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Where is paradise?

By James Durand

By James Durand

After my entire life living in and around Vancouver, I left the city when I was 42 in hopes of a simpler life.

I also started mountain biking on the North Shore and similar trail networks around the Lower Mainland. It was a pretty amazing training ground and seemed to have an endless variety of riding.

Chenoa and I had to shoot back to the city this past weekend and I found myself very excited to get back to my old stomping grounds.

I was thinking about all the options in restaurants, pubs, and shopping. I was dreaming of all the trail networks and, unbeknownst to Chenoa, choosing one to ride. If plans went smoothly, I just might have enough time to squeeze in a Seymour shuttle before we jumped back on the boat.

We headed to Kitz to run the errands we had to complete. It was one of those blue bird days that shows off Vancouver perfectly. We looked through the tree lined streets filled with old character homes and admired the snow capped North Shore Mountains across the water. I could almost see my favourite trails calling out to me.

We loaded the truck and hit the local coffee shop to plan the rest of the day. That’s when reality slapped me in the face.

What should have taken us 45 minutes so far, took 90, because traffic was so bad. The 30-minute drive through the West End toward the North Shore was going to take at least 90 minutes due to the same traffic. And then I could only imagine how busy the trails, parking lot, and shuttle road would be on such a perfect day.

There was no possible way to make it all happen, and still catch a ferry to get home.

On our drive home I was dreaming of my favourite trails and realized they are not in North Vancouver anymore, but just a few minutes riding from my front door.

I can see trees, water, and amazing mountain views from all these trails. I have a huge variety of riding, and when I do decide to drive to another trail network, I can hit more trails than most of us could imagine in well under 90 minutes.

I quickly remembered why I moved here in the first place. I’ll always have a soft spot for Vancouver, and I’m sure I’ll squeeze in the odd ride at some point in the future, but I live in paradise every day and it was a good reminder that the grass is not greener over there, figuratively, or otherwise.

I think everywhere in B.C. is beautiful, but as a biker, I’ve found paradise.

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