I’ve just returned from my second camping adventure of 2020 Spring/Summer, influenced by the ongoing presence of Covid-19.
Last weekend I rejoined my mountain- bike Bubbas in the Woods to return to Kingdom Trails, located in the northeast corner of Vermont, just across the New Hampshire border. It took 4 hours to drive there, some 200 miles, via Route 2 from my midcoast Maine home.
“The Kingdom Trail network has become a destination for mountain bikers from around the world. Evolving for more than 25 years, the trail system navigates the beautiful landscape highlighting views and destinations with shredding descents and enjoyable climbs! The majority of the trails are single-track with interconnecting double-track that joins all sections from the XC terrain to all -mountain to downhill and lift-accessed trails. You will find a mix of handbuilt rake-and-ride as well as excavated flow and old cart and logging roads.” -Kingdom Trails map
A full-time crew of 10 actively maintains the network to keep it fresh and inviting.
KTAssociation riding is open, but with COVID-19 restrictions:
You are feeling healthy.
You are a resident of Vermont.
You are from a county across New England and New York that has less than 400 active cases of COVID-19 per one million residents(KTA provides maps of these eligible counties online.). Every one of us dozen+ riders met those requirements.
So we were able to go to the next stage, which was :
Read and abide by KTA’s COVID19 Opening Policy.
Purchase an Annual or Monthly KTA Membership online and in advance.
Agree to KTA Ambassadors checking in riders at all designated parking & pinch point locations.
An adult day pass to ride is $35, with an annual pass only $75, which is what I normally buy, because I try to ride/camp there at least 2-3 times a season. I was overjoyed to learn that my list of retirement perks now includes a free Annual Kngdom membership passes for life: “If you are over 70 you can receive a free Annual Membership by emailing us a copy of your ID and mailing address!”
I drove with Andre co-piloting. We masked up for the long car ride, where we made only one brief stop to snag a fresh sandwich from the Polish Princess Bakery in Lancaster, NH.
70 miles of trails were open, with dry and fast conditions for the whole weekend. The three-mile Flower Brook Trail is a brand new one, cutting out miles of travel either in a car or a bike on VT 114. Here’s a brief 2 minute clip featuring the new trail:
We rendezvoused with the rest of the gang at a new camping venue for us: Kingdom Farm and Vacation Rentals We tented at the edge of the large mowed field. The amenities were very good. It is a biker friendly situation. I tented alone, paying $60 for two nights, including (free clean showers), access to the main building’s common area, and use of the bike tools and a bike washing station. We liked the place so much that we scheduled a return for the last weekend in July. Here a slick gallery of pics from the venue.
The weekend went well for me. Although it was often humid and warm, the temps were not excessive and the nights were cool enough that tenting was comfortable.
I put in nearly 45 miles of riding over a 48 hour period, with half-day rides on Friday afternoon and Sunday morning with a full day of riding on Saturday. Best of all, I snagged a double digit list of Personal Records (including 8 fastest times), according to Strava. I drove with my co-pilot Andre. We masked up for the long car ride, where we made only one brief stop to snag a fresh sandwich from the Polish Princess Bakery in Lancaster, NH.
Here are the routes for three days’ of KIngdom rides, along with elevation profiles.:
Armed with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, two bike bottles full of electrolyte charged water, and my new magic cramp buster product (Pickle juice), I not only survived another exciting weekend of flow-riding, I even thrived! My riding skills don’t always come to the front these days, but when they do, I’m doubly thrilled to ride the best in the East and actually master sections of trail that I used to fear.
Momentum helps and so does looking down the trail a bit.