My buddy Shayne racing in the masters' category at Providence farm in Duncan see all photos hereThe Cyclocross season has started here on Vancouver Island. As I've mentioned before on these pages, Cross on the Rock, is a very cool mix of island casualness mixed with gritty racing and very technical courses. I've never raced cross anywhere else but I've been told that the courses we race on are more technical than what is considered to be the norm. In any case, for a mountain biker like myself they're pure joy. But even though their fun, there needs to be some kind of form in place if you want to do well. This was sadly missing in the first race that took place in Cumberland (one of the coolest mtb riding spots on the island). After a successful XC season and a good race in the Test of Metal I slacked of in July and August and I'm paying for it. The course was amazing though and included the whole Coal Hills BMX track as well as some fun singletrack, conventional whirly whirl, grassy straights and an asphalt section. Frankencross did well in it's latest configuration as an eight speed cross machine, and it was nice to try out some new mods I've made to the rig. After bending my forks during a race in the Wednesday VCL cross practice race in Victoria. I found a Bontrager Satelite fork at a local bike store (Thanks Scotty) and got to work getting the Frankencross ready. In it's current figuration it's sporting second hand Race Light wheels, that new carbon fork and a 11-28/38-46 gear ratio (no longer an eight speed, kept dropping the chain). The only other modifications I intend to make on it is installing second hand Ultegra sti's and a nine speed cassette. That should do it for the next year or so...The rest of the modifications will have to be made to myself! Time to ride more and party less. After the first race in Cumberland, I missed the second one in Nanaimo, after crashing on my fixed gear and banging up my knee. I made it out to the Duncan one though (oct 17th), and my knee was not feeling too bad, so I decided to give it a try. I felt alright in the race but I was feeling sluggish after two weeks off the bike. Managed to finish strong though and came in 8th, which was one better than in the Cumberland race, so I was happy with that. It's awesome seeing my friends kicking arse in these races too. The top four guys in the intermediate category of yesterdays race are buddies of mine. Regan, Mitch, and Scotty from Trek Victoria Pro City and my old coworker and rival (he's destroying me this year) Justin Wolfe from Rider's Cycles. I'd love to be up there with them, but the form is simply not there right now. Yesterday oct. 24th we had a Super Downhill race at the local mtb. park in Hartland. It was called the Dumpster Dive Super-D in a nod to the location of the park next to the landfill. After a near month of great conditions it finally started to rain and this made for a slick and scary course. For some reason I thought I'd ride out to the Race on my Remedy, and this resulted in extra wetness and cold chills before the race. I had lots of fun though and after a practice lap, I did my race run. It was looking to be a pretty good run, but then I snagged a tree with my handlebars, in a slow left hand turn (totally unneccesary) and lost a lot of time. I had a great time racing though and the mud made for a challenging course. Next up, alleycat on Friday followed by back to back cross races on Saturday and Sunday. Should make for an awesome weekend!