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

Homalco First Nation said that it will intervene in the judicial review sought by aquaculture companies with regards to federal decision to phase out 19 Discovery Island fish farms by 2022. In this picture from Sept. 24, a demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver.(Quinn Bender photo)
Aquaculture companies’ judicial review challenges reconciliation and Aboriginal Rights: First Nations

Homalco First Nation chief reacts to Mowi and Cermaq intervention in Discovery Island decision

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Black Creek residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

CSWM will be closing the landfill in Campbell River and opening the organics composting facility in 2022. In the meantime, the City of Campbell River was hoping for a break on yard waste drop-off for residents. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona waste board upholds yard waste drop-off fee

Campbell River had hoped for waiver until new organics facility opens

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at a fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. Mowi Canada has applied to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of the decision by Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan to phase out salmon farming in the Discovery Islands by June, 2022. (Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward photo)
Major B.C. salmon farms seek court intervention in Discovery Islands ban

Fisheries minister is phasing out operations in the area by June 2022

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. on Oct. 31, 2018. Several Vancouver Island mayors and members of British Columbia’s salmon farming industry say a federal decision to phase out fish farming has left them feeling “disposable and discarded.” In a letter to Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, they say they weren’t consulted before she announced a plan to phase out open-net pen fish farming in the Discovery Islands over the next 18 months. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward
Strathcona Regional District pens letter to Trudeau about fish farm closure

Minister Jordan, MLA Babchuk and MP Blaney also included in letter

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk in Nanaimo

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Most Read