Bike

AFTER THE FLOOD

WHEN REG MULLET AND Andrew McIntosh set out for a couple days of digging on Moose Mountain in the spring of 2013, they knew a storm was coming. They just didn’t know how big it would be.

The plan was to work until dark that Tuesday in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, an hour from the city center of Calgary, Alberta. The two builders were contracted by the local club, Moose Mountain Bike Trail Society (MMBTS), and worked like miners on the landing of a new jump in the downhillers’ mainstay. It had been spitting rain off and on for a week, which made packing dirt that much easier. But it also meant that the water table was soaked.

Unleashed: Mike Quesnel, Evan Wall and Andreas Massatti open their own floodgates on the West Bragg trails.

That night, when they settled into their vans to camp, they were tired enough that the pounding rain didn’t bother them. But the precipitation quickly grew louder. “Then it started raining to an extent I’ve never witnessed,” says Mullet. “Sideways rain, winds, lightning. My van was shaking all night. I could barely sleep.”

By morning, almost 8 inches of rain had fallen, melting much of the lingering alpine snowpack. Mullet knew it was bad. His first thought was of a 50-foot-span wood bridge no doubt threatened by the torrent at the bottom of their trail system. It took him an hour to get his vehicle started because its electrics were so wet, and when he and McIntosh finally convoyed nervously down the mountain, the road was already underwater. Meanwhile, mature trees were washing down gullies that normally

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