One summer, dedicated staff member Thomas Hull decided to set a goal for students in the Oliver cottage: pick a mountain peak, and cycle the elevation of that peak in miles! Since then, students set a new goal each summer and commit to cycling each week.
A few weeks ago, some of these students completed a century ride (100 miles) in one day! Below are their accounts of the day:
On Saturday July 23, 2016 there was a 100 mile bike ride that took place.
On the 100 mile bike ride we stopped by in Eagle River and met a person named Crystal Kennedy who is running for the state house. She gave us free ice cream and we were already at 60 miles at about this time. We saw some moose on the way on the ride and on the trail. There was as person on the Coastal Trail that said, “moose, moose” and who made antlers with her hands. There were also two flat tires, one at the very beginning (we had to turn around to fix the tire), and then on the way back when the Kona bike was going down and didn’t hold that much air. There were a lot of hills going up and down, because you got a lot of speed, then going up the hills was worst because you had to put a more effort into going up.
A hundred mile bike ride--pssh, easy right? Not! It was fun anyways though. We spent a few months preparing for this bike ride. We rode anything from 10 to 56 miles to build up our endurance. Then, when the day finally got here I was like, “yeah. I can beat the 120 mile record!” We didn't get off to a good start though, and we had a flat tire within five minutes of first starting. So we had a late start. I was excited when we finally started though. By the time we reached Kincaid Park, for the first time I felt a little winded. The second time around I was better. I had fun on the coastal trail and met all types of people. There were the quiet people who walked fast and then there was my favorite person and that was the MOOSE LADY. She walked around yelling “moose’ with her hands on her head like antlers. I thought it was funny. Then I got to experience planes flying only about 40 feet over my head while we rested. It was by far the loudest and coolest thing I had done. Heading through town was the easy part. It was the bike trail along the highway that made me hurt. I felt like quitting, but then I remembered a quote that the staff had shared with us by Muhammad Ali: “I don't count my pushups until it hurts, because those are the ones that count.” So I kept pushing myself. Then we got free ice cream from a lady named Crystal Kennedy who was running for State house in Eagle River. We talked to her and a few other nice ladies about our goal for riding a hundred miles. Then the staff asked what me and my peer thought about trying to get 100 Facebook likes for 100 miles and we liked the idea. So we started sending check-up pictures. We made a few major stops. Once for lunch and then again on the way back we stopped at the Eagle River McDonald’s, where we made friends with a skeleton in the passenger seat of a truck! When we hit Muldoon we had about 15 miles to go, so we rode to Westchester. On the way we saw four beavers which were cool. Then when we were riding the last 10 miles, I rode a bike on a flat tire, and when we finished, we had gone 103.28 miles! It was great, but I was exhausted the next day. We also got the 100 Facebook likes--and then some, which made me feel proud. Not many people can say that they rode over 100 miles in one day but my peer and I can. Though I wouldn’t recommend riding 100 miles without properly preparing your body and mind first, because I did and I still struggled, the struggle is worth it.
This program is loved by both students and staff and has created a wonderful opportunity for our students to get outdoors, set & attain goals for themselves and exercise regularly—all in the beautiful Alaskan summer!
We are so grateful for our amazing staff that facilitates and supports this program each year. This summer activity is one that our students look forward to each year!