Practice makes perfect

After writing last week’s blurb and reminiscing about one of the best free ride days of my life, I realized how much that skill set has diminished over the years.

A bit more fear has entered into my game and I am far less likely to launch through the air (on purpose) than I was 10 years ago. So I ask myself, is my body getting older and slower like the rest of the population, or am I as young as I feel in my mind and I just need to get back to riding aggressively to find those skills again?

Before I moved to the Island, I was riding the Whistler bike park 15 to 20 times per year. The rest of the time I spent riding the infamous trails on the North Shore of Vancouver. Every ride was filled with stunts, jumps and high speed. Without ever thinking about it, my skills were being honed every ride. Over the last 10 years, being that I’m no longer in my prime, I don’t expect to have advanced my skills much, but I can’t accept that all those skills are disappearing. Although, If you dropped me into one of the North Shore trails now, 10 years later, I would ride far slower, more cautiously and with almost no air involved There would definitely be some puckering going on.

Many people tell me that its just part of life, it’s unavoidable and it happens to all of us. Others tell me its because I have kids and now, so I’m subconsciously more cautious. They all say it’s natural and I should accept it. As much as this makes sense on paper, I’m not taking the news very well.

I have a friend who still lives on the Shore. He rides Whistler as much as ever and still hits everything with style and grace. He’s 10 years older too and he has kids the same age as mine. The only difference is that he still rides those trails every week.

So what’s the answer? Do I just accept it and change my expectations, or do I take advantage of the Mount Washington bike park this summer and see if those skills still exist within me? Well, if you read this regularly, you know I’m either too stubborn or too stupid to admit that I’m old. I think I’ll see if I can find some of that skill and dust off the cobwebs this year. Hey Doc, can you stay on alert this summer? If it turns out I am too old, I’ll probably be needing your services once or twice.

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