Bash Guard

I woke early today, Sunday,  this the 3rd weekend of Cross, and being that it only had a Saturday race,   I thought of coffee, and almond croissants.   I thought of pulling the SS Mtbike off the hook in the shed and taking it out for a spin.

what I like about cross, its hard, that if you do it, you suffer.  That if you are just getting into it, you suffer even more, its got a tough love curve.   Even still I get a bit of fear, a small concern, that what I love about cross now will somehow be diluted and lost with a large influx of new riders.
... I don't know maybe it comes from growing up with the punk music scene?

I still consider myself to be kinda the new generation to cross, I'm new blood, and owe, cross, its due respect.

the Heckler,  I saw yesterday, at Whirlybird, The Friend, yelled at a teammate some heckle, it seemed a bit harsh to me, the heckler gave it in a mocking voice, with a bit of a snide laugh to it.  The rider in turn, look beady eyed at the Heckler and gave him the finger.  Dagger eyes.

... I think my fear is unfounded,  the heart of cross is quite strong right now, that the people putting in the time, the practices, that the Scene is good.  

I went out and tooled about on the SS mtbike, I feel good, the legs and mind, 5 races in.  Yesterday, Whirlybid,  even though I got caught in a crash, no one got hurt, I battled to a 14th place.   Nice!

I guess I've never found the need to heckle, I like a good roast, a clever play on words,...
...  but I want you to dig deeper, to go harder....
and it seems to me, the harsher things said come from hecklers that don't race.

my SS mtb, its my oldest bike, the cheapest, cobbled together, the one I count on.   Looking down at my feet spinning in fast easy circles I noticed the bash guard, dented and chipped.  It helps  keep me honest a bit, saving the teeth of the chain ring from my poor riding skills.

cheers, d.


more cow bells

I walked into the DC bar, last Sunday night, early to nab a bite.    Empty pretty much,  I looked at the tables on the left, the group looked up at me, I recognized them, they were the band, Cate Le Bon, that moment happened that happens, it seemed silent, and the Sweet Baboo,  his eyes, lifted and they too stared at me, I,the newcomer into the bar guy.   Surprised, uncomfortable, I twitched and turned and made some squeaky sounds dragging a bar stool out and tried to sit.  Normal acting.
sometimes the internet provides a bit too much.
I would'nt know Cate Le Bon
the Sweet Baboo
or look at their pictures on facebook and follow their tweets
or watch videos of them in fields in Wales
without it.
 the bar was small and the crowd, well us there to view the show, we stood out in our watching and me I stood out a bit more with a camera pointed up at all of them, but I'm sure they are use to it, they've been playing shows and on this tour for a while now, I've read.
The Baboo brought a great energy to the band, playing bass, he laughed and jabbered, and played, you could tell he had a hard time of not letting the music over-power his soul.
Cate Le Bon, played an Gibson SG (I think), now this show, chords, distortion, rocking, less finger picking.
I enjoyed the show.
I'm still in love with wear and tear, burnishment,  and I hate changing my bar tape, and I want components that last.
I've been thinking of getting a bike that I keep forever.
The parts, sturdy.  A good bike, a cross bike, for all time riding, trails, cobbles, roads, maybe take it on a trip or two.   but one that last, that I keep.
Heres the Sweet Baboo
I don't think I'll have eggbeater pedals on my last forever bike, I don't think they are to longlasting sturdy.
cables, and tires, somethings last less time, I'm ok with that
I want a bike I commit to.
any advice
Cheers, david.

oh yea, drummers might get a bit neglected now and then so here are some shots of the drummer from Cate Le Bon.



Charm city weekend is a special weekend.   I go outta town, stay in hotels full of interesting boarders, hit up Johnny Rads, hang with the team, friends, dogs, babies, competitors.  Eat drink Merriness.
I did get up every once in awhile and make my way about the course, chatting, leaning into the tape and yelling.   That's Jim Rock racing,  its cool,  my aging, I haven't changed to much in the last decade or so, Jimmies, gone from a wee lad to a racing stud.    Nipping my heals, putting elbows into me at practice, and dropping the hammer form time to time.  So I yell, "nice", "Jrock",   and so on.

Seems I tend to be standing by the tape mostly during the masters 35+ race,  I know so many of them, and its good racing to follow, all the battles, the top dogs,  to the suffering dogs, I like those battles.

the masters are the working class.  full of pride, determination, mistake, excuses, speed, smarts,...

I miss the race before mine, the 4's, and the race after.  I do like the elite racing, clean, fast,

 the personalities

and team mates, chopping away,   the Elites.

Just sitting in a quiet hotel, a Sunday 5:30, very quiet, calm, nice weather, a nap done.   Kept the room an extra night, headed down to DC to see a band.  Then back home.  Home.

Kelly Cline got a good one in today, 
photo by K.j. Cline

"Charm City CX: Where 3yo's can ride in the sand and Elite Men and Women can't."

the officials let everyone except the Elites ride the sand.  I'm not sure why?

its a good sport, I had two great days.
Cheers!  dlowe.



I took a lot of pictures at the Nittany cyclocross race, on day 2.
the results,  of good frames to bad, very low.
that's ok, I didn't have any shots in my head, more just pointing and letting the continuous shooting option click away.

so most were by chance, the ones, the few I liked.

my racing went well, day one, nothing but suffering, no go and a 15th, and day two, smart start, good legs, rolled a tire, and a happy 18th. 

I guess what I've learned about cross, for me, its not winning, or beating, proving anything,  its the challenge, effort, and the consummation of my thoughts, the figuring out, failure and successes that makes me look forward to lining up in the grid next week @ Charm City.

the new team, the people on the team, Its been great.  what a mess in the tent village, and you know its rolling when the chairs and bikes and shit, not only your team mates, but other riders, friend, and family,... it's all over the place.  

and everyone hears shit, or cheers when they come by, the 1st place sandbagging dude that's been racing the B's so long he's ready to move up to masters, to the freaking dudes in the last race of the day, anyone who races elite, .....only respect from me.

and when the sun rises on the next  ez-up,  at the next race, and the beer cans and gel wrappers litter about, that won't come soon enough.  Next week I plan to be a bit more social, to visit some of the other tents/friends in the caravan.
to my fellow racers, Good for you.  Cheers!  david.



I'm not sure what the bottom of a wave is called,  not the crest, but the smooth body being pulled up, sucked in, with such incredible enerygy.
My tires are glued and resting, setting stong and firm.

From the first time I hit up the laps at the new CX workout location, I kept thinking of the photo, the sun, setting into the tree line.  Riders working.   The tall grass holding the edges of light.

for some, ... This week, its the butterflies in the stomach week, the nerves, uncertain.  Not me, not this year. I feel calm.  I feel a smile cracking at the side of my lips.   I don't care how I do.  I just wanna go out and ride hard, smart.   I've nothing to prove.  No one to beat.   Our Mid Atlantic Season, the MAC it starts this weekend.    I've got last years Nittany course in my mind.  and each night when I put my head down on my pillow, I think about the start, the layout, the corners....  but somehow, I feel that something new, that a twist will be added, this year.     I try to sleep prepared to expect something new.

My bikes are haggard, not shifting well, dented, scratched. worn, and beaten in well.   They are my old teams colors.  I'm trying to push them just a bit more, twisting the rag tight and getting the last good racing drops out of them.    I want new bikes.

a simple, good night.  not many words left now.  d.


the Stranger

sitting down and my head is still spinning a bit.
did some hot laps, with a couple of team mates, C. Lebair, and G. Rezvani.
Just getting the nuts and bolts tightened down for the start of the season.
a Workout is better with a peep or two pushing you along, these hot laps hurt, and not being a race, its easy to lose a bit on the top end, to let up a hair, and not give it a full go.

Meet up at the Ohio House, and hit up the laps.   4x @ 5:30  x2  of speed, flowing corners, path sprints, good work.   Warm out so the pouring rain, a bonus.

Last night I went to a Yoga studio  to see some folk.  Like in the type of Music.  
strange place in west philly, grabbed a carry-out six from across the street and climbed the steep steps to the second floor, Yoga Studio.    Meg Baird, played, shes quite good, solo tonight, and it sounded great.   Then the Black Swans, from my hometown, Columbus.    Man you gotta love what your doing to play in a band nowadays.  The talent level is so high.   This show, in this small place, incredible.   I love music, and last night, very special.  Just simple, well played, soul filled songs.  A real treat. 

I've got a theme on strava now, the workouts, for this fall, what I come up with, will be named based on the Big Lebowski. 
helps ease the pain, the goofyness of it.  

I forget that I've been around a bit, so chatting it up with these lads after the show, I asked If they knew Ron House, My old Punk rock father figure,.  It was nice to hear that they did, and that he, Ron, is still was holding a place of importance in the scene.  Respected.

cheers, d.