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

Don’t take it for granted

By James Durand

This year, more than any I can remember, we have lost things we often take for granted.

Things like visiting friends whenever we want, shaking hands with an acquaintance, or buying the simplest of bike parts so we can keep riding.

Many of us have pretty good lives, yet we take the basics for granted.

I often find myself trying to teach my kids to enjoy what they have and stop looking for the next bigger and better thing. I realize we are a society of “what’s next” and I’m just as guilty of this, but I try my hardest to truly enjoy where I am each day, opposed to always wishing for something else.

Lately, I’ve been tiring of our local trail networks. This has nothing to do with the quantity or the quality of our trails but more to do with me looking for something new. See, there I go again.

I organized a Thursday night ride in Cumberland last week. I haven’t been down there in a while and thought it would be nice to hit some different trails with our Swicked group ride.

We limited the group to 10, kept our distance as best as possible, and had my buddy Logan lead us around some of the Cumby Highlights. Clear skies, shiny stars, and a big bright moon made for perfect night riding conditions.

As we hit the first trail, I was quickly reminded how wet Cumberland gets in the shoulder seasons. I am sure under all those puddles, there was an awesome trail somewhere, but being soaked to the bone and having to scrape sand out of my eyes after every corner, made it hard to enjoy.

I’m not sure why, but the drainage down there is non-existent this time of year, and even though it was perfect weather, it was the wettest ride I’ve experienced in a couple of years.

I found myself suddenly wishing for my home trails. I missed the rough rock slabs of Radar Hill, the thick canopy that protects the trails so well in Snowden, and the amazing drainage capabilities of Woods Creek.

After the ride, a few in the group asked if we could just stick to local rides until summer arrives again. I wasn’t the only one missing home.

On Friday I rode out of my garage and into Woods Creek. When I arrived back home I was dry, comfortable, and not bored in the least.

We have world-class trails, amazing conditions, and a strong community to keep what we have in great shape. Traveling and experiencing other riding is awesome and I highly encourage it, but let’s not forget how lucky we are to have what we have, right in the back yard.

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

Campbell RiverCycling