Like father, like son

When I was younger and a bit crazier, I loved going on photo shoots with my mountain bike. If there was ever a chance to get involved in a video shoot, I would rearrange any schedule to make it happen.

It didn’t change my riding and I was adamant when it came to riding over my head. If I couldn’t do it when no one was looking, there was no need for “Kodak courage.” But it was really cool to get a photo in a magazine, or squeak into a video here and there.

Then, when I hit 40, my luck changed. We were filming for the Ride Guide when, on a pretty basic drop, I got off line by a foot or two and lost a battle with a tree. Trees don’t move very well and the impact left me with nine broken ribs, one punctured lung, and a 10 day vacation in the hospital. Luckily it was near the end of the day and the shoot was almost finished, so the director was pleased with the results, despite my mishap.

A couple years later I was doing a buddy a favour for a community video. As I was riding a rock roll I’ve done 30 plus times without incident, I punctured my front tire and washed out into a rock garden. The resulting bouncing and twisting of my body put my shoulder in a position it clearly did not enjoy. Fortunately the crash happened right at the bottom of the section, so Greg still got the footage he needed. Me? I was off the bike for two months.

The next incident was a photo shoot in Snowden for some Swicked promos. We got some great photos, and when we had a little break I decided to ride up the steepest rock face just to see if I could make it. Just cresting the top, I spun out, slipped a pedal, and smashed my knee into the stem so hard I thought I was going to cry. No long-term damage, but when I pulled myself out of the fetal position, I decided I was retired from video and photo shoots.

Since then I’ve been relatively spared from carnage on my bike.

This past weekend, I took my kids camping and we went and found a great beginner mountain bike loop. It was about five km of hard-pack trails with loads of rolling sections, smooth berms, and some flowy downhill.

After the first loop Rhyley decided to head back to the campsite, but Regan was keen to chase the older boys for one more DH.

I pulled out my phone to film him. Like any proud dad, I was imagining this footage being shown after his first world cup win way off in the future.

So, as I’m riding through the forest with one hand on the bar, with access only to my front brake, watching the trail though my phone instead of actually looking where I’m going, I think, “Hmm, I wonder if my jinxed filming luck translates to this side of the camera?”

Right then, Regan hit a shiny little rock and washed out his front wheel. He slammed into the ground with enough force to make me cringe, and then I missed running his arm over by less than an inch as he slid down the trail on his face.

He ended up being fine. Apparently you bounce a lot better at four than you do at 40, and thankfully, his full-face helmet had some new scratches, but his face was perfect.

We brushed him off, did a short pep talk, and jumped back on the bikes for more ripping.

Maybe it was an odd coincidence, but I put the phone away at that point … just in case.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’

Campbell River