Team Campmor

Team Campmor

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