Team Campmor

Team Campmor

Friday, October 12, 2012

PayDirt 2012

Team Campmor does more than race mountain bikes. They also invest their time and sweat to give back to the sport they love, mountain biking! Campmor requires each team member to complete five hours each year in “PayDirt” (volunteer trail work). Campmor also offers extra incentives for team members that do more than 25 hours of “PayDirt”. The end result: Team Campmor has performed 410 hours of trail work on their local trails in 2012. Public land mangers value this volunteer sweat equity at over $9000. of labor.

The “Campmor H2H Race Series” which is the local mountain bike race series in the tri-state area, offers incentives for racers to do trail work by awarding an additional 5th place points to any racers that do 10 or more hours of “PayDirt”. PayDirt has already logged over 5000 hours in 2012. Besides encouraging volunteer work in parks, the PayDirt program helps build working relationships between land managers, trail maintainers, race promoters and racers to ensure the future of mountain biking within public lands.

Team Campmor would like to thank their title sponsor, Campmor for supporting the “PayDirt” program and the sport we love!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

VT50 Jinx

Blair and I did the VT50 last Sunday. We had been looking forward to it since the late spring, when thoughts of the sunny days, warm breezes and clearing that section, come easily along with the stupid ideas, such as how are we going to challenge ourselves this year. We signed up thinking this would be a great day of riding some prime single track with good friends, as rolling companions. What we got was so much more.

I had been training as much as my schedule/wife would permit, I had a new lighter F/S bike to ride, I dropped weight and was fitter than I had been all season. My teammate and good friend, Blair was well trained, his bike was in great shape and he was ready, but then the Jinx….

About 10 days prior to the race I get the email, weather looks good, sunny skies all weekend, Uh OH!!! are you kidding.? The 10 day out reports, 99 percent of the time, are the exact opposite of the actual day. So we started watching the daily updates, hoping that the forecast would hold. Of course, the reports start to change for the worse and two days before we plan to leave, the sporadic showers begin. The weather forecast for race day says only a 30% chance of showers. On race day, the race director echoed the same forecast, as it was dark out and no one could see the clouds looming. You would have thought the lack of stars would have been a tip off, yet at the race line, I was still optimistic. “A light drizzle would keep us cool but not cold and the trails needed a little moisture to cut the dust”. I guess late spring isn't the only time for stupid ideas and wishful thinking.

The race horn goes off and we begin our epic day. Blair and I were rolling in almost pitch black down some country roads with barely a flashlight to see our way. We have two friends: Pumpkin and Bone, we are going to ride with, but they start in the next wave. We roll out slowly and lose contact with the main field in the dark. Soon enough, we catch up to our wave coming into the first single track. My stomach was a little off, but my legs were fresh. I chalk that up to race jitters. We ride the single track well, and pop back out on a nice long VT dirt road climb. We stop briefly at the first aid station. I sip from my Camelback and take off layers while we wait for the other guys. They show up along with the Sun and we roll out, up some slick single track. The Stan's tires with low tire pressure held traction much better than I expected.

The rain picks up from a mist to a solid drizzle, but it does let up again as we finish a fun section of single track, flying down to another VT road. At the next turn, I see a long climb looming ahead. I shift to my little ring in preparation for the first long ascent. This is where my day really starts to turn form the promising optimism to something else.

After a few revolutions at the lower gear, my chain sucks and I am caught off guard. I fix the chain, pedal a bit more, and the same thing happens. My legs strong, my stomach feeling a little off, and now I have a chain problem. I lose our two friends up the hill but Blair stays with me. I should be able to fix this by a simple barrel adjustment, but the chain picks up by the pins on the middle ring and wraps until it seizes. I get to the top using the middle ring. Blair and Pumpkin are waiting, but Bone is gone. Pumpkin tries to help me with the chain problem, but after thinking we fixed it, chain suck again. We roll into the next aid station and thankfully there is a mechanic there. I stand in line to wait to see if he can straighten the derailleur thinking maybe that's the problem. He makes that adjustment then shows me that the chain is being picked up, so he files the problem ring to de-burr it, and as I depart, he tells me to spin lightly when shifting or climbing.

Not a quarter mile from that stop, it happens again. Now there is no hope of catching our friends who had gone ahead. Frustrated, I try to keep the chain in the little ring and second cog, to keep it from sucking up again. At this point, I don't know who is more upset about my problem, Blair or me. I can tell his day is shot, but he does not leave me. He wants me to shift to increase my speed, but I don't want to, because every time the chain locks up, my legs get a bigger and bigger jolt. We still have 35 miles to go.

I'm spinning in too low a gear and my stomach is roiling. I have been drinking my normal mix and feel as though I definitely had enough fluids, but my legs are locking up so badly that I can't bend them. I drink Gatorade at the stop and have two salt tabs. Finally, I can flex my legs again. Blair is still with me, so I am forced to soldier on. Not far from the aid station I taste the dry salt tablet dust in my mouth. I know I swallowed them whole with water but my stomach isn't absorbing anything. At this point, I am thinking it would best for me to turn back. If Blair had not been there with me, my day would have ended at this point.

I now have new cramps, fighting the old ones, and still Blair tells me I’m going to finish. So at about Mile 22 I find myself once again on a climb, encountering everything all at once: complete down pour, rolling vomit of lunch from the day before, cramping legs that are threatening to break under competing spasms in each muscle, and to top it off: CHAIN SUCK AGAIN!@#$%@! I am broken, defeated, and I have lost my resolve. This will be my first DNF! ….but Blair won't let me! I want to chase him down and strangle him with my chain!

He rolls easily up the climb to the next aid station. He does not mean to mock me with his fluid effortless peddling, but it is an absolute chore for me to keep it together. Blair urges me on, and we finally make it to the aid station, at the aid station, there is hot soup, a steel drum band and a slight let up to the down pour. Finally my stomach is quieter (warm noodle soup), my cramps are lessening (warm soup), and I have music in my ears. Blair tells me that we are more than half way, when we weren’t, and he's not going to let me quit.

Most importantly, my friend Blair stayed with me to help me through my dark zone. Spirits were higher as I rolled out of that aid station, and I am happy to say that I finished Le Tour style with my teammate and good friend by my side. I don't know if I'll do that race again, but if I ever hit that wall again, I hope to have him around. Thanks Blair!

Joe Esak
Team Campmor

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Campmor H2H Tymor

Team Results:

Marianne Santangelo - 3rd Pro
Darlene Philips - 4th Pro
Art White - 1st Cat 1 50+
Jeremy Swift - 1st Cat 1 SS
James Wilbur - 2nd Cat 1 50+
Steve Wagoner - 5th Cat 1 50+
Henry Gozdz - 9th Cat 1 50+
Tom Stanowski - 12th Cat 1 50+

Blair Stearns - 2nd Cat 2
Sheryl Senczakiewcz - 4th Cat 2
Joe Esak - 3rd Cat 3

Monday, August 27, 2012

Campmor H2H 909

Team Results:

Marianne Santangelo - 1st Pro/open
Darlene Phillips - 3rd Pro/open

Ellen White - 1st Cat 1 40+
Art White - 2nd Cat 1 50+
James Wilbur - 3rd Cat 1 50+
Steve Wagoner - 8th Cat 1 50+
Mike Zusman - 11th Cat 1 30+39
Tom Stanowski - 11th Cat 1 50+

Sheryl Senczekiewcz - 3rd Cat 2
Blair Stearns - 5th Cat 2 40-45
Joe Esak - 3rd Cat 3 40-49

Monday, July 16, 2012

Campmor H2H Bulldog Rump AMBC

Cat 2 racers awaiting their start around a field of wild flowers

Art White on top of the podium box

Sunday was hot for sure, and the humidity made it feel like a steam bath. After 30 minutes in the sun, you felt like you were melting. The course at Kittatinny Valley State Park is not overly technical, but is quite fast and lined with razor sharp rocks. Keeping hydrated, and trying not to flat were the biggest challenges. I am happy to report that the entire Team Campmor escaped flat tires this past Sunday, thanks to Notubes. Tubeless rules!!

Team Results:
Darlene Phillips - 2nd Pro/Open
Art White - 1st Cat 1 50+
Ellen White - 1st Cat 1 40+
Jeremy Swift - 2nd Cat 1 SS
James Wilbur - 4th Cat 1 50+
Joe Baldacci - 7th Cat 1 SS
Mike Zusman - 9th Cat 1 SS
Steve Wagoner - 14th Cat 1 50+
Joe Esak - 8th Cat 3 40+

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Campmor H2H Lewis Morris

Team results:

Darlene Phillips - 2nd Pro/open
Marianne Santangelo - 3rd Pro/open
Ellen White - 3rd Cat 1
Art White - 3rd Cat 1 50+
James Wilbur - 4th Cat 1 50+
Henry Gozdz - 8th Cat 1 50+
Joe Baldacci - 10th Cat SS
Tom Stanowski - 12th Cat 1 50+
Mike Zusman - 13th Cat 1 30

Adrienne Blair - 1st Cat 3
Sheryl Senszakiewicz - 7th Cat 2
Blair Stearns - 13th Cat 2 40
Jo Esak - 15th Cat 3 40

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Enduro Rama Allamuchy

Enduro Rama is a time trial event that is a mix of Cross-country, Downhil and Trail riding. The race consists of 5 super technical individual time trials situated along a 12 mile loop. During the non timed sections, racers can ride with friends, wait for friends or just hang out. The laid back format attracted a mix of riders (85 to be exact) to come out and test their skills. Men and women's classes, and at the end, a king and queen were to be crowned. All proceeds went back to the trails. What is there not to like about this?

Team Campmor's 4 eldest members put this on their schedule for their weekly dose of thrills! Who says the fun ends after 50?

Team Results:
Ellen White - 2nd
Art White - 18th
Steve Wagoner - 33rd

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bearscat 50

Congratulations to Marianne Santangelo for taking second place in the Pro/open field of the Bearscat 50 at Wawayanda State Park on June 3. Rains all week made for many wet rocks and roots along most of the course. Then thunderstorms came through later in the day making it an epic race for many. Mike Zusman also finished with a respectable 35th place out of 109 Pro/open starters.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Zusman Digging PayDirt

The Campmor H2H race series has an interesting twist: no matter how many podiums you have in the series, being the overall winner generally comes down to how well you can swing a pick mattock. You see, the race series went to bed with JORBA, the rock garden states’ mountain biking advocacy group, and the resulting offspring is called the PayDirt program. For completing 10 hours (5 hours for juniors) of trail maintenance with JORBA, each H2H racer receives an additional fifth place points in the series.

I had heard many stories of series champions being decided by PayDirt points. But I never thought I would become one of those stories. I hadn’t planned on going after the series championship last year, and I always had an excuse as to why I couldn’t make it to trail maintenance. Next thing I knew, it was late September, and I was 7 hours of trail work away from winning my age group and taking home a sweet championship jersey. I can tell you now that 7 hours of trail work over the course of a season is nothing. In fact, the entire 10 hours is easily attained. But when you’re in the running to win, and you have a 2 weeks to get in 7 hours, plus a job, and a wife, and other responsibilities…well, it can be a little stressful.

For 2012, I made a promise to myself that I would get my PayDirt done early, and even try to do a little more. And I can proudly say that I’ve done that. I’m at 13 hours as of today, and that will increase after the next Dirty Thursday work session in Ringwood State Park.

But in early January, I may have bit off a little more than I can chew. A family friend works for a local magazine, and they were doing a story on new year’s resolutions of area folks. It just so happened they needed one more, and I volunteered to contribute. One thing I learned to do well in my professional life is to be a media whore. I looked at this as an opportunity to get my sponsors name in print!

Sure enough, they ran my resolution: to do 100 hours of trail work in 2012. When my wife saw it, she said (lovingly) that I was a fool. When my team mates saw it, I tried to back pedal and explain it away as a typo. All I can say is that 100 sounded like a nice number at the time. But, it’s out there now, and I’m going for it. Do you think I can get it done?

- Mike

Monday, May 21, 2012

Campmor H2H Rumble in the Jungle

Jungle Habitat is somewhat semi-local to most of the Camporians being only ten minutes past Ringwood. The trails there are designed by mountain bikers, built by mountain bikers and maintained by mountain bikers. Many expect the trails to be a delightful flowing mountain bike theme park heaven, but much to their surprise, this place out "rocks" their expectations, literally. Most the trails at Jungle are rugged, rocky, technical passages through strange fences and spooky pens that are entangled with vines. If you like bike handling, this place is for you, but stay on your form, because many of those vines that line the trails are poison ivy.

Race day at Jungle was a ten, with blue skies and mild temperatures. The new start times for the series seemed to work well for many and racers were stoked for the great day ahead, ...I could tell. According to the bike patrol, the Cat 2's kept them busy with spills and crashes, but luckily no serious injuries were reported. I got nothing but great vibes while out racing myself in the Cat 1/elite race. I had a sore lower back going into the race, and all those rocks just massaged out the kinks. Perhaps therapeutic healing exists in the Jungle, .. who knows?

- Ellen

Art's Race Report:

Sunday’s race at the Jungle marked a high point in my race season. The day brought perfect conditions, with bright blue skies and dry dirt, with temperatures in the mid 70’s.

Physically, I was feeling pretty good, considering that I was recovering from a cold earlier in the week. Mentally, I was prepared to go head to head with my teammate, Willy, who had finished ahead of me in the previous two Campmor H2H series races.

I opted to go for the “hole shot” off the start, as I wanted to stay ahead of a certain rider who nearly took me out attempting to make a pass in the last race. My position stuck, and halfway through the first lap, I realized that Willy and I were off the front, and putting distance on the rest of the field. I continued to press, and came through the start-finish area in the lead. At this point, I yielded the track to Willy, and let him lead for the entire second lap, while staying on his wheel.

When we came around again, and began our third lap, Willy was still leading, with me pacing behind him. At one point, early in the third lap, Willy miscued a turn, and I slipped by, taking the lead. We continued to press on, passing quite a few slower racers in the younger age groups, until we came to the stream crossing near the old monkey pen. This area gave everyone fits, including Willy and me. We both made it through cleanly on our first two laps, but by the time we came through for our third lap, the entire area was slick from other racers dragging water and mud all over the rocks.

I decided to try a different line than I had taken previously, and was immediately thrown off into the weeds, where I had to dismount and stumble back on course. This forced me to run past the end of the rocks and onto the pavement, before mounting “cyclocross style”, and sprinting away for the last half mile to the finish. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Willy had a similar miscue in the slippery rocks, and it was my running that kept me from losing first place. In the end, I won by three seconds.

Some of the factors in my successful performance include starting aggressively, pacing myself, and not panicking when things didn’t go exactly as planned.

Also, I had the pleasure of using some amazing products. My new Giro Code shoes are the stiffest, lightest, best fitting cycling shoe I’ve ever used- period! I also made use of Giro’s Bravo LF gloves, which are lightly padded, but not overstuffed. They give me protection without added bulk, while enhancing control.

I’d also like to mention the great Hammer Products that fueled my performance. Heed energy drink mix, and Hammer “daily essentials” supplements. I believe that these are part of a successful training regime, which can benefit any athlete.

- Art

Marianne wins the Pro/open

Team Results:

Marianne Santangelo - 1st Pro open
Art White - 1st Cat 50+
James Wilbur - 2nd Cat 1 50+
Ellen White - 2nd Cat 1 40+
Jeremy Swift - 2nd Cat 1 SS
Henry Gozdz - 5th Cat 1 50+
Steve Wagoner - 11th Cat 1 50+
Tom Stanowski - 16th Cat 1 50+

Sheryl Senczakiewicz - 5th Cat 2
Blair Stearns - 14th Cat 2
Joe Esak - 5th Cat 3
Adrienne Blair - 2nd Cat 3

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sharing Some NoTubes Knowledge

After a a ride with Jeff Mergler, Executive Director of Jersey Off Road Bicycle Assoc.(JORBA), where Jeff had several flats, Art helped Jeff go tubleless with NoTubes. Art sharing some pointers with Jeff and showing him how to convert his wheels to tubeless. more flat-free happy rider!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Campmor H2H Spring Cleaning

Team Results:

Marianne Santangelo - 1st Pro/open
Darlene Phillips - 2nd Pro/open

Ellen White - 1st Cat 1
Willy Wilbur - 2nd Cat 1 50+
Art White - 3rd Cat 1 50+
Jeremy Swift - 3rd Cat 1 SS
Steve Wagoner - 8th Cat 1 50+
Henry Gozdz - 10th Cat 1 50+
Tom Stanowski - 13th Cat 1 50+
Mike Zusman - 14th Cat 1 30-39

Blair Stearns - 7th Cat 2
Lance Walker - 10th Cat 2
Adrienne Blair - 1st Cat 3
Joe Esak - 10th Cat 3

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Darlene Phillips Wins SS-a-Palooza

photo by Patty Bender

Campmor ladies rocking the one gear only race of the northeast:
Darlene Phillips wins women's elite class at SS-a-Palooza and Marianne Santangelo takes 3rd along side her on the podium.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Campmor H2H Chainstretcher

Team Results:

Marianne Santangelo - 2nd Pro/Open
Darlene Phillips - 3rd Pro/Open
Ellen White - 1st Cat 1 40+
Art White - 2nd Cat 1 50+
James Wilbur - 3rd Cat 1 50+
Jeremy Swift - 3rd Cat 1 SS
Henry Gozdz - 6th Cat 1 50+
Tom Stanowski - 8th Cat 1 50+

Sheryl Senczakiewicz - 3rd Cat 2
Blair Stearns - 13th Cat 2
Joe Esak - 10th Cat 3

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Getting in the NoTubes Know

Last Sunday, most of Team Campmor took to the trails in Ringwood. Part of the agenda was to ride the new section of the Ringwood/Ramapo Trail. At one point, Art stopped and looked up the trail and could see a train of Campmor kits winding their way up the long ribbon of trail. Many of the team helped build this trail.

After the ride, the team packed themselves into the shop for a NoTubes "How To" Clinic. We learned how to set up and maintain our Stan's No Tubes wheel systems. Going Tubeless is a huge advantage with all the rocks we encounter in Ringwood. Going Tubeless allows us to run lower pressure for better control and greatly reduces flatting ... hooray!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Welcoming in the New Year

As we welcome in the new year, Team Campmor would first and foremost, like to thank our title sponsor, Campmor for their ongoing support. Their support plays a large role in our racing, training, trail advocacy and our many adventures on our bikes. Whether we are racing at National Championships or teaching a beginner how to ride, Campmor is a part of our passion. Thank you, and looking forward to partnering in our adventures in 2012!

As the new year year is underway, we would like to welcome three new team members to our developmental division: Blair Stearns, Joe Esak and Sheryl Senszakiewicz. We look forward to having you aboard! Besides Art and I racing in Cyclocross Master World Championships for some of January, and Tara and Laura training on the west coast, some of the local team has already been out riding together in preparation for the local race season. The weather to date, has certainly been favorable for cycling this winter.

The Team Campmor ladies are once again planning a girls pre-ride series for the Campmor H2H series and a few beginner rides for 2012. The team also plans to partner with the Campmor Bike Shop for some NoTubes clinics. They both should be posted up shortly. Looking forward to seeing you at the races, rides and clinics !