I love getting out the bucket and brush and giving a bike a good scrubbing. 

my Niece's "new" bike

With all the new riders out there, I found it my enjoyable duty to wave at them all.
Every kid I pass, I make it a point to slow, and give an admiring compliment.
A true feeling compliant, it brings me joy to see a kid on a bike.   and I think that what I see in their smile; pride, independence, accomplishment.   To what  the ownership of that bike brings to that kid,...and man, that just gets me deep, in that amazing emotional soft spot.  Of throwing my arms up in the air as I cross the line.  Victory!
and much like the sound of the babbling brook in the woods, the cold after race beers, the long solo ride where you think there is no way that your toes won't fall off, that kid's smile is there big in my bank of cycling energy memories.

I felt like riding after dinner, my legs rockets, and I held 'em back
and just went hard on one longish climb, and crushed it.

I don't always enjoy every pedal stroke, and I often search for the meaning of why I'm riding. 
the tired angry, self flagellation, of being, slow.

Right now, I'd say I am not that far off of racing shape. 
My form is pretty good.
The last few weeks on the bike,
I've got a natural flow back, something I have not had for years.
and the very small groups of people I get out with,
there is a more genuine joy.

Meet Sassafras "Sassy"

I know the targeted value of a workout done on a trainer. 
but there is something to the flow I've forgotten.
and been forced to find again.

I got a text from my neice, looking for a bike, and I sent a text out to a couple of friends, and within a few seconds, I had a response.  Erin, was getting a SS Mtbike, and George "wink" was putting his foot down, and a bike had to get outta their house.
I am not sure of the history that Erin had with Sassy, 
but I'm sure as I know Erin, 
that nothing would make her happier, than Sassy being ridden on a hot summer night evening,
along a tow path,
to get ice cream, and to sit and enjoy the night.

Roll on racers, and don't forget to wave at all of our new friends on bikes.  They'll pick up, that, that is what a cyclist does, no matter how fast, or wide your tread,  that riding is the joy!

Cheers!  dlowe


The Bits and Pieces of a Personal-ality.

I got out yesterday with George, to ride White Clay park.  George has his route, navigating the park, that he likes, and I just followed along, Oh of course George  does encourage for me to take the front, and pedal in the lead, which I do enjoy to do every so often.

My single speed bike, is an older Salsa, the Mamasita.  and it really is an extra bike, so the bits on it, I tend to use what is left over, in still good working order, and keep it running that way.

I think it is easier to not be normal, it's a chore to do the things that are not your personality, to fit.

and I'll be ripe, at 58 this August,  and when I'm riding, I don't feel that I have an age, ...if I'm feeling fit.
That most likely what I like about you is all the beat up bits, and eccentric things that make you up!
and yesterday, I'm feeling pretty fit.   We rolled steady, and whatever the rear cog I had on the bike was the right one for White Clay.  The trails were empty, the weather, fine. 

Oh I wholeheartedly believe to be careful and not get chain ring grease on the back of my calf.  I  believe that your cycling cap can have little tilt, and a lot of looft.

and that we all should have our own names for the trails we ride.   I pass things that have been often passed, but it's my time, and that time, that makes it mine.

the less I reason with emotion and listen, I think I understand a bit better, that whatever I believe, and why,... it is probably wrong, and that makes me feel good, looking for the right way.

but anyway, riding with George yesterday at White Clay on my single speed mountain bike was fine!

and in my opinion,  that is the right way, to ride, yesterday.

the Salsa Mamasita single speed mountain bikes back in its palace in it's shed home.  Oh them poor old cx bikes, the sscx, and the old racer,  what shall i do with you?

Cheers!  dlowe


Always a racer

Ljiljana and I were driving down route 1 south,  and a woman, was just in front of us causing me much, frustration.
Her driving, was just annoying bits, jabbed, and paused or sped up, lane changed, I was destined never to get around here, and into the clean air.  Air that I could just point my car, and drive with common sense.  "She just an old woman"  I said, as we'd creep up to a car back of her. With two lanes our direction of road, we couldn't get around her, and now HOW we both wanted to peer in and see who was piloting that vehicle in such an annoying way.

I'll be checking  my ride stats, and other information, like sleep quality,  from my watch, after the ride, and in the mornings,...
I'm not sure why,  but I love it!

I've never ever had any idea about how watts = speed + lbs, - blood lactate threshold made me fast. I guess I know that I just want to pass people, at the right time, crush 'em and leave them in the dust.
When the legs are good, I've nipped a few at the line, for 2nd or 3rd, or pride.  My wins, the few, I  just won with a gap.  The townline sprint, most are, well, pretty much all are by surprise, and by out smart.  Do people still even race for those signs!?   and on a mountain bike group ride, if I get the spot, I'll have to pimp you, diesel past on the "off" the line, and get around you.

At the next light, I slowed next to her, we looked at her and I said "she is old",  and that hit me.
At 58 I am her age!  Freaking I'm old!  A bald wrinkled sun spotted decaying old man!!!

I love riding,  maybe the amount of people out there I can crush has shrunk a bit, but that coon dog chasing the car up the dirt road instinct is in my blood, I'll bark loud, when I know that I can scare you off.   Old people scare you with the word Gile, and that unpredictableness, that used up look of me, with nothing more I've got to lose but to defeat you, and I may recognize the right time, to apply what I know, old age experience,  against a fair foe, and the battle hard, and the victory sweeter, or the loss, slept on, and replayed, and never that same mistake to be made again.

I've found the satisfaction of an achievement on strava, never comes close to the joy I feel in the last gasp of air,.... someone concedes, gives off in defeat.

Even if its mine.

dlowe  Cyclocross Racer.


Muddy Creek Chruch

This time of year the sun doesn't rise high, and the days are shorter in day light.
The suns always behind the Muddy Creek Church.
It is on Muddy Creek rd, the road I take driving home from racing at Stoudts.
In my eyes, that golden glint always.
Headed toward the entrance ramp to the turnpike.

                                  racer Stoudts cx   photo: Zoey

I always wonder where the muddy creek is, where's it running?

                                              racer,  Caffeinated Horse barn

Sometimes racing leaves me a bit grumpy, suffern hard, and not being as fast as I think I should be.

and other good days,   I'm the wind lifting the leaves and scattering them.

Stoudts CX 11/3  8th place
I felt like I had a governor on the motor, never got it going like I wanted, left me a bit grumpy.
Grumpies dissipated about 20 mins post racing, did cool down alone, road past a cool old building, "Bollman Hats - 1868" need to buy a hat next year.

                                              me, coming to the Belgian steps  photo: Monkey

Caffinated CX 14th,
Damn I did'nt notice I lined up in the grid behind a guy racing a SS!   DOUFFF!
made amends around him, went pretty well.  Real Excellent course!, spceially the belgian steps.
Funny, late in the race, I seem to feel Vettori on my tail, I'd look back, panicked a bit, go harder,
but he was there, just not right there on me.  Nice little keg in the woods. Perfect venue. loved.

                                     Caffeinated dirt mound, nice feature!

The base of Goat hill, with it's two goats, chickens and solar panels, are just behind an old property line fence, was damp.

I'm guessing, that a lot of creeks get moved and buried, lost. the toads, and mud disappear.
the Numbers are down at the races this year, and I'm not sure how promoters are taking it?
its a bunch of time, some money, people power to stake and clear, a course. To make it something.
Special, worth riding, worth, pre-race, jawing about, "oh I miss the spiral of death"
"that was bumpy in the wrong places" and always "who'd put the barriers there?"

I'm thinking about the mud at Stoudts, and the road named after the muddy creak,  and in general Cross Racing.
I always hope that the love of racing is always in the  blood, it's spirit pumping, that a race must be put on.
and that it's imperfections, that's what I seek.
That things get moved, ended, buried, but some where, some how, it pops it's head up, and that a group challenges each other, to navigate it's strange, obstacles, and in the end, after a couple of times, with some winners and a bunch of losers, you might even give it some kind of nick name, that means something, worthy,  to all the competitors.

Cheers All Cross!