Flex my brain.

I hit the gas out of the grid and wanted to move forward,  I was in the top 5 and the first sweeping corner,  I pick an awful line, and slide into the ground, my head dragging a good golf tee- off size of sod up.

I was off my group,  I got up, on the bike, and went hard, got back onto the 2nd group, moved through the group, and drove it for a bit.   Keeping a strong line in a corner I wanted, and keeping.

I can't remember,  how or the chronological order of all the events,  but somehow, in the next 35 minutes I was able to taste dirt a number of more times.   Hot into a stake, my bars a few inches off the line, and down.   A clip of the pedal into the sod.  A stall exiting the short but deep sand pit.

                             our group was big today,  I could of gone from 6th to 14th, I got 14th

I read a good book,  about the Wright Bros.  recently.   written by David Mccullough.  An excellent read.   It took them a number of years, of thinking and trying.  Often a successful experiment, was a failure at "flight",   but they had the mindset to expect and learn from the failures.  That they had to fail,  and most likely fail often, to learn.  They did,  So that's how I took today.
Get back on the bike, straighten the shifters, focus, and go hard.

Part of racing cross for me, and I say it often, I want my foes to be their best. I want to race against national champs.   I've watched the battles,  and the mindsets.  Its time,  I want to make the move up to the back of that group, the fast group at the front.  Our group is great,  the battles are intense, really physically and mentally taxing.
That's great, we all should be getting faster, from our tough battles.  I want that gap to close, that the mix up front, becomes bigger,  and that the best, on the tippy top,  themselves have to get better.

                                                         a beauty of a day at the park

I left the race early today,  I enjoyed the course, helping to put on the race, but off to work.
...and the next couple of weeks are busy.  so  maybe, it will be more,  a bit of mental training, than physical training.  I will be looking  back at each race this year,  look at my mindset, what I wanted, and what I got, and how I did.  and what did I want to, need to improve on.    I won't get the chance to ride as much, so I'll flex my brain.

Thanks for pushing me so hard foes,  I heartily apologize if I mess ya up a bit in my crashing.

More cross please!



I was driving home from setting up our course today, thinking about...thinking about the course.   I'm a happy team minion.  Happy to be on a swell team.    Happy to rake and shovel and make the Gorilla again.

Its a nice day, a bit of jest, bit of work, its pretty nice cause everybody, gets to do a bit.  There is a high standard.  I feel it, even at my minion level.  Putting in stakes, riding, taping, moving stakes, riding, moving stakes, ....seems better,  better?  Best?  

I've enjoyed the banter on "good" course "bad" course.   only time tells.

A brief bit of pre-riding,  I got some hot lap time in on Mike Festa's wheel.  A tad faster than my comfortable level, I felt good, dropping gears, tape to tape-ing.   Up off the saddle pounding, braking, over the log,  sweep, sweep, pedal, up,  nosing rude a bit to his back wheel.  Braking. 

I blew and moved outta the way.   

I really look forward to tomorrow.  

A good start, move to the front six. Hold tight, Holding tight, and staying put.  I'd love a 5th place finish.   

Who knows?

Cheers!  Race your f'n hearts out.  dlowe. 



I took the advice of one of my foes, and did not double up racing this weekend, it was good advice.  Even though I had signed up to race HPCX Saturday, I got a phone call on Friday, to check out a studio spot on Saturday.  I made the appointment and bagged racing HPCX.

I'm not on friendly terms with HPCX,  nothing bad,  I've just never had a good day there.
Saturday I slept in, .....and looked and toured a cool old building, heard some old interesting history bits, and maybe have a studio space lined up for the near future.

Sunday and I was back to racing.
I love West Chester CX.
Its a field course,  done up all nice and right.
I've done my best this year, some big good races and efforts,   and am riding above my level.  and mentally and physically in a bit of a need for a short breath.

What I got Sunday,
It was another Deluxx sandwich.   A term I heard shouted out at us as we rode by the pits.
Mr. Dennis Smith said, something like....  "oh shit where's my camera", ...  but a short bit later as we passed back the backside on the return pass of the pits... He shouted out  ... yer in a "Deluxx Sandwich"!!!  dlowe!
Our group of 4, Deluxx team rider John Lux,  then Nils Johan Anestad, Me, and Deluxx team rider Marc Vettori..   Our group of four were the back end of top ten.  

Luxy, laid down the tempo,  and its good he put the suffern down on the group, cause he kept us in front of those chasing the top ten.
       I'd be nowhere without the photos of Dennis Smith - photo: d. Smith

I'd tried a couple of moves, Luxy made sure he'd put me back in place.   I'd have to bomb the tape and save every pedal stroke to stay on.  I attacked late in the game to try and shake off the dangling, chasing, Deluxx rider Marc Vettori.
      photo: d. Smith

but in the end a surprise strong move,  a late, N. J. Anestad attack,  and he won the group battle.
Lux next,  me,  with a 10th place finish , and off back just a bit Marc.  The "Deluxx Sandwich"

The ride of the day,  the sprig of honor,  I must bestow on Lee Rodgers,  I fear the day when he acquires the confidence/fitness to ride hard.   He had a back of the grid start, and shot up the dirt around the melee for a great start.  A great bike handler, a strong willed competitor, he seems a natural CX'er.
                                        photo: Bob Wellmon

Mid season, so far so excellent.   Time for a few deep breaths, change the brake pads, and come back and kick some ass,   have some more fun,  learn a bit more, and I don't mind so much being caught in the Deluxx Sandwich.

cheers,  dlowe


my down Fallings

Off the power-line trail into the backside of the nature center.  It has the sweetest trails.  Coming in off the power-line is mostly carrying the bike.   The regular riding route takes you straight up the center "Nature Boy".   I've been told, scolded, even just riding on the drive way.  I never see anyone on the trails, and only maybe hit 'em, the parks trails, up 4 times a year, each season.  I go real slow,  I understand this is not a biking destination,  that bikes,  no one wants them, flying around on these trails,  that its for walking,... I ride at a walking pace, and do accept, that if I'm told, I'll bow my head and walk the bike out.   and to stay out.

Its really hard, not to ride there, once in a few whiles.




Charm City Weekend

It was a luxury to head down early on Friday to Baltimore, a day before the racing weekend.

I took a nice tour of Fort McHenry,  ....that's where the British were put off from invading, where the resistance and the raising of the larger garrison flag, up the pole,  in the morning after the pounding, said f'you. Brits

then a short jaunt up the road to the incredible, and free Walter's Museum

 a private old family art collection,  in a cool building,  I looked at everything,  stupendous!
then I made another short jaunt to the course and did,  a bunch of laps of the fresh course, then dinner at the bar,  ...always Johnny Rad's,  sipping a beer and watching skateboard videos play.

The real luxury, was the luxuriosly, Deluxx bike team, tag team beat on, pound down I got racing Sunday.

Its a three man team.  and the headpin, is the cantankerous, John Lux.   so evil, I think he recruited the other two hench men, just to also, beat on me,  I mean its a team of three,  three master, that somehow I was sandwich inbetween,  the whole race Sunday.  
                                    photo: lefty Diane Vettori

John went by strong early and got away from me,  ...but not outta sight,  and I'd suffer trying to pull him back, with no avail,  really giving my all just to keep him in sight.

        photo, mrs. henchpin,  Diane Vettori

Deluxx mate, Fatmarc Vanderbacon, comes on strong next.   I was able just to hold his gap, I gasped and gasped.   I think John let up a bit, and Marc went harder a bit, and Marc got a bit of a gap, and again I was in close battle now with John.     He couldn't put me away,  and I stomped on him a bit and got a nice gap, and was heading to the last bit of the course, up to the sandpits, and he unleashed the last minute attack,  not him himself, but #3,  Deluxx  Joey Daub to get me.

Coming around the last of 4 sand crossing Joey took the good line to pass and put me to rest.  I took the bad line and went more hard.  We rode the sand crazy, scooting back and forth, banging and pounding shoulders into each other,  exited the sand, both intact.  Into the big planter, I took the exit first,  but use some wileyness and caught my breath, gave him just  a hint of a passing lane, he took, and I sucked his wheel out onto the pavement.    I got him, took him in the sprint.

I pulled up, Marc was there, done already.   Huffing and puffing, I shook hands with Joey, and Mr. Deluxx,  I think, if I remember correctly,  unleashed a big wet sweaty hug on to me.
I don't know how many of these f'n races I've got in me,   This was a dynamic trio deluxx beat down at its best, and...was really, Charming, for sure!

Cheers,  race hard, bump, crush and love your opponents!  O' cyclocross!



joy rider

Its as if the world just keeps opening up in front of me.

and my curiosity, to discovery
to pedal on,
I'm fit, very fit.  and trim.
I ride a bunch, all the time.
A lot of it is just moving.

Pleasant day today, real nice, almost cool.
The legs need to be fresh for the racing weekend.
100 men, I race against, Saturday, and Sunday.
I headed out clock-wise,  with only a couple of climbs.
I waved to Jude as we passed on the tow path.

Lincoln drive trail didn't feel empty, or alone.
A bit rough and slow, rocky.  tress downed.
I hope a charming opener,

to Baltimore,
this weekend, Baltimore!

Cheers,  dlowe.


Counting Coup

Granogue was such a grand battle, between me and my foes, ...but I came out on the short end of the stick.  It stirred up an unsettleled anger, and I took it out on Quacker CX,  riding mean.  I'm not happy about that.  I dq'd my results for myself.  I still have a foe to beat.  In a more happy, fair mooded way.

  one of the many fine turns at Cooper River

It was nice little two week break, and a nice, good way to get back into it: Cooper River Cyclocross,  I'd have to say this is the littlest, bestest race around.   If Copper River was a rider,  ..."shit...that's Cooper River lined up at the back..."   my thoughts in the starting grid.  He'd ride an old steel bike, a short stout rider, thin but all muscley.   That pug of a racer would cleanly pass us all, taking his time,  riding what we had to run.   He'd find a cleaner line in the corner and pass for fun.  Sitting on the lead group,  taking the speed very slowly up,  you'd not even notice, the gap would only grow by inches,  but somehow he'd drop each and everyone in the group.   He was never a strong rider, just stronger somehow, and its not that he won every race,  he just did it, really well.

I like this race, Cooper River cx, and its one that I want to race every year.    This course is the heart of cross,  everything fits just right into the small park.    Its master work.    

I need my foes to battle, sometimes I'm a bit rude on course, sometimes you chop my wheel, in unclear, argo moments of hot passion to pass.   I hope for the race, where it comes down, the battling all race,  it comes down to a man to man sprint,  and that ether you get me at the line,...

Cheers to the passion.  dlowe