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

Even slow seems fast, when you’re airborne

We’ve decided that this is the year we will ride more down hill as a family.

We got a family pass at Mt. Washington, geared the kids up with armour and helmets, and committed to at least one day each week of lift-access riding.

Sometimes it’s hard to get my kids motivated, but with not much pedalling, and lots of fun trails, they’re pretty excited when DH day comes around.

Last week was our first day up the hill. New helmets, goggles, and knee pads for Mom and the kids and off we went. Being our first day of the year, we took it easy and did some green runs to get the crew into the mix.

Regan dove in head first and tackled anything that came his way. Rhyley took a more cautious approach, but still hit some steeps with a smile. Even after Rhyley flew over the bars into a pile of dust, she still wanted to ride more.

After a few runs, everyone was hungry and we decided to call it a day and go for snacks.

At that point I thought I would get in one faster run on my own.

As I headed for the trail I actually thought out loud to my self, “It’s early in the season, take it easy and just flow”.

And I did exactly that. I was rolling through the first trail. No pedaling, no jumping, nothing aggressive. I was riding relatively slow when, without a clue why, I was air borne, bikeless, and flying at mach 1 speeds. This didn’t feel flowy and fun anymore.

I don’t truly remember which direction I flew, or which way was up, but it felt like I was spinning, flipping, and flailing. I landed on my head and shoulder, skidded along the rocks for a while on my back, and then flew off the edge of the trail into a ditch. Just as I thought it was all over, my bike landed on me with a thud.

I slowly got up, checked for any missing limbs, and realigned a few things on my bike before heading down the rest of the trail.

it turns out I caught my pedal on a log and it stopped my bike instantly, which in turn, sped my body up significantly.

Short of a few scratches, bruises, and a sore shoulder, I survived. My rear wheel needs a minor tweak, but other than the bike came out clean.

Maybe in the future I should just try to go fast all of the time. This relaxed slow riding can apparently be dangerous …

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

Campbell RiverCycling

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