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

Let’s practice some self preservation

By James Durand

In the cycling world I live in, there are lots of ways to get hurt.

I ride trails and I like the technical challenges. I ride road bikes and like to go as fast as possible on the long descents. I like down hill riding and can get in a little over my head some times.

All of this has an element of risk, and over the years I have had the odd oops that left me wondering why I take these risks, but it all comes down to the risk/reward equation. I feel the risk is worth it, because the rewards are so high.

With the shorter days lately, I find myself driving at night more often than normal and I often wonder why people don’t wear reflective gear, or carry lights.

A few times in the last week I have driven by people, dressed in black, that I didn’t see until I was beside them.

If I’d been two or three feet to my right, I would have parked on top of them, and I’m pretty sure that would have ruined both our days.

I understand taking risk if there is some kind of pay off with adrenalin, or financial gain, but wandering around in the dark with no effort to be visible seems more like a suicide mission.

Reflective clothing is good, but if you’re not in the direct beam of light, you still won’t be seen until it’s too late, so get a light, preferably a flashing light and stay off the roads whenever possible.

If you’re riding your bike, it’s best to have a front flasher and a rear flasher, but remember you still can’t be sen from the side, so some reflectivity on your clothing is a smart addition.

Save the risk for fun things like hitting the jumps at the bike park, launching off the drops at Mount Washington, or setting a speed record down general hill on your adult tricycle. When it comes to bike commuting, or heading our for a walk around your neighbourhood, light it up a bit.

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

Campbell RiverCycling