Going over Resurrection Pass from Hope to Cooper Landing on a sunny day is always a great ride. On Sunday, it was spectacular. The weather was warm, the sky never even hinted at rain, and we rode in a solid group of nearly 20 people all the way.
I was crashing the party put on by Mighty Bikes, a local group that helps kids build mountain-biking skills. Leonard, the master of dirty jokes, invited me to tag along and I showed up expecting a slow out-and-back ride from Hope with lots of rest stops. Some of the younger kids did the out and back, but I ended up with the up-and-over gang and they were incredible.
Pete B. led the group on his singlespeed and I fell in with several adults generally patrolling the rear of the group. The pace was high early and I was wondering if this was the kids’ usual speed until Queen Bee asked Pete to dial it back a bit.
It seemed to generally creep back up to a brisk pace and everyone held it tight all the way. By my bike computer, we rode nearly 39 miles of trail in less than five hours—that’s from sea level up and over the pass above treeline, and back down into Cooper Landing on the Kenai River—with no stragglers.
No whiners, no brats. Just cool kids with great legs, nice bikes and the skills to handle them. The smallest kid was only 10 years old.
Yeah. I said 10 years old.
The weirdest part was Leonard behaving around all the kids. I didn't learn a single new dirty joke all day.
After the ride, I saw a teenage girl bouncing up and down while she proudly showed two friends that she was getting a tan line around her bike gloves.
Next time I get pissed off and grumpy about teenagers, I’m going to try to remember that girl.