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The Mighty Ducks

By James Durand

By James Durand

My kids wanted to watch the Mighty Ducks last week.

Sadly, to my surprise, they didn’t mean a hockey game featuring the Anaheim Ducks. They were asking about the original movie from the 90’s.

I’m always up for a sports movie, so I found it, we popped some corn, soaked it in butter, and had a great little movie night.

Now, back when I first saw this movie I kind of remember enjoying it, but this time around my opinion was that this was the cheesiest, most unrealistic movie I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Really? A kid who can’t even skate, but he can shoot the puck through the net and shatter the glass from centre? And a grown man who hasn’t played hockey since peewee gets a try out with the pros based on his last game as a 12-year-old? Wow, that was a bad movie.

Even my seven-year old didn’t find it believable. (Sorry Emilio)

So, I got to thinking about other things from back in the day that I was blown away with, and wondered how they would compare these days.

I got my first real mountain bike in 1995. It was Canondale F1000. Full aluminum frame, a progressive 70 degree head angle, and the latest in suspension technology with a whopping one inch of front travel. I could go anywhere with this bike … well, I could go some places I guess.

This thing was state of the art, and it seems I broke something off of it every weekend. Maybe I was ahead of my time, or maybe I was a hack, Hmmm? That might have to be another article in itself.

These days the progression in bikes, much like most things, is off the charts.

For years the industry has been touting their bikes as the do-all machine, eliminating the need for a second bike. Ride DH, XC and everything in between with that one bike and do it really well.

Honestly, they’ve been lying. These bikes never existed. In fact they still don’t exist 100 per cent, BUT, they’re really, really close these days.

I think about what I can ride on my current trail bike. I have ridden epic multi-day cross-country rides with huge amounts of climbing and descending and it was an amazing bike.

I’ve ridden lift access bike parks with my kids and although it is not the perfect bike for this terrain, it handled it like a champ.

I ride in Whistler quite often and tackle the steepest, most technical ups all so I can ride back down the steepest and most technical downs, and one bike does it all.

Now, if you’re going to race cross-country or downhill competitively, there are more efficient bikes for the job, but us mere mortals without pro sponsorship can manage every kind of terrain with one bike in our arsenal, and keep in mind, the trails these days were not even in our imaginations in the early 90’s, so these bikes have come a long way.

Many of us complain about technology and progression, but I think we probably enjoy it more than we realize,

That first bike was amazing and I have endless memories from those rides. Learning, exploring, breaking it and fixing it weekly, but I would way rather just go ride, with less struggles, less preparation, and less mechanicals.

It turns out, even as a grumpy old man, I really like the technology of the last five years, it’s changed how we ride.

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