Old dog, old tricks

When I lived in North Vancouver I rode the North Shore a lot.

I always liked the steep and technical trails. The steeper the better. Throw in some drops, roots, and rock slabs and the level of fun increased right along with the challenges.

When I moved to the Island I took on another type of riding. The terrain is different, the climbs are shorter, and as much as I get to ride technical trails, I don’t see much crazy steep riding.

I’m fitter now, and my endurance has improved significantly. I’m a better wet weather rider now and can climb a lot of technical sections that were out of reach before the Island life.

But, 10 years with very little steep technical riding does not do much for one’s confidence and skill building, when it comes to steep technical riding.

So, now that I’m a part time Whistlerite for a couple of months, I’m trying to squeeze in rides after the work day.

Much like the North Shore trails, Whistler offers tons of really steep trails. There are long rock chutes, crazy steep ladder bridges, and drops strewn about.

Considering I’m riding a bike, the old adage, “it’s just like riding a bike” should hold true, but the first time I rolled up to a 30 foot long rock chute that looked more like a cliff than a trail, my sphincter said different.

Once I got my heart rate back down and had a chat with myself regarding the old days of riding this type of trail without a second thought, I convinced my body and bike to just go with instinct … And I rolled over the edge.

It went well and was really fun. The rides to follow had less hesitation, less spiking of my heart rate, and less clenching in the lower regions of my body.

I guess you can teach an old dog new, I mean old, tricks.

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