An unexpected lesson

I had a great spring and summer of riding. Lots of trails, lots of friends and even a few road trips.

The weather was warm, but we had just enough rain to keep the trails tacky and fast, and even though I am getting older and slower, I felt like I advanced my riding a bit this year.

Summer is long gone now and with the winter weather setting in, our trails are getting wetter and more slippery by the day. With these new conditions, it seems I have forgotten how to ride.

For the last week or two I have just rolled into sections with the confidence of a perfect summer day. Then I am quickly sliding sideways on a root or off camber rock, one foot out while I white knuckle it down some steep slope. So far there have been no major issues, but if I don’t pick these skills up again quickly this could get frustrating, or painful.

I don’t think I am alone in this situation either. Trail riding can be treacherous on the north Island in the wet season and without taking the time to adjust our riding style, our skills don’t have time to catch up.

My ultimate goal is to ride as smoothly in the winter as I do in the summer, but I clearly don’t have the patience to let this happen safely over a few weeks.

This last weekend I watched my son Regan take his first steps. It was a proud moment, but also a good lesson for me.

His obvious goal is to be running around my house and destroying anything within his reach before his first birthday, but rather than start off running and cracking his head on the coffee table or the tile floor, he just took his time.

One or two steps at first, then a few steps at a time and by the end of the weekend he could make it halfway across the room.

I am sure by week’s end my house will be a disaster and his goal will be achieved, but by taking his time he won’t suffer any set backs.

Hmm, babies are pretty smart. Maybe I’ll take a different approach to the winter conditions this year.


I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…

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