Event: Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic
Place: State College, PA
Ridden: 7 days in May 2015
Click on video to watch.
Another TSE completed! Seven days of riding some of PA's best single track, 225 miles covered, 28,000 feet of climbing, all completed in 20 hours.
With the discontinuation of the "Duo" category, we raced as an "Epic Team" this year. As a Duo, all teams consisted of two riders who must be together the entire time and each must ride all seven days. As an Epic Team, there can be any number of riders on a team, they can all ride separately and do as many or as few days as they want, and only the fastest time for each day counts. Knowing teams would send out their fastest riders for each day, Joël and I knew that our first place in the Co-ed Duo from last year would not be repeated; we surmised we would not be racing hard for any awards this year. So for 2015 we had a different goal- to just go out and have fun. Yes, we would ride at a decent pace and push hard if we felt like it, but our overall goal was to enjoy the time together and get in seven days of amazing riding.
And that is what we did. We enjoyed the views, sang songs, and chatted with fellow racers. We had one day where things fell apart- literally and figuratively- at RB Winter. A flat tire, a squeaky non engaging free-hub body, and both of us not feeling well made for a long day. But after fixing bikes and a good night of sleep we pulled it together for the remaining days. That is what stage racing is about- yes, there will always be bad days but getting through them and pulling it together for the next days is what it important.
Besides the racing the rest of the week included letting Cliff run around with his dog friends, enjoying time with friends relaxing around the campfire, and taking a dip in the camp swimming pool. We opted to camp this year and cook our own meals (rather than stay in a bunk house and eat the meal plan food). This allowed us the freedom to eat what we wanted when we wanted and saved some money. We slept in the van but also set up a tent to keep gear in.
All in all TSE 2015 was a success. Yes we feel tired and worn out. Yes we each have a few bruises and cuts and scrapes. Yes the bikes are in need of some TLC. But we enjoyed the week. Now, on to finish the multiple loads of laundry!
- words by Jess
- video by Joël