In the blink of an eye

It feels like just the other day spring arrived with force

By James Durand

I’m sitting, watching the ocean, it’s cloudy and rainy, the mountains are obliterated by the grey sky, and I can’t help but think the end of summer is near.

Labour Day is around the corner, my last two night rides were cut short due to darkness, and on the odd recent day with cloud cover, there is a surprising chill in the air.

It feels like just the other day spring arrived with force. Long days filled with sun and perfect trail conditions were the norm, my favourite time of year.

In my world, this means bike season. Lots of long trail rides, a bunch of DH laps at Mount Washington, and three or four road trips to Whistler.

As I contemplate the last five months I realize how different life has become. COVID turned the biking world upside down. Instead of long hours in the saddle, it was long hours at Swicked. Instead of road trips to Whistler, it was living vicariously through our friends’ and customers’ adventures. Instead of tons of Dh laps, it was scrounging through any parts catalogue I could find trying to keep inventory on hand.

We managed to keep people riding and with as little delay as possible, but the Swicked crew sacrificed a lot of riding this season.

And just like that, summer is coming to an end. We are finally getting back to regular hours at work, the stress level is coming down to normal for this time of year, and we’re planning for next year to ensure we can do it all over.

Again, my regular life would now have me scheduling my winter getaway, booking campsites, arranging staff to manage the shop, and setting up ride plans with my California friends.

But this year there will be no cross border adventures. Instead, I’ll be charging my lights, finding my rain gear, and setting up a drying room in the garage.

It’s been a different year on so many levels and it’s easy to complain, or wish for the old normal, but life has changed and as much as I want to pout because I missed summer, it’s probably better to just push through and make the best of it.

I’m sitting, watching the ocean, it’s cloudy and rainy, the mountains are obliterated by the grey sky, but the weatherman says Whistler will be sunny and warm for two more weeks. Hey Chenoa, pack up the kids, I’ll load the bikes … ROAD TRIP.

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

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