Change is good

In my early 20s I decided I should get some world experience, so I packed up my stuff and headed for Europe.

I was gone three months and it felt like a lifetime to me.

I had changed significantly, but the first time I got together with my buddies after my return, I realized nothing had changed at home. They drank the same beer, watched the same shows, and told the same stories.

Apparently three months is not that long when you’re still in a daily routine.

I recently returned home after seven weeks traveling down south, and due to my experience all those years ago, I expected nothing to have changed.

My house looked the same, Swicked is still bright orange, and when I showed up at the Monday ride, all the usual suspects were there to ride with me, so not much had changed. In reality, it was only seven weeks. How much could change?

Then, earlier this week I left work and rode toward the Monday night group ride. I had some extra time, so I ventured a bit and hit some trails that I’d missed while I was gone.

On my way over to “Stumpbumper” in the Beaver lodge, I had to ride “Highway Jam” to get there. It has been muddy, waterlogged, and a bit of a mess after the last few years with minimal maintenance. After all the rain this winter, I anticipated the worst conditions as I approached.

I turned into the trail head and saw fresh dirt, and then more fresh dirt, some paving stones, and a new bridge. The further I rode, the better it flowed. The trail has been re-routed around a creek crossing that was always a swamp, and even with the horrendous weather over the last month, it has held up beautifully.

I expected no change arriving back to Campbell River, or maybe I expected tons of erosion from the winter, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the trail gnomes have been working tirelessly to turn a rundown trail into a gem.

We are looking forward to lots of positive change at Swicked this year, and I’m stoked to see the riding all around us improving too.

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