Every locale has its fast local mountain biker; Virginia has Jeremiah Bishop, Utah has Jason Sager and
Oregon had Adam Craig. In the Mid Atlantic, we have Aaron Snyder. And he wants to rip your legs off.
Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh, but this unknown local has been making a name for himself in the last
several years, and has no plans on stopping. Having shredded in Belgium with the U23 National Team,
devastated the competition in every local XC race and toed the line in his fair share of solo 24-hour
races, he is slowly catching on to the stage-race phenomenon- and couldn’t have picked a better time.
As a recent State College transplant, Snyder can step outside his door, strap on his helmet and be on
TSEpic soil in 15 minutes… by bike. He says it’s easy to get to the trails, but almost impossible to ride
anything less than three hours- something he doesn’t consider a bad thing. The draw of the State
College MTB mecca is something that initially piqued his interest in the area, and now that he has settled
in since moving to town late last summer, Snyder doesn’t want to leave.
Personally, he thinks it’s unfair to label him as ‘The Local’ for TSE, but let’s be real, he is about as local as
they get. With his mindset the last few seasons, Snyder has primarily focused on being the “fastest guy
in the region.” He feels that every fast rider needs his niche, and his is good old-fashioned East Coast
one-track ripping. With the beautiful clash of both his self-determined cycling specialty and the media
buzz that TSEpic has become, his time to shine will soon be upon us.
What are his goals for TSE? On the record, his sights are set firmly on an overall podium finish after
seven days of gnarly mountain biking on his favorite trails. Off the record? Well, he says “not to count
me out on taking a stage or two.”
Snyder has laid out a few things he feels will help him reach his lofty goals against the likes of some of
the best stage racers in the country. He tells us, “Priority number one is staying out of trouble. Little
things like mechanicals, wrong turns and cramping all add up. A few of those add up to a minute or two,
and before you know it you are out of contention.” Troubles aside, Snyder has an incredible work
ethic and unparalleled knowledge of the trail system. His greatest advantage will come from sleeping
in his own bed, eating his own meals and sitting on his own porcelain throne every morning. “That’s
huge,” he grins.
While he won’t be snuggled up in a bunk right next you at night, the camaraderie of the race is
something he doesn’t want to miss out on. Though every podium contender’s goal is to get cleaned
up, eat an energy bar or two and put his legs up, we expect to see Snyder do his usual post-race routine
which includes standing around, not eating, and festering in a dirty chamois for several hours. Time will
tell, but chances are you will be able to pick his infinite local knowledge.
If you are concerned and want to help slow him down for the week, pony up 20 bucks and get your
name down for the laundry service that he and his girlfriend will be operating out of their home. But
even though massive piles of stinking laundry never equate to good legs, we wouldn’t put our money
-Submitted by The Matt Miller Experience