Monday, June 7, 2010

Transylvania Stage Race

2010 Inaugural Transylvania Stage Race

First off I want to send out a big thank you to Mike Kuhn and Ray Adams for putting on a wonderful stage race. It was very well organized and everything ran smoothly as far as I could tell. The volunteers were great, including Mike and Ray’s parents who were instrumental in seeing this stage race come together. Their parents even made some of the prizes – like the very cool and unique handmade TSE coaster – I love it! The photographer, A.E. Landes Photography was great too. Abe put together a slide show each evening of the day’s stage. Also, a bit shout out to Freeze Thaw cycles out of State College who were the onsite mechanics working very very hard everyday. They fixed my seatpost creaking issues... yeah!!! Mike and Ray had some great schwag for prizes for everyone who finished as well as for daily stage winners. I hope they can continue to secure good sponsorship for this race, which I imagine they will be able too since it seemed to be a big hit this inaugural year.

The TSE was a great first stage race for me to enter into this new format of racing. Granted, half way through, I was thinking I wasn’t going to survive, but that had nothing to do with how the race was put on. It was tough but doable and with some really fun stages to boot. Finishing out the week, I’d say maybe, just maybe, it was a tad short, although that’s because I am done now and at home looking at a couple of nice rest weeks before my next 100 miler. But I really don’t feel ‘wrecked’ like I anticipated feeling finishing this race. I was a tad worried about doing this race on a hardtail, but my carbon Felt 29er worked great. I had no mechanicals aside from the seatpost issue.

There was good variety in the stages, although, I wasn’t particularly keen on the long ‘roady’ day, but it was a break from the rocky, rough terrain of PA. And unfortunately, my most tired day, Stage 4 at Raystown, was some of the most fun, fastest trail riding I’ve done in a while – smooth, giant pump track like terrain. It was sweet. I would love to go back there to ride those trails on fresh legs. There are some wonderful trail systems in PA. We got to ride lots of them in this race and hopefully even more of them next year. I won’t lie – it is rocky, but mostly it’s just purely true mountain biking in my book. And my competition was pretty tough but I was pleased to hang in there in 2nd place with some really experienced endurance racers, and make lots of new riding friends.

I’ll get to the nitty gritty perhaps in individual posts per stage! Along with pictures shortly.

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