The only retiring Swicked Cycles owner James Durand expects he'll do is retiring customers' bikes. Photo submitted

Any riding is good riding

By James Durand

I’ve been travelling to Whistler since the early 90’s, I had a few stints where I pseudo-lived there for a few months at a time, and I’ve camped in the parking lot, a lot.

Whistler is a ski resort and an all-round fun place to hang out, but for me, it’s a mountain bike heaven.

The trail riding can be steep and challenging, or fun and flowy, the bike park is where bike park riding started and it still sets the standard, and even the beginner trails I ride with my kids are a blast.

I don’t spend as much time there as I used to, but we still manage a trip or two each summer.

The family and I are headed there this week and I’ve been planning trail loops in every section of Whistler, organizing old friends to ride with, and convincing Regan and Rhyley to ride the park for a day.

With my shoulder being less than perfect for the last six weeks, I’ve been overly optimistic that it will be 100 per cent by the time we leave, and I’ll be ready to rip.

Well, I’m writing this on Monday, we leave on Wednesday. I still can’t lift my arm over my head, or hang onto my bars through the bumps and I find myself a little disappointed.

The old me would push through it and ride anyway, most likely reinjuring the shoulder and regretting it for months.

So, now I’m tuning up my road bike and sorting out long road loops around Whistler with lots of climbing.

I never thought I would travel to the mountain bike mecca of the world to strictly ride a road bike, but as I plan, and realize I still get to ride a ton this coming week, I’m re-excited.

Riding is riding and Whistler is fun no matter what.

I’m making the best of it, and I can pretty much guarantee that a beer at the Whistler Brewing Company will taste just as good after a road ride as it does after a trail ride. I’ll just be wearing tighter shorts.

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

Cycling