James Durand

James Durand

The frustrated spectator

I raced motocross for a few years as a kid and played lacrosse for 30 years through my youth and early adulthood.

I raced motocross for a few years as a kid and played lacrosse for 30 years through my youth and early adulthood.

I love both these sports with a passion and although I don’t participate in either these days, I like to think of myself as a fan. If I see some TV coverage I am keen to watch for as long as I can spare the time.

But, I have never been able to enjoy watching these sports live. As much as I love the atmosphere of the arena, the smell of the exhaust, or the beauty of a great lacrosse goal, I can’t get my head around the fact that I am just sitting and watching, when really, I should be out there.

I have actually experienced these sports at a fairly competitive level and watching from the sidelines is seriously frustrating.

When I stopped racing mountain bikes, I wasn’t quitting the sport, I was just changing how I approached it. I wasn’t being timed and riding on someone else’s schedule any longer, but I was still riding hard and fast, and as often as I could. In fact I rode far more often after I stopped racing, so I have never experienced the same frustration when watching mountain bikers.

Until last week.

Our Whistler reno started out in May and it was fun. I would work for five or six hours and then go hit the trails for a few hours of adrenaline-filled riding.

That went well for a few weeks, but then our three week reno turned into six, then eight, then 10 weeks. Time was getting tight and the work days got longer. Riding came to a halt.

Through June and July this year, I rode the same amount as one good week last summer.

If you’ve ever read one of these blurbs, or if you know me even a little bit, you can imagine how well I handled this scenario.

So last week as I was hoping with all my powers that this job would come to an end soon, I saw nothing but mountain bikers in Whistler. Down hillers, trail riders, xc guys, I’ve never been so stressed, why does everyone get to ride but me?!?!?! You know how badly a cyclist needs his fix when he sees a triathlete in a skin suit and an aero helmet, and is actually jealous of that guy.

I’m glad to say the reno is finished and now I can concentrate the rest of my summer on riding.

Thanks to everyone that helped with the work, with the shop, and with keeping me sane.

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

Campbell River Mirror

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