Alaskan Bicycle Guide & Flugelhorn Player
Wesley Cheney wasn’t always confident enough to speed 52 mph on his bicycle down the White Pass on the Klondike Highway in Skagway, Alaska. The confidence and ability to achieve that feat is hardly something developed overnight. In fact, like most skills, it was honed over years of practice and born of a desire to escape something else.
Growing up amongst the green hills of New England and Vermont seems just about as idyllic a setting to spend your youth as anywhere. But scenery doesn’t negate the typical hardships and conflicts of growing up. In his teenage years, while looking for a way to relieve some stress, Wesley hopped on his bike and took to the hills. Something about the Green Mountains that inspired a descent up and a white knuckle ride down relaxed him. Little did Wesley know that escape he was seeking was ultimately setting the stage for a lifelong passion and livelihood.
Gone are the teenage years in Vermont but the chase for speed and exhilaration remains. In fact, these days you’ll fine Wesley leading the charge for Sockeye Cycle Co through the vast Alaskan Wilderness.
Skagway, Alaska sees over one million visitors each summer, most arriving by cruise ship. When approaching Wesley and the Sockeye crew, his nearly 3,000 annual customers range from expert cyclists to novice’s who haven’t been on a bike in years. No matter their skill level, they need to know they’re in good hands, “Riding daily down an Alaskan mountain pass in a kilt is an act of bravery that hearkens back to my Highland ancestors, “said Cheney. “I want each customer to feel that too and I lead by example.” You should see their faces when they finish. They start by thinking, ‘If this guy feels confident enough to take us down an Alaskan mountain in a kilt, then I can probably do it too.’ By the end they all feel like Superman.”
For Wesley, Sport Kilt isn’t just an accessory, “Sure, I bike in my Sport kilt but I really live my life in my Sport Kilt. I drink my coffee, and meditate in my Sport Kilt. I climb mountains in my Sport Kilt. I kayak with my kids in Sport Kilts. I sing in the church choir wearing a Sport Kilt under my choir robes. I play my flugelhorn atop mountains in my Sport Kilt, and I jam on my ukulele in my Sport Kilt. In short, anything that anyone else would do in trousers, I do in a Sport Kilt.”
We’re proud to have Wesley Cheney as our newest Sport Kilt Ambassador. Sure, his love for Sport Kilt means something. But well beyond that, each time Wesley leads someone down a mountain or helps someone overcome a fear, Wesley embodies the spirit of bravery and compassion that we strive to live up to each day. “Life is too short to wear bad pants. Life should be lived to its fullest, and with the liberty to pursue happiness. Don’t follow the uncomfortable crowd. Wear a kilt.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Wesley.