PBC Glen Park Enduro
by Jessica Buch • November 21, 2023
Mid-Atlantic Super Series
PBC Glen Park Enduro
Pocono Mountains, Stroudsburg, PA
Sunday, October 22, 2023
Glen Park is tucked along Broadhead Creek in a small swatch of woods in Stroudsburg, PA. Twisting through a maze of rhododendrons is a mix of XC, DH, and Enduro-style trails, making this a surprisingly jammed-packed spot. The climb is made up of mellow single track and access road, and once you get to the top, you are welcomed with a gorgeous view of East Stroudsburg. Along the climb, you cross over a road that serves as an excellent shuttle point when riding for fun and is the aid station location for the race. After crossing the street and passing through a gate, it’s a short pedal up a paved access road to a power station, then another short pedal on some stone roads to access the various trailheads.
Hosted by the Pocono Bike Club, Glen Park Enduro is the Finals for the Mid-Atlantic Super Series. It was only my second race of the year, and it’s not enough to say there was some bitter-sweet excitement on my part. Glen Park is a gem, and I always look forward to riding here, but as my last race of the season, I’m a little bummed to see it come and go.
Stage one this year used last year’s uptrail and was a fun and fast start to the day. Dropping off from the highest point on the mountain and running behind the power station before shooting you across the road. Before you cross onto the old up-trail portion of the run, there is a steep, loose, rocky shute, and then you head down the single track toward the bottom. Somehow, the rider who went next after me catches me and decides to pass as we squeeze by a tree, tagging my bars and sending me into it. I recovered quickly and got right back to it. The stage tag out is immediately around a hairpin turn, not quite at the bottom of the trail, and is easily missed. I spot it quickly as I’ve just seen the rider who passed me nearly miss it herself. My day was off to an exciting start, but I didn’t let it shake me.
Stages two and three are similar in their challenges; both have a decent bit of pedaling and nothing too wild in the way of features. Stage two takes off from the road where the aid station is located, and the abbreviated climb is appreciated, especially with a side of bananas and fresh cold water top off. The trail conditions are excellent in the park for race day after a decent bit of rain in the week leading up to the race. I was worried it would be a mess, but the ground was loamy and running great.
Stage four is capped off with a steep shute with an off-camber entrance. This part of the trail was extra greasy during my pre-rides, and I opted to skip riding it on both days. I watched multiple crashes and slides down this shute and thought about it endlessly all week. During my practice runs at this spot, the trail led straight to the drop, but on my race run, things had been changed slightly as the trail now goes to the left before making a hairpin back to the right, bringing you into the drop from the left-hand side; it was tricky. Coming down the trail, I knew I was close. Coming into the turns, I thought, okay, it must be the next straight away, then suddenly I was at the top and had to send it. I was dropping in, pivoting to my left! Perfect! Alright, now it’s DOWN, and down I went, “WHOOOHOOOO BABY, LET’S GO!” I shouted out loud. It was a moment of triumph for me that outweighed winning the race. The tag out for this stage is immediately at the bottom, so you must STOP and scan out as quickly as you came down. BEEP! The scanner reads my tag. I was shaking with excitement and exhausted, but that wasn’t the end.
Up the mountain one last time for stage five. This was my favorite run during practice, but now I was giving it everything I had, and it was catching up to me. I slowly climbed to the top, this time alone, as the crowd had thinned from the other riders finishing up. I stopped at the aid station for one last top off of my water and some of my jelly beans. A handful of riders were waiting at the top, and we all shared stories about our runs at the stage four finish. Stage five has some fun tight turns that are all fresh loam; it isn't super steep but doesn’t have too much pedaling. It was a great end to the race day, and at the bottom, you have a nice single-track ride back along the creek to cool down.
I finished feeling tired but strong and confident. My Kona Hei Hei handled everything Glen Park Enduro offered, and I perfectly rode the stage four shute. Overall, it was a great day and I was ready for my traditional slice of Glen Park Pizza. I wasn’t first, but I wasn’t last, placing 14/15 with a time of just over 20 minutes in women’s Pro Elite. I was stoked to see such a prominent women’s field this year, and I’m looking forward to returning to racing the series next season.
For now, my brakes and my legs are cooked, so it’s to the shop for the bike and back to the gym for me so we are all in better shape for next season.
Until then, Happy Trails, friends!
Photo Credit: First Place Photo