The Remains

Pierre Renoir  “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”

I have stopped myself from thinking past my last race.  and I am not ready to start recapping my season, or planning what I'll be doing after this season.  
This last weekend I raced Saturday at Rivertown, and Sunday made the drive down to Reston with Kelly to race Capital Cross. 

         photo: evans rohrbaugh

I am in a funk zone, a bit mentally run down, not getting up for the races.
Sunday the course was well worth the drive, the event, sparkly, lively.
I went off the line well with a good clip in, and sat 2nd wheel on to the pavement,
Chasing the leader a bit.
good 1st lap, with the lead group.

There are so many types of pain, ...from the efforts,...
good In the Zone pain,  Pain of trying to crank the engine over, but it just won't catch, just grinds.
Pain in attacking a climb, crushing it and your opponents.

Saturday at Rivertown,  i'd say the most European small america town feeling cross race in the schedule, I got 3rd.
I never found my rhythm, I chased, and looked over my shoulder, not to get caught.

Kelly Cline gave some good advice to me, just a thing, simple an easy, "make your own podium"
get the blokes together, and pose and get a snap, picture of the podium group.
I like that.  

Sunday at Capital Cross, I ended up Ninth, lost all my battles. Mental and Physical.
it was one of the better days at a cross race though, pre-riding, seeing old blokes, and a new wee little baby.    Traveling and racing with a friend.

Deep inhaling quiet calm breaths, smart workouts,
out and buy some traditional after the race at Limekiln Masters dark beer, suds to sip,
to toast our pains, hopefully, the best pain, the pain of winning, and being crowned the
PA State Cyclocross Champ!

Drink deep,
til the head back,
to finish that bottle,
a long blink, eyes shut,
short dream,
yet not quite
till that finale sip at dinner
at a full table


from the Kelly Cline archive of smartly self made podium pics: Masters 45+
                                               photo: Stacie Freymann


Cheshire Grin


I'll be working on clipping in, every workout,
When the light turned green.
I got a good jump off the line, at the stop light from Conshohocken State Road,
across City Ave.
to Conshohocken Ave.
up to speed...
Pedal, shift, pedal, Blammo!

the little toyota turnned in front of me to get some gas,  no time for me to brake ,
I laid on the ground looking back at the scene, just laid there
I could of got up,
no pain,
just soaked it all in

The driver was a really sweet, just a tad older than me, fine lady
"I've never hit nobody before, are you ok, oh my"
I got up, shook a bit, all seemed well, a small welt of a wound, on the arm,  a bit of blood.

we called the cops, and since I crossed the line,... from Montgomery Co. to Philly Co.
the wait would be long,

not much to do, we waited, she fretted, my bike and I pretty much fine,
so after an hour, we both went our own ways, off to prepare for Thanksgiving.

Glad I hit the rear panel, and not the sidedoors/windows,
I got out for a cx ride on Thanksgiving, with a couple of peeps.
Trying to balance rest and prep, for the last wee bit of the season.
and I got a bit of a smile, as I entered the age group down, 45+,  to race against my old, younger foes at Solstice Cross,   a thing about that,  how I wish Mark V. would be in the grid,
going at it with me, maybe I'd make a Mission Report.
...maybe I'll make a Deluxx Sandwich,
who knows, it's cross, whatever, it'll be fun!

Feeling spunky, got a Cheshire grin, a bit thankful, and full of sin!

Cheerio!  dlowe



Super Cross

I felt gutted, I drove home with a stake through the heart.

I'd trade the hot corn race, and some of the other early season ones, to ride this one again, today, and a couple more times this week.  I liked it a lot, the whole long course of off camber mud, slippery corners of mud, greasy mud, mud puddles, uphill running mud,  and mud.
I  let air out of my tires, and had a strong mind set focused to do excellent, my short pre-ride, was on, good form.
I missed my pedal outta the grid, to start the race, twice, and saw the front drop me.
I rode with elbows out, not polite, almost New Englandish, and made up spots, at least I could see the front runners.
Then my lack of time on the mud,  mistakes, slips, not clipping in, showed endless places to find improvement.
It was a long lap, and for me slow lap times,  I got my moneys worth of mud, logging an 1hr and 7minutes out there on the course,   I finished with no brakes, cold toes, a dirty kit, and a burning desire.
To ride more mud.


                                                  early morning pre-ride mud

and some photos from Rebecca Lewandowski:



I love cross.

The glint of the low rising sun in the morning, nervous, trying to find calming thoughts, the proper, focus.

 I was going really good at Sly Fox, handling spot on, legs, lungs, mind, focused.

The cheers, loud cheers, fans, beers, hearing my name over the PA,  it cracked me up,
racing, it broke me into a smile.

I broke my chain, and was out, leaving as the leader 2 and 1/2 laps into the race.

I feel aglow, wind burnt, I had a blast, given it a go.

Almost a perfect day.

Friday night, I was a bit worn, run down, by the season.

Today, tonight, I feel ready, to go.

thanks Sly Fox, despite my broken chain, I had a blast, good cyclocross friendship, racing, beer, bumps, bruised love.

Cheers!  dlowe