Rainy Overnighter / by Lucas Winzenburg

A few Fridays ago, a dozen of us made plans to meet after work to ride 35 miles from Minneapolis to Afton State Park for an overnight camping trip to kick off Labor Day weekend.

Thunder, lightning, and heavy rain came crashing down about an hour before our predetermined meeting time. One by one, the texts and emails came rolling in the thought of being soaking wet for 24 hours was enough to turn away most of the group.

And so we were four, intent on getting out for the night. Our small group quickly made a new plan and took advantage of a short break in the weather to ride six or seven miles along the Minnesota River Bottoms to seek shelter for the night under one of our favorite bridges.

It seems that riding is rarely the focus of bikepacking trips, and that was particularly true on this occasion. Though things didn't go as planned, we made the best of the situation, roasting corn and marshmallows on the fire, falling asleep to the sound of rain pouring on the bridge above, and taking time to enjoy a sunny morning over coffee and breakfast before riding back to the city to begin our hectic weekends.