“It’s just like riding a bike” quipped a camper trying to assuage my poorly-hidden nerves about biking to Stanley Park for the first time. And today’s program with GTE was like riding a bike, but it was also a lot more. Throughout their first ride of Second Term, campers encouraged their friends, played UNO, and avoided some pesky bees.
The way to the park was mostly downhill, and we coasted in a line out of camp, down the trail, and all the way to Lake Estes. The bike park had different hills and features, and campers chose if they wanted to ‘send it.’ After most were tired out from all the time spent on their tires, we put the bikes down for some card games and what Counselor Kendall preaches as R&R.
A classic bulk lunch –although GTE gets shredded cheese, not a cheese block– refueled us for the tough return to camp. Going uphill was difficult, but singing Taylor Swift as loud as our tired lungs allowed distracted us all the way to the mailboxes. We met up with the Senior Chipeta mountain bikers and took a break to goof around until the infamous Cheley Challenge. The most agreed-upon version of the Cheley Challenge entails biking from the aforementioned mailboxes at the top of Fish Creek Road all the way to the Pow Wow office.
Motivations for the challenge varied. Some campers hung close to Kendall, wanting to stay close to the ‘hype music’ playing from her phone. I personally got re-energized after every sweaty high-five. And some just imagined themselves not biking. “I just imagined myself getting back to my wagon and napping,” said camper Eliza R.
Regardless of if the group was technically successful at the challenge, I was wowed by all of the cheering and jokes shared between the two units. Maybe the real Cheley Challenge is the positivity spread along the way.