Thursday, January 7


The 2016 "season" is continuing to gel into form.

The Trans-Sylvania Epic announced all the important info they'd been holding onto until the new year.  It is now time to register.

Changes worth noting:

Tent camping is now free (included with race entry).  This means if you want to dirt bag it, do so.   Apparently, outside really is free.

The race is now five days long, although there will be some day-before shenanigans that shouldn't be missed.  No more short prologue, so we're hitting the ground running on day one with a solid 25-30 mile stage.  The Tussey (Queen) Stage now comes on day two, so you'll still have some gas in the tank for it, as opposed to day six when your ass is dragging through the rocks.  With only five days of racing, I anticipate that even the single speeders will be racing on the final stage.

Not that I'll want to.

The duo category is back.  Also, new for 2016, Clydesdale and fat bike classes (solo and duo).  Great categories to be in if you don't want to race against me, obviously.

Things that throw me off?

There will be a duo single speed category, which tempts me to go that way... because... fun.  Maybe burritos.  I'm terrible with options.

The Enduro™ stage is back again.  This forces me to make a decision... if I'm actually doing well... which isn't always likely.  The last two years, I've gone with a suspension fjork on this day in order to not lose too much time in an attempt to cling on to overall podium glory.  I'm not a terrible descender, but the rigid frok is a quite the detriment to performance on this particular stage.  Not to mention that the racing action should be tighter this year with fewer miles of racing over fewer days.  This stage took me out of the race last year (don't think I forgot my only DNF in a stage race), but my Stickel with 120mm is a much better beast for the day than when I ran it at 150mm.  Something to think about.

Another thing that is now set in stone while also upsetting the apple cart is the announcement of dates for the 2016 SSUSA, August 19-21.  I had told myself that I would sort out the rest of my "season" around this event, but it does bump uglies (in a bad way) with the Breck Epic, August 14-19.

I was planning this to be a no-brainer, SSUSA being a "once in a lifetime" event in Central PA, one of my favorite places to ride in the US (I've attended TSE all six years and SSWC05 for a reason).  Well, I started fingering the pulse of the event through channels available to me, and it sounds like the event is happening at Allegrippis.  Some might remember my sad results from previous TSE races when they had a stage there.  I've had three bad days there, one ending with the loss of the leader's jersey I had just received the day before.

It's not that I don't like Allegrippis.  Miles and miles of super fast and flowy trails in a very scenic location.  It's just not the kind of trails I drive nine hours to get to, especially when there are incredibly technical trails just an hour away.  I wasn't going to SSUSA to win, but I was planning on riding PA rocks for a few days... without driving a couple hours every day.

So there's that.  Two steps forward, one fall backwards on my ass.


Anonymous said...

A lot of folks are kind of hoping that SSUSA doesn't choose Allegrippis. It's not really a great location for it - too many other users and it's not exactly a "uniquely PA" experience. If it's going to come to central PA, it should use what makes central PA a great place to ride, and while Allegrippis is a great place to have a fun ride, you really would want to head up to Rothrock to get what you can't get elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

nice, I'd love to do that race! thanks for posting this..

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to the liars. You are a terrible descender.

I am not a robot.

Mike B

MTBike Jockey said...

Dicky is an extremely talented descender!!! There's not much he won't go down on!