Swift Campout Belmar NY

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Hi, my name is Joja, not Jorja, like you have previously known me as. Joja is who I am now, by name and by nature. You can find me normally running @crust_australia or @kookexchange or selfie-making at @jambi-jambi
Im here in Dirty Jersey with fellow Kook/rider Mar-del. At the beginning of our Kook America tour 2k19.

We arrived at Crust HQ a few days before the Swift campout. To start tapering from our training regimes in Sydney, to ensure maximum performance on the 6 mile Swift Campout… Belmar edition. We had travelled half way across the world for this….we were here to win.

Meeting at 6pm we eyed up the competition, bikes, equipment, studied the route, overheard competitor tactics. The only competition to our athleticism I could find was Noah. He was 7, with that young fresh blood. His body at peak performance. Despite what people say….30 is not the new 20…..don’t believe that. 7 is the new 20.

6.30 came and a contagious ripple of nerves caused a head-start as folks concerned about the rush of the now 30 strong riders at Wholefoods (our first checkpoint) attempted a pull away.

The humidity which has been causing chaos to my naturally temperamental hair increased. Normally keeping a sharp cut…. the NJ humidity confines me to my Kook Flap Hat to avoid any embarrassing hair moments. I was happy to be rolling to legitimise my sweating in the heat.

It turned out our Kook Exchange training regime and carb loading wasn’t necessary, we had gotten it wrong – the ride wasn’t a chance to show our Australian athleticism but a chill critical mass ride through the town of Belmar and into the new leaf green country side, cutting through on rail trails to find our camp at Allaire.

Action was found when Noah nearly took out a competitor with an aggressive move of jumping from the curb without even a glance back…prime. A 6 vert meter climb jumped out of nowhere, sorting the crowd in the final mile. Things were looking good for the Kook Sponsored team riders.

Camp was along side the MTB trails of Allaire. Lyme’s disease was inevitable and I gave myself over to the forest hanging my hammock within the trees and joined as we dug into salad boxes and welcomed the car-packers as they came to join the fire.

Apparently there was a fire jump around 1.30am by Kyle of Belmar Bike Shop which I was devastated to miss (I heard a few days later it was just by foot). Once the mingling with people from all over the East Coast was done, I retired to my hammock warmed by new friends and fell asleep to the silence of Cellar Spiders making home in my shoes

It was a good ol’ fashion Swift hoe-down. Most of these images are blurred, I will pretend its deliberate and part of my art.

Thanks Belmar Bike Shop X Camp and Go Slow X Crust for what had to be the softest times worldwide. It was a great start to our American tour.

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