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Love where you live

By James Durand

By James Durand

I have two questions. Is this ever going to end? And. How lucky can we be?

Globally we are nowhere close to being through COVID. These days it seems there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s a very long tunnel, and just as we seem to get closer, the light moves away a bit further.

Obviously, it’s been a major hit dealing with COVID, and sadly for some of us, it’s been catastrophic, but generally on the North Island, compared to many parts of the world, we’ve had it relatively easy.

Being a bike nut and taking every chance I have to get out on the trails for a pedal, it’s been amazing watching so many people figure out how fantastic it is to hide out in the forest and explore on two wheels. I’ve been preaching it for years, but when most other activities were limited, our community quickly discovered that our backyard is littered with world class mountain bike trails. While much of the world was locked down, we were exercising, exploring, and maintaining a strong level of sanity.

Last summer, much of our province was on fire, while a bunch more of it was bogged down with smogulous smoke. Air quality warnings, low visibility, and more restrictions holding us back from what we love to do.

Yet, on the North Island we were hardly affected. And once again, we played, we camped, and our trail systems were in perfect condition. Almost with guilt, we rode a ton and went on with our fun-filled adventures.

Now these recent rains have slammed B.C. Landslides, floods, and so many road closures that we’re back to hoarding eggs, gas, and toilet paper. What’s next?

As I write this and worry about other B.C. communities, I can’t help but feel relief that the North Island has escaped another disaster and once again, we have the most amazing backyard to get outside and play, relax, and maintain some sanity throughout all this local, national, and global chaos.

My family and I try to head south for a camping trip each winter. We enjoy some beach time, we ride a bunch of trails, and relax in the sun. We missed it last year for obvious reasons. This year was risky at best, so we decided to skip it again, and with the way of the world, the weather, and Mother Nature seem to be slapping us around regularly, I’m not sure if we’ll ever do our trip again.

This thought made me sad for a minute, but then I remembered how lucky we are to live here, and I decided to seize the day. I grabbed my dog and my bike, and I went for a great ride.

Is this ever going to end? … Better to ask someone way smarter than me, I’m stumped.

How lucky can we be? There are ups and downs, but if we take advantage of the play ground we live in, I say we’re pretty damn lucky!

Maybe I’ll see you out on the local trails.

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

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