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

Teammates Forever

In 2009 I did the BC Bike Race with my workmate Logan.

Being a seven day race where you have to stay within two minutes of your teammate the entire time, obviously this took a ton of physical training. But more importantly, we had to plan and organize with each other to work together seamlessly.

Typically one of you is always feeling stronger and needs to show restraint and be compassionate toward your teammate. The next day it might be turned around and now you have to show your grit and push harder than you want to. In my experience it isn’t always the fittest team that wins this race, but the team that works best together.

Logan and I trained hard for six months and we were very prepared, but on race day we realized a few things. I am willing to kill myself to catch the team in front of me, while Logan was more relaxed and rode with more patience … maybe with better results. All of our training and planning paid off, because we both adapted and figured out a good balance just a few hours into day one.

Not only did we complete the race and our goals, but we formed a friendship that still exists today despite kids, major career changes, and other annoying adultness.

Logan often reminds me of a crash we experienced as a team.

He crashed on a steep technical section. I tried to avoid him and hit a rock, flew over the handle bars, and apparently as I was in the air plummeting to my demise, I asked Logan, “Are you OK?” Then I landed on him with a thud. We jumped up and rode the final down hill section and crossed the finish line of that stage, a little worse for wear, but closer as a team.

Last weekend I had a big reno project to finish and my contractor was too busy to squeeze me in. (pretty normal these days)

Logan heard I was in need and also that my shoulder isn’t working properly these days, and he just showed up to help.

As he watched me struggle, he simply stepped in and took over jobs that might irritate my shoulder and then reorganized a few things to have him reaching high, leaving me to do the lower tasks.

I’m not great at asking for help and Logan knows this, so he just read the situation and made us a more efficient.

What would have taken me three days was finished in one.

I’m lucky to have great friends, an amazing family, and such a good Swicked team.

It takes a community.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’

Campbell RiverCycling