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

Favourite parts of mountain biking

By James Durand

  • May. 23, 2019 12:00 a.m.

By James Durand

For me, it varies. I don’t remember specifically why I started mountain biking, other than it looked like fun.

Once I got into it, I loved the pure adrenalin of going fast, the challenge of flying off a drop, or the competition of a race. As I aged, I started enjoying the fitness side of things more, and with that came the challenge of technical climbs, long epic rides, and multi-day adventures.

These days it is a mixture of all of it. I crave big long rides with huge climbs, but they have to include some steep downhill trails, and if I am not scared a few times on some technical sections, then it leaves me wanting.

I love all kinds of riding, but deep down, it’s the mountain biking that keeps me feeling young … ish.

The Swic-Kids youth club is going strong this year again and I like to watch these little mountain bikers to see what part of riding they like best.

Like most kids, they like the easy parts, but when I throw something new at them, the smiles get bigger and bigger.

The technical downhill trails are generally a hit, the sight of a jump gets the energy level pumped up quickly, and the odd kid loves a mechanical and learning some trailside repairs.

Every so often, I’ll suggest a climbing challenge and this will bring out their competitive side. I’ve seen these little rippers climb steep stuff many of my friends have trouble with, just because I said it’s possible. This week we took the kids to Snowden and the Pumphouse trails. We showed them new trails, we did drops and hit some fast downhill, and we had a few fun climbing challenges. Riley even got to fix a flat tire, which he is very good at.

As mountain bike rides go, this one had it all and as we approached Swicked to wrap it up, I was imagining all the stories of adventure the parents would hear well past bedtimes.

So, with all this amazing riding, endless challenges, and as much speed as they could muster, I know by the smiles on their faces that each rider had a great night, but when Chenoa showed up with ice cream, all was forgotten.

New trails, fast riding, even brand new jerseys for the kids, all erased from their memories by a few ice cream sandwiches. Ha, kids will be kids I guess.

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

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