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

The back yard

By James Durand

I’d never owned a house with a yard until I moved to Campbell River.

All my adult time in Vancouver and the burbs, I lived in townhouses, or condos. I know, as an Islander now that sounds foreign, but my theory was to have as little work as possible around home, so I could go play outside more often.

It worked pretty well. I always lived close to the mountains and epic trail networks, so typically I could leave home and be riding on dirt within minutes. Between oceans, mountains, scenic road rides, or the ski hills, I was easily entertained and never cared about having a yard.

Chenoa on the other hand, grew up on acreage, and the stories of backyard adventures throughout her youth are endless and sound tempting, but as a busy guy, the last thing I want is more chores.

Well, most husbands out there probably know how this went. I don’t want a big yard and Chenoa does. So, when we moved a couple years back, we ended up on 1/2 an acre. Not huge I know, but still a bunch of work I’ve never had to deal with before. (ok, time for a truth. Chenoa does almost all the yard work, so it’s only a few weekends a year I have to whine about.)

Last weekend we headed to Chenoa’s parents for Easter. They still live on the same acreage where she grew up.

We set up our RV beside Chenoa’s Bro, and let the kids and dogs run wild for a weekend of backyard camping.

We rode mountain bikes, dirt bikes, and quads. We had a massive fire burned in a mini moto-x track (also known as large muddy ruts) and had dinners down by the pond. Regan and I laid out a little freeride line for mountain biking that included the deck, the shed roof, the wood pile, and a gap jump over the pond. Honestly the line was too big, because Regan is too young, and I’m too old, plus Grandma said NO, so it died in the planning stages. And I never worried about my dog once, he just ran around like an excited puppy for three days straight. Pretty great place right?

So, is my house for sale because I’m on the hunt for acreage? Nope …The damage caused by Regan’s dirt bike would take at least two weeks to repair, the lawn alone at my in-laws would take a whole day to mow, and trying to wash off whatever my dog rolled in was a disgusting task.

It was an awesome weekend, and we’re grateful to have a place like this to visit, but for home life, we live in Campbell River. I feel like I have a million acres as my backyard, and I don’t have to mow any of it. We’re lucky to live where we live. No wonder so many people want to move here.

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

Campbell RiverCycling

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