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Words and photos by Rob Whelan
This is a story about three dudes from the flat city of Kingston, Ontario. A story about riding bikes with the bros and breathing mountain air. And one thing more that was unexpected: community.
Everyone has visited ski towns and experienced what it’s like to be among a real crowd of enthusiasts who keep the town’s economy alive. The experience at Kingdom Trails in Vermont was the same, except this town is kept alive by mountain bikers. This was the first time I’d ever experienced a town so mountain bike-centric. Yeah, it was pretty great.
Young families and work obligations meant that the trip had to be a quick one, but we could get a few days away without causing too much resentment. So we packed up the Subaru with enough bike gear to last a few rides, a whack of Clif Bars and, most importantly, an appetite for adventure. Five hours later after an uneventful border crossing into the U.S. we pulled into Easte Burke, Vermont. As soon as we rolled down East Darling Hill Road into the heart of the town, it was clear that we were in the right place. Bikes everywhere! Like, nice bikes! There might have been a little bike envy going on.
From this point on, the story is pretty simple. Ride, eat, ride again, drink good beer and sleep. Repeat.
With the simple plan we had the days passed at a mellow pace. We stayed at the Village Inn, which just like the rest of the town, is built for riders. It has bike storage, a hot tub, ample rooms and best of all, the property sat along the river’s edge, the perfect spot for post ride brewskies.
So, what about the trails? There’s a reason many have said this is the best trail network in North America. Really, it’s pretty unbelievable. Big berms everywhere, flow and Velcro soil. The trails range from greens to double blacks and possibly the best feature was the lemonade stand at the drop-in for one of the most fun trails I’ve ever laid rubber to, Sidewinder.
So that’s it. Call up your friends, pack the car and hit the road.
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