By Scott Williams
Photography by Devon Balet
It’s been two years since I had the pleasure of doing my first multi-day mountain bike race at the Trans-Sylvania Epic (TSE). The first half of the initial day started like any other race I’ve done. Smiles on the outside but inside was strictly business as I tried to figure out what strategy I wanted to play for the week. The day started with the top three battling it out further ahead, and the remaining five of us were going back and forth fighting for fourth place, but why, what’s the point in burying oneself for a fourth-place finish; a truce was quickly called. And, that is the very moment when everything changed; that is when I realized how much fun a race can be when it’s no longer a race at all.
Now, with the Breck Epic officially less than two months away, I struggle to think about anything else. That same year I did TSE, I was also slated to be at the Breck Epic, but two days before my flight from Pittsburgh to Denver, I came down with Lymes disease. Every ounce of energy was taken from me, and I laid dormant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as I watched my friend’s post photo’s to social media of my bike in Breckinridge, Colorado without me. It was beyond frustrating.
When that same group of roughly 15 yinzers mentioned going back to Breck for 2019, my fiance and I jumped on the opportunity and signed ourselves up. However, to add a bit of a twist to our experience, on August 15, 2019, my fiance and I will exchange our vows during Stage 5 on Wheeler Pass. And, no, we are not doing this as a duo race.
So, if you’re out there and you time it just right, celebrate with us.
Do you have your own mountain bike inspired wedding or proposal? Send it to Dirt Rag and maybe we will share your story in the meantime.
BRECK EPIC EXPLAINED
Breck Epic is a multi-day mountain bike stage race. It consists of six days of beautiful backcountry singletrack with each day starting and ending in Breckenridge, Colorado. Six days mean six stages with an average of 38 miles and 6,217 feet of climbing per day for a combined total of roughly 230 miles and just under 40,000 feet of vertical gain. To top it off, each day starts in Breckenridge at 9,600′ above sea level and each of the six days will taking you upwards to over 11,000′ above sea level. If the six-day seems a little out of reach, there is also a three-day option.
Rules: Don’t be a dick, Wear your helmet and Don’t litter.
For 2019, the Breck Epic runs August 11-16 and there is still time to sign up here. Or, if you want to secure your spot for 2020, the dates are August 16-21 and you can get in for an uber-discounted early bird rate here. For more info, you can also always head over to breckepic.com.
Stage 1: Pennsylvania Creek – 35 miles, 6,000’
Stage 2: Colorado Trail – 43 miles, 7,200’
Stage 3: Guyot – 41 miles, 8,100’
Stage 4: Aqueduct – 44 miles, 6,300’
Stage 5: Wheeler – 32 miles, 4,900’
Stage 6: Gold Dust – 30 miles, 4,800’