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  1. #1
    In the rear with the beer
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    Homecoming: transylvania stage race

    Hey folks,
    I grew up in Williamsport but haven't been to central PA in a long time. I live in AZ now. I say the trans-sylvania 7 day stage race in May/June 2010. I'm considering loading up my wife and dogs into an RV and trekking 'home' to PA for this in the spring. How are the courses looking? I didn't get into riding until I moved to AZ, so I have no idea how the central PA trails are. can anyone give me any comps to anything in AZ? Tech, climbing? rocky?
    You guys think this event would be worth the trip (will also try to see some family along the way, but the biking will be the main objective)?
    Thanks!
    big
    Salvation Outdoor
    "Take it Outside...Again!!!"

  2. #2
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    AZ compared to PA

    I currently live and ride in PA, and travel to AZ frequently. I've ridden in Flagstaff, Sedona, and Phoenix (South Mountain). It's hard to compare the two places. Both places have rocks, but PA's are smaller and more numerous. We have lots of rock gardens with bowling ball size rocks scattered all over the place. We also have lots and lots of tree roots in PA, which can be very technical, especially when wet. The locations for the Transylvania race are some of the best trails PA has to offer. Some sections are extremely technical, with rocks, roots, and hills all in one section. But, you also have some of the most fantastic flowing trails you've ever seen. I'd say the PA trails compare closest to Flagstaff, but the hills are way smaller, no altitude to deal with (that killed me), and the rocks are not boulders. One of the race locations is Raystown Lake, which is a new trail system. It is being touted as one of the best-designed trails in the country - one giant, swooping rollercoaster.

    Also, the trails in AZ are more wide open and flowy; hardly any tight sections. PA has tons of tight trails, where you are constantly turning the bars to stay on the trail.

    I hope you make it out here - I don't think you'll be disappointed. Where do you ride in AZ?

  3. #3
    In the rear with the beer
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    Thanks for the info. I live in Phoenix, but also spend a lot of time in Flagstaff. The benefit of riding in Flagstaff is that when you fall, you hit rocks, but also potentially leaves, pine needles, soft mud, etc. whereas in Phx, you fall, you hit rocks, cactus, gritty sand, and potentially something that is gonna bite/try to kill and eat you. Since I fall a lot, I really like Flagstaff!! (even with the altitude and tons of climbing.

    Anyway, the trails sound nice! Flagstaff-ish trails without the altitude and smaller hills pretty much sounds like my idea of heaven! I've got my wife on board with this trip already, so its now just a matter of plotting the logistics!

    Is there any local scoop on the organization putting on the event? Generally well run events? Has there been much local interest in the event? Being its 1st year, i'm sure it won't be 2,000 people, but hopefully it gets good turnout.
    Salvation Outdoor
    "Take it Outside...Again!!!"

  4. #4
    Now broadcasting from CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdudecycling
    Is there any local scoop on the organization putting on the event? Generally well run events? Has there been much local interest in the event? Being its 1st year, i'm sure it won't be 2,000 people, but hopefully it gets good turnout.
    High Speed Cycling is the group putting on Transylvania. They put on some of the most fantastic events in the state. Check out their website. Their events are always well organized and professional and I know that they have been working on this event for a few years now so I don't expect the stage race to be any different. If you read Dirt Rag the article a few issues back about racing in PA, the Marysville stage race, and the MASS was about one of their events.

    -PA
    Brought to you by rocks.

  5. #5
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    Come on back east for Trans-Sylvania!

    Nice to know that you're thinking about coming to our little shindig, we'd love to have you race with us! I did some training out of Tucson back in my "goin' pro" days and I think the riding you have in AZ can prepare you pretty well for what we've in store for you at Trans-Sylvania.

    I only did a little riding - mostly racing really - in the Phoenix area, but in Tucson the riding at Starr Pass/Gates Pass and Catalina State Park certainly would offer great preparation for Trans-Sylvania and the upper reaches of Mt Lemmon even give you some of the woods feel you'll get here. For sure it is much less sandy here but picture trees, leaves, roots and water instead of cacti and washes and the flow and terrain aren't that dissimilar - not super long climbs (15-25 min for the long ones), but definitely not flat and you'll find many of the climbs are steep. It is also a mix of fast flowing trail and rocky technical trail (some good pics on CyclingNews.com's coverage of some rocky bits) that is sometimes embedded and sometimes loose on top. PA can get wet and muddy, but we scheduled this thing with the hope that we'll be through the wet part of the year and before the humidity gets nasty.

    Check out Mountain Bike and Bicycling Magazine websites and CyclingNews.com as both have some info about the race and thoughts from reporters who met us in State College for some riding over the past couple weekends. Dirt Rag will likely have something on their site or in print in the near future too as one of their guys came out for a day. Hopefully these articles will give you an even better idea of what we're up to out here. Check back for vids too - as soon as I get the whole helmet cam thing figured out!

    If you have any questions about the event please feel free to give me a call or send an email - you can find the contact info on our site TransSylvaniaEpic.com. You can also subscribe to email updates on the site and find us on Facebook and Twitter...and whatever social media we "have" to be on next.

    Cheers!
    Mike

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