James thinks it might be time to look at finding a new route to work so he’s not tempted to hit the pump track before it’s open. Photo submitted

The Taunting Track

Bike columnist James Durand might have to change his route to work

Maybe this is more of a guy thing, or a low patience thing, or maybe just a spoiled first world problem type of type of type of thing. But it is a thing, and it’s driving me crazy.

The cycling community has heard rumour of a pump track being built in Campbell River for seven-ish years now. There have been meetings, fundraisers, and city council sit-ins. Multiple local riders have been heavily involved, local business, big and small, have thrown in resources, and the biggest pump track builder in the world was finally brought in to design the track.

To be completely honest, a big portion of the community was wondering if the track would ever happen, or if this was just another pipe dream held back by too much red tape. And rightly so, seven years can drag on and it’s hard to keep the hope alive for that long.

Out of nowhere, a request hit social media looking for volunteers to help with the clearing of the space and building of the track … and there was a solid date. Hope was alive again.

In late March and early April, just a two-week period, the area was cleared, the dirt was hauled in, and BOOM, there was a paved pump track at the Sportsplex. It’s actually a reality.

I tuned up my dirt jump bike, inflated the tires as hard as I could, and I am ready to rip on this world class paved pump track. I’ve ridden tracks like this before and if you have not had the chance, you’re in for a treat. Whether you’re a toddler on a run bike, a middle aged parent, or a 51-year-old pretending to be a kid, it is way more fun than you can imagine.

So, I’m ready. I go by the track every morning on the way to Swicked and I see it. It’s paved, it looks fast, and it needs to be ridden, but it’s fenced off still waiting for landscaping and finishing touches.

It feels like grade nine when Jenny Smith* wore a short skirt all summer. All of us dumb boys could think of nothing else, but she was oblivious.

When it was a bunch of trees and dirt, I never gave it a thought, but now that the pump track is staring me in the eye and taunting me daily, as a dumb mountain biker, I can’t put it out off my mind. I don’t think I can wait much longer. Maybe I’ll change my route to work. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’

*Fictional name

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