Rediscover the joy of mud

Cyclist says rainy season is no reason to hang the mountain bike in the garage

After such an amazing Summer I have to admit that a weekend of rain, as much as we needed it, was not welcomed by me.

I was on Hornby Island and really looking forward to riding some smooth dry trails. Dry wasn’t an option though, as it rained pretty hard over the weekend. Part of me wanted to hide out in the trailer, eat junk food and avoid the mud, but I don’t get to ride new trails very often so I headed out and made the best of it for two days.

I actually ended up having a couple awesome rides. The trails had hardly any water on them and the canopy of trees managed to keep me fairly dry. As the weekend came to a close, there were signs of sunshine to the North and we headed toward home and the Monday night Swicked ride.

After dealing with packing up the camp site, managing a four-year-old who hates the end of holidays and waiting in multiple ferry line ups, I made it home just in time for the group ride. I quickly got dressed in whatever clean bike clothes I could find and pedalled down my driveway.

That’s when the skies opened up and tried to drown me. So much for sunshine. Sadly, I was not prepared for this weather and short of an old torn rain jacket, all my wet weather gear was in my washing machine.

So I squinted into the rain and tried to avoid the biggest puddles on my way to meet the group. I was covered in mud and felt like I was wearing a wet diaper, but surprisingly happy about it all. Its been so long since I rode in the mud I think I forgot how much fun it can be. By the end of the night the 15 riders with me had mud covered faces, dirty bikes and big smiles. It was a tough start to the night, but once we were all a little muddy, it was just another great ride.

No matter how fun it was in the mud, I am still hoping for another month or two of dry, warm weather. But, it was a nice reminder that winter on the west coast is pretty mild and with the right gear, a tiny bit of prep and a helmet light, when most of the country is snowed in, we get to ride our mountain bikes all winter long.

So rather than hanging your bike on the hook in the garage when the rains come, why not join a bunch of other wing nuts and come out for the Monday night group ride, its lots of fun!

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’