The inagural Alyeska Pond Crossing went down in the history books as a huge success on Saturday, September 21. For those of you who have never heard of a pond crossing allow me to paint the general picture of what it is. You take a pond (which we conveniently have at the hotel) and built the most unstable, floating bridge structure across it. The next step, find brave bikers to attempt to cross the bridge without falling into the water that happens to be hovering at a temperature of around 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the lineup of riders has been selected the rules are pretty much straight forward. Ride across the bridge as fast as you can and whomever crosses the fastest wins.Easy right? Well, maybe not so much. The width of the bridge is a whooping ten inches wide. If a rider so much as gets off their line by a few inches, it’s all over. The bridge tips and there’s no recovery. A huge splash in the freezing cold water and an OWWWWEEE from the crowd is all that the rider receives. To the lucky rider who does make it across successfully awaits a brand new cruiser bike from the event sponsor New Belgium Brewery, maker of the famous Fat Tire Amber Ale. As the riders line up to take on the course they each fall into the pond one by one. But one lone rider, Mr. Kevin Murphy, makes it across…on the first attempt. He lines his bike up, drops in and coasts across with pose and ease as if he has done this 100 times before. He claims his prize and his excited to have a new cruiser bike to ride around Anchorage on.
The bike festival will grow into an annual event with rider oriented races, events and concerts as the Alyeska Bike Park continues to grow. One thing is for certain though, the Alyeska Pond Crossing will grow into a signature event for all ages.