A large provincial grant will make cycling and walking safer in Terrace. (File photo)

Freedom 55???

By James Durand

I chose my first career based on stability, income, and what easy option presented itself, but after only nine years, I realized that 40-plus hours a week is a lot of time, and hating work could have a very negative impact on your non-work life.

I then decided to switch it up and do something I loved, and the bike industry was my path.

It’s been 26 years and I can honestly say, I’ve never woken up and wished I could skip work. I love what I do.

Back in high school when I was planning my working life, I remember thinking how old 65 sounded and decided I would retire no later than the age of 55.

Not many 18-year-olds are wise, and believe me, I was not the smartest of the unwise 18-year-olds, so to say that planning life 37 years in advance was a wild guess, is a massive understatement.

So, 36 years have passed and I have been thinking about that promise I made to myself all those years ago. Fifty-five is not far off and if I’m going to do this, there is a tonne of planning to be done and logistics to sort out.

I’ve been tossing scenarios around and planning days with no work, no bike shop, and nothing but time on my hands. I’ve listed things I’ve always wanted to do if I had more time, and I’ve chatted with my little family about what they want out of life.

There are lots of options and I’m sure I’ll easily fill my days, but I also think about what I’ll miss without Swicked. The industry I love, the customers who love biking as much as I do, group rides, the staff, and helping the community … oh yeah, and let’s not forget about bikes at a discount.

At 18 I had no clue what life would become, what retirement would entail, or how much I would love my career. In reality, I truly didn’t believe I would live past 40, but now that I’m here, I’m not sure if retirement is the right decision. Maybe I’m already living freedom 55 and have been for 10-plus years. Why rock the boat?

It turns out I’m in no rush to end this roller coaster ride. I will retire at some point and hand the Swicked reigns over, but for the near future, I’ll just let it roll.

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

Campbell RiverCycling