Photos by David Clay
Our Soldotna trip came together pretty loosely throughout the week and ended up consisting of myself, David and Terrence with Darrell and Zac there some of the time. It ended up being an awesome time, especially due to David being one of the best bike riders I’ve ever known and Terrence being one of the funnest dudes I know.
We left Friday morning, only a little late and stopped in Girdwood to wait for Darrell. Girdwood is a great place to warm up; good weather, nice ramps and a gas station for corn dogs on the way out. Terrence did a trick that I’ve never seen before on the pyramid, a manual to no footed cancan; we’ll film it when we find a more legit setup.
The next stop was Cooper landing, there is a bench by the river there that I thought would make for some good looking footage. David did a couple nice wallride variations and Terrence had two of the funniest bails in a while. We watched the footage later and were in stitches for ten or so viewings; he basically fell over a rail that’s a few inches over bar height and disappeared.
After that we went to Soldotna, which has a pretty cool park. Here we were introduced to the locals, who are a rare breed. Throughout this day we witnessed some of the best bike riding on some of the worst bikes I’ve ever seen. There were two kids, Jake and Tony, who were super good; one rode an old Dyno race bike and the other rode an old GT Power series. David put on a little demo at the park and Terrence was no slouch either, landing an awesome one handed no footed can over the box.
the locals took us to a “dirt track” that turnd out to just be a bunch of mounds. Boring for most, but it was fun for me to pump around since I couldn’t really ride due to a Monday concussion. After this we met up with Jerry, an excellent dude who used to live in Anchorage, he took us to some of the local street spots.
Soldotna is all about the random jumps. We rode around town and found lips cut everywhere- step ups, flyouts, hips, all just on the sides of roads, the guys did some cool jumping tricks and rode a fun tree ride.
We also rode a set of rails that I’ve always wanted to hit, they are pretty much perfect and I’d only seen them driving through town, never up close. Turns out they were coated in ryno liner, which is a super sticky and hard material used to line truck beds, the ultimate skate stopper. The guys sessioned the stairs and did some railhop tricks for a while, we had a bit of a camera scare which will make interesting footage in the video.
At this point we headed out to my in-laws’ place, which is probably the nicest property I’ve ever seen, with the goal of doing a bit of fishing and resting up for the next day. The property sits on the corner of the Kasilof river and Cook Inlet, you can look out over a couple miles of tidal flats to see the crazy scene that is the Alaska dipnet season and there are plenty of cool places to ride a four wheeler (which we did).
The next day we awoke to pouring rain. Further proof that weathermen in Alaska never get it right! (it was supposed to be 65 and sunny). We headed into town anyways and rode a school called Skyview, which is actually where my wife went to highschool. Skyview had a crazy setup of multiple levels of ledges and a huge ledge that I would like to grind one day. Terrence fired off a little line here and then we grabbed some coffee in town.
The rest of the day was spent just hanging around the house. I tried to do a bit of fishing but the fish were not really there, Sally’s two sisters were there and we had a good time chatting with them. Later that night we dragged an old ramp I had down to an abandoned building down the river. The building was once a fish buying station and judging from the tide charts left inside has been abandoned for seven or eight years. With a little ingenuity we soon had a vert wall with a very quick transition and a steep bank/wallride. This was the only riding I did the entire trip really, and it was only carving a wall.
David took to the ramp pretty well and was soon building crazy pocket air setups out of our mass of wood; he did one pretty nicely and then built a huge sketchy one and ran into a wall before he could get it done. Right about this point, Sally called down to let us know there was a bear in the area; Terrence had seen it earlier in the day and we thought he was seeing things. We left our “last remarks” on the video camera Grizzly Man style and even though we made it up to the house unscathed, it was pretty funny.
By then everyone was pretty tired and beat up, just in time for the drive home the next day. The clouds cleared just as we came through the pass and the drive was pretty spectacular at times. Hopefully the photos in this article do it some justice, but if not, it will all be in the video.
I think Darrel and Zac have photos from this too, you guys should post them up if you read this.