Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic Draws Cyclists to Centre Region
Just east of State College in Spring Mills, Pa., mountain bikers are taking over the town for a week-long annual event called the Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic.
The seven-day series of races is described by organizers as “America’s longest mountain bike stage race experience." It raises money for The Outdoor Experience Organization, a nonprofit organization which promotes outdoor activities and trail sustainability.
The event has been going since last Sunday and the Finale is set for today. Over 130 participants are racing mountain bikes through Pennsylvania trails in a test of speed and endurance.
“It’s going quite well,” said race director Matt Kuhn. “Everybody is riding pretty well. We’ve had very few injuries – a couple broken bikes here and there but nothing serious.”
The races test the strength of these cycling enthusiasts who live for the Pennsylvania terrain. Endurance is key when you’re averaging 36 miles a day. It’s not hard to see why even the most physically fit riders are feeling the strain.
“We’re getting serious now,” said Kuhn. “One hundred eighty miles of sweet central Pennsylvania mountain biking is in their legs by now. They’re getting cooked.”
For the last four years, riders have come from all over the world to participate.
“We’ve got Panamanians here, people from Canada, a Swiss gentleman, and all across the United States,” said Kuhn. “About twenty different states are represented.”
To register, competitors pony up $999 for solo riders. Racers compete for $10,000 in cash prizes and sponsored products. Not everyone is in it for the cash, though.
“The bragging rights are usually pretty good,” said Kuhn.” But for a lot of people, it’s a vacation. It’s about the experiences of pushing themselves for seven days and seeing another part of the country and seeing how fantastic the trails are in central Pa.”
As the Trans-Sylvania website says, “you’ve got nothing to do all week but ride, party, and recover.”
“Our goal is to have an impact on Pennsylvania recreation trails through the event,” said Kuhn. “Each year, we’ve been able to donate a little more money than the previous year. The trails here are world class.”
Click HERE for more information about the Outdoor Experience Organization.