Thanks to Dan Bailey for sharing all of these great photos!
As usual, the Begich GRIT girls and the Steller GRIT girls grabbed their bikes and snacks and started riding towards each other. At this time of year, with fifteen and a half hours of sunlight, more snow is melting daily, more bike paths are clearing and the GRIT girls are definitely picking up speed.
Team GRIT met on Debarr Road and rode the Chester Creek Trail and city streets to The Trek Store in midtown. Katie Spaulding, a mechanic at the Trek Store and our friend from the Baja Divide, walked us through installing racks on their Specialized Jynx bicycles. Rack installation is not easy, as racks are designed to accommodate many different bikes. Girls split off into groups of two and three to work on putting racks on their own bikes. One student from Begich partnered with a student from Steller and a mentor. We problem solved the process together, threading and unthreading bolts with allen keys and wrenches and bending rack stays to secure the racks and make them level. The time flew by and we had to hurry to pack up to make it back to school.
The GRIT girls and mentors road the final 6 miles from the Trek Store to Begich Middle School as a team. We braved a few patches of snow near Roger’s Park and Russian Jack Park and made it back to school a few minutes late. The full team stored their bikes in the Begich gym to prepare for our Saturday ride from Anchorage to Eagle River and back– 26 miles roundtrip connecting two communities. We are all very excited and a little nervous for this long ride.