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

Results, or excuses?

By James Durand

As a kid I raced Moto-X, and if I didn’t win, I would try to find an excuse.

My Dad would ask if the bike was still running, and I’d say yes. Then he explained there were no excuses, it was just me and if I wanted a different result it was up to me.

That lesson helped in all sports, it helped me in school, and definitely helps me as an adult and running Swicked.

Chenoa and I manage a vacation rental in Whistler, and on New Year’s Eve a pipe burst and flooded the basement. Being a plumber in my former life, it was frustrating to have to hire a plumber, but we had the pipe fixed quickly and I thought I could relax for my last few days of the holiday season … Nope.

Turns out the heat had quit and the place was freezing, hence the burst pipe. Plus everything in the basement was now soaked, or floating.

With no parts available in Whistler and no electricians available to do the repair, my only option was to tell tenants that during this cold spell, they would have to endure. I then thought about how “only options” are rarely the only option, and more often an excuse.

I scrambled to find supplies, loaded up my tools, and even convinced my brother in-law to help out. (apparently he grew up with similar lessons)

At 5 a.m. Sunday morning, I drove in a snowstorm all the way to Nanaimo and when we got off the ferry, we drove in a worse snowstorm up to Whistler.

We dug out a place to park, mushed through the snow, and started removing soaking wet stuff and replacing baseboard heaters.

Four hours later, we dug the truck out and drove through the same snowstorm back toward the ferries, which were cancelled due to a windstorm. Our 18-hour day had just turned into a 30-hour day.

All in all, it was insanely stressful, it was dangerous, and bordered on stupid, but the problem was solved and the tenants got to enjoy their stay in comfort. No excuses.

This little trip reminds me of my career in the bike biz and especially the last two years with COVID.

Problems are endless, excuses are plentiful, and there are very limited options in many cases, but the Swicked crew is always willing to push through, put in the extra time, and keep everything moving forward.

As we move into 2022 and COVID does who knows what, we’re ready for it. We all need to stay calm, healthy, and relaxed. What better way than riding a bike?

Bike shortages, parts shortages, and labour shortages create very limited options, but for the Swicked crew it’s just another challenge, not an excuse. We prefer results.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’, No Matter What…

Campbell RiverCycling