Cyclocross Racer

I did not win anything this year, not one race.
its been a grand year,  I don't have to look back farther than this afternoon to know it.
I tried Belmont, to soft, and the trails at the Mighty Wissahickon, beat up a bit, and frosting mud ontop, to soft.  I cross by Rittenhouse town and turned left, up the climb, and road the old trails, quiet, dry trails, they are short. Its a nice trail this one up on the ridge.

I raced a lot, enough.
I'm not the fastest guy,  good job fast guys,  way to work and train,  and way to show respect and pride to us losers.   Humbled by you.

Only about 2 miles from my house, its run down,  I don't worry about Phila. losing its soul. 
I wonder how people live,  this vast society of have not enoughs.

I guess what drew me to live in phila., maybe was not what it had, but maybe more what it did not have.    Even if I don't help anyone, ever,  I don't want to pretend its not there. 

mewithoutyou - "Aubergine"

Mewithoutyou, played well, good show @ Johnny Brenda's.

Its been good, work, beer, racing, bands, art, books, food, luvin, family, friends.

my adventure, challenges, just a step outside my front door.

the Quakers, when they built the doorways into the cells, that held you in the penitentiary, they made the clearance low, to make sure you bowed your head.

I don't worry about knowing a lot,  its not my genetics,  I've got a terrible memory.
so I try to keep it simple,
when I started riding,  I read, "look at where you want to go, concentrate on the line.  See and know the dangers, hindrances, but focus on the line, follow your line".

I feel it now,  next year,  racing,  cross.  oh how long till?

Cheers,  dlowe.


about the town

the racing is done for 2013.  and now I'm just out and about on the bike, doing whatever.
mostly on the sscx, and trying to go slow.   taking pictures and stopping to look around, even going a more a bit off the path into the badder neighborhoods.   I've been reading books,  now onto Maynard Dixon,  I guess when I head out the door I want to discovery my own frontiers.  Vistas. There's not much left to really discovery, but maybe more I can rediscover. 
I'm loyal to my routes, and look for even small patches of dirt to add to road, or old sidewalks,  some of the vast empty parking lots.   Just a block off the common route.
I like the sun behind me, in the afternoon, low from the west, just flatlighting the big old empty building, row houses.   The blue cool tones of ambient sky, the light climbs the floors at sun sets behind the horizon.   The far side of the Wissahickon,  the sun drops to my left, and  I look out over the creek to the right, at the opposite hillside.   Watching as I pedal along, the band of sunlight, just hitting the tops of the tallest trees.
cheers dl 


"tow trucks a coming"

I went out a wimp.
this year, I finished racing twice.  once in Louisville and last week at Belmont.
1/31    my 1st sscx race,  on the Free Spirit.
The Walkmen - "While I Shovel the Snow"
I knew as I prepped yesterday, loaded the car, the bag, that I'd turn off the alarm, turn over, and not race today.
Last race, last week,  drinking on the hill,  warm soul, warm hands, cold beer.

This morning.  
I woke up, fixed a couple of Fakin' bacon sandwiches,  and went out on a ride,  just a short one on the SScx.
You know its philly, and you know that if it can, it will find you, its always there,...
I would of missed it, if I was racing, the cop car slid off the road,  joy riding the Plateau.  I snuck around to the top of parachute hill and rode down to get a snap.   When I had found them, I stopped, and a window rolled down.   "...."  I didn't say a word.   "the hills icy"  "slid off"  I did a sitcom gander, and long pause, ....   "Yep"  I said.          "tow trucks coming".    I left a good gap in time.. "ok".        I kicked my shoe against the pedal to clear packed snow, clipped in  " so long "  I said.
I think it'd take 3 of me, to do all I want to do; help me drink it all,  see all the bands,  race, and race,  the good rides I miss, and attacking all the training rides,  the GV30 breaks I want to be in.

and of course the time I just want to have my arms around my wife.
The naps, all the naps.
driving home from picking up some strong winter brews, the moon came up and outta the cloud.
Love is Luck
I did not get a picture of the moon, no.  Back into the clouds it went.
 The Walkmen,  I now want to see them, and they just played Philly,  and it was their last show, ever.
I did not go, just another thing, grand thing, I needed to miss.


Laundry to fold, a bag to pack, need to eat a bite, and sit on  a comfy couch
Cheers!  d.  


Interview with Dean Wareham

 I did my 1st interview recently, with Dean Wareham.

"You race CX? any interest in a small interview to talk about cx/music? cheers, d"
"I do not race anything!"  Dean Wareham.

I've enjoyed this much like Galaxy 500, and, Dean and Britta. 
I look forward, expect a show in Phila., in the spring.

Dean Wareham - "Living Too Close to the Ground"

and off to a little nap, d.


Mr. King Krule obliterated the f'n world

photo a.Gorka

its hard to type tonight.  Riding today, I reached out while riding to give the robot rider coming by down the tape the opposite direction a high 5.  It wrenched my thumb backwards.  Now its a bit purple and plump.      King Krule - "Cementality"

a long time ago, I was riding in the backseat of a car,  I think to get food, bumming a ride, I didn't have a car, I didn't need one.  the college I was attending, Ohio University, is in a small S. Ohio hill town, Athens.
I had just returned from a visit to Philadelphia, maybe '85.   visited the folks,  and saw Nick Cave the junkie, play at a dumpy bar.   I fell in love with Philly, I think that night. ... when I froze, stilled tongued, as Nick sat down on the bar seat next to me, ordered a bottle  of vodka and a glass of ice.   A few sips, moments, he was up on stage playing an incredible show.

"I'm moving to Philly"  I said.
"Why the fuck would you want to move to Philadelphia, that hole, I hate that place" the broad driving said.   I just pasted my lips together.  No argument from me, and I want some food.
Saturday night, in a bar venue, Johnny Brendas, there are no more dumps,  shows, even the small ones are at nice places.   to see King Krule. 

King Krule,

I don't know where the band's from, but I think the town, these lads, make it some place I'd want to see.
He plays,  the body is as important as, makes the music, as much, emotion can tweak, shake, simmer, out of his soul with words, notes.

I am Nature Boy,  and Cross Crit counter clock.  I'm Under '76,  and Beer Can Trail,  to Behind the Ice Rink drop in,  these parts of philly they are mine.  Me.    Horse legs, Boyz II Men, Stony stony.
Not to take ownership, but, my grasp on them, ...I ride them when I want, I've seen them in winter, drizzle, with friends, flats and broken spokes.  I know of every free spicket, for water on 100 degree days. 

my world was obliterated.
ssxcwc'13 at the plateau

by simple things, d.


an Intro to Kevin Morby

I am an awful writer.   I have no need to convince myself that one day I'll be better.  I won't
I've thought that the mtb bike had a better chance rolling down a hill, without the rider on top of it.
and that notion, helps me ride smoother.
instead of fighting it, hold on, and do the best you can

Logic, grammar, form, foreshadow, ...words hardly roll outta my head.  More pushed.

Kevin Morby,  from his new album Harlem River, 
"Miles, Miles, Miles"

I've seen Mr. Morby in two other incarnations of his bands.  The Babies,  and Woods.

He has a new band, and running it under his own moniker.
a good record, mellow, loose.  It'll be interesting to see what LA does to him.
from what I've read, he lived in Brooklyn and most recent moved to LA.
It seems to me that he's on the road a lot,  so I'm not sure it matters where he calls home.

Him and Cate Le Bon are touring together, still playing very small stages.   In Philly it'll be at the Boot and Saddle.   I'm not sure how he met Ms. Le Bon,  suppose out in LA, since she has moved from Wales to LA recently.

God I remember in the past, college, having to write a paper.  To type it out.  even on a correcto-matic electric.
I was fucked.
I might of as well pushed thumbtacks into my eyes.
that'd been less painful.

you who can write,  my sincere apologies, and ut most respect.

become his friend of FB:
check it out at the Label:

or go see him at the Boot and Saddle: 1/1714

cheers, d.



Oldenburg.  Kent.  Leger. Anonymous.


This little Leger was not invited to the show, just hanging out in a hall, unnoticed, and is allowed to be photo'ed.  

 Vandalized bench plaque.  

not a pedaled stroked today.  to the museum. Surrealist and Leger.  Tomorrow I'll ride hard.
Sunday clean up a bit for our guest.  SS cx f'n W are coming to town.    "phila.?"   you don't know what's in store for you, for sure.

Cheers, dlowe.


45+ PA state champ

One of the worse parts of racing for me is answering the question, that those who know you raced ask.  "how'd you do".

For me, not too well,  like back in the teens is an average result, once in a while I've been cracking the top ten in smaller fields.   

and when I tell them "16th",  I know they wonder,  .... "what is wrong with you?"

I don't know if its worse that at the end of the season, they stop asking, they know how you did.
and are thinking "whatever is wrong with this dude?  he should get it together and kick some ass,  get up there on the podium,  I can understand not always being first, 2nd's good too,  but common. 13th!"

and when I start,  to tell, why, my reasons,.....

Then I look for the little things to make myself feel good.

1.  Carlos got a cool pic of me.   I look cool, for sure.

Photo: Carlos Cabalu

2.  Prepared.   Everything ran like a champ.
3.  Still racing, didn't bag it, cause I'm tired, it's late in a long season, or cause it was windy and cold.
4.  Fucking I race Cross!
5.  I am 13th in the series.  13 is a badasses number.

this race, was good in many ways,  a Grand course, tough conditions, and tough foes.
I did come in 16th.

so often I write the count down to the start of the season, the anticipation.
but now, I don't want to believe, maybe 2, 3 races left. 

Life's been full, balanced.   I've not been the fastest.  but even still I yearn for it.   and to punish myself, I do suffer more, deeper,  its harder.   I've learned more this year.   Pacing, tactics, protection. 

Cross is grand.  I'm giddy.   I'm lapping it up.  

My regards losers, dlowe.


a Grips life.

I want to make sure that you know,  I like to toil.  To work.  Suffer.
There is a beauty in my work,  I work with light, helping to capture an image.
and it is a joy for me, to work for someone talented, with a good eye, and fair personality.

riding my bike is not my career.
its a love.
Again I toil, suffer, and pedal endlessly repetitive circles,  million of minutes, for loads of miles.
I want to have the opportunity, to make my luck, skill.
and if its to suffer, and come in 16th, Sunday at Kutztown cyclocross race, then that's it.

It took me a bit to get into the race,  the 1st laps, I pedaled with,....  not total conviction.
Not until I saw Marks wheel up in front of me, and felt the two men come on strong to my aft, and soon to capture me, was I able to dig deeper, and ride.

I could never figure out this line, I'd slow so much, lost mucho time here.
photo: c. cabalu

Saturday, working at Belmont.  I carried stones.  Whacked weeds.  Used a spay to move the earth.
Just to move mother earth a wee bit.  
I don't think there is a word more proud,  more yearned for.  Work.

I can't say that I minded the manual labor, done, headed back.  to ride.  Photo: Damien Talese.
and behind the dolly, working into the night,  a fake snow fell.  a good DP.  a beautiful shoot.

somewhere, just more recent, I think that the pride, its been a bit lost.  It's more than just capturing an image, but to capture it with a pride, skill, purpose.  Cheers to the good Cinematographers.  a knowledge, skill, love,  to write Motion, an image, with light.




I could live today over and over again.
I feel guilty, for what I got out of the day, compared to what I gave.


and to The little grovel hole of Kelpius.



the season

I've been more off the bike than on.   as of late.
today, went back a bit and just worked on skills, starts, dismount remount, off camber, and cornering.
Did a bit of running, slow.   Then went off into the woods.  To find an old overgrown trail.

I won my first ever race at Belmont.  At the last mtb race that took place there.   I won, and all the friends I rode with, they also raced that day, and cheered me as I went to collect my prize.  An x-large purple helmet.  

I passed Meach at one of the numerous log crossing, "yo, Meach" I said,  "go get 'em Dave" he replied.

The brush is thick fast. and many things have thorns, and numerous slaps and pokes as I trapesed on.

The trail use to follow the fence,  but on up the trail, down by the creek a big tree fell.   That closed the trail.  Quick grew the plants along the fence, and, it was impassable, and forgotten.

The trail followed an old trolley line, it was off to the right.  I didn't notice the old line, that rose up and away, to an abrupt drop, where the bridge that was once there, spanned the little creek valley gap.  

It was a pretty big thing to miss, that old line decaying in the woods.   Easy to miss cause the trail on the left of it,  had a nice bump, and was a fast place.  To a bit of a trick crossing, then hard pedaling to just keep at racing speed. 

Meach hitting the bump, on the old trail,  racing,  a few years before I started riding.

Patrick our cat, we had his leg amputated.  He just went running by, on the wood floor.  I looked over at the new pattern of sound of paw steps.   He's doing well.

In a way, despite the early dark, and quickness of cold.  I feel potential, work on the skills, keep the thoughts hard in the mind,  its a new season now.    Its now cyclocross season, for real.

Cheers, d.



when I first thought of moving to Philadelphia, back in '86.   The art work that came to mind was the Clothespin '76 (Oldenburg).

I got down to the ride for PHL spookie cx a bit early,  swung by the pin to take some pics, and grab a pretzel and coke.   Before the group ride out to the course location.

Its a hard piece of public art to view, and especially hard to take a nice picture of.
Its stuck in a stubby skyscraper corner, its base obscured by landscaping brush.  In a cement planter, that hidden steps take you down to the underground train line.

I thought about this statue trying to figure it out,  an embrace?
Oldenburg said that the spring that held the pin together, makes up the number 76,
and 1976 was its commissioned year..... for the bicentennial in the USA, lots of art/events and decorations were done.
Many of the fire hydrants were painted as patriots, or like the flag; a field of blue, stars, stripes.
to Oldenburg's Bicentennial tribute  he stated "Not only does it have a crack in the middle but it resonates like a bell. If you bang it, it makes a lovely sound."   I don't think  many would be happy if I hopped up and in the planter box, made my way over to the towering Pin and gave it a bang.
....I like the idea.

America was a very strange, strange place those years.  The late '70's

Spooky is spooky, and its not, for me about writing about it , its something you've got to do sooner or later.
It took me till its 4th year to make it out to it.   I took off a day from official MAC  cx racing.  

the pin to me.   both sides pull away from each other bound by an outside agent, the coiled fulcrum.
It's a tool I use at work often,  commonly know as a C47, bullet, pins, or pegs.
It is used to attach gel/diffusion to a hot light.
Its a curious device, very clever, and it does look like two people clasped in some kind of embrace.

Well I enjoyed spookie a lot. 
had a grand day, and learned a bit too.

cheers, d.



MIA - "Like This"

I searched the fridge, for a hidden, the hidden beer.  Not my fridge, and was not being real apparent.
I road the seam, the gap in the tape, between the step up rock, and rolled up the grass.  It was available.

Not with the intention to cheat, or steal.
Just, you know, that, rules get bothersome.  
and that some of the spirit, that its there to find the advantage, a cold one.
I've come back to an empty cooler, my hidden quencher, gone.
As sad as it was, it was more funny.
I don't know how many beers have been given to me in life.
or how many, many, I've given away.
I just want to live within the spirit.



It was not sunny, damp, windy, good for riding day.
and I listened to music.
thinking a lot,
some so important thoughts are gone, when I put the key in the lock.
One today.  so if there is a heaven, don't you think that maybe the system to get into it would be like a group ride, race day.  You'r the promoter, leader, you can't get into heaven, till every last one of all the others, the bastards, cheats, dullards, wimps, and weak links.
Till you lift, and push.  Honor, and concede.
They make it to the end.
that then you, you follow, and are the last one in.

I think mudhoney changed the world.  I was in this basement.
I found a beer in this stranger's houses fridge.
I bummed a couple more in the backyard.
and I watched my history standing next to a washing machine.

flip'm the bird.  dlowe.



I  regretted getting a hotel room, it would of been easy and quick just to drive home after Saturdays race.   but I'm tired of getting up early and getting in the car and driving somewhere.
and I love cheap hotels.
so I checked in early, did a bit of stuff took a nap and went down to a local.  Brew pub.
I read.
and had a couple of beers.

Saturday, a course with features a plenty.  Off good, and flatted.  and hot shotted it too much to make up the lost ground.  but I'll learn to be steady. 
I think of lifting a shot off the bar.  The booze  bowed up over the edge of the rim.
To my lips without spilling a drip.

and if I can manage my legs, effort, in just a little better way, it will go quite a good way.

Sunday, f'church.  I'm in the grid. on a brewery access road, shivering as the officials figure out whos names go with whos numbers.   A hundred yards in, my head out talked my heart and I gave up a bit.

John Lux and Charles Kline came on, and we battled, I dragged on 'em.  held on. but in the end they both took me well before the line.

a good weekend.   I fell asleep at home, and was awoke with a jerk, my legs kicked, my toe clipping the top of a barrier.  I woke.  Took out the trash, raked some leaves.  

Sweet Baboo:

I remember standing next to him at the small bar.  He played bass on tour for a band.
I know him, of him, and in fact, he's a novel I haven't read,  I wanted to chat.
But I said nothing.  just Put down my empty glass on the bar.  and acted like he was another stranger.
and left. to a hotel room. I'd been racing cross that day. and went out that night as a bonus.
I like cheap hotels.  Music. a small bit of booze.
That's my adventure.



I had my nose under the tail and a bit up the butt, like a dog.
on the back of the two leaders, getting towed along
Sitting 3rd wheel is very unusual for me.  and I don't know why, I felt frisky.
And when one of the many tight turns, got Kelly Clines front wheel washed a bit, turned him sideaways, and he dabbed, I went down.
Durn it.
and now I was sitting Sixth.
I rode my eyeballs out, and payed for that two.  Trying to pedal through corners, I clipped the ground twice,  and it sent me down again and again.
I chased as hard as I could, with a compatriot.
but did not move up.   got 8th.  unimportant.  felt great.  
and I imagine that to be part of a team Philadelphia Ciclismo putting on a grand race,
the Crossasaurus Awesome, that not only did I have a grand two days of helping make the race happen,  I had a grand day watching racing, doing 2 races, also getting to racing my SS Free Spirit/Ted Williams Quality one more time.
Thanks to you all for coming out,   I hope you got to race your eyeballs out,  and you folks, good folks, made it a grand day for sure.
Long Live Cyclocross!

Cheers, dlowe



Good racing weekend.
Whirlybird on Saturday,  saw the grand English band Wolf People play a puny stage, prog-rocking it out Saturday night.  Up early and out the door to the lovely Copper River Cx race.

I met a sweet pup at Cooper River Cx.
it was the highlight  of my day.

Ms. Tippy, 7yr old, wanting to find a warm, loving home.
Clair Sauer, I give her much respect.  Doing what she does, trying to place these sweet creatures in loving homes.
make your next companion pet a rescue,
Street Tails Animal Rescue

We have 5 cats, all strays.
We've got Patrick,  the one with cancer.
He's living day by day now.
When it looks like that life, that it is not worth living for him no more.
We've made the decision, to put him to sleep.
The last couple of weeks I've been in a shit mood.
Not Patrick.
His mood is up-beat, strong,  and inspirational to me.
Animal, creatures, they amaze and inspire me.
Their strength, caring, smarts.  

after racing the weekend today is as all think to be an off day, recovery.
I did hill repeats, felt good, going up Rose Glen, and down.
I've always seen the not to trespass sign just across the base of the bridge.
Today, I went in, it was nice, a good place to sit.

just one bird chirped,
I sat still for a bit,
they flew about, then a lot chirped.


Poor Moon - "Birds"

good riding,.....and sitting, at the creek at the base of Rose Glen.
and there looks to be a nice switch back, old bridlewilde path, going up the bluff.

Cheers all, dlowe.