Learning from our mistakes

By James Durand

I went to the new jump park in Willow point last week with my little family.

It was awesome. So many families, kids, and a few riders that could possibly become pros.

We had it all. Rhyley roiling down the jump lines improving with every run. Regan learning some important skills in flow and maintaining speed, while also watching the older kids in awe as they launched into space, and a good intermediate line for me while trying to re-learn some long lost skills.

It had me rethinking our pump track plans.

I wrote about our new house a few months back and how I’ve planned out a full-size pump track.

Many of you may also know we’re building a new shop in Willow Point … eventually … I hope. Nothing worth doing is easy right?

It’s surprising how many similarities there are between property development and a simple little track for your kids.

We originally hired a designer for our building, We finalized the plan and then discovered it was so far over budget that it was almost impossible to build. We were far enough into the process and into the budget at that point, that we considered just pushing forward despite the fact that is was not what we wanted. In the end, we scrapped the plan, threw away several thousand dollars and five months of “progress” in the interest of doing it right. We’ve since completely redesigned the building to be exactly what we want and way closer to our budget. I still regret the losses, but I know deep down this is the right choice.

So, back to the pump track. I spent hours and hours pacing out the yard, studying pump track designs, and figuring out the perfect track. It was designed to entertain my kids, allow for endless progression, and offer me and my friends some great riding too.

Then I put it aside and decided to think about it for a few months before spending any money.

Last week, watching Regan’s eyes light up while riding the jumps, made me realize I have planned the wrong track.

I went home last night, scrapped my plans and started over. I quickly figured out a way to work in a pump track and a solid dirt jump line with the ideal slope. As Regan improves, we can adjust the jumps to suit and there will still be a pump track and some smaller jumps for me and Rhyley.

Luckily I hadn’t started building, I hadn’t ordered dirt, or paid anyone an exorbitant fee for design. Just a few wasted hours sitting on my deck in the sun, drawing berms and rollers.

Imagine if I’d learned the “look before you leap” rule on the no cost and simple pump track design, opposed the vastly expensive building. Wow, that would have saved me some hassles. Ha! Live and learn, I guess.

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

Campbell RiverCycling