Yea, not Santy Clause. This guy.
I didn't see him the weekend before Tgiving at Allegrippis, Bald Eagle or Rothrock, but he musta been there 'cause there was a heck of a lot of "Oh Yeeaahh!'s" being shouted and hollered as we careened through the woods around State College doing some more Trans-Sylvania Epic course previews.
Friday was Allegrippis. That place is just a massive dirt roller coaster. The trails just keep egging you on. No rocks. No logs. Just pure unadulterated speed. You think, "Man, I'm freakin' moving! I'm going to pay for this later," but the grin factor is just way too big to slow down. So you go bat outta hell fast and a few hours later you're feeling it but good. Still doesn't wipe the grin off your face though.
Saturday was the Trans-Sylvania Prologue. We think we have it dialed. We rode out of the Seven Mountain Scout Camp through Bald Eagle State Forest to the east. Four miles of dirt roads to set you up. Next is the most tech part of the day with a single track rewarding an ability to pick a line through rocks and a very cool very rideable rock drop. Back on the dirt road for a mile or so and then into some swoopy singletrack fun where speed rules. A forest road and some twisties through laurel, dirt road, and a last single track leading you right back into and through the camp bring you home.
Lunch followed where we waxed poetically about all things Trans-Sylvania and toured the expansive camp to show off all the amenities awaiting participants. We're lucky to be able to provide a whole raft of lodging options from BYO tent to permanent tents to RV parking to small and large cabins - some offering kitchens and showers even with hotels as close at 10 minutes away in Milroy. Then there's the large nice mess hall where we can feed 200 or more at a shot and the camp store and offices where we're told we'll be able offer wifi services so everyone can tweet and update their Facebook status between stages. We know, if you didn't facebook it, it didn't happen. At least we have it for that chick that tried to run Ray off the road yesterday. A pool offers swimming though it admittedly could be chilly water in early June and the pond offers up boating and fishing - maybe not for the racer, but for the fam. All this stuff and the fact that the camp is all about kids most of the year allows us to pull together child care throughout the week as well.
Saturday afternoon took us to the Coopers Gap trails where we sampled bits a pieces of more goodyness with our buddies Rich and Bill from BikeFlights.com giving us the tour of trails like Deer Tick, Beautiful and Lewistown Contingent. These trails are constructed and ride differently than either Allegrippis or the Bald Eagle side of RT322 and, as g'ma was fond of saying, "variety is the spice of life." We kept of the variety end of things by making sure to take in Elk Creek Cafe, Bill Pickle's Tap Room, Genos, the Skellar, and more while visiting State College. Besides helping us map out the courses, the boys from BikeFlights.com are going to be helping us get folks into town for the week. If you know someone from outta town who might want to make the trip we'll hook 'em up with some killer service.
Sunday wrapped things up with trails from behind Tussey ski hill and may have been the best day yet. The Longberger to Tuxedo to Tussey Mountain to Camp Trail loop is almost too much fun for words. Our words anyway. Luckily some other folks who are much better at that sort of medium have chimed in:
Truck on over to see what Bicycling's Ms. Fit Chick has to say: Trans-Sylvania Rocks or head over to CyclingNews.com and check out the feature article on Racing the Trans-Sylvania Epic by our friend Sue George.
Heck, even Braden has started training. Lamby is his co-pilot. They're thinking of entering the Tandem category. Rob doesn't have a chance, no matter how much he's not listening to his coach.