It’s the Little Things, or is it the Little People?

Ever been on that ride when you are flowing perfectly and having the ride of your life, then you see some blowdown and it all comes to a stop?

You get off the bike, grab your saw and clear the trail.

Then get back into the flow, maybe.

On certain rides, the flow just doesn’t come back. The disruption killed it.

It’s still a good ride, but you kind of wish you hadn’t bothered with the trail work and just hopped over the log with grace as you enjoyed the amazing ride that day. The next guy will probably cut out the blow down right?

When I started mountain biking, it was ingrained in me that you never rely on the next guy and if everyone just stops and does one little bit, we all benefit from a better trail network and a better biking community.

It seems lately I have faltered a bit. I still do trail work, cut out blowdown and pick up garbage, but during the horrible weather of this fall and winter, I can remember a few times where it was just a small branch so I rode over it, or I saw some garbage out of the corner of my eye, but it was off the trail so I just kept riding.

Usually, I was leading a group and didn’t want to slow everyone down in the cold weather or just got myself warmed up and didn’t want to risk freezing my butt off.

But in the end, I didn’t live up to my rules, and I didn’t do my part on those days.

With the weather lately, getting out riding with the kids has been impossible, so this last Saturday, Chenoa organized a little outing to the beach with the kids. A good way to burn off some energy after dinner and the kids love to explore the driftwood.

At the end of our walk, Rhyley was upset about how much garbage there was on the beach, but she still had lots of fun and it was a great way to end our Saturday.

When I woke up Sunday morning, Rhyley was right there to tell me we were going on a secret adventure. After breakfast, we got bundled up and drove, under Rhyley’s instruction,  towards town and ended up back at the beach where she proudly jumped out of the car with a big garbage bag.

The secret adventure was cleaning up the beach. After an hour or so of picking up garbage, we had a full bag and as Rhyley dropped it into the garbage can, she looked over at Chenoa and said “Hey Mom, we’re helping the world.”

I would never plan a beach day on a Sunday morning.

That’s the time to ride bikes, but to see how motivated she was as she picked up all sorts of garbage and cleaned 500 metres of our amazing waterfront, it quickly turned into my best Sunday in a long long time.

We all get caught up in what we “need” and I think as adults we sometimes forget the affect we have on those around us.

Maybe if we all make conscious decisions to consider others, we’ll have better trails, cleaner beaches and a stronger community.

Best case we can help the world, worst case we’re just nicer.

Thanks for the reminder Rhyley!

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