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

Have you looked in your back yard?

By James Durand

You may have noticed that our community is growing.

At the shop we talk to many people each week that have recently moved here.

The one thing that surprises me is how many people have lived here for a year or so and have never seen our trail networks … outside of Beaver Lodge that is. Many of these people are avid mountain bikers, but just haven’t found the time to explore Snowden, Radar Hill, or Woods Creek.

I explain how easy these networks are to access, how beautiful the scenery is, and even offer to take them out for a tour with our weekly group rides, but still many of us have not fit these adventures into our schedules.

I get it. With two young kids, work, and all the other crap life throws at us, it’s hard to fit in all the fun I want to experience too.

On the other side of the coin, most of us have travelled around the province, the country, or the world, but we haven’t seen much of our back yard. Maybe this is one benefit of COVID-19. We are forced to look a little more local for our adventures and we’re probably reminded why we all moved here in the first place.

Last weekend I took a dose of my own advice. Chenoa and I took the kids on a guided fishing trip with Coastal Wilderness Adventures. We’re not a fishing family and with 3/4’s of us being vegetarians, we don’t even eat fish, so why would we ever go fishing?

It started off as a good lesson for the kids. Support local! With the tour providers suffering during the pandemic and the bike biz doing relatively well, we want to share our success where we can.

It quickly turned from a community lesson for our kids, to a fishing lesson for all four of us, an amazing tour of our back yard, and one of the best days we’ve had as a family in … well, maybe ever. (100 times better than Disney Land)

It did remind me why I moved here. Having amazing outdoor adventures in any direction you look, makes our corner of the world a paradise.

So, whether you moved here recently, 10 years ago, or were born here. Don’t forget to take advantage of your back yard.

Get out on the water, mountain bike farther into the woods, or go for a simple hike, the possibilities are endless. And since travel is difficult these days, why not support your local providers and keep our community strong.

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

Campbell RiverCycling