Red Eye

ah its the end of August.  Sept starts with a bunch of racing, a early singe, so this bubbly joy, I'm inhaling it deep, pulling it all down into my lungs.  How I feel now, well that's not going to last all this season.   I do feel a high, maybe just the glue fumes.   The racing, it'll be full of ups and downs.

a Monday in August: Cyclocross Grass Track Racing from David Lowe on Vimeo.

Since PBR no longer sponsors the team, I'll be drinking Tecate as my racing beer.    No pbr hand-ups, Tacate is the new PBR for me, got it?!

Tecate by Tom Sanford

somehow I've got my head screwed on a bit better this year, the moods good, the legs jumpy,... yep I might have one olde mean looking red eye, but that's just keeping me nasty a bit.

I like in the grass track video, when I pass M. Featherman on the inside (1'41"), you see my shadow, elbowed a hole for me,...oh I must be more careful.   Cheers!  dlowe. 



Last year was a hot, dry, year in the MAC.
Hot and dusty racing.
This year I've heard the "yearnin for mud"
from some.
Do cross racers have a romantic notion of mud?

 I think some tend to forget how tough mud is,

how, some just pedal away, the bike working, shifting braking.
with what seems to be such little effort.
Smiling a splattered mud face smile.

While others suffer, and toil, cry, then don't show the next day.

I found some mud today.
Mud's not easy, not to say its a beast that can't be domesticated.
I worked hard on the bike today, out in the mud.
a lot of corners repeated
ripping off the grass
just down to nothing but mud
and getting use to the feel
I'm not as good at mud as I want to be, so I know where I need to work.

Mud, you gotta be always ready for the mud.

Cheers, david.



so I am trying to make myself get over the awkwardness, of feeling conspicuous.  That silence, as you wait for me to focus, the gap of time that feels so long. 

Vincent Fumo

I feel so much more comfortable taking pictures of our exercise bike I going to put up for sale on craigslist.  Drop me a line if you are by chance interested in buying it.  $235, takes it away.  Nice gel saddle cover for your tush.

I have no clue of what I'm doing, when I point the lens at you,  or what I'm looking for,  but I want to learn how to take a good portrait.  You want some arts-y photos of yourself, some of them might be a little outta focus, but I'll throw in some tilt and shift for a added cool effect.  Then I'm your man.  Cheers, d.


"Dirt Explorer"

I'm sippimg my coffee, listening to the rain drizzle, and doing a bit of tweeter/blog/FB checking out.    I came across a new terms/type of biking, the Bike Explorer, and the Dirt Gran Fondo.    I came across these terms while reading an online article from Cyclocross Mag, about new tires from Clement.  In the article  these words POP out at me like the wonderful sound of the cork popping outta a bottle of the Duchesse De Bourgogne.  ....." a 35c tire that aims to empower bicycle explorers"....   That's wonderful.

My favorite type of riding to do is this "exploring" pedaling.   I love using the cross bike to explore, to put together dirt trails, gravel roads, pavement, fire roads.   The cross bike can take the dirt, and rolls fast enough on pavement so you don't feel labored.  

The last few Saturdays, I've put out an open invitation, on Facebook, to my other cross riders, to join me on my urban cyclocross loop.   The Water Ice ride.   Its a 25 mile ride, all within the city limits of Philadelphia, specifically focused on the Fairmount Park areas.    Tow path, cobble climb, 1/4mile all out hot lap around an abandoned reservoir, upper Meadows of the Wissahickon, Forbidden drive, Kelly's Bluff, Lemon Hill, and the fire roads of Belmont.  The ride ends and starts at the dumpy water ice shack in Manayunk.

I was happy to see so many of the X peeps of  MAC, cobbled together their bikes and come and pedaled along with me.

I was a bit worried, I was not sure what it would be like to do this ride with 20 or so other riders,  it can get a bit strange.   Getting yelled at for riding around the baseball fields, making our way through overgrown backyard short cuts, down a steep long rocky path in the Wiss.  How many flats would slow us down, would the slow riders be too slow for the fast riders...but all went well, no one knocked any teeth out and despite a few flats, we moved at a very good pace. 

here's sorta what it looked like:

Water Ice Cross from Carlos Cabalu on Vimeo.

 swiped  Photos from Anne Rock

I'm not sure of the future of the Water Ice ride,  I've got breakfast planned with my parents this Saturday,... but I do hope this gets some people out on the cross bike, exploring around where they live, and, who knows, maybe there will be a "Hog Island" route, or "Abandoned Industrial Sites" ride,  or a special Philly  "where we Dump our Dead bodies" loop. 

Cheers, d.




I'm a hooker.   I became a hooker when I changed from Shimano to Sram on my cross bike.   I could ride with my hands on the hoods of shimano, I found my hands, on sram, had a tendency to slide up, bounce up, feel like they were going to pop off, and I felt I had less leverage and control.   I really  noticed this on steep, bumpy down hills.

Tim Johnson's cross grip.

another view

sort like this, I wrap my pinkie behind the bar and pinch my hand together, sorta like a lobster.  I keep the other 3 fingers on top of the levers.  I can't do it with just one on top, feathering it style.  

Got out for a nice wet ride this morning on the cross bike this morning, stop to take some pics but too much drizzle to get anything nice.  The phone/camera was steamed, and getting damp.


re-built the 28mm lens, removed a bit more of the rear body, and got the rear element to be closer to the "film plane"  of chip.   Its quite nice, and as I thought, the wider image is more useful, beats the 50mm.

just took a couple of snaps around the yard.

just a nice rainy day in Bala Cynwyd.  Cheers, d.


Soul Town

I find it very funny that I, who has none whatsoever belief in god, ... that I have such a strong belief in soul.

maybe the next decade in Philly can be the soul years, that way it sorta bypasses but still lets you believe in and belong to what ever gobbliey-gook religious club you want to. 

for me good bread, beer, coffee, local food, music, wife, friends, animals, nature, this old city... and
Cyclocross feeds my soul.

its as simple as doing a Open Workout, Grass Track racing being the current case, where anyone and whoever wants to swing their leg over the saddle can join in a pedal along.

I've been trying to grow, which is cool, and my new growth is photo/video.   Yeah its the field I work in, but I'm a grip, a tool, a minion.  I am at others disposal's to help create.  I do enjoy the role.

I've weeded out and sold all I can from the shed.  I've placed numerous orders to B&H photo, camera, lens, mini hd, bags, batteries, rigs,... with still more on the list.

Its funny to be sitting down, and to be learning something again.   and I really have to say, its been quite cool to have this new spark.
and at this point in my life, I don't have much fear of failure, (being a freelancer, everyday is a concern about when and where my next job comes from) .   I'm eager to test, to daydream about ideas, technique, soul...

making a 28mm tilt and shift lens

I think that the blog was the first step for me, to start me thinking, blogging is not so important to me now, and I don't spend much time thinking about stuff to write about, to post.

the 28mm is a bit different than the 50mm tilt and shift, but not much

as I said earlier Grass track started Monday

and the big tree in the background, now watches over us, happy we moved from Blue Bell Park
to the top of Belmont Plateau.

Its rare, but once in awhile I come across some photos, that are cool in there own, but also tell a story, that's the hardest thing about photography, a cool photo, and a story, a soul, bringing something more to you than hipstamatic eye candy.

Cheers, d.



I stopped by the shop today, to pick up #1 crossbike
George is a good friend, and works at the shop
and reads into it as and should be needed.
asked if my FU's I gave in the last post were because I was pissed, or Off
Nah, it was supposed to be more like a snicker
a letting a bit of air out, a fart

job location today was one of those scuzzy ball fairs

I'm surprised they still appear

but I do got to say that they make it easy to feel good about you picture taking skills
you can't take a bad pic at a scuzzy ball fair

I forgot to tell you
on my trip
to Normal, IL.
we went bowling
I rolled a 204

and at the shoot location, a burn site, a hole was cut to be a vent, we had interviews and such to do, but I snuck into the sunlight, coming down the air shaft, and Mr. T. Stewart captured a nice frame, of the light landing on my face.

and it just rolls on, getting a bit away from me, and things seem to be,... changing, but who knows.

I like at my age, almost 50 and most talk about how being older is slowing them down, and all I can think, is that, there are so many faster older guys than me, that I'm really pretty far from my potential, umm... I'm not close to my max, so I can't be really losing anything, yet.   Plenty of Potential, plenty.

cheers, d.



I like how the Quakers came by their name, out of a show of disrespect.   Keeping on a hat.   Not taking off a hat before a King.  Thank you Mr. Penn.   Its cool that someone would stand before a King and sorta, in a way say something that means,  there are things greater than the simple rules you make, and the powers you've granted yourself.   and in a way it leads me to Eugene Chadbourne,  "how can you can kill me, I'm already dead".   That my soul, it lives by my rules.
   no doubt,  a serious burden, a struggle I battle within myself through out every day of my life, dealing with what I feel is right and wrong.      Its not a dark struggle,  not a depressed state of mind, more liberating, excepting my flaws, with pain, and also many realized,  just simple, joys.  

so many times I just get happy holding up a middle finger.  and others, simple compassion, and a helpful nudge to someone, in a bit of need.   a hand on the lower back, and like a small push up a hill.

 cheers, F U.  D. Lowe

Ms. Sharon Van Etten 
 One Day. 

@ World Cafe 9/23 Philly