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

Ouch, that snuck up on me!

By James Durand

With a month down in the year already, I’ve been trying to ride a bit more, and so far so good.

With just a little ambition, I’ve managed to ride more in January than the last few months combined.

It has not been all roses though and the odd ride has been perilously close to being cancelled, until I remind myself of the goal and get re-motivated to tackle the rain and wind.

At first I was worried that being only in January and already having to force rides, I might be in trouble for the long term goals this year.

Then, one Thursday night rolled around and my 12-year-old daughter, Rhyley, suggested we ride to her school Friday morning.

“Impressive,” I thought.

A winter morning in the dark and cold, and she wants to get up early, bundle up in her mom’s rain gear, and ride the 12 km to school. Of course, I said, “yes.”

A small part of me wondered if Friday morning would yield a different outlook from Rhyley, but when I woke up, she was already dressed and ready to ride. Self motivation comes easier to her than me, apparently.

Off we went, lights blinking, and pedals spinning. We decided to ride along the ocean and it turned out to be a really nice sunrise.

Now you might be thinking, “Is he really going to rely on Rhyley to ride to school everyday to keep him motivated?”

No, that would be far-fetched, at best, but sometimes motivation comes from unexpected sources.

We held a pretty tame pace, took in the views, and had a nice visit. As we approached Hidden Harbour hill, I shifted down a few gears and pushed the pace a bit. Being that it was still early in the season and I was clearly lacking fitness in a big way, the suffering came on quickly. Like gasping-for-air-to-the-point-of-hyperventilating-on-this-tiny-little-hill kind of suffering. I thought to myself, “Maybe I pushed too hard, but at least I dropped Rhyley and I’ll get a rest at the top while I wait for her.”

Right then she rode up beside me and said in a casual tone, “Whew, this is a tough one, eh, Dad?”

I had a choice to make. Respond, or push harder so not to be embarrassed by this 100-pound 12-year-old. I couldn’t manage both at that point since I was breathing so hard, and on instinct, I rode faster, barely avoided a coronary, and I beat her up this hill.

I did wonder if she actually realized this was a race, and if she had, would I still have won? I think I would have.

Anyway, I always said I would be proud when my kids get faster than me, and it’s definitely a WHEN, not an IF. Although, I was expecting a few more years before my ego took that punch to the face.

So, at this point there is no more risk of me skipping rides, taking it easy, or becoming lazy, because I really want to ride with my kids for a few more years … and I’m not ready to to admit defeat quite yet.

So, bring it on kid, let’s see what you got!

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

Campbell RiverCycling

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