry - 3rd - Women 19-29
Art White - 7th - Men 50+

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

East Coast National at Windham

After a fifteen year hiatus, National racing returns to the Catskill Mountains. Attending from Team Campmor: Tom Stanowski, Jeremy Swift, Laura Winberry, Art White and myself. The team earned 5 podium spots, 3 of which were first place finishes.

My report here:

Race Results:
Art White - 35th : Semi-Pro XC
Tom Stanowski - 1st :Expert XC 60-64
Ellen White - 1st :Expert XC 50+
Laura Winberry - 7th :Expert 19-24
Ellen White - 1st :Super-D 40+
Laura Winberry - 2nd :Super-D 19-29
Art White - 4th :Super-D 40+
Jeremy Swift - 6th :Super-D 30-39

- Ellen

Monday, July 7, 2008

Campmor H2H #5 Bulldog Rump

The Bulldog Rump race at Kittatinny Valley State Park is a favorite to many. It also happens to be an AMBC race and the NJ State Championship race, so well attended as well. Once again, threatened by rain showers mid day, somehow the heavy rain seemed to miss the park, and we were left with good race conditions. A big congrats to Pro Ed Ceccolini and Expert Laura Winberry for winning the New Jersey State Champion titles!

Team Results:
Ed Ceccolini - 5th Pro
Art White - 12th Pro
Ellen White - 2nd Exp 35+
Zach Koop - 3rd Exp 19
Laura Winberry - 3rd Exp
Darlene Phillips - 3rd Exp 35+
Tom Stanowski - 4th Exp 50+
Joe Baldacci - 7th Exp SS
Jeremy Swift - 13th Exp 30
Joe Barros - 15th Exp 40
Marianne Santangelo - 1st Sport 35+
Tyler Conlon - 4th Sport Jr
Matt Watters - 5th Sport 19

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ellen's Moto-lite Report

I love my Titus Racer-X and decided to look into getting more of a trail bike as a second bike to broaden my riding experience with all the rocks we have around here in northern New Jersey. A big thanks goes out to my sponsors Campmor, Titus, and Easton, in helping me make this happen. Luckily I had some extra parts stashed, waiting for this special day. My new Moto-lite is spec’d with a Fox Talas fork, and a combination of XTR, Sram, and Easton parts. It weighs in at an impressive 25.8 pounds with beefy tires. Being a wimpy 120 pound chick, I hope it is the right combination of lightness and durability, as it is highly unlikely that I will ever be "hucking meat".

This past week, I put the Moto-lite through the virgin test ride and all I can say is … WOW! I rode some of the most technical trails up at Skyline, Ringwood and Blue Mountain and the bike handled the trails perfectly, being nimble, plush and forgiving. Even with a 110mm stem, I was able to split my tires around rocks in tight turns, and nail it every time. The bike feels like it could climb up a wall if I had the gas. The rear did rob some power in comparison to the racer-x, but it was not as noticeable on short climbs. The ride feel instilled confidence in both climbing and descending and did not demand too much finesse, creating a relaxing ride. At one point I clipped a tree at speed, and very calmly rode out the deflection.

I rode the fork in the 120mm position but still need to try the 140. I may also need to firm up the rear suspension a bit for my liking, and still need to play with the pro- pedal, but overall my impressions were positive. If I wasn't laughing, I was smiling the whole time while riding. I am looking forward to some more riding on this bike. I may even try the Super-D at National Championships at Mt Snow. The bike certainly seems worthy of super-D, probably more than I, and after one week of riding, I think it might be fun to try and chase some others down the mountain.

Tis the season ... get out and ride!!!
- Ellen

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Campmor H2H #4 Darkhorse Gallop

Saved by the rain gods, Stewart somehow did not get as much rain on Saturday night as in most places in New jersey. Needless to say, the course was ripping fast. Congratulations to Laura Winberry, Darlene Phillips and Ben Williams for first place finishes in the expert class.
- Ellen

Team Race Results:
Joe Azze - 14th pro
Art White - 18th pro
Ben Williams - 1st exp40
Darlene Phillips - 1st exp35
Laura Winberry - 1st exp
Tom Stanowski - 4th exp50
Joe Baldacci - 10th exp ss
Jeff Coneys - 19th exp40
Tyler Conlon - 4th sport jr
Matt Watters - 13th sport 19
Kyle Paolucci - 23rd sport 19

Joe Azze's race report and video can be found here:

Laura's race report:

Stew the Rat

Darkhorse sponsored events would not be the same without Mike, the Hawaiian-shirted man counting down each and every start alongside his stopwatch-sidekick. His presence is peaceful, good-humored, and somewhat iconic in nature; and so, seeing the familiar orange shirt with white Hibiscus pattern flapping in the afternoon’s slight breeze, I felt a sense of familiarity mixed with the usual pre-race stomach rumblings. Soon enough though, the orange and white blur into a peripheral past and dusty legs pedal for first entrance into the prologue, a shaded section of single track that screams momentum. Gripping tires ride the sidewalls of hard-packed berms, while a tunnel-like vision of thick spring brush, root, and branch fold behind one’s push for speed.

Within twenty minutes of leaving Hawaii-Five-O in a wake of stirring dust, Campmor teammate, Dar, and I are elbow to elbow up the gravel climb—both in contention for the cash preem dangling from a lady’s fingers. Pushing two more strokes at the last second I reach over to snatch the Benjamin (it was actually a Jackson, but the former just sounds better), which I instantly feel bad about and so proceed for the entire next lap to inform Dar of how she deserves half of it. At her suggestion, we finally decide to donate it to Art and Ellen White’s shuttle service, in honor of their ever-present generosity.

Dar and I remain in the same flow of twisting, turning, pumping energy for the first lap, until at last I can no longer keep her pace as well as keep the skin-prickle of heat-chills at bay. By this time I have run out of pack water and the bottle is down to half, and so fortunately when Ellen decides to accompany us going into the second lap, I ask her to grab me another bottle for the third—have I ever mentioned how my Campmor family is a blessing in more ways than one?

With my yipping partner having moved into the lead—yes, we were yipping through some of the most enjoyable sections—I continue to push harder than normal gears for myself, while also making certain to stay clear of the onslaught of pros quickly passing and becoming sunbeams and dust around every tunneled corner. After my Lewis Morris single-speed experience, and after watching single-speeder Jocelyn fly up the short steeps during our pre-ride, I had decided going into this race to think like a single-speeder—once again, enter momentum. Weighting and un-weighting when the occasional stone-laden roller appears, I grow closer and closer to the two-wheeled machine temporarily fused to my body by two tiny pieces of metal. She (her name is Sula, which is Norse for “sun”) is now an extension of my body, and I am a continuation of hers.

Entering the last section of chestnut veins serpentining verdant earth, the unevenness of recently cut single track slows down the tempo, yet at the same time invigorates me to push even harder knowing these are the last turns before a gravelly inclined conclusion. With Hotwheels (Dar) finishing about a minute ahead, I am content with my effort and churn the last few pedal strokes past a pair of orange traffic cones signaling the finish. Although Frank (my soon-to-have-one-gear day-glow Klein) is missed, I am thankful to have had the company of Sula, and look forward to the experiences yet to come with her. After cleaning off beneath the saving grace of a portable shower bag, I make my way over to the area where results are posted; finding, of course, the man in the Hawaiian shirt, I shake his hand and thank him for yet another rewarding Darkhorse race.

- LW

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Campmor H2H #3 at Lewis Morris

La Matadora y El Toro

I may not have had more than one gear to grind in this past Sunday’s race at Lewis Morris; but I certainly had a real nifty bell to ring in lieu. Initial pre-race meditations were akin to those of a Spanish Matador contending the searing glare of an unyielding bull; it came down to the gear and me, alone in the ring, and I was dressed in red. Nevertheless, I had chosen to be there, to be alone with the bull, and it was all or nothing. Upon entering the first lap, though, I would come into a total body feeling—mind, soul, flesh—of connectedness and unity with the bike, the earth, and the race itself. Standing up on the first climb to muster past a few shift-happy racers, I touched the essence of a mono-geared ride—you can only go one speed. At first I felt apologetic, letting others know that I was not trying to blast them, but that I simply could not go any slower, something seldom encountered on my geared bike.

The first two laps consisted of a three-dot paceline; with myself in the rear, proceeded by Ellen White, and then Jess McGinn. White and I were running the same gearing, so I mixed her experience with my own knowledge of self in order to keep both heart rate and legs in check for the remaining two laps. When White got out of the saddle, I got out of the saddle; when she sat, I sat; when she snot-rocketed, I dodged and sent out one of my own. With McGinn setting a single-speed-esque pace, the three of us were in synch, thus allowing for a focus on the churning wheel in front and an absorption of the beauty of momentum. The bike-body unification made itself known right away, and with each off-camber turn and every exposed root, I felt the bike as an extension of my own movements. Sweeping turns, little leaps, and rhythmic ascents were the foundation in my house of rapture Before long, the bull and the fighter were looking less like enemies, and more like two individuals working hard together at their newly formed marriage.

With this two-wheeled device as an extension of my energies and my determination, when fatigue found me in the fourth lap, so it also found the bike; and although the speed was still single, it eventually grew to be one of a slightly slower cadence. By now White was neither seen nor heard, and I was intent on keeping McGinn within focus for as long as possible. With lap four, the bull and the fighter were near their end, neither looking to any longer draw blood from the other. Now they were one, at last content in their common struggle, continuing to the very end. Approaching the graveled finish line, the bull and the fighter knew they were stronger; they knew they had learned from one another, from those around them, and they were thankful. Rather than taking one another’s life, they had embraced, and at the end they were at a new beginning, ready to enjoy the moment and rebuild for the next to come.


Team Results:

Ed Cecollini - 2nd Pro
Joe Azze - 10th Pro
Art White - 13th Pro
Laura Winberry - 2nd Expert
Darlene Philips- 2nd Expert 35+
Ben Williams - 3rd Expert 40
Ellen White - 3rd Expert 35+
Tom Stanowski - 5th Expert 50
Zach Koop - 5th Expert 19
Joe Barros - 7th Expert 40
Boe Baldacci - 9th Expert SS
Tahir Thomas - 13th Expert 30
Jeremy Swift - 15th Expert 30
Jeff Coneys - 21 Expert 40

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Campmor H2H #2 Tymor

Team Results:
Ed Cecollini - 5th Pro
Art White - 15th Pro
Darlene Philps - 2nd Exp 35+
Laura Winberry - 2nd Exp
Ellen White - 3rd Exp 35+
Ben Williams - 3rd Exp 40-49
Tom Stanowski - 5th Exp 50+
Tahir Thomas - 8th Exp 30-39
Joe Baldacci - 11th Exp SS
Jeremy Swift - 13th Exp 30-39
Joe Barros - 13th Exp 40-49
Jeff Coneys - 15th Exp 40-49
Tyler Conlon - 2nd Sport Jr

Monday, May 12, 2008

Campmor H2H Series #1 Wawayanda

The Campmor H2H Series race season got off to a good start on May 4 at Wawayanda State Park in Hewitt NJ. Black Bear Cycling did a great job, as always, running the race. Rains the night before, eventually gave way to heavy fog by day break. The drive up the hill and past the upper lakes to the park in the morning was eerie, and although the rain was done, the rocky, rooty course was slick in spots, offering plenty of challenge for the racers. There was a large turn out for the beginner race, which is nice to see.

Racing from Team Campmor in the sport class were Tyler Conlon and new team member and Campmor bike shop manager, Tahir Thomas. The sport racers lucked out, as half way through the sport race, the sun came out, making for a very nice day to backdrop all the grins out on the course. Tahir made a great come back to racing with a first place finish, and Tyler racing in his first sport race, finished 2nd. Also in attendance and supporting at the race were Jeff Sauerman and Jeff Coneys, both unable to race due to illness. Thanks for coming out!

Racing later in pro/expert fields were Ben Williams, Darlene Phillips and Laura Winberry all taking 2nd place in their classes. Ed Ceccolinni took the win in the large pro field. Zach Koop, racing for the first time in the expert class, was disapointed with a flat early in the race. He fought hard to catch back up, finishing 8th. This was also Laura's first expert race, and she did very well, finishing only minutes behind me. I expect her to be passing me soon. Other finishers from the team were: Tom Stanowski, Joe Barros, Art White, and Jeremy Swift. Art, who is returning to racing after a full hip replacement in November was happy to report meeting all his race day goals ..... not to break any bones, ..... not to get lapped by Eddy and not to finish last.

Team Results:
Ed Ceccolini - 1st Pro
Art White - 12th Pro
Ben Williams - 2nd Exp 40
Darlene Phillips - 2nd Exp 35+
Laura Winberry - 2nd Exp
Ellen White - 3rd Exp 35+
Tom Stanowski - 5th Exp 50
Zach Koop - 8th - Exp 19
Joe Barros - 11th - Exp 40
Jeremy Swift - 16th Exp 30
Tahir Thomas - 1st Sport 30
Tyler Conlon - 2nd Sport Jr

Team Campmor women ran an open to anyone All-Girl Pre-Ride the Sunday Prior. Fifteen women ages 11 to 50 attended the ride. Eight of these women raced beginner or sport at Wawayanda, some for the first time. It was very gratifying to see four of those women win 1st place in their races. Rock on ladies!

It was a good day for team Campmor and racing in New Jersey. Many thanks to Geoff and Nicole for neutral support, and to the Jeff's that offered team support. See you in a few weeks!


2008 Racer Profiles

Jeff Sauerman - Team Manager - Sport XC
Age 49
3 years racing
2007 - 9th Campmor H2H Series
2008 - 5 hours of Paydirt
Career Highlight: being on the Campmor Team.
Why do you mountain bike and race? I love getting outside locally to take part in a fast paced, skilled oriented sport that I can do for many years at whatever level I choose. I love meeting the riders. I have met very few that I have not liked. Every ride is consistently a great ride. I always come away exhilarated!

Ellen White - Expert XC
Age 51
16 years racing
The ride : Titus Racer-X
2008 - 56 hours of Paydirt
Career Highlight: 2003, 2008 National Champion
Why do you mountain bike and race? It rejuvenates my mind, body and spirit, and connects me with nature and makes me feel alive. The racing gives me an incentive to explore my limitations and possibilities.

Art White - Pro XC
Age - 54
19 years racing
The Ride - Titus Racer-X
2008 - 2nd Campmor H2H Series Pro
2008 - 101 hours Paydirt
2007 - full hip replacement
Career Highlight: 1st 2006 National Mt Snow Exp 50-55
Why do you mountain bike and race ? It gives me a pure unbridled freedom, as if I were 12 years old, and I am able to briefly forget about the cares of my day. I also enjoy the challenge of pushing my limitations.

Laura Winberry
Expert XC
Age 24
4 years racing
The Ride: Titus Fireline
2008 - 1st Campmor H2H Series Expert
2008 - New Jersey State Cyclecross Champion
2007 - 31 hours of Paydirt

Ed Ceccolini
Pro XC
Age 36
22 years racing
The Ride - Titus Racer-X
2008 - 1st Campmor H2H Series Pro
2007 - 1st NJ State Champion
Career Highlight: 3rd 2004 UCI Master Worlds
More to come.
Why do you mountain bike and race? I ride since I enjoy the freedom of being out in my own world. I race so I can go as fast as I can with an ambulance waiting!

Joe Baldacci - Expert XC & SS
Age 50
5 years racing
The Ride - Racer-X, Kona Unit
2007 - 24 hours of Paydirt
2007 - 4th Campmor H2H SS

Darlene Phillips - Expert XC
Age - 41
6 years racing
The Ride - Titus Racer-X
2008 - 42 hours of Paydirt
2008 - Super D National Champion

2008 -2nd Campmor H2H Series
2007 - 1st Darkhorse 40
Why do you mountain bike and race? Riding is where I find my serenity. Racing keeps me disciplined with training. Plus I like the people.

Jeff Coneys - Expert XC
Age 45 / 17 years racing
The Ride - Titus Racer-X
2007 - 10 hours of paydirt 2008 Super-D National Champion
2007 - 2nd Campmor H2H Series
Volunteer Ski Patrol
Why do you mountain bike and race? - I Mountain Bike to free my mind, deal with work related stress and get into Nature. I love the outdoors and solitude that being in the woods provides. An added bonus is that riding increases your physical fitness. The more you ride, the stronger you feel, win/win. I got into racing because I loved pushing myself farther then I would during a normal ride. There is nothing like the buzz you get from adrenaline and endorphins from riding hard.

Jeremy Swift - Expert XC
Age 38
5 years racing
The Ride - Titus Carbon Racer-X
2007 -12 hours of Paydirt

Zach Koop - Expert XC & SS
Age - 20
3 years racing
2008 - 11 hours of Paydit
2008 - 3rd - Campmor H2H Series Expert
2007 - 1st Darkhorse 40 sport SS

Tom Stanowski - Expert XC
Age - 62
2008 - 20 hours of Paydirt
2007 - ist Campmor H2H Series
2007 - 2nd National Championships