Written by Paul Wojciak Thursday, 08 October 2015 16:34
Let me be open. I really love single lap, marathon distance, mountain bike races. The more technical, the better too. Enter the Michaux Endurance Series put on by Gettysburg Bicycle. This is a three race series all occurring in the Michaux State Forest south of Harrisburg, PA. There's the Maximus in May, the Curse of Dark Hollow in July, and the Terror of Teaberry in September. All are single loops with the long course option now being 30 miles instead of the 40 miles from prior years. The benefit of dropping 10 miles is that now each course is 98% single track. And this is the real deal, highly technical rock gardens as far as you can see, single track like this part of Pennsylvania is so good at serving up. None of the three courses share any trails, yeah Michaux has well over 100 miles of single track.
The races have been around for almost 20 years but I've only been doing them for the last five. The 45+ field suites me fine and always offers some good competition with MASS series folks joining the locals to race. I donned the Bikeman kit for this event and was the only one on hand to represent.
The Michaux vibe is good times with an eat, sleep, bike approach to life. Jess, the promoter, has lots of friends who help out and make all riders feel appreciated. The after race grub and grog are always a hit. This year, the conditions for Teaberry were bone dry and cool; as good as it gets. Winning pro time was a hair over three hours for 30 miles. Yeah, I mentioned it was technical didn't I? I raced hard and came in second in my category for the day. This managed to be good enough to secure first place for 45+ category in the three race series.
Another great year racing across Pennsylvania wilds. The trails in that state have come to represent some of my favorites. Whether rolling Michaux, Trans-Sylvania, Rothrock, State College, Tuscarora, French Creek, or Rattling Epic, there's adventure awaiting those willing to seek it out. Come and get some in 2016.
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