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The Trans-Sylvania MTB Epic (TSE) is a multi-stage cross-country mountain bike race in which competitors are expected to be physically and mechanically self-sufficient during each stage.  Participants in TSE undertake this challenge with the expectation that they understand and accept this principle.  Racers must be in good health and well trained.  TSE does not screen participants.  It is the racer’s responsibility to determine if they are fit enough to safely participate. 


RULE #1: DON’T BE A JERK!  Keep reading.

MEDICAL ADVICE: The organizers reserve the right to prevent a racer from continuing the race on recommendation of the medical staff.  Any participants requiring specific personal medications are responsible for supplying and carrying such medication each day while racing.  It is recommended a backup set of medication be given to a medical staff member in case primary medications are lost or damaged.  If any participant is on medication, they are asked to inform TSE medical staff (If different than what you informed during registration).

MANDATORY REPAIR ITEMS: Participants must carry a spare tube, inflation tools, patches and necessary tools.  These items are considered the bare minimum and it’s strongly recommended that participants ensure they are prepared to deal with emergencies they may encounter.

BICYCLES AND SUPPORT: Only mountain bikes in good working order will be allowed to start the event.  NO E-bikes or Pedal Assist Bicycles are allowed.  Bikes must be mechanically sound at the start of each stage, and during the event.  The front number plate must always be securely fitted and visible from the front.  Handlebar ends and handlebar extensions shall be plugged and must not have sharp or jagged edges.  Maintenance of bicycles during the race is the responsibility of each participant.  You are allowed help and can take parts from other racers if they are willing to help.  Swapping or exchanging of complete bicycles between participants or any outside sources during a stage is not permitted.


Mechanical and feed support from outside entities is not permitted except at official checkpoints.  In all cases of maintenance and repair during a stage, participants are required to complete the full distance of the stage on their bike and within the time allowed.  Bike repair services are available from our tech partners: The Bicycle Shop.  They will be on course at an aid station(s) and at the event camp post-race.  If your bike is broken beyond repair, you will need to make other arrangements for the rest of the race if you would like to continue racing.

HELMETS AND CLOTHING: Racers not wearing a helmet during race will be disqualified.  Helmets must comply with international ‘ANSI’, ‘SNELL’ standards.  Eye protection and fully enclosed footwear is strongly recommended. 

NUTRITION AND HYDRATION: Racers retain the ultimate responsibility to carry enough water and nutrition with them for each stage.  TSE will provide water at aid station(s) on the route. This water is for drinking only.  Checkpoints will be stocked with Hammer Nutrition gels, as well as fruit, cookies, and other various snacks.

RIDER SIGN-IN AND MANDATORY MEETINGS: We will not have a rider sign-in each morning.  It will be mandatory to ride through the start arch once the stage kicks off.  This will tell the timing system who is not on the course that day.  If you are unable to continue your race at any point, please take your timing transponder to the race timer or race director to inform us of your withdrawal.  You must race with your timing transponder on your bike for every stage.  All participants are strongly encouraged to attend the evening course previews for the next day’s stage.  You bear the responsibility for any information dispensed at these meetings including knowledge of course changes should such occur.

PARTICIPANT IDENTIFICATION: Participants must display their number plate at all times during the stage.  Number plates must be fixed on the front of the bike, and not be obscured by cables or any other item.  Plates may not be altered or mutilated in any way including cutting, adding stickers, removing existing stickers, trimming or bending.  Violation of this rule will result in a 60-minute time penalty.  Your number plate acts as a backup for the finish line camera in the case that your race transponder would not read (very unlikely, but always good to have a backup.  We are not responsible for inaccurate race times if you do not properly display your timing transponder and or number plate).  Race leaders are obliged to wear the leader jerseys.

COURSE CUTTING AND TRESPASSING: Participants who exit the route of the course for any reason must return to the course at the exact same point at which they exited or face possible disqualification.  Participants must always act in a polite manner and permit any faster rider to overtake without obstructing.  Any participants reported for trespassing on private land relating to the route of TSE at any time of the year will receive a lifetime ban from participating in the event.

TRAFFIC REGULATIONS: TSE will not have exclusive use of any roads during the race.  All regular traffic regulations must be observed at all times during the race.  Instructions of course marshals and local authorities must be strictly followed.  Riders who do not obey the traffic regulations or who endanger others will be disqualified from the event.  If a car approaches from behind, move over immediately.  60-minute time penalties will apply to those who do not yield to cars.

AID STATION DROP BAGS: Participants will be given two reusable gallon sized Ziploc bags with their numbers on them during registration which are to be used as aid station drop bags.  Bags can be filled with any desired supplies.  Bags are to be dropped at the dining hall no later than 1 hour before the start of a stage (9:00 AM) with exception to the R.B. Winter stage.  The R.B. Winter stage (Stage 3 for our 5-Day Version and Stage 1 for the 3-Day Version) bags need to be placed in the bins the night before or taken to R.B. Winter State Park and put in the bins there before 9:30 AM!  Bags will be returned to the dining hall after each stage and can be re-stocked as needed. 

VEHICLES: Vehicles not driven by the TSE staff are not permitted to follow the daily course routes.  However, supporters may drive vehicles along public roads to reach vantage points to spectate.

DRAFTING: Participants may draft other racers who are taking part in the event.  No other form of drafting is permitted whatsoever.

SCORING: Timing for the stage (as well as enduro sections) will be done by a transponder chip.  You will pick up your transponder at registration.  You must zip tie (will be provided) your transponder to your bicycle, it is recommended to do this on your fork.  Your transponder must be on your bike every morning at the start! If you do not start with the transponder attached to your bike you will not be scored for the day and will receive a DNF for the stage.  You must turn in your transponder at the conclusion of TSE.  If you lose your transponder or forget to return it, you will be charged $100 for replacement.  Should an emergency require you to depart early please return your transponder to the timing crew at the start/finish line or one of TSE race directors.

TIMES BONUSES: Top 3 daily Enduro finishers in each category will score time bonuses (like you see in The Tour De France).  1st place gets 30 seconds taken off their time, 2nd place gets 20 seconds off their time and 3rd place gets 10 seconds off their time.

CUTOFF TIMES AND, DROPPING OUT: Cutoff times are in place for the safety of participants and the TSE staff.  Cutoff times may be modified for all participants at any time for any reason deemed appropriate by the promoters.  Participants who do not arrive prior to a designated cutoff time will be considered scored as DNF for that stage.  They will be ineligible for finishers and daily prizes but can continue to ride the remaining stages.  If a participant does not continue to ride on subsequent days for any reason, they must notify TSE staff.

WITHDRAWALS: Teams or racers that cannot continue a stage or the event, for whatever reason, must immediately inform the TSE staff.  This can be done at the start and finish areas, Race HQ and at designated aid stations.

HELP OF OTHER RACERS IN AN EMERGENCY: If a racer has been commandeered to assist the medical team with an emergency situation, that racer will not be subjected to time penalties that would result in his or her eligibility to be considered an Official Finisher of TSE.

DISQUALIFICATION AND PENALTIES: Participants may be disqualified at the discretion of TSE staff for any one or more of the following reasons including, but not limited to: Littering; Disrespect of or damage to the environment; Bad sportsmanship; Abuse of race officials; Traffic rule violations; Racing on an E-bike or Pedal Assist Bicycle; Breaking any of the TSE Rules.

PROTESTS: Any result protests must be made during the protest period prior to awards presentations each evening.  Protests must be made to TSE scoring officials.  View race schedule for protest period closing.

AWARDS: Stage Podiums and General Classification leader presentations will happen before the nightly rider meeting (view schedule for times).  Stage winners and overall category leaders are encouraged to attend their respective awards ceremonies, including the final ceremony.  TSE will not ship awards to participants that did not attend their awards ceremony.

COURSE PREVIEW: Each night after dinner we will preview the next day’s stage.  We strongly suggest that all participants and associated friends and family attend the awards and course preview each evening for safety, general awareness, and enjoyment of the event.  It is your responsibility to know of any course changes that may come out during the event that would be out of our control.  Any changes will be disclosed during the nightly course preview or the racer meeting before the start of the stage.

COURSE DESCRIPTION DISCLAIMER: All distances calculated on mapping software and may vary slightly from your personal computer.  All courses may be changed as deemed necessary by promoter or the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

U25 SCORING: All participants who are age 24 or younger as of 12/31/23 are eligible for U25 scoring for the 5-day race version.  The U25 leaders within men and women are based on cumulative elapsed time and will receive a leaders’ jersey.  U25 participants can register in any category and will also compete in the U25 category (just like the young rider competition in the TDF).

DUO CATEGORY RULES: Duo teammates must stay together on the course.  Finishing each stage within 3 minutes of each other, otherwise a 60-minute time penalty will apply.  Team scoring will consist of combing the two riders time together.  If one team member of a duo succumbs to injury or mechanical failure, the team will be counted as DNF for that stage.  However, the remaining team member can continue with the remaining stages to earn their finisher prize.  The team should consult with TSE staff to decide on the best course of action for later stages.

EXPERIENCE RULES: There really are no rules.  This is a non-competitive category for those that don’t want the stress of racing and would like to save a few bucks.  You will experience everything that the category racers will, but you won’t compete for daily or GC prizes.  However, you will still get all the same swag and a finisher award (if you finish all five stages).  If you don’t want to race a stage, that’s fine, enjoy your day and we’ll see you at dinner. 

Race Director reserves the right to make any decisions not covered above during the race week.

ANY QUESTIONS? Email Ryan Fulton

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