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.
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
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.
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,