last night I listened to some Hope Sandoval , before heading to bed.
I've been in a funk, the last 3 races
making me
as much as I don't like to  have the bike affect my mood



I've worked on my mud skills, and today the work payed me back.
I got a great start, took a couple of turns loose, then settled in, and just rode the mud.

and despite losing 3 spots on the last lap, putting me in 13th, my mood is lighter.
I took some photos, just a few "artys", and the rest, just of the 35+ race, and then worked the pit for the wonderful LvG
I like the pit
a lot of small talk in the pit,
sorta like a pre-diner party

some clicks:

bad ass

I feel the teeter-tooter starting to sink, we are past the half way point of the MAC season
I'm going to work hard
and hope to make it back into the top10 finishers.

whew, d.


Focus, frame... of mind

I'm just sitting down, damp, in from riding in drizzle.
The billboard, along 76e.  says its 56 out.  Balmy.  and I overdressed, well,... I was quite comfortable for my short ride.

 I have a coffee table book, that I pick-up when I need to focus, to devle back into myself.

 I left everything out on the porch, bike, shoes, booties, rain kit.
and felt inspired by the grayness outside

sorry to harp, but really, I'm not a fan of the long lens, and the 1000x frames that one can shoot
     I look at these photos, I look at the racers, the dress of the people lining the road, the cameras, lens, thoughts of just how many shots that the photographer clicks. No auto setting, maybe a light meter buried in a pocket.  The camera, built solid, strong, rugged.   

 and these pictures, they don't talk to me, or say anything, they just give me a feeling,

a motivation to ride, and in my mind, roubaix is an individuals race, only one soul suffers, only one soul feels the pain,
and only one wins,.... but its in their hearts,... imagine to live your life as if it was as roubaix, so focused, driven, the tolerance,... magnificent,.... 




the Killer Inside me

(prepping the course)

Granogue hurt me, deep.  and I'm happy about that.   I finished 15th day one, and 22nd day two.

sunrise, early to set up the tent site.  I was a Minion at peace.   

well out of where, maybe tenth, that I expected of myself.   and I don't really know why.  I know I went as hard as I could.  I wallowed in my hurt, almost fighting every to push every pedal stroke harder.

Photo by Dennis Smith

Jim Thompson's novel is about what goes on inside what to appears to be a normal human.

Photo by Dennis Smith

and in all my retrospective thinking, I did wonder, If maybe I could hate or have anger, the burning urge to whomp some whoop ass on someone, that it'd give me strength, drive, divert me from my self loathing suffering and place the blame outside of me.

Photo by Dennis Smith

I don't really have too many demons burrried inside my head,  I do want to be the fastest by, ... being the fastest.... maybe its mental toughness, better training, less beer, riding diary, more sleep.
all things I could do.
but.... maybe,   Me,   maybe I'm happy to have this unsatisfied loathing,
to want to do better,
cause, ... ya know,... I don't know why.  yet

Photo by Dennis Smith

one thing my wife told me, that I learned about myself.  That when I've won a race, that I made excuses of why, and that when I don't do well, is all logical, cognitive, hard facts of circumstances.

you'll find Jim Thompson to be one of the great Americas writers

cheers, david


Granogue - fore and aft

I had the pleasure of pounding in stakes today.  Of getting a good look at Granogue.

just driving to the course, as I turned off of rt. 1 onto creek rd.  my palms dampened.

and at Smithbridge rd.  where you first catch glimpse of the property, my mouth dry.

Its a hard race, maybe the hardest.   Its just not the elevation.  Its roots, off camber, fast sweeping downhills, pavement to wheel suck on.

Its the most beautiful place to race.     

and as a photographer, it holds the most opportunities to take exquisite photos.  The dense dark tree's shade, to abundant light.   and I hope that the women and men snapping photos really push themselves to find something special, to get something extraordinary.

Granogue is why I race cross.   It scares me.  I won't eat much before I race here, cause there is a good chance that one of the run up hills would just bring it back-outta me anyway.

life IS special, we ride, and train, and suffer, we put on races, or just lend a hand, because it brings us alive, a real joy. thanks Granogue and all who have made it happen.  cheers, d.


a-hole shot

I like'd the crisp start to today, flopped outta bed, a bit of tinkering on the mtbike and just a light wind vest to ward off the early chill.

I rolled out to do some easy riding at the Wissahickon, and the pedaling was easy, but like some of the easy rides, a lot of shit talk spun, and the new guy took the brunt of the slings and cat calls,  I guess in the end, I was lucky to not have the two Russians gang up on me.     Misha, and Dima.   

I study things, and think,

I don't know if this is J. Powers race bike set up to race,  there are a lot of spacers.  What I like, that I wanted, the white easton stem and the easton ea70 white bars.  Somehow I've order two white stems, but've got black ones sent to me.  oh well, only stylish cosmetic.   Look at all them spacers.   and please, someone tell me,  what is in-line of the front brake cable?  hmmm,...  could be useful?

yesterday did the PACX townhall cross race.  got the hole shot, no problem, and held back into the climb, and rode up he hill listening to Eric work his words on the PA.     Had a nice race, under inflated my rear tire, made it hard to go hard.  I ride with a heavy ass, and felt if I wasn't  to careful I'd rip the treads off the rim.   So I sat in the lead for a bit, then the two grey beards with better legs came by.    I had a good race and worked hard, on the corners, and barriers.   Hammered to the line to nip no-one but only to push myself as hard as I could.  Got 3rd.   Next week Granogue,  I look forward to the bigger field and more competition.   I'm learning a lot this year, I'm more comfortable on the bike, than I ever-been.   Things are good, the pain?  always good.  I'm suffering.     Cheers, d.



Sunday, the fun Hillbilly Hustle.
the start, its been a bit since I've been in the old fashioned scrum, and mayhem off the line.
I was a  bit back in the grid, and off we went, pinching in from the left,
and then hard from the right
the pack gave and a bloke capsized to my right, ahead of me.
I left my fingers off the brakes
and pedaled much as I would through muck or sand.
riding over his body, steering to the left of his head.
then I bombed the outside right line to the tree and came around the bend, I think sitting 4th

after the race, after eating crow and hosing mysel off, I made myself bust out the camera, and took some pics with the wide angle zoom.   I enjoyed snapping, but with the wide angle lens on, its a hard guess when to pull the trigger, the rider really has to be quite close.   All them long lens shots, many are just snapped away,  I feel a lot of the snaps, are like school photos, more for the info, ... sit, snap, post, maybe sell, than for trying to capture the energy or emotion of the race.   Not to say I can capture anything, I am really just guessing. ... and then looking at my snaps, saying to myself that sucks, yep that sucks too,  oh that one has something going on.  So my shit ain't planned, but if I work hard I will/hope to  acquire some skills, so that I use the right tools to say something with my pictures.

but the best thing about my race, is that I was able to bury myself,
going all out, I gave it everything,
the last part of the last lap
I wanted to close the 8 second gap to third
and threw caution away

I came into this corner of muck
came out

with paying for the risk
a big old face first belly slide.

I almost didn't want to come outta the woods
I could hear it as I came towards the line.

I did a great ride Saturday and met some great bike riders
Ms. Victoria Hanks has done a wonderful job of getting these young kids, these peeps out into a new world,
she has brought her world of bike riding to them
and some, will be able to ride (and see a different world), thanks to others giving.
read about the Cadence Foundation and her work: