The 2016 "season" is continuing to gel into form.
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.
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.
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.
So there's that. Two steps forward, one fall backwards on my ass.