Team Campmor

Team Campmor

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