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

I’m a social being

It is becoming pretty apparent that most of my friends are riding buddies and obviously the last year has been tough on friendships.

I see most of my friends when we ride, and with no group rides I have seen them much less in the last year … and I don’t like it.

E-mail is great for catching up on a few facts, but it can’t replace a group ride.

So I miss my friends, but more so, I miss the rides that my friends help create.

Since last March and the world of restrictions, I’ve ridden less and usually solo. On those rides I’ve had less fun, less speed, and less challenges, because there’s no one to challenge me.

We’re mountain bikers and we push each other. It’s probably not healthy to only ride fast because you don’t want Ken to drop you on a climb. It’s not smart to ride way over your head because Jon is on fire going down AF Line, and it’s definitely a bad idea to launch off a blind drop because Dave did it, but we do it anyway.

Friends push each other to improve and it makes for better rides, keeps our fitness topped up, and it drives our competitive nature. It’s more fun.

I’ve found it harder lately to motivate myself to ride solo. I still go, but getting out the door is a struggle and the rides don’t seem to be as long. Commuting used to be an added bonus to my ride mileage, now it is about 80 per cent of all my riding.

I don’t like this new riding world I’m living, so I’m changing it.

Looking deeper at restrictions, we’re allowed to do rides with groups of 10 or less, so from this week forward, we’ll start our Thursday night rides again. Unfortunately you’ll have to pre book your spot as it is limited.

So, are you missing your group rides too? Call me at the shop and we’ll get out with a small, distanced, and very safe group of mountain bikers, who want to get a little rowdy.

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

Campbell RiverCycling