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

It’s just not fair

By James Durand

A couple of weeks ago while leading our Swic-Kids youth club, I had a little ripper chasing my wheel.

He is eight years old and for a tiny little guy, he can fly through the trails.

After an hour or so he asked if he could lead the group. Off we went, him in front and me following. The pace kept increasing and he was doing great, until he hit an off camber root and went down like a sack of potatoes.

He landed on his chest, ribs, and shoulder, on top of a pile of gnarly roots. The second I saw the impact I heard crying. I thought we had broken bones for sure.

I assessed him and slowly got him standing. When we realized there were no injuries, I high fived him, awarded him with “best crash of the night” and we were laughing as he climbed back on his bike.

Within 30 seconds, he was at full pace again. As we arrived at the parking lot at the end of the ride, he was all smiles. The only evidence of the crash was a small scrape on his leg. No bruises, no fears, no problems.

Ten days later I went out for a solo ride. I was taking it easy and trying to relax, therefore not really paying attention. I hit an off camber root and went down like a sack of potatoes. I landed on a pile of roots on my chest, ribs, and shoulder.

I laid there for five minutes trying not to cry while I caught my breath. After a few more minutes I realized I hadn’t broken anything, so I rolled onto my back and relaxed, hoping no one would come along and make me move.

I eventually got up and climbed back on my bike. I hobbled out of the trail and took the highway back toward home. I spent the rest of the day sitting still with ice on my shoulder and neck.

The next morning I woke up and realized I couldn’t sit up without help. My ribs were killing me and the bruise on my shoulder made my daughter gag when she spotted it. What a mess.

Same crash, same trail network, and the same nasty roots, just a very different outcome. I kinda wish I was an eight-year-old again …

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