On Wednesday morning a dad rushed in to Swicked Cycle to get his daughter’s bike tire fixed.
She was supposed to be going on a school bike trip and only realized she had a flat tire that day. Instead of telling him to wait his turn, James Durand scrambled around to get it done so that she wouldn’t miss the trip.
“Our whole mandate is to keep you on your bike,” Durand said. “We want you to ride and enjoy it.”
James and Chenoa Durand opened Swicked Cycles in March of 2010.
Chenoa left a government job and James a job managing after-market parts with a large distribution company. They moved from North Vancouver to set up shop in Campbell River. Both said they like being their own bosses.
“I like the fact that we can just dive in with a decision and figure it out,” James said.
Everyone is welcome down at Swicked Cycle from children, to adult beginners and experts. The Durands bring in a variety of bikes to suit the local terrain as well as skill level and budget.
“It’s not just about let’s get them in and get them on a bike and get them out of here and get the money in the till, I want people to go ride,” James said.
Both Durands started riding young.
“Originally, I was just a kid riding around the neighbourhood and trying to jump over the ditch, or jump over my dad’s car, or whatever we put a ramp in front of,” he said.
It was in his early 20s when he got into racing. And it grew from there. Durand does it all. Not only does he race down mountains, he also commutes to work and does BMX. Last year he and a buddy rode the Island from tip to tip in one weekend and in six weeks time he is participating in a seven-day race.
“People all the time are like ‘well what are you as a cyclist? Are you a mountain biker are you this, are you that,’ it’s like no, I’m a cyclist,” he said. “Just give me a bike and I’m fine.”
Chenoa shares James’ love of bikes, but in a very different way. Instead of the intense competitions, Chenoa would rather ride with her kids and sightsee.
With broad interests and a vast knowledge of all different types of cycling, the Durands will set you up with the bike that is right for you.
Not only does Swicked sell new bikes, they offer repairs and maintenance as well as running weekly group rides and do-it-yourself clinics.
“Our whole goal is to make the cycling community and everbodies experience in it better,” James said.