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

Too much of a good thing

By James Durand

I don’t get to ride on solo missions very often.

I’ve been leading group rides for over 20 years and when these are not on the go, I’m cruising with my family, or riding with buddies. When I do get to sneak away on my own, I love the ability to ride fast, or slow, or stop and check out the view. It’s nice to just do what ever I want with no-one’s expectations but mine.

Earlier this year, due to COVID, we cancelled the Swicked group rides, and for the same reasons I’ve been riding with friends less often, so my solo ride quantity has gone through the roof.

For the first little while I was elated, but those emotions soon started to fade as I was missing the push of another rider setting the pace, or the challenge of racing a buddy up a hill (OK that last one is a stretch, but racing buddies down a hill is right up my alley).

A few more months went by and I found myself riding less. I really miss the group dynamic.

Lately, as COVID tries to sort it self out, and people are being smarter in their day to day interactions, we’ve heard from many local riders about how they are also missing riding with friends, so we’ve decided to start up the group rides again.

In reality, is there a better activity in COVID times than mountain biking? It’s easy to distance, we’re out in the fresh air, and it’s a great way to maintain some sanity.

A few mandatory needs to join the fun:

– good working mountain bike

– approved helmet

– weather appropriate clothing

– signed waiver (we’ll have these at the ride)

– must be vaccinated

– lights will be mandatory in a few weeks as the days get shorter

So, if you’ve been getting bored of riding by yourself and want to get out with a group again, come join us on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Tuesdays, 6:20, All levels split into 3 or 4 groups, meet in the parking lot at the south end of the ERT in the Beaverlodge

Thursday, Intermediate and expert levels only, 2 groups, meet at Swicked at 6:00

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