Speed and manners

I was raised in sports where speed was very important.

I played lacrosse, and being a smaller guy, my speed made my game … and kept me alive in many cases.

I raced moto-x and DH mountain bikes and as much as there are lots of aspects to both sports, speed is all that really counts in the end. Go faster than the competition and you stand on the podium, if not, you’re watching the awards from the crowd.

I also grew up in a house where manners were paramount. Both my parents were strict when it came to being polite and considerate. Do unto others and all that stuff.

As an adult with all sorts of responsibilities, I have obviously been shaped by my youth.

I raise my kids to be polite, I try to consider others before I act, and I do not appreciate selfishness in any situation.

I also like to go fast. I’m old now, but I still push as hard as I can on my mountain bike. I try to get jobs done quickly and efficiently, and it doesn’t matter if I’m racing bikes, or walking along the beach, if you challenge me, I instantly start going faster. It’s just in my blood.

Last week I was leaving work and, surprise surprise, I was in a hurry. There never seems to be enough time in the spring when you run a bike shop. I had too many things in my head, was running late, and my natural inclinations took over, go fast.

I was driving pretty quickly when I realized there were some flashing lights behind me.

I pulled over, and started thinking about how late I would be? If I had to call anyone to reschedule? Or if I could make it all work with this delay? As the officer approached I was thinking about my registration and licence and blurted out “WHAT DO YOU WANT!”

I didn’t realize my tone until I saw the glare coming back at me.

Off she went to most likely turn her warning into a ticket due to my attitude, while I pondered how long I would be sitting there after my rudeness.

I waited for my ticket, which was fairly quick, and a lesser fine than it could have been, and then apologized, trying to explain I was just distracted and meant no harm by my poor tone. Maybe too little too late, but if my mom hears about this I don’t want her to be disappointed.

We are all living in a stressful time right now. If you are feeling the crunch of the extra pressure, or maybe your patience is running low and you’re about the be “that guy.” Next time you’re grabbing some take out, driving through at your favourite coffee shop, or chatting with the local authorities and things are going perfectly, just say “hi,” and maybe “thank you,” because they’re just trying to get through all this chaos, just like you and me.

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