Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How To Be Awesome at The Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic

Once again my last week of May was dominated by the awesomeness that is TSE. This post is going to read a lot like the last installment in the How To Be Awesome Series. It will not contain too much race report content as you can read race reports at cyclingnews.com and on the TSE blog. Instead I will offer you, my misguided reader, an insiders look into what exactly it takes to rock out at TSE. 

First off:  Know what the hell you are getting into. I am not talking about the courses, reading doesn't make you better at rocks, sadly riding road bikes doesn't help either, but we'll get to that. Instead look for info on how to win the week. For example, whats the best lodge? Where is the nearest beer store? Do you know how to 'rassel a rattlesnake? I didn't think so. Fear not we will go through it all in this IPA, Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout induced guide. 

Rimney: It is scary there. Wissell is there. He beat me in a wrestling match and pushed me in a lake. Fear the Wissell. 
Eagle: Dicky is there. Not scary per say, just, well, Dicky. Don't do it.
Single cabins: The really cool Panama riders took them this year. Seems like an ok idea. 
FEMA/Katrina trailer: Reserved for Kuhn and the Louisianian black mold that shipped with it. Has AC.
Tent: I don't do tents. No advice here, you dirty hippy. 
Go back to college dorm life. Flips flops on at all times when inside. Lodges get "dank" as Lindine would say.
Chillin at the Eagle. A E Landes/TSE
Now that you are sufficiently screwed on lodging, lets talk about food. 
Meal Plan: I have never done the meal plan at TSE as I like to escape camp for a bit and go to State College to eat sometimes. Every night I walked into the dining hall for awards and regretted my decision. Desserts EVERYWHERE. I love cookies.
No Meal plan: Get some friends (preferably one with a Costco membership) buy some stuff and plan meals. Works very well. Only problem is noted above.
Snacks: Bring too much. Share.
Breakfast: Chocolate Chex. Whatchu know about this chocolate cereal game playboy? Nothing. There will be at least one coffee snob in your lodge, make friends with them. Hit the redbull lounge to supplement. 
Pizza: Nobody delivers to the scout camp, at least that Lauren and a smart phone could find and she "procures" things for a career. 

State College: Safest bet but also 15 miles away but has a drive-thru beer store. Even after all of PA's stupid blue laws, you can drive-thru for beer. An experience not to be missed by the out of stater. 
Brownies: 2 miles from camp, use only if desperate  If you want a "I'm going to get shot" moment, go there. I asked for 30 "kinda cheap" beers. When the bartender asked me what cheap was, I answered PBR. 3 locals started screaming at me in central PA English, explaining how PBR was the most expensive beer they had. Bartender can't add 9+7. Be warned. Dont go with ID -less Derek Bissett.

Create a Catch Phrase:
This year was dominated by "piece" such as "Yo check out my new LEFTY piece" Or "Hey lemme get one of those beer pieces." Laughs were had when a warning of  "Don't look this way or you might seem my D piece." was cast when changing pre stage.
Lodges can have catch phrases too. "EAGLE" was heard every time a Eagle lodge member climbed the podium during awards. If racing duo, every time you assist your teammate, like passing the salt at dinner, state "Duo" as a form of bonding,

Picking a Duo teammate: 
I already stake claim to Craig "Imma Do Me" Lebair, so you are already at a disadvantage. You can't have my Craig piece, but you can do the following:
Find somebody who faster at stuff you suck at. I went down a cliff 3 min faster than last year because I knew Craig would make fun of me if I sucked. Motivation. 
Drop in to win. Craig only had time to pee this year on R B Winters penultimate descent, instead of the nap he took in 2012. A E Landes/TSE
Racing Etiquette: 
Don't be an asshat:  
A) Let the GC women's leaders do their thing if they are faster than you, they probably are and they have cash one the line. 
B) Don't yell at people. Yelling when you can ride a section but 9 people are walking in front of you makes me angry. Matt Harris pre-oatmeal angry. 
C) Don't pass unannounced or in stupid place. Finish times are over 17 hours 1 second isn't going to kill your week. A crash might. 
D) Be fucking nice. Say thank you. Say good job. We all ride bikes. Chill, ha. You will see these people again.
E) Have respect for those better than you. You will be amazed at some of the things you see people ride. Learn from it.

Unofficial Stages:
Wednsday Night: Go up to the field and join in the Hammer Nutrition (they buy the beer) Wed night stage 4a. Wheelie contest (Props to Gunnar Bergey) skid contest, relays for socks, bunny hopping, lighting shit on fire... go hang out. Don't get pissed when lights out is not at 9:30. You are not pro, you are sleeping in a tent, dirty hippy. 
Ripping up on my coach's bike. A E Landes/TSE
Stage 8 Three Beer Derby World Cup Eliminator" DJ will shoot fireworks at your head, the race promoters will break all of the fine print of their insurance policy, and Sue Haywood (dressed as batman) will DQ your team if you don't finish your beer. It will be filmed, embrace it. 
#YOLO, DJ. #YOLO.  A E Landes/TSE out of the line of fire. Coward. 

Watch more videos on CyclingDirt

Make friends with Abe Landes. Not only is he really really funny and an all around awesome dude, he will make you look way cooler than you really are in pixels. Looking cool leads to all sorts of other cool things. If cyclingdirt interviews you, have a personality. Dig deep. You got this. 
Get a signature look. I do x ups, Craig Lebair does Blue Steel. Perfect it, do it all week. 
Blue Steel captured by A E Landes/TSE
The X Up (while complaining) burden on A E Landes/TSE
The Actual Racing Your Bike Part:
Pedal hard, have fun. This is probably your vacation, enjoy it. Race for the pictures. Tell your cube life coworkers you rode a 20 hour week and see their faces as they look at you with puzzlement. In this case being the 1% (that races bikes) is a good thing. 

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