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

How lucky are we, really?

  • Jun. 22, 2022 11:30 a.m.

By James Durand

If I ride from Swicked, I have between five and 10 minutes of paved riding before I hit one of our amazing single track trail networks.

If I leave from home, I cut that down to about two minutes. And no matter what trail network I have quick access to, there is always another trail network connected to that one, and then another.

In reality, I can ride hundreds of kilometres of trails with as little as a few street crossings making up the paved sections, other than that it’s all single track and bits of double track.

If I load the truck up and make a road trip out of it, within 90 minutes I can be riding one of four or five awesome zones and if we bump it up to two hours, add another five sick trail collections to choose from.

It’s no surprise I live where I live and it was not by accident. The first question out of my mouth when we were considering a new location all those years back, was, “How is the riding?”

So yes, we’re lucky to live where we live and be able to enjoy so much riding, so much variety, and so much convenience, but I might take it for granted sometimes. Doesn’t everyone have it this good these days?

A few years back my uncles came from Winnipeg to visit and ride. When I started our first ride with them in tow, from my house, there was a look of concern from them and a quick nervous question of, “Aah, how far are we riding today?”

When we hit the trails a few minutes later, they explained that at home they had to drive for an hour or two to get to trails.

Last week I was in Whistler. (Six hours of driving and ferries from home, which seems like a big travel day for me.) We met a ton of people on the chair lift and had some great conversations throughout the week.

When I told a few vacationers that I was not a local, but from Vancouver Island, they argued that I was a local.

At first I thought it was because they were from Britain, Europe, or South America, and six hours seemed close in comparison, but after further conversation, they meant that six hours from great trails seemed local to them because it is pretty normal to live that far from your “local” riding spot. (News to me)

Two really cool guys we met from Glasgow bragged about world class trails being only 90 minutes from their city and that’s why they had such a big riding scene there.

After many similar chats on the chairlifts, my buddy and I looked at each other with a smirk and gave a little thanks for our situation.

Meeting like-minded folks from around the world was a good reminder of how great we have it here and how very lucky we are to live where we live, only minutes from world class trails … Or it’s not luck at all, and we just chose better?

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

Campbell RiverCycling

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