Hello from Nanaimo

So, until Metroblogging Victoria starts up, we still get dibs here, using the thin excuse that it is Vancouver Island, after all.

I’m here filming a cyclocross race, much like this one:

More on that later. The cyclocross race that I’m filming this weekend, though, is rather special since it’s the Canadian national championship race.

Did I mention the course goes through a barn? And through a BMX track? And that cyclocross has a strong drinking tradition thanks to its Belgian roots?

I hope to post more on Nanaimo later. All I can say is that the HoJo’s here has a robust wireless connection (which these days should be like saying the room comes with hot water, but that isn’t always the case), and that the BC Ferries reservation system is one of the finest ways to spend $15 on a long weekend that I can think of. The amount of insanity it allowed us to bypass at the terminal was huge. A friend made the same ferry as we did (nominally the 9:00, but it didn’t show until 10), but without a reservation and on a day when two sailings were cancelled due to bad weather, he had been waiting for about six hours. A great many people were simply unable to drive on to a ferry tonight.

We arrived at the terminal at 8 (could have arrived at 8:30 but didn’t want to cut it close), and were sailing at 10.

It should be said that once on the ferry, it was clear that the limitation was car space and not passenger space. As far as I can tell, trying to drive on to a ferry at the start and end of a long weekend with no reservation is tantamount to saying you want to spend a few hours in the ferry terminal.

And just to reassure you: all racing activity will stop dead at the eleventh hour. We may be lunatic bike racers, but we still honour those who gave us the freedom to be lunatic bike racers.

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