Even the worst rides make for great days

Last week I was over in Whistler again and needed a break from work.

I was tired, stressed, and lacking sleep, so I figured some fresh air and adrenalin would do me good.

I’ve ridden Whistler for years, but have never explored the west side trails until recently, so trail forks (a live gps map) is key to my survival.

Off I went to explore, but quickly realized my phone was messing up, so had to stop for ten minutes to revive the gps.

Not a good start, but off I went again, with high expectations.

I headed in a new direction trying to avoid some of the steepest climbs, but ironically this way was steeper, way steeper.

Eventually I veered off the main path onto what looked like a climbing trail. These are a bit longer than the double track climbs, but far more fun and a little easier on the legs.

It turns out it was a crazy DH trail I had chosen to ride up, and I spent 30 minutes rock climbing with my bike on my back. ( I can’t wait to ride that one in the right direction)

The next intersection popped up and I chose wrong again. After a 30 second ripper DH, I endured a 20 minute hike a bike on a loose shale path straight up the mountain.

I had been looking forward to one of the steeper descents to salvage the ride, but as I arrived at the top, I realized I had a flat tire. (apparently the short ripper DH had some sharp rocks)

As I made the repair, it started raining.

I started on the DH trail. A few seconds in I saw a sign with skull and cross bones stating that the trail was treacherous when wet.

If the locals think that, what am I in for as a rookie?

Since nothing was going right I thought I should turn back, but for some reason I continued down with hopes that the sign was wrong.

The sign was not wrong, but I was in it now, so I just kept rolling and tried not to die. (it’s how we improve right?)

I soon rode out at the half way point with an option to continue, or bail out on a beginner trail.

Can you guess which option I chose?

Eventually I popped out at the bottom, shook off the hand cramps, and rode the valley trail toward home.

My legs were aching from the climbs, my arms felt like jello from the descents, but my face hurt the worst.

I guess a constant s#!t eating grin will do that.

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