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

What’s the Difference?

By James Durand

For years, people would ask me, “How do you manage to ride so much?”

In hindsight, I didn’t really know, but I probably made up some good reason to limit my guilt, and reduce their level of envy.

I was sure at the time it had something to do with lack of commitment to reality, avoiding responsibilities, or devotion to fitness. Nope, none of that was true. Now that schedules have changed and kids, work, and life have taken more and more of my time, I think it was just a strong desire to ride my bike that kept me motivated back then.

I’d plan six-week winter trips to California for “family vacations” and ride my butt off the whole time. I’d plan “work trips” to Whistler and ride my butt off the whole time. I’d plan huge Thursday night Swicked rides and ride my butt off, and I’d turn my 25-minute commute into a two-hour ride and ride my … well you know.

Riding was high on my priority list and I felt no guilt in pushing other things off for the cause.

Don’t get me wrong, I still hung with my kids a ton and Chenoa and I spend loads of time together, but the rest of life’s nagging responsibilities got pushed off.

Then COVID hit, my kids hit a very active age, and Swicked grew exponentially. All of these things were very taxing to any spare hours I may have had in my day, and before I knew it, riding took a back seat. And two years went by in the blink of an eye.

So a few weeks back, as you may have read, we re-aligned everything and scratched some hours back into our non-work lives.

But old habits die hard and it was still tough to find extra hours to ride. I found myself asking the same old question. “How did I use to ride so much?”

But, with a bit of devotion to the cause, I got back on the horse and remembered what it took. Last Tuesday as I was planning to drive my truck to the Swicked Tuesday Nighter, I decided instead, to ride to the ride. I left earlier than needed and hit a bunch of single track on the way up. I met the group and lead a super fun loop through Woods Creek, then continued on and rode and bit more trail as I meandered home.

It doesn’t take much, I easily turned a 15 km ride into 30 km. In the end, it cost me very little time to add all this riding and I felt great when I got home. (Wednesday morning was a different story, my legs were cooked)

So, apparently it just takes a bit of planning to ride more. I think we all have a few more minutes in our day, it just comes down to what we want to do with those minutes that makes the difference.

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