Here at Campmor, we’re always looking for new ways to get people outdoors, on the trails, and into the back country. May is National Bike Month, and whether you enjoy putting the rubber to the road or the trail, Campmor is happy to see people outdoors. As you may or may not know, Campmor not only sponsors a mountain bike team, but a race series as well (Campmor H2H (Hudson to Highlands) Mountain Bike Series) We are very proud, not only for our team’s accomplishments, but also that before each race, each competitor involved in the series is responsible for completing a minimum of five hours of trail maintenance, before they are cleared to race in the event.

– Campmor Staff

Campmor H2H Series Spring Cleaning Mountain Bike Race

There are days when you just get out of bed on the right side, and what ever life throws at you, makes you smile. Sunday was one of those days for me. It had seemed like weeks that life had been sucking the energy out of me, and it was starting to get me down.

Sunday, the day of the Campmor H2H Series Spring Cleaning Mountain Bike Race at Wawayanda State Park, I awoke and planted my feet on the ground on that very precious “right” place. Unaware that things were that right, I went about my normal race day routine. In today’s world, filled with problems, a mountain bike race is a very happy place to be, as many like-minded racers have waited all week to gather, have fun and challenge themselves, riding their mountain bike through the woods.

Pre-race, I met with my teammates for a photo opportunity, overlooking one of the many beautiful lakes in the park. After we posed for a half dozen photos, I called for a silly shot. I did not know it at the time, but that was a major “right” thing that I did, to get the day off right. A day with laughter tends to only get better. Then, with all my pre-race running around, to get just the right amount of clothing, water, food and warm-up, I was at my start at the perfect time, perfectly dressed and warmed up.

The race started with several miles of road, which tends to put us mountain bikers to sleep with boredom. Luckily, a few young women in my class agreed to pull up front, so all we had to do is follow, or more accurately described as, rip our lungs out chasing. The gun goes off and I found myself in fourth position with a large gap to a second chase group behind us that was quickly dropping out of sight. Feeling at my limit and not sure how I would hold up, once in the single-track of the woods, I kept my fourth placement as I parted way with the pavement on my journey into the woods. Much to my amazement, I had the goods and legs to pass all three women before the first technical climb. The rocks were wet and slippery and I was not certain if I would make the climb without my rear tire slipping, but I did, quite easily, thanks to tubeless tires. At that time, I heard some commotion behind me down the hill but I rode away from it. Then I heard nothing for what seemed like a long time.

Several miles in, my teammates from the chase group finally caught up to me and I let them by. Usually, they disappear quickly ahead of me, but I stayed with them for several miles. That was the last female sighting, until the finish line, but the race was not uneventful. Slippery roots and rocks covered most of the latter part of the race as I worked my way through the back of the men’s field. Handling my bike took so much focus that I often forgot how hard I was pushing myself or who I was chasing. I crossed the finish line as third overall woman and winner in my age group.

I had not felt that good racing, in quite a while. I had more energy after the 2+ hour race than before. It is amazing how much energy that comes from within us. Afterwards, I hung out with all the mud-spattered, smiley-faced racers, and heard stories of many adventures and challenges. Not a single negative word met my ears. It was a wonderful day to celebrate riding my bike!

– Ellen White, member of the Campmor Mountain Bike Team

– Member of Team Campmor mountain bike team
– 2 time mountain bike National Champion
– Trail designer/maintainer Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association (JORBA)