Durand: Sometimes you gotta put your ego aside

Mirror columnist James Durand knows what it’s like to be humbled

We came down to Laguna Beach this winter for the riding. The beaches are sandy, the water is warm, and the sun is plentiful, and those make for a nice bonus, but it’s the riding that attracted me in the first place.

The mountain bike trails offer up lots of technical terrain, challenging steeps, and with low bushes opposed to the dense forests I am used to, the mountain and ocean views are spectacular.

The road riding is endless and takes you along the Pacific Coast Highway for as long as you desire. You are never without the scent of the ocean, or a view of the beaches. Again, spectacular.

On the down side, the hills are steep and there is no getting around some seriously painful climbs. It seems every ride starts off with no warm up, and a grunt straight up the hill. My granny gear may be worn out by the time I get back home.

Granted, I haven’t seen a huge amount of other riders out here, but in a couple of weeks I have, surprisingly, passed a lot of riders on the climbs. I assumed the local mountain bikers would be used to these climbs, but they look to be suffering more than I am. One guy the other day said out loud as I rode past him, “I HATE CLIMBING.” It kind of made me laugh. I am sure if I brought this guy to Campbell River, he would hate wet roots more than climbing in the sun.

I actually started feeling pretty good about my fitness.

Then yesterday I was heading up one of the regular climbs on my route. As I was cresting the steepest section, I saw a shadow approaching from behind. As I casually looked over my shoulder, another mountain biker went by me so quickly, I checked to see if he was on an E-bike. Nope, human powered. And to make it worse he started a short conversation and appeared to be breathing as if he was watching tv, not sprinting up a crazy steep trail. Unfortunately that’s when I noticed I was breathing so hard I couldn’t form more than a gasping ”Hey” in reply.

As any male ego will dictate, I picked up the pace and tried to hang on to his wheel, but reality is what it is. He dropped me so quickly that I checked to see if I had a low tires. Nope, bike was perfect. Lungs, not so much.

It was a great reminder that there is always someone slower than you, but there is also someone faster than you. It’s best to put your ego in your pocket and just go ride your bike.

So for the remainder of my trip, I’ll just explore, enjoy the trails, and look at the ocean.

I’m James Durand and I’m Going’ Ridin’

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Citizen birders contribute to 120th annual Christmas Bird Count

Species tallied in Campbell River, Cortes and Quadra Islands and Port McNeill

Campbell River Museum hits the 15 year mark for its Used Book Sale

Book donations are now being accepted and can be brought to the Museum’s back door off of 4th Ave

Have your say on the regional composting facility in Campbell River

CSWM launches online survey, will host two public engagements at Maritime Heritage Centre

What Campbell River got up to on your ‘Snow Day’ last week

We asked people to send us photos of what they were doing last Thursday after the big dump of snow

Model railroaders bring life-long passion for their hobby to annual Campbell River show

Annual train show coming to Museum of Campbell River on Jan. 25-26

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read