Pocono MTB Club Super D
This past weekend was the Glen Park Super D put on by Dan Whitehead and the Pocono mountain bike club. The race was held in Glen Park which is in Stroudsburg, PA.The 2.5hr drive took me through the scenic Delaware Water Gap which was a nice surprise for me, I had never been to this part of NJ before.
This race popped up late in the season but I had to participate knowing it was being held in Glen Park and was put on to help generate support for the Pocono Mountain Bike Club so any time an event gives back to the trails…I’m in.
To give a little bit of a history, Dan used to run (built organized and operated) the bike park at Blue Mountain in Palmerton, PA. This bike park was the first one that Susan and I first got a taste of gravity assisted mountain biking. We made our first visit in the Fall and returned several more times that year. Dan put on a series of Down Hill races as he was a top level (CAT 1) racer and wanted to help grow the sport and would run some Super D events on the same weekends. I met him when I was participating in my very first Super D in 2010. His event ran so smoothly that I thought that was the norm. I fell in love with Super D at one of his races.
I was excited to get on the bike for some practice runs and since the event provided a couple of trucks for shuttling up it made it that much better! The terrain was typical east coast with rocks strewn about and some loamy soil. There was a little rain the day before which made for some prime hero dirt! When I’m new to a course I like to coast down the first run and stop along the way to scope out lines when necessary. Most of this course really didn’t take too much thought as they laid it out well…just follow the trail. There were a couple of short punchy climbs that balanced things out nicely. The trails allowed for you to pick up speed fairly quickly in spots. There were a couple of surprise drops and some jumps along the way to make things interesting if you decided to hit them. Ride-arounds were there for the jumps if you wanted to keep the tires on the ground.
This was probably the best Super D course I have ever ridden as it used natural trails and wasn’t in a bike park.
This was probably the best Super D course I have ever ridden!
Race TimeIn my practice runs I gave about 70%-80% effort coasting through sections where pedaling will cut time and did the course in 7:40 on my third run. After my practice runs I looked at my times and figured I would be around 6min. in my race run. Well, my race run didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. I wound up with a time of 6:53 for 8th place (out of 8) in Open/Pro.
I would up running off course after a bobble on some loose rocks through this steep section of trail before a hard right turn and was heading for a tree so into the woods I went. I had a couple of other issues that cut into my time but that’s racing. I’ll have to make a trip back up there to get in some hot laps to see what I could really do on that course.
The event included a “Foot Down” contest (photo below) which was fun. Basically you are in a tight circle with other riders and you have to balance on your bike without putting your foot down….or you are out. You maneauver and stall to try and get others to put their foot down. Good fun and gets everybody involved.
Heading up to Glen Park I knew that there would be some familiar faces along with some others that I knew from Facebook but never had the opportunity to meet in person. I think that was the real win for the weekend. As always, it’s great to catch up with friends at these events. Congratulations to Jon Gabor for taking the win, super fast and a great guy!
It has felt a little empty this year because Susan couldn’t make the trips to any races due to her cancer treatment schedule. I’m hoping that she’ll be able to make it out in the future!