Photo: Michael L. Kirk

Photo: Michael L. Kirk

The rocky hills of central Pennsylvania might not be a well-known destination, but they have serious mountain biking heritage. The area around State College and Penn State University is home to an IMBA Epic called the Rothrock Ride in nearby Rothrock State Forest, host of the annual Wilderness 101 endurance race, and State College hosted the 2005 Singlespeed World Championships.

Now the area has plans to host a seven-stage mountain bike race. The inaugural Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic hits the trails next year, from May 30 to June 5. According to organizers, the seven-day stage race will be "comprised of stellar East Coast singletrack interspersed with rolling mountain roads showcasing the incredible off-road riding in central Pennsylvania."

The race will be headquartered out of a central campground. Four of the stages will begin at the campground; the other three begin less than an hour away. The first stage will be a 10-mile time trial, with remaining stages consisting of single-lap cross-country courses between 25 and 60 miles in length, organizers said. The race will include categories for solo competitors, two-person, open and corporate teams.

Ray Adams and Mike Kuhn, veteran riders who previously raced for the mountain bike team and have experience promoting races in the Mid-Atlantic, are organizing the race. "We are excited for the opportunity to bring the week-long off-road stage-racing format to Pennsylvania. This is an event we’ve been working on for close to two years and we are looking forward to showcasing the incredible trails here in the Keystone State through this challenging, memorable and fun experience,” Kuhn in a press release.

More details, visit; e-mail; or call (717) 350-1029.