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Put your money where your mouth is

By James Durand

By James Durand

We’ve turned a corner in the Durand/Campbell family recently.

Many parents I know with slightly older children than mine, often tell me about milestones. Their child can now pack their own lunch. The older child can babysit the younger one. Or maybe, they got a driver’s license and parental freedom goes through the roof.

All great moments that show maturity and allow kids to take on more responsibility … and ease up a parent’s overly scheduled life.

In my house it’s a bit different. The big milestones are graduating from a run bike to a pedal bike, becoming old enough to hit some lift access laps with Dad, or joining your first bike race.

This last week Chenoa and I took the kids to Whistler for a week of fun and adventure.

Regan joined a three-day downhill (DH) camp and made some substantial gains. So much so, that when I took him into the trail network later in the week, he needed no coaching and no encouragement. In fact, I was a bit worried and asked him to slow down thinking he was riding over his head. He ignored me and hit the next few jumps and actually got a few inches of air. I left him alone after that and just enjoyed the ride behind him.

As much as Regan loves the DH, at six-years-old, he complains pretty heavily when the climbing starts. “Hey Mom, up hills are stupid” is not an uncommon complaint as he walks 100 feet behind us.

My Daughter, Rhyley, is loving the downhills too, but when it comes to climbing, she is far more accepting. When we were doing a slightly longer climb, on a few tougher sections of trail, she would get off and walk, huff and puff, and then jump back on her bike for the easier portions.

She rode 90 per cent of the trail, and I tried to encourage her to ride more, but if it was too hard, she’d walk.

After a nice flowy downhill trail, we hit one more ascent. I came upon a longer, steeper climb, littered with roots and rocks. I was thinking that she would never make it. It might even be a tough push for me, so I pulled over and yelled out, “Hey Rhyley, if you clean this climb, I’ll give you 50 bucks.”

I figured she’d at least try harder and maybe get further than she ever thought possible. Great motivation for the next time, and maybe, just maybe, she’d learn that if you put in a big effort, you can get a little further in what ever your goal. Nope, that didn’t happen at all. Instead, she smiled, lowered her shoulders, shifted down two gears, and climbed the entire hill like a pro. By the time I got to the top, she was breathing a bit heavy, but definitely had enough breath to yell out, “Where’s my 50 Dad?”

Damn! I think I got hustled.

So, it cost me $50, but two days later when we rode again, she climbed everything we came across, no complaints and no dabs. It was obviously a tough ride for her, but she never gave up once.


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

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