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

I shouldn’t take it for granted

It’s been a few years now, where I have been noticing a little slow down in my riding.

At 54 I should be slowing down I guess, that’s what my doctor says anyway, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that I don’t like it. No surprise there, does anyone like aging?

I still ride with a crew that is much younger than I am and it gets tougher every year to hang onto the pace, but I keep trying. Not because I’m falsely hoping to hang onto my youth, but because I like to ride fast and really don’t like getting dropped on any ride, with any aged riders.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time riding in Whistler this summer and if you want to feel fast, DON’T go where the best of the best hang out, because, well, you feel like you suck in a real hurry.

As summer comes to a close and we prepare to get back to Island life, I started thinking about the last few weeks of riding. I’ve climbed some crazy steep hills, I’ve ridden some gnarly trails in the bike park, and I’ve shot down some pretty insane double black diamond trials in the valley.

Yes, all of these were far slower than a 10 years younger James, but I still rode them.

Last week I rode with a friend and at the top of a new trail , that was really steep and scary, he said, “I’m 51-years-old, and I have bad shoulders, so I’m going to walk some sections today without guilt.”

My response?

“You’re complaining to the wrong guy if you’re using age or injuries as an excuse, let’s ride.” And we both did.

Yeah, I wish I was faster, I wish I was younger, and I wish I was stronger. Hell, for that matter, I wish I was better looking too, but I am what I am, and it is what it is.

I can still ride with a lot of people. I can still comfortably ride some pretty crazy trails, and in the end, I’m a spoiled mountain biker, just an older one.

I tell my kids all the time, “Don’t concentrate on what you don’t have, just enjoy what you do have.”

Maybe it’s time to take my own advice and stop worrying about 10-years-ago, and just enjoy the amazing biking I’m doing these days, ‘cause it’s pretty fun, and I’m really lucky.

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

Campbell RiverCycling

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