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

It’s all relative

By James Durand

“Hey Dad, let’s go hit those jumps.”

That was my greeting from Regan when I got home from work.

There are a few jumps in the forest behind our house and Regan, my six-year-old, saw them a few days earlier, so when I got home from work, he was on me, and had a big evening planned out.

Who am I to argue with some adrenalin-filled fun?

I settled in, had some food while I tried to keep Regan’s excitement at bay, and then we grabbed Regan’s full face helmet and rode to the jumps.

When we arrived I realized that Regan was slightly less excited when he saw the gap he had planned on jumping. It’s less than a meter long, but with his little bike and very little experience in the air, apparently it had him worried.

Beside the small jump is a long platform with a small lip at the end. If you ride off this with the right speed, you clear a 2-3 meter gap with a good drop as well. If you come up short, you smash your bike into a log and most likely your face into the dirt.

Much like Regan, I had been thinking about hitting this since we saw it a few days earlier. Also like Regan, I had it all planned out in theory and had already hit it several times in my mind. Easy Peasy, right up until you see it in person again.

So we lined Regan up with a good run in and off he went. As he was about to hit the jump, he yelled out, “Nope,” and slammed on the brakes.

“Regan, It’s easy. Watch me.” And I hit the small line of jumps to show him how simple it was. He lined up again and took off at full speed. “Nope,” on came the brakes again.

While he “practiced” his run-in, I decided it was time to hit the big one. I knew I had the skill to nail this jump and off I went. Then, without my brain being involved, my fingers betrayed me and slammed on the brakes. No jump. S#!t.

From off in the distance, “Common Dad, you can hit that no problem.”

Back to Regan. We lined him up and promised him the new gloves he wants, if he hit the jump. (An old trick I learned from my Dad)

Regan took off, and right when I expected the brakes to lock up, he launched and nailed the landing perfectly. An hour later, and about 30 jumps, I had to drag him away as we headed for home.

Sadly, at six-years-old he has more courage than I do at 54, and therefore, I still have my jump to cross off the list.

I’ll go practice in the bike park for a few days and I’ll tackle our back yard jump next week. I think I’ll wear my full face … and maybe my Dad will promise to buy me new gloves?

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

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