Friday Roundup – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

  • Ray’s Mountain Bike Park is hosting two Women’s Weekends, one at Cleveland (Feb 17th) and one in Milwaukee (March 9). Both are FREE to attend for women and offer professional coaching and guidance from Leigh Donovan and others. It’s not only free of cost, it’ll be free of dudes, too. Full details at the links.
  • The Tran-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race returns for year numero tres, scheduled for May 27 to June 2, 2012 in State College, PA. Sponsored by Stan’s NoTubes and Dirt Rag Magazine, the event will drop a few miles in order to up the fun quotient, says promoter Mike Kuhn. Full press release along with some choice event photos after the break (plus the one above!).
  • Retailer registration for DealerCamp 2012, scheduled for July 24-26, is now open. All bicycle retailers are invited to register and attend this free event. You can even apply to have your trip subsidized or covered.
  • Trek Bicycles has launched the Trek-ODI developmental DH racing team. Comprised of five juniors, they’ve put World Cup champion Aaron Gwin in charge of coaching the grooms (including US 16-and-under National Champion Logan Mulally, plus Jason Schroeder, Charlie Harrison, Matt Branney, and John Buckell) into international gravity stars. They’ll be racing the Session 88 decked out with Bontrager parts and rubber.
  • Zym, one of our favorites among the effervescent electrolyte tabs, is celebrating five years on the market. Congrats, guys!

TRANS-SYLVANIA EPIC PRESS RELEASE: Race promoters Mike Kuhn and Ray Adams have officially announced the third annual edition of the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic Mountain Bike Stage Race presented by DirtRag, scheduled for May 27 to June 2, 2012 in State Collage. Pennsylvania.

Though there will be some minor changes next year both Kuhn and Adams feel their general program has been highly successful, proven by a race field that doubled in size last year compared to the inaugural edition in 2010. Kuhn and Adams also revealed that NoTubes has signed a three-year title sponsor deal and that DirtRag magazine has come onboard as presenting sponsor.

“We’re focused on trying to milk even more fun out of the week with small tweaks here and there,” explained Kuhn. “Overall we will probably have a little shorter total distance for the week by about 10 to 15 miles, but the fun meter will go up a ton.”

One example is shortening the day at Raystown Lake by about five miles. Though the trails are fun, fast and swoopy, at 40 miles last year virtually every rider, from elite pros to sportman level, felt it was too much of a good thing. As a result the day will return to 34 or 35 miles total, in line with the much-acclaimed first year version.

Two other notable changes involve Stage 5 at R.B. Winter State Park and Stage 6 on Tussey Ridge. Previously, the “Mini XC” or Super D” day contained four very short yet technical timed races with neutral riding transfers in between. Though Kuhn and Adams stand behind the format, it was becoming too long of a day so next year it will be converted to a short, sprint-style cross-country at about 20 miles. For Queen Tussey the next day, the event now has access to the private Kern’s Campground which will allow the race to finish directly across the street from the Seven Mountains Boy Scout base camp via freshly cut singletrack. Another addition may be a new route at the bottom of the ridge from a newly cut, smooth and fast singletrack that could potentially cut off about four miles of paved road from the first two editions. Though the new section is on private property both promoters feel confident an agreement can be reached with the landowner. Other small yet welcome changes will include racers hitting singletrack earlier on Stage 2 and access to new singletrack during the prologue found on the private land of one of the race support moto riders.

Just like previous editions, Cannondale, Kona, Jamis, NoTubes, Team CF and other notable professional teams will be fielding elite racers gunning for top podium spots but while TSE has gained attention for a strong professional attendance, the promoters are quick to defend themselves. “We’ve not really done anything particular to cater to the elite racer but are super psyched that they love what we’re doing and want to come out for it,” stated Kuhn. “Top riders want to be at TSE because the whole thing is a freakin’ blast. They do what they do because this sport is just plain awesome. They love mountain biking and the culture of our sport – same as you and me – and we have both of those things coming out our ears at Camp TSE.

“Ray and I designed this to be doable and fun for everyone, from those really fast folks to the men and women out there racing expert and sport events or even those that just love riding a lot or maybe used to race, like Ray and me,” he continued. “Nope, you probably won’t beat Bishop, Grant, Sager, Wicks, Sneddon, Carey, Yeager or other top pros who find TSE such a sweet way to start their summers, but you do get to hang out with them for a week, make friends, share war stories and relish over each day’s accomplishments as they play out on the big screen at our awards ceremony each night. They are there, accessible and having fun just like you.”

To that end, in an effort to make TSE more reachable to everyone the new “Trans-Sylvania Epic Experience” category has been created with riders starting each day 60 to 90 minutes before the main fields and covering the same distance but without the pressure of just making the same time cuts. They’ll still be timed each day but won’t be eligible for GC placings. Also, the “Team” category returns again where a group of up to five riders can mix and match which stages they want to ride, as long as at least one member is on course each day. This category is eligible for awards and placings. Kuhn has also promised the return of Stage 8 on the last day, The Three Beer Derby, won last year by Kona’s Barry Wicks, which consists of riders drinking a beer and doing a lap around the base camp lake three times.

One final benefit enjoyed by TSE is the support of State College, PA, located about 30 minutes away. The popular home of Penn State University boasts a large selection of hotels, restaurants, bars and other attractions for out of state racers who want to enjoy the full experience of the area.

For more info and registration visit: tsepic.com. For information on State College, PA: www.statecollege.com/tourism/

2012 Trans-Sylvania Epic Mountain Bike Stage Race
May 27 – Stage 1: Bald Eagle Prologue, 16km
May 28 – Stage 2: Rothrock Cooper’s Gap, 69km
May 29 – Stage 3: Bald Eagle Coburn, 76km
May 30 – Stage 4: Raystown Lake, 56km
May 31 – Stage 5: R.B. Winter, approx 32km
June 1 – Stage 6: Rothrock Tussey Mountain, 61km
June 2 – Stage 7: Bald Eagle Little Poe, 42km

Comments

Adam - 01/27/12 - 12:34pm

Great to see this event growing each year.

I question the idea of having the “Experience” folks starting BEFORE the main fields. While it doesn’t guarantee it, it does lend itself to some traffic issues on course.
I am not familiar withe trail networks, and maybe it’s not an issue, but a consideration.

All that said, I think the idea of the “Experience” is fantastic.

MashOr - 02/05/12 - 1:44am

Garth Prosser!

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