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Excited to ride the rocks

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Sarah Kaufmann (NoTubes Elite Women's Team)

Sarah Kaufmann (NoTubes Elite Women's Team) (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Sarah Kaufmann (No Tubes) on her way up to the top of the mountain

Sarah Kaufmann (No Tubes) on her way up to the top of the mountain (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)
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Sarah Kaufmann (No Tubes Elite Women) cornering hard

Sarah Kaufmann (No Tubes Elite Women) cornering hard (Image credit: Dave McElwaine)

I'm so excited for this year's Trans-Sylvania Epic (TSEpic), I can't stop smiling when I think about it. Though I live in the Park City mecca of mountain biking, our trails are like super highways compared to the rocky mazes of State College, Pennsylvania.

I grew up in Massachusetts but never tried mountain biking until I moved out west. Who knows, maybe it's the familiar northeast landscape... all I know is that those rocks make me giddy and I can't wait to let them beat the crap out of me for a week!

This will be my third go at the TSEpic, and it has become the week of summer mountain biking that I look forward to the most. It is a treat to hang with the NoTubes crew (who have an office in State College) and they spoil us all week. This year we are lucky enough to be riding the latest and greatest from them - the Valor wheelsets, which are NoTubes first rim offering in carbon.

Last year, the TSEpic was a big milestone for me as it was my first goal race after having mono and getting hit by a car the previous year. I exceeded my expectations and wound up placing third.

It has come full circle for me this year as I am having some recurrence issues from the mono, now 18 months behind me. There has been a steep learning curve with new training and recovery protocol. I think I finally have a decent grip on it, and I'm feeling better than I have since mid-summer last year.

So, while if you had asked me a few weeks ago how I felt about the TSEpic, I would have hemmed and hawed with some serious trepidation, I can now say that I am ready to charge it!

Please follow along and wish me luck!

Sarah Kaufmann (Stan's NoTubes Elite Women's Team) is heading back to central Pennsylvania for the 2014 Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike stage race. Follow Kaufmann's adventures in her blog here as she contends for the overall GC win during the seven-day races in the State College, Pennsylvania area.