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?
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.
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