Kingdom Day 3: Early loop then the Downhill Park

Day 3 of the trip arrives, and I wake up today tired, which is no surprise. Breakfast is the same as the day before, eggs and eggs and sausage and pancakes and coffee. I find it odd that we haven’t been here 48 hours yet and people are starting to line up to go home. That’s just not enough time here in this haven of awesome. The full day with everyone here is the best. Everyone is here, nobody is going home.

But for many of us, this is the meat in our Kingdom Trails sandwich. It will be a double day, with the morning an abbreviated tour of the usual stuff and the afternoon at the downhill park.

The house in mid-breakfast form.
Mark gobbles up some breakfast while we prepare for the morning ride.
D studies the map and Glenn takes a look at what’s in store.

We get ready to head out to do some of the good stuff, with a small change to the loop here & there. We can rinse & repeat this same loop 50 times and it never, ever gets old. Getting the crew going can be a bit of a process sometimes, and I’ve historically taken the role of camp counsellor over the years giving people direction and getting the crew moving.

Jim suited up and ready to roll.

Jason is the first to leave us, but before he does we do our best to take an Asian-inspired picture of the bunch of us in a field of flowers. I mean, this is the best we can do given what we have to work with. I say Asian-inspired because my former sister-in-law used to drag the family out to random fields in Taiwan to take pictures of then all hugging flowers. This seems to be a popular thing in Asia in general.

The middle-of-field dandelion group shot.

One of the different lines we took today is the bridge trail, Jaw. This is a series of bridges as noted in the sign below. Nothing crazy, but overall Kingdom is a beginner-accessible trail. As such, this may be over some people’s heads, though for our crew this isn’t anything crazy.

Alex & Mark roll out of Jaw while we regroup.
D follows, looking happy.

We wrap up the day and head back for lunch, and the main crew starts to disintegrate.

Bill & Donovan leave before we even go to the park, as do Dan & Glenn. Tim exits after the morning ride as well with the note that these last 2 days have been the 2 best days he has ever had on a bicycle. Camp Counsellor likes to hear that!

On the flip side, Brian shows up later in the day as does Jimmy.

But for now, it is time to hit the downhill park, which is another standard in our KT routine. This is always a blast because this is such a well-built park. It’s like Six Mile Run dirt, but downhill and amazingly well-built.

On the lift up to the top. Let the fun begin!

Everything we do, we do as a team. Like I said yesterday, we are family. Looks like we are 17 at the park, which is an impressive number.

All queued up for the first roll of the day. After this we would be all over the hill.
Regrouping at the end of the day, only a few of us kept going until the end.

I’ve been riding the Pivot this week, and it’s a great bike. I love this thing, and on the lift today I ask permission to buy one. This solves all of my problems with my bikes. I want this bike, like right now. It literally does everything well. Eventually I’ll put a review post up on the MTBNJ blog.

The red Pivot was a brilliant bike here, just like it was a brilliant bike on all the trails here.

Iggy & Bill H leave midway through the park tour, as do Kristine & Kai.

The first Strava ride link can be found here.

Uptown, Herbs, Beat Bog, Riverwood, then up & over to Wood N You
Tody’s Tour – just 1 T today
Eager Beaver, West Branch – to the other side
Hogback, Sidewinder, West Bench – because Sidewinder
Border, Jaw, Maxilla – some new stuff to shake it up
Over the big rock, Connector to Rim, East Branch
Kitchel home – always Kitchel home

The second Strava link can be found here.

In all, we’re now at 15 people in the house which seems a small number. Funny, in the past 17/18 is our biggest day. Now 15 seems like too few people.

Of the original crew, we have 13 remaining:
Jeremy, Karin, Capers, Utah, Magic, Ryan, Jim
Alex & Mark, D & myself, Steve & Joy

Plus the 2 new arrivals to make it 15:
Brian, Jimmy

Dinner is kielbasa and pierogies, courtesy of Magic with an assist from Joy. Plus potato salad from Jim. I have to say tonight’s dinner is on-point, and with the smaller number of people, we can all sit together at the dinner table.

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