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Dream ride its own reward

Cyclist reflects upon unnecessary chest-thumping following particularly good ride

Ever had that great ride where everything came together perfectly and you felt like you were invincible? Was anyone there to witness it? Did your head swell because of it?

About ten years ago I was at work in the North Van office of Marzocchi Suspension. Four world-class pros walked in with bikes in hand and asked for the shuttle van to help with some quick North Shore suspension testing. My choice was to shuttle them up, or ride with them … no-brainer.

I grabbed my bike and tried to repress the stupid grin that screamed “Holy crap! I’m actually riding with these guys.”

We headed into the famous CBC trail on Seymour and I actually managed to keep three of them in my sights, barely. But what really made the day was that I dropped one of the pros. I’ll never forget him riding up behind me and asking if I rode this trail a hundred times a week. He looked kind of shocked to be lagging behind a mere mortal like myself. I rode even better after that and he got some pretty good teasing from his buddies.

In his defence I did ride that trail more than he ever did and was probably riding over my head that day just due to the crowd, but I couldn’t help it, my head swelled a size or two that day.

Last week, Chenoa and I were in North Vancouver for work and I decided that I would do a quick rip on CBC before the day got rolling. Chenoa dropped me at the top and off I went. Well, its been a long time since I have ridden this trail. And as much as I remember all the lines, apparently, when I don’t ride it regularly I am not as smooth, not as confident, and not nearly as fast. I rode it well and got down without incident, but missed jumps, chickened out on gaps, and bounced around more than I ever remember.

It was still a great ride and it had me remembering that unbelievable ride ten years ago. It also had me rethinking that day; maybe the head-swelling was unwarranted and if Richie had ridden that trail more than a couple of times he would have dropped me like a sack of potatoes back then.

In the end I don’t really care, last week’s ride and that ride ten years back were both great days on the North Shore riding my mountain bike ... and who couldn’t use a few more days like that?


I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’

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