Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic 2015: Stage 1 report and analysis

May 25th, 2015 by | Posted in News, Skills, Technique | Tags:

Glassford TSE 2015 Stage 1 start
Peter Glassford sets off on the Stage1 ITT of the Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic. Photo credit: Peter Glassford

The Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic kicked off with an individual time trial Sunday near State College, Pennsylvania. A seven-day race is always a large undertaking but TS Epic makes the week’s fun more accessible with three-day and team events with flexible riding requirements. Many riders come to ride with friends and push their limits in the enduro stages within each stage. The big news on Day 1 was the addition of timing chips by SportIdent, eliminating the need for stops, which in past years have dissuaded riders interested in overall placing from participating.

Peter Glassford takes care of all the little details before a race, including dialing in the tire pressure. Photo credit: Peter Glassford
Glassford takes care of all the little details before a race, including dialing in the tire pressure. Photo credit: Peter Glassford

Before clipping in for the Stage 1 TT, I breathed a sigh of relief as so much of the work and preparation was done. While fitness is a huge part of success at an endurance event, the preparation is often a large undertaking and too-often a cause of suboptimal results. In the weeks prior, my Trek SuperFly FS was overhauled at the Trek Toronto store with a new chain, tires and all bearings and pivots were checked. My fuelling strategy was planned and practised. Accommodation and food needs were planned and finally, travel to the race completed. Many hours driving, packing, prepping by myself and generous folks fuelling my adventure.

Glassford tire pressure
Peter Glassford is clipped in in the start gate of the first stage of the Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic. Ahead of him are 488 m of climbing over 24 km. Photo credit: Peter Glassford

With another breath, I was off and for a little more than an hour my thoughts were focused on moving forward as fast as I could on each section of course. It was a 15 mile (24 km) route with 1,600′ (488 m) of climbing. Time trials inevitably require passing and/or being passed and I always find it tough to maintain focus in either case. On Sunday, I focused on riding a smooth race, avoiding flats and making sure I left a little bit in the tank by sitting a bit more and spinning a bit more then I would prefer. While I would have preferred to win the day, Justin Lindine and several other young racers will provide a challenge for the upcoming weeklong adventure in Pennsylvania.

After several more breaths, I was at the finish line (in fifth) and chatting with many racers including several from Nova Scotia, Quebec and also B.C.’s Mical Dyck who will be a threat in the women’s overall. I look forward to bringing some of their stories to you throughout the next six days. Remember to follow @transsylvania, @peterglassford, @mollyjhurford and #TSEPIC for more updates.

Glassford timing chip
The timing chip rests on the top tube of Glassford’s Trek Superfly SL. Photo credit: Peter Glassford