You know what I love about mountain biking? It's so much fun, you train by accident.
Like this weekend, I was up at Kingdom Trails drinking beers and riding 10 hours in 2 days. I thought I was just hanging out with friends and railing some sweet flow, as the kids say, but it turns out I was actually training for the Vermont 50. Sweeeeeeet.
Any good mountain biking trip has its share of shenanigans. For us, these happen on Saturday night. After 5 hours of sweating out pounds of liquid in 85 degree, 85% humidity, the weather broke with a line of thunderstorms for the ages. For 45 minutes East Burke was battered by driving rain and lightning bolt after lightning bolt that measured less than a mile away. We observed all this from the safety of a restaurant window, and just as our food came out the power went out. Score!
But then Bryan casually mentioned that he might've only staked one corner of his tent. We assumed that the campsite was basically a tornado on top of a river at that point, so his tent was probably being shredded in the trees a few miles away by now.
So we headed back to survey the damage. We arrive at the campsite and, lo and behold, Bryan's tent has weathered the storm. It is upside down but its lone stake is still clinging to the soil. Much mocking of Bryan ensued, until we actually examined the tent -- the floor of that thing was so waterproof that a three-inch deep puddle had collected in the overturned floor. We flipped the tent back over and guess what -- all the stuff inside was still basically dry!
Meanwhile Ralph was suffering some karmic retribution for ragging on Bryan for 30 minutes straight. It turned out that he'd neglected to fasten about half the rain fly on his tent and it had blown back during the storm, exposing a skylight...and his and his girlfriend's sleeping bags were now 10-pound balls of soaked down.
We ended up in a hotel that night. Such a "city folk" moment. But it takes a hell of a lot more than wet tents to make a trip to the Kingdom not worth it.