31 Oct Campton Cross 2011
Free Embro Applications at the Enzo’s Tent
This was an idea Heidi and I talked about driving home from the Bartlett cross race. We would have to leave early to gain first dibs of prime real estate for the Enzo’s tent. This works perfectly and we quickly set up in order to start applications for the 40+ racers. Our first taker was Robbie Ventura, who was racing his first cross race of the year. We do not see Robbie racing cross often; I think the last time was Northbrook 4 years ago. On that day he beat my old teammate Chris Lombardo, father of the fast kid racer David.
So I see Robbie and say hello also asking if he wants the Enzo’s advantage, he hesitates for a second and Heidi says, “Come on, I’ll put it on for you”. After sitting in the application chair, Heidi puts on the blue latex gloves, RV comments, “OK the gloves are making me nervous”, and we all laugh. Heidi uses the Orange Medium Embro Stick and RV says, “I can feel the heat already. That feels good”, and we send him on his way.
During the 40+ race I see RV in the chase group only 6 seconds back from the leaders. I am impressed since he had to start in the back row and there are roughly 60 guys in this race and it is only the end of lap 1. At the end of the race it is RV winning after dropping the Ex-Pres (Tim Boundy) who has been slowly increasing his form. Tim won in Wisconsin on Saturday so for RV to drop him was impressive.
Later RV told Heidi the Embro was awesome, thanks again. Caveat: Lou Kuhn (Pony Shop) who was in the lead group, had to make a bike change which moved him back to 10th position. Chasing really hard Lou finishes 3rd, I suspect that Robbie would have been 2nd if Lou did not go in the pit. Robbie needs to return for a rematch!!!
I start getting ready for the 50+ race while Heidi has a number of customers waiting for the free application of Embro. The thought of Heidi applying my embro briefly crossed my mind, quickly returning back to reality, applying it myself as usual. I choose the Hot Chocolate, a new flavor which is a (RED EMBRO STICK) or hot, go figure with a name like that. Enzo is all about high quality products that smell GREAT. Who does not like the smell of Hot Chocolate? We have batches of Oil Sticks, Medium and Hot Embro that smell like this. A few others: Hot Blueberry Muffins, Pumpkin Spice, Carmel Apples, and many others. Embro Sticks will not be marked what flavor they are, it is a gift, and you are surprised when you unwrap it.
I ride a lap of the course in between the races and find a few changes that seem to really improve this track. I have never been a huge fan of this course; it always seemed to be more Mtb-like than cross. Not this year, Rob Kelly and the Bicycle Heaven Crew really nailed the layout. A+ from Enzo, no more rock crossing while climbing clay hill. Instead there are swooping curves around the rock piles, which allow you to hold your speed. The crux is, to maintain your speed you have to use many watts, so by the end of the race you are really drained. The other improvement was the rail road tie section, instead of being forced to ride over these, exposing the rider on carbon rims to a possible break; you could pick two lines around the obstacles. Granted this was the slower line but they gave us a choice, nice. Then in true Rob Kelly fashion the Mtb section was great, a single track over a few small whoops. If you did not turn slightly left after the first whoop, you would be forced to ride a nasty off camber which wanted to pitch you into the trees, laughter. I am laughing since the first time through at speed I flew off the first whoop landing on the off camber having to make a huge save. I was quite happy to have kept it upright while not rolling a tire. Thank you for these alterations, I loved the course, giving it an A+, which makes it Enzo’s top CCC course of the year list.
50+ race there is not much to talk about, my fitness is improving weekly and it is time for me to stop torturing my peers. I will be racing other races now, 30+, 40+ or 1-2-3’s. It is time to start going to the next level of training for the end of the season. Anyway, Danny nailed another hole shot then making a great save in the first 180. He went in way too hot and did a full rear end lock up, which looked really cool from second wheel. He keeps a nice fast pace through the rail road tie section and sits up after the barrier, a smart tactic, not wanting to give a draft into the head wind section. Problem is, I will not take the lead either, hitting the breaks we have a stale mate and are going 10 mph while looking at each other. The group behind had to be wondering what is going on. Scott Ross (Bellum Racing) takes the lead, I grab his wheel and we are back to it. I have a plan and will not deviate; the only variable is what lap I will attack. Feeling good we approach my chosen attack section and see we are already catching the back of the women’s field. Not wanting to get caught up in this mess through the technical off camber section, I decide to test the boys early. I gain a gap which surprises me, then digging hard to pass the group of 6 women before the off camber. Perfect, no passing zone for the boys while I have clear race track. That is it; I push myself really hard for almost the entire race, taking small rests maybe 3 times about 10 seconds each where I would soft pedal.
I am not sure what happened to Danny today, who finished 4th, this is not like him, but that is racing, we all have off days. John Shull (Alberto’s) was 2nd and Vitor (Colavita Chicagoland) 3rd, Nice work boys.
I return to the Enzo’s tent and Heidi is busting my balls for not wearing the Super Enzo Cape, I say I have entered the 1-2-3 race and will race with the cape. Staging for this race I am sitting next to Barry Wicks (Kona) in the back. My plan is to ride tail gunner for one lap, then pull the plug. The whistle blows I find my way to last, perfect. There is a monkey wrench thrown in my plan, after the barrier there are guys going really slow, slower that I can ride my bike even wearing a cape! Passing about 10 people, I am laughing because I am going about 85% pace from the 50+ and I am catching another group. OK this is stupid, I make my way past tent village, and strike a pose gaining a huge cheer and many heckles which all make me laugh. Passing the start finish line I ride into the pit and pull the plug, my riding day is now complete.
I am happy to hear the Enzo’s $50.00 first lap prime was won my Mike Sherer (Pony Shop), keeping the money in the family. Yes the Pony Shop is a different team, I am talking about the CCC family, remember Barry Wicks is racing. When we travel to big races we always cheer for our CCC brothers and sisters, we are all on the same team then.
Again a huge thanks to Bicycle Heaven and Rob Kelly for hosting this event, it was the best Campton Cross ever.
See everyone in Woodstock. Come by the Enzo’s tent for free apps of Embro, yes we are doing it again!