Random acts of kindness

Ups and downs in mountain biking are great, and in life they keep us on our toes

Up, Down … Up, Down … Up, Down

When it comes to mountain biking this scenario is perfect.

We ride up a hill and we get fitter, we get stronger, we earn some downhill.

Then we ride down and we build skills, we build confidence, and we go fast through trees and over rocks.

If you haven’t tried mountain biking, I can’t say enough about it. It will make your life better in so many ways.

When it comes to work and life, the ups and downs can be exciting as well. They keep us on our toes, they remind us we have a myriad of emotions, and it probably puts a lot of things into perspective.

Chenoa and I chose our careers based on passion, not finances, but we do what we like, live a fun life, and show our kids that lifestyle can be more important than cash.

Ten plus years into this Swicked adventure with so many ups and downs, and I have no regrets. We offer really fun toys to kids as young as one and as old as 90. We work too hard, but it’s what we love and the more we get the community out riding, the more we love it.

It’s not just a bike shop, or a small biz to us, it’s also a club house. We have riders who like to hang out and chill, customers who use Swicked as their therapy zone and a place to forget about life, we’ve even helped create a couple of love stories with people meeting through the shop … and Monday and Thursday nights have become an institution with our group rides and post ride socials.

But lately, the ups and downs are getting tired. It’s been a crazy year with COVID-19, and in the past month I have seen it affecting people more and more. Myself? Yep, it’s getting to me as well and as much as I’m trying to be a rock, my patience is wearing.

Chenoa and the boys at the shop are handling it better than I am. I want everyone to be happy and satisfied. I want people to smile more after they’ve met me than before, and I take it personally.

When someone comes in a bit grumpy, I try to make it better. I win most of these challenges and folks leave with a smile. I like this part of bike shop life, making someone’s day just a little bit better.

But with so many changes this year, so much uncertainty, and so much stress, it’s getting tough. I am getting bombarded with other’s stress, unrealistic expectations, or people taking advantage of our kindness.

Last Monday I had a tough day with too much stress, and then a customer lost their mind on two of my staff over something that was not actually an issue.

As I was riding to the Monday Nighter, I couldn’t relax, I couldn’t stop stressing, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how crazy our world has become. Then I saw an elderly woman having bike issues. I ditched my friends, rode back, and helped her out. She was so thankful, and I was instantly in a better mood. It reminded me that 99 per cent of interactions are great and the one per cent really shouldn’t matter.

I see hundreds of people every week who are smiling, cheerful, and riding lots. I think I’ll get back to concentrating on them.

So, if you’re having a tough day and want to come by Swicked for a smile, we’re good at that. Drop in. If you want to chat about improving your ride experience, we’re good at that too. Drop in. But if you just want to take your frustrations out on some poor retailer, go do something nice for someone instead, you’ll feel much better in the end.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation’s land until a road use agreement is reached. (Black Press file photo)
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

Campbell River Remembrance Day Ceremony 2019. Campbell River Mirror file photo
Campbell River Remembrance Day Ceremony to go ahead in reduced form

Public asked not to attend; event will be streamed on social media, Shaw TV

Father Charles Brandt, a hermit priest. File Photo
Black Creek environmentalist and Catholic priest-hermit Father Charles Brandt passes away

He devoted his life to protecting and preserving natural habitats

Two suspects seen outside of Gord Knight Auto on Oct. 27 at around 4:15 a.m. Campbell River RCMP are looking for information on these suspects’ identities. Photo supplied by RCMP
RCMP look for suspects in break-in cases

Two suspects caught on surveilance video

Campbell River RCMP. RCMP photo
Police investigation results in multiple property crime charges

A Campbell River RCMP investigation has lead to multiple property crime charges… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Most Read