Trans-Sylvania Epic: Letter from singletrack summer camp

Crashes: 1, Rattlesnake Sightings: 4, Fun Factor: 11

Race Coverage
Ellen Noble (Competitive Cyclist) rides down Wildcat at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo by the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

Ellen Noble (Competitive Cyclist) rides down Wildcat at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic (click to enlarge). Photo by the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

Editor’s Note: This article is part of Mtbr.com’s inside-the-race series, where we examine unique facets of the ongoing Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race, currently happening near State College, Pennsylvania. To learn more about the race, visit TSEpic.com. For race reports and results head to outdoorexperience.org/tse/live-coverage. Today’s installment is a letter home from Singletrack Summer Camp by Ellen Noble, an under-25 racer for Competitive Cyclist who’s also mixing it up with the elite women in the general classification and the enduro.

Ellen Noble (Competitive Cyclist) rips one of the enduro segments at Tussey Mountain at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo by the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

Ellen Noble (Competitive Cyclist) rips one of the enduro segments at Tussey Mountain at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic (click to enlarge). Photo by the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

Dear Mom,

Greetings from #SingleTrackSummerCamp!

We finished up stage 4 today, so the week here is already half over. I’m pretty tired, but pacing myself well — and I’ve made huge improvements from last year.

At the Trans-Sylvania Epic, everyone will ask you whether it’s your first time doing the race, because you’re just struggling through it on the first go-around. But this year, I feel like I’m really racing to win, and using my previous knowledge to my advantage.

Here are some quick stats after today’s stage:

  • Rattlesnake Sightings: 3
  • Crashes: 1 (and I hope it stays that way!)
  • Times I’ve said “I’m too tired to go on!”: 4
Drew Dillman (Colt Training Systems | Red Team), Jason Blodgett (Colt Training Systems | White Team), and Ellen Noble (Competitive Cyclist) proudly wear their leaders jerseys. Photo by the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

Drew Dillman (Colt Training Systems | Red Team), Jason Blodgett (Colt Training Systems | White Team), and Ellen Noble (Competitive Cyclist) proudly wear their leaders jerseys (click to enlarge). Photo by the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

The team is staying in a lovely “rustic cabin” in the middle of the woods! It’s definitely rustic, but I love it all the same. Some of us have been cooking our own food, while others have been eating at the dining hall.

Regardless, we usually have coffee together in the morning. My teammate Tristan Uhl said he could imagine retiring to a place like the cabin — in the middle of nowhere, with trees all around.

I’ve conquered a lot of last year’s fears during these four stages. I have vivid memories of the long, steep descent during stage 2, and the big rock drop at the end of segment 4 during the enduro day, or the long climb up to the feed during stage 4.

Ellen Noble (Competitive Cyclist) rides through the woods at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic. Photo by the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

Ellen Noble (Competitive Cyclist) rides through the woods at the NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic (click to enlarge). Photo by the Trans-Sylvania Epic Media Team

As I’ve overcome so many of last year’s challenges, I’ve been thinking. It’s a great feeling to realize that a big part of my development as a mountain bike racer can be attributed to my experience here last year. So it really is #SingleTrackSummerCamp here at the Trans-Sylvania Epic!

Well, that’s all for now. I need to head to bed, so I can be rested for tomorrow’s stage!

Miss you lots,

Ellen

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Mtbr

Mtbr.com is a site by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. We are the best online resource for information for mountain bikers of all abilities, ages and interests.


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