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

Every sport needs a club house

By James Durand

Before I started Swicked Cycles, I worked at a suspension service centre in North Vancouver. We did tonnes of repairs, custom tuning, and looked after our pro team.

We also had a factory showroom and this was set up with all the latest product and promo items. It was a cool zone with graffiti, the pros signed the walls, and I found a restored 1950’s fridge to house our cold beverage needs.

Soon after opening, some of the locals, most of the pros, and all of my friends started calling it “The Club House.” It was nothing we had intended on creating, it just developed on its own.

It became far more than a showroom and repair centre. It was the start and finish to so many rides, locals would often bump into their mountain biking heroes in our showroom, and there were a few epic parties that I’m sure still linger in some memories.

So, when we opened Swicked back in 2010 we had many priorities and plans for our dream shop. One of those was to create a club house vibe for the local riding community. It’s been a long journey and much like Marzocchi Canada back in the day, we’ve had some fun parties, more group rides than I can count, and even though no-one has called it their club house, there are many locals who have made it a regular hangout.

As we moved into our final location we purpose built the shop to suit our every need. We planned our showroom to fit more inventory and more variety, we doubled the size of our service area to ensure quick and efficient repairs and we …blah, bah, blah. who am I kidding, no-one cares about that crap. What about a place to hang out and tell stories about epic rides, debate over your favourite trail, or meet up with your riding crew? Where do we start and finish group rides? And what about snacks and bevies?

Cold beverages – check.

Lounging area – check.

Bike wash for after rides- check

But what about coffee?

What started out as a plan for a coffee pot, quickly grew into a Kurig machine, and then somehow, without knowing exactly when it happened, we have now built a full scale coffee bar at Swicked. Big commercial cappuccino machine, full coffee and tea menu, snacks, and who knows, maybe you’ll bump into the Godfather of Freeride, Wade Simmons, or former olympian, Seamus McGrath. They’ve been known to drop by from time to time. Everything is in place and the Swicked Coffee bar will be officially open in another couple of weeks.

So if you’re looking to hang out, chat about riding, and get your caffeine fix, we’ll see you soon, but don’t be surprised if the staff are a little amped.

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

Campbell RiverCycling