guided by vices

Guided by Voices - "wrecking now" 
The door to my hotel room needed some English to open.   It was a bit difficult, and easy, I just had to pull a it towards me, and insert the key, and it opened.     Just the right amount of enough tension,  not too much.   I went "home" for the weekend.  I made visits to my family, friends, more family. 3 cities, 5 stops.  I grew up in Columbus ohio,   I left Ohio, after college, 1986 I moved to Philadelphia,  its the place I feel most at home.


 I don't talk to or see my dad often, 

back in '82  w/Fernando and Rodrigo, riding in a Volkswagen bug, we took this gravel corner to hot and bent the post to its side. (well it was a fence post around here).

I lived in a rented house on farm land with a bunch of cows.

The house stood here.

and this jungle gym, I was surprised that its still here, so its from the '70s.
It'd be great if I understood the feelings, or had answers for questions, even if I could just make up something that sounded like a good story of a visit. 

In the end, its was a good trip, I took a lot in, and, it was about time, that I went back.

Cheers, dlowe


pretzel and coke

this headstone is almost worn bear, and despite how popular and important the man was, now his bones lay in the ground beneath a weathered beaten gravestone, that is almost impossible to read.

Yesterday I visited the gravesite, of Richard Harding Davis.   came across his name in my reading journeys, he was born in Phila. and his bones are in the ground in Roxborough.    I don't know much about him, he was dashing journalist adventure taker, early 1900's.   He sounded interesting enough to me that I got one of his books now in the queue pile.

I did not know where his grave was, in the graveyard, that is off of Ridge Ave., behind Bob's diner.
The graveyard is a bit overgrown.  I did find a picture of the gravestone on the internet, and was able to take enough clues from the pic to easily track it down.

While I was trying to look at the pic, walking the graveyard path, squinting, I dropped the phone, as I have many of times, I picked it up, acid trip screen, boo, my 5 year old droid phone is dead.

My wife has been on me for years to get an iphone, mainly so I can figure it out and then teach her the tricks.

I'm anti apple, but caved in and got the phone.

1st picture on the phone, Pretzels and coke, in Phoenixville.
mmphuff,  it does take a nice photo

My goal, on todays ride, was a pretzel and a cold coke.

It was a long flat ride today.  Felt good in the heat. I did not think much while riding, mostly listened to music.  I did for a brief period veer away from the blankness, I thought a bit about the Drives ride last night.  Not for long,  I then went back to the thoughts of the pretzels and coke.   Reached Phoenixville, ate on a stoop outside the pretzel shop, chatted a bit with a local about bike racing.  and road back home. 

Cheers, d.



secret passages, they do exist.   I guess I've been riding long enough, and that I am curious enough, that I've have discovered a few.   Most are right there, close to the popular trails, but hidden, not groomed, not the same flow, or maybe, not socially excitable as others.

the base of "horse legs" climb

jump the rail off the highway ramp

today it was mild, toward the chilly side, 60's maybe rain, maybe light drizzle.   I worked on my pit cx bike and got it in good order, and knew I wanted to go ride the trails, that are special to me, I feel that I own, discovered.  I know that is far from the truth, but these are not Wissahickon, or Belmont.   These are quite trails, made, in my opinion, to meet all the needs, to suit me,  of a good cross ride.

It was one of the beautiful days in the woods, very green but not overgrown, misty, and enough precipitation to pelt the leaves with a light percussion,  smell, sight, sound, maybe a little taste of splattered mud a rare once in a while.   I was damp, but not wet, my body kept the soggy kit warm.

every now and then I'll take someone with me, but that's rare.   It is more enjoyable to ride these trails alone.

I came across a young man at the base to the climb "boys to men" and he was asking trail questions.  I have to say, that I was not rude, but I felt no need to divulge much of what I knew of all the trails back here.   maybe sometime at work, I learned that someone can tell you how or why to do something, but you don't learn it till you discover it yourself anyways.   Like giving someone a map, the roads, creeks, topo, its there, but not the journey, not the why, and how, it ends taking you, that it needs to take you,  the way along the way that you find it.

as much as I love riding these trails, I loved discovering them, and its the place where I ride, where I stop often, and am in awe, so overwhelmed by the landscape, that I feel empty.  No worries, needs.

"Gladwyne  was settled in 1682 by Welsh Quakers. It was near the Welsh Tract, and was known formerly as "Merion Square". It was given its new name in 1891 in order to imitate the stylish Welsh names of adjoining towns, although the name is meaningless in Welsh."
a meaningless name, for sure, a perfect place for me to ride.
Cheers, d.


easy week, easy nights

I hit up Cadence today,
to order two CX bikes, 
around this time of year I start getting it together.
I've been off the cross bike mostly.  mostly road miles
today, I went out on the old cx bike, and limped it along, mostly rolling pretty good,
a couple of skips in the shifting, but still running well enough to get 30miles in.

I'll keep one of old frames, and make it into a single speed, I'm afraid, the other,  It will be sold and move on.

It is unusual that I'm sentimental about a bike,  or the equipment.  
I was never in a deep love with these two.
I got a lot of use outta them, and trips, trails and loops I found around my house.
tons of racing.  Riding with friends, cross practices.  ordering the new bikes sort of makes me, gracious to the past,
They, the bikes, stand there in my memories, as some of my friends also.

It was a nice night yesterday, I grabbed a book, a bottle, and my camera.   took the Free Spirit over to Belmont Plateau, and sat at a table.   
pasted the time, and road home after dark.

Jefferson's wading in Bourbon.

cheers, dlowe.



I went out for an easy ride.  
after giving my stepfathers Mini a jump start to send him on his way on his visit from Beaver, PA.

a man sat in the grass with grape vines in his hands and a nice basket being woven in his legs.
I road past a bit.  I saw a finished work just sitting along the path, and decided to U-turn and chat.

We talked a lot.  He road a scuzzy mtbike from New Orleans to Baltimore, he asked some questions about my bike, and hefted it in the air and was in awe of the lightness.

I thought about pulling out my phone and taking his picture, I couldn't figure it out
if he was a bit off, or.

It is impossible to say...

I've met my wife back in 1984. at OU, Ohio University,  I'd already dropped outta college, and had transferred from The ohio state university to OU.
I only stayed at OU one quarter, before taking another year off.

this morning, she was hopped up on cold medicine, and speeding along a bit fast.

I always wonder how off I have to be to be crazy.
I asked the grape vine weaving man about if he liked pictures of his works, he said no, that, superstition, that life just moves along forward.

Photography has a lot to do with ego for sure.

and crazy, I like to think of it in the romantic way, like Patsy Cline singing to me.

I've always been a bit of off my rocker, its taken me awhile, to accept.  
and I'll never make baskets so clever.

I shook his hand, and almost wanted to give him a hug, like a cousin, blood.
and pedaled my bike on my way, down Main st.

We had a great visit, Michael's visit, my stepfather,  I went to my first ballgame with him, its been since the MLB strike,  to see the Phillies beat the Indians.

for a long time I never felt love, I was a bit numb, don't know why,
so when I shake a hand and feel if its soft, warm, strong,
that goes to my heart.

The diner, The Avenue, in Lansdowne,  has a  small breakfast menu, and Ljiljana gave me a hard time about doing the drive to this funked up part of town, but everything we ate was great.

Cheers, dlowe.



Mondays are good days for me.
usually my weekends are grand, riding, eating, drinking,
And when I wake to the alarm, if I have work, on Monday morning, the best.
and this morning, Ljiljana was up 1st, and I could smell and hear the La Colombe.

Mondays I ride over to Narberth, to The Greeks Next Door, a new team sponsor,
good for me for sure,
but I'd be riding over anyway, Mondays are 1/2 price growler fills.
they pick a nice batch of beers, and coming up with two, my 1/2 and my full growlers fills, is not hard at all to find something tasty.

the Director of Photography today, Mr. Gerardo Puglia,  is his soul Italy, old school.
he is warm, sexy, and artistic.  
so we drink too much espresso, that he provides.
While we were shooting an interview, I watched the electric kettle brew.
I smelled the aroma.
Tell me, what is like the aroma of espresso?
and the clones, the wanna be's, the doing it for the $, the ones who have secret lives way more full than mine,   if they walked this hall,  they'd inhaled the aroma.

I raced a bunch this weekend, no results to speak of, to mention.
I took my nap yesterday in the back yard listening to the strong winds blow.
and tonight I drink a tasty barley wine.

I am a king of an very small empire.

home -

cheers to Mondays, d.



I guess in my case I'm looking into the simpler pleasures
I'm looking for my drive, in photography,  I understand the tech,  what's to learn there
I feel I have a grasp on that.  But what I lack, that drive, the need to shoot a picture, to tell a story.
Maybe that's a flaw in me, something I lack, but I don't want to shoot editorially,
I want to shoot, Themed, shots that go together, that open and expose, a number of prints, that stand together.
I don't know where to look for it, but that does not stop me from moving forward
and if I never discover it, oh well, maybe its the journey for me, that's what I get

and Beer?   I never thought years ago, that it would be more than Bud, Bush, Stroh's,  I never thought that so many people would be brewing, so many good beers,.... and beer is cheap. 
and I am enjoying so many,  different, convenient,  and for me its hard to deny myself of this pleasure.  and Why should I?

bike riding, some think its hard work, slogging up a hill,  a slow  brutal challenge.
or putting on layers,  heading out the door into 29 degrees, to ride for 3hrs.
hanging on for dear life, in a break, and you know your pull is next, and that you still have 12 laps to go.

That's not suffering, its a blessing, to find something that you'll give your soul to.

Cheers, dlowe

sometimes I don't put much effort into this, anymore than just writing.
I ride my own line, and write the same way.

Yann Tiersen:  "Fuck me"



the oil grease black soot dirt from working on the bike every line of dry skin in my hands
works its way down in even after washing the black  there is a bit deeper off the surface

while in Dallas driving from an interview to the airport in our large Suv we stopped at a light got bashed into not hard but good at the stop light by a pu truck,
a thin tube man landscaper nice enough bloke with bad tattoos somehow did not realize to come to a stop
we all rolled into the gas mart and a very nice cop took care of the paper work
we stood in the sun and someone got funyuns
I ate one

while in San Fran
between breakfast and checking out I walked to the adjacent
drug store to get gum
on exiting a man was on the ground leaned on the post at the corner outside the door
I stood a few feet away enjoying the people the street
his sign said "fuck you, man"
cool to me
he was done with a bag of Funyuns and putting the package into his traveling bag
"dude can I have a piece of gum"
I pop it out of the blister pac
and put it into his open palm
his skin was not the color of skin but of the earth city earth grime
his nails longer with black lines of dirt just lining the nails edges

"Funyuns sure give you bad breath, thanks"

sunday I raced  crits doing 60miles of circles.  two  races. 
10th in the 45+
I just sat up in the 1,2,3.   no legs heart or head to mix it up all I could see in the future was badness
it ended fine no one did anything stupid

I wish I could live many lives simultaneously
I'd love to be back out on the road working
somewhere racing
laying on the couch with a cat on me watching something on the tv or reading
or out to a dinner with Ljiljana

I pedaled my pedaler over to Narberth
to get catnip plants
Marsala wine
and beer for me

so it goes that we all are a bit relaxed here

life is grand, dlowe


spot on

I left Klaus Kinski behind in the hotel lobby by mistake
so maybe someone
is going to pick that book up
and read a page
the smut
I smirk at the thought

I took my camera along and took a few pictures at the stops
I turned my back on the gym or anything physically fitnessed
just work
and not working time spent with my colleagues doing what damage we can do
to revel with shots beers food

home a happy wife
spring the most dark bright green that days can be
a case of beer a SSmtBike ride a bottle of Tito's vodka I made fresh orange juice

Cheers to the high life

Bambino - "Imuhar"



San Francisco