The simple life

At least for a few days

Does this really exist?

I crave a simple life, but it seems every time I get close to simplifying my day to day life, I add something in that complicates things even more.

It has something to do with being competitive and driven to be better but, honestly, I wish I could turn that switch off and just relax. For example, things were going great at Swicked, I was riding quite a bit, and my family was happy. It was never super simple, but definitely allowed me to turn my brain off a few hours a day and relax.

Then, I saw an opportunity to grow, expand our shop, and maybe, if I’m lucky, create a small amount of wealth for my kids to inherit. All good goals and we are well on our way to getting there … slowly.

Swicked is going better and better, our new location is being planned and designed, and I still ride, although less than normal. But, simple it is not, brain at full capacity, and stress to match.

So with all this going on around me, I decided not to do any bike races this year, and instead just ride with buddies in Whistler a few times. No racing, equals no competition, equals no stress.

Instead of worrying about training, results, and bettering my skills, I planned a four day trip to Whistler with the boys. A long day in the saddle, a few beers with a big dinner, and a great sleep, then do it all over again. Does it get any simpler than that? Not for me.

Everything was planned and ready to go. We arrived on the day and the riding began.

In my typical style, instead of choosing fun and manageable trails, I put together a loop of the most technical trails Whistler has to offer. And then it rained.

It was so fun, and challenging, and the whole group was smiling ear to ear at the end of each day, but it was not simple, or relaxing. With the added moisture, every trail was not only challenging, but dangerous, and rather than take the ride arounds, I couldn’t back down from the features, and tackled them head on. Remember, I’m a little competitive, even with myself. I think I came home more stressed than when I left. Definitely more bruised.

As you’re reading this I’ll be in Whistler again with another group of buddies. Round two of no racing, just fun.

This trip is all DH riding in the Bike Park, and no matter how much I want to prove to myself that “I’ve still got it,” I think I’ll stay away from the double black diamond trails. I’m tired and I need a break. So, for at least a few days, I’m living the simple life.

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

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