The Crossover

tonight headed down crossbow, tacky and tight, feeling good, n'loose. 

during the summer, spinning up Rose Glenn, doing hill repeats.  I rolled down to the bottom to the return, and listened.  The creek water,  I listen.
"when it gets tougher, I'm tired, not quite as confident"
spinning easy for recovery,
"this creek, this sound, It,
I will use, recall"

It is hard for me to know howl I'll do at Nationals.
I'd like a top ten,
but what I'd really like, is to go in with a smile, calm,
a friendliness.
I'd line up in the second row, make the front group, suffer intensely, and be happy with that.

I'm not sure I will be able to conjure up the sound of the creek.
somehow it does not stick with me, and I can't pull it up.

The other day, just putting a few climbing miles in,
going down Rose Glenn there is a road that comes in from the right,
and the car pulled forward just a bit too far, soft on the brakes, and I had to brake to make sure,
to be safe,
and I slowed and gave some eyes to the driver.
In the few year old Honda,
and I think it was Allen Iverson,
it was!
Driving a Honda.
That, is what I'm going to run through my brain when I get up tight.
"Gentlemen, One Minute"
I'll see him, Iverson,  looking at me, from that Honda...  and all will be fine.

Cheers!  dlowe.



I belong to a secret society.
A hood, sisters and brothers.

I looked at my shoes at the end of Solstice cross,
I am done, mentally, physically, my spirit,

the lust, shine, gloss, is scratched, stained

the color, now seems gaudy, the bravado is old.

and this society I belong,
some earn buttons, some give hugs,
some take podium pictures,
maybe one of my favorite ones form over the years,
men who have raced a lot, won a lot,
goofy a bit, hard earned win.

                                       Mens 45+ Solstice CX
                                   photo: Frank Wigmore

Saturday I raced Solstice Cross, aged down, to 45+.  got a back of the field start, jammed up in the first tight corner, staggered calmly, with a strong yank, I was off and free.
I got what I wanted, I battled Luxy and Joey Daub,
I had 'em,  got a good gap, toward the end of the race,  and decide to ride the wee small barriers, and of course,
biffed and baffed, my face in the ground.
of course Lux was cool, as he passed "you hurt"... me "fine"
and he dropped me,
then the Daub Luxx, passed just before the Whoops
and I caught a bit of the corner on the downhill remount and made friends with the frozen ground,
sat up, and sighed, again beaten by the Deluxx's,
I enjoyed my loss.

I have a cooler of unshared beer,
concerns and worries, over a member of the clan,
I have legs to revive,  for Nationals.
and a love of my foes, friends, the spirits of my sport.

Cheers,  David.


The Remains

Pierre Renoir  “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”

I have stopped myself from thinking past my last race.  and I am not ready to start recapping my season, or planning what I'll be doing after this season.  
This last weekend I raced Saturday at Rivertown, and Sunday made the drive down to Reston with Kelly to race Capital Cross. 

         photo: evans rohrbaugh

I am in a funk zone, a bit mentally run down, not getting up for the races.
Sunday the course was well worth the drive, the event, sparkly, lively.
I went off the line well with a good clip in, and sat 2nd wheel on to the pavement,
Chasing the leader a bit.
good 1st lap, with the lead group.

There are so many types of pain, ...from the efforts,...
good In the Zone pain,  Pain of trying to crank the engine over, but it just won't catch, just grinds.
Pain in attacking a climb, crushing it and your opponents.

Saturday at Rivertown,  i'd say the most European small america town feeling cross race in the schedule, I got 3rd.
I never found my rhythm, I chased, and looked over my shoulder, not to get caught.

Kelly Cline gave some good advice to me, just a thing, simple an easy, "make your own podium"
get the blokes together, and pose and get a snap, picture of the podium group.
I like that.  

Sunday at Capital Cross, I ended up Ninth, lost all my battles. Mental and Physical.
it was one of the better days at a cross race though, pre-riding, seeing old blokes, and a new wee little baby.    Traveling and racing with a friend.

Deep inhaling quiet calm breaths, smart workouts,
out and buy some traditional after the race at Limekiln Masters dark beer, suds to sip,
to toast our pains, hopefully, the best pain, the pain of winning, and being crowned the
PA State Cyclocross Champ!

Drink deep,
til the head back,
to finish that bottle,
a long blink, eyes shut,
short dream,
yet not quite
till that finale sip at dinner
at a full table


from the Kelly Cline archive of smartly self made podium pics: Masters 45+
                                               photo: Stacie Freymann


Cheshire Grin


I'll be working on clipping in, every workout,
When the light turned green.
I got a good jump off the line, at the stop light from Conshohocken State Road,
across City Ave.
to Conshohocken Ave.
up to speed...
Pedal, shift, pedal, Blammo!

the little toyota turnned in front of me to get some gas,  no time for me to brake ,
I laid on the ground looking back at the scene, just laid there
I could of got up,
no pain,
just soaked it all in

The driver was a really sweet, just a tad older than me, fine lady
"I've never hit nobody before, are you ok, oh my"
I got up, shook a bit, all seemed well, a small welt of a wound, on the arm,  a bit of blood.

we called the cops, and since I crossed the line,... from Montgomery Co. to Philly Co.
the wait would be long,

not much to do, we waited, she fretted, my bike and I pretty much fine,
so after an hour, we both went our own ways, off to prepare for Thanksgiving.

Glad I hit the rear panel, and not the sidedoors/windows,
I got out for a cx ride on Thanksgiving, with a couple of peeps.
Trying to balance rest and prep, for the last wee bit of the season.
and I got a bit of a smile, as I entered the age group down, 45+,  to race against my old, younger foes at Solstice Cross,   a thing about that,  how I wish Mark V. would be in the grid,
going at it with me, maybe I'd make a Mission Report.
...maybe I'll make a Deluxx Sandwich,
who knows, it's cross, whatever, it'll be fun!

Feeling spunky, got a Cheshire grin, a bit thankful, and full of sin!

Cheerio!  dlowe



Super Cross

I felt gutted, I drove home with a stake through the heart.

I'd trade the hot corn race, and some of the other early season ones, to ride this one again, today, and a couple more times this week.  I liked it a lot, the whole long course of off camber mud, slippery corners of mud, greasy mud, mud puddles, uphill running mud,  and mud.
I  let air out of my tires, and had a strong mind set focused to do excellent, my short pre-ride, was on, good form.
I missed my pedal outta the grid, to start the race, twice, and saw the front drop me.
I rode with elbows out, not polite, almost New Englandish, and made up spots, at least I could see the front runners.
Then my lack of time on the mud,  mistakes, slips, not clipping in, showed endless places to find improvement.
It was a long lap, and for me slow lap times,  I got my moneys worth of mud, logging an 1hr and 7minutes out there on the course,   I finished with no brakes, cold toes, a dirty kit, and a burning desire.
To ride more mud.


                                                  early morning pre-ride mud

and some photos from Rebecca Lewandowski:



I love cross.

The glint of the low rising sun in the morning, nervous, trying to find calming thoughts, the proper, focus.

 I was going really good at Sly Fox, handling spot on, legs, lungs, mind, focused.

The cheers, loud cheers, fans, beers, hearing my name over the PA,  it cracked me up,
racing, it broke me into a smile.

I broke my chain, and was out, leaving as the leader 2 and 1/2 laps into the race.

I feel aglow, wind burnt, I had a blast, given it a go.

Almost a perfect day.

Friday night, I was a bit worn, run down, by the season.

Today, tonight, I feel ready, to go.

thanks Sly Fox, despite my broken chain, I had a blast, good cyclocross friendship, racing, beer, bumps, bruised love.

Cheers!  dlowe


The 5th

I did not have my best results at Stoudts today,
I clawed my way back from poor prep, and bike handling,
washing out in an early corner,
then right after that trying to collect some tape and stakes.
Got off the bike on the short punchy hill.  Palm the left shiftier back into proper position,
and got to it, some racing.
Made it back up to Doug Gray's wheel,
sitting 6th,  I ground Doug down a bit, today the front group was bigger and stronger,
I like that, tough.
and out of the woods gave it a bit more gas than he had,
and made a good finish at 5th place.

                                         photo: Stoudt's event staff

the podium was delayed a bit, as I waited for change at the bar from buying the Featherman, and I beers.

a large number of us Master+'s and youngin Master stayed in the beer hall,
I ride hard, and try to leave it all out there,
and Today was one of  those special days of cross,
the bull shit, beer, food, f'bombs, awful recollections of what went down,
excuses, a plenty!
Lots of talk of  health issues, Old Man health issues, and more shit and f'bombs.
Sitting at the long tables, some of us having grand days, others not so,

I swung my arms wild a bit and knocked a pint over.

It was a damn fine afternoon, in the beer hall!
Perfectly good weekend of cross.

Cheers!  dlowe

bonus: the Evans kids are a blast, and I try to see them at every race,
say high, chat about our racing,  Great kids!
hung out with them a bit at the wonderful Swashbuckler race Saturday!


need rest


This week,  I'm off.  F' CROSS!

last weekend,
short of it.
Saturday I thought I sucked, my worst race this year.    ....but I went real hard at the end,
and closed a gap of twenty seconds, hard, hard, I just miss nipping Mister Saint Clair
at the line.  only one second,
I sucked saturday, I hate HPCX!!!

off the line so calm,
Curtis S. got caught in course netting, and downsided the hill, turtlting it.
I sat in second place with a good gap,  grand in fact.
Then I went full speed into the sand and Bifffed it
and head strong hard eating a lot of sand.
Curtis and I raced it out from there.
I loved the course, I per-race memorized it, had it down
did all the K Cline's I knew.
and freaking ripped off one of my best
with a sprint out of the dirt to take second.

every lap, on the dirt mound corner on the backside of the tennis court part of the  course I heard
a good voice, loud and bold.
"dlowe Haiku"
what kinda cheer is that?!

Thanks Sean!

Fall big cold grass fall toes
tall mans arm pull leaf from tree
large cloud brows stroll sky

f cross, f you,
my thoughts will forget you


Cheers!  dlowe

from my work this morning:



I was having a chat with Mr. Saint Clair, after our race,  he was doing a polite job of correcting me for misspelling his name in a past post.  I nodded in agreement.  
We had a good race,  and I am happy to say, yesterday, I bettered him, and attacked hard into the final lap, got a good gap,.... and won!
I earned the right to stand on the top step, the big box.

I think we'd all agree, that the simpleness, beauty, physical challenge, of our sport.
the pain, determination.
The internal emotional mental  battles.   The foes that out ride you, good leg days.
Anger, confrontations, hugs and tears.
make cyclocross very picturesque.

Cheers!  dlowe

so nice I could not resist,  the new bits of our course/race, Crossasuras Awesome, improved the race, and made for some nice pictures.  Carlos Cabalu's fine work! 


The Apprentice

that was a good three days of Cyclocross for me.

My head is a big old funnel,  I pour all this shit into the wide end of it,
when I pulled the plug,
gravity, it all can't be help but to form, and fall out into a small fast stream.
I put all these suggestions,  real time life observations, what I read, studying pictures,
Into the top of the funnel.

I went over to the Cooper River,  just a big grass field when I got there,
by 3:00 staked and taped, even got a couple of laps in.
If you run a new race, love to race, spectate, whatever,...
Helping set up a course, to see how and what it takes to run a race,
that will make you a better racer.

Saturday Cooper River CRCX
I got to the Cooper River cx course early.
Racers were being staged, starting right out into the rising sun.

#99-  K. Dillard

I was keyed up nervous, did not have my usual focus.  My race, I had a good chance to win,
I love so much about cx racing, and, but, .... winning over the last, lots of years, I have not even been close to doing.

We lined up, The whistle blew, and into the zone I went,
                                        photo: Kevin Dillard

I like to think, that being a real good cross racer,
that you are entertaining, you bring sport to the show,
the back story,
That those outside the tape, looking in, might want to watch.
The race was a battle from the start to finish, between me and Paul Wahner.
It was very respectful.
Hard.  Ball squeezing hard,
and in the end, as I ducked under the tape, to get off the course,
I could not help but be disappointed.
Paul crushed me in the sprint for 1st.
He had a better plan,  and executed,

I sulked just a bit, got over it, hung out, had a beer, chatted with the Feathermen,
and had my picture taken by Mr. Dillard for a winners podium shot.
                                                photo: Kevin Dillard
That's pretty swell!

Sunday WC-CX
Bob and the gang, got a new course,
this one, yep, bob and the crew,
made one, that's got plenty of it's own personality.
I got off the line swell, set into what I thought was a group of three,
Sinclair, Wahner and I.
The 1st lap went well and hard,
the second lap, I was already at the bottom of my tank.
Then the next three,  Wahner and Sinclair,
dip some Big Time wrestling stomps to my head,
I did'nt quit,
and kept getting back up off the mat.
Sinclair flatted,
me an Paul again.
Last bit of the course,
I was at my limit, ... well,...well above my limits.
Paul took off,
silent david Schindler came around,
where'd he come from,
and I
got to the pavement,
and toiled, heaved, pumped as hard as i could, and crossed the line at
4mph's, for 3rd.

as I drive to work today,  I'll think about the weekend,
find some nuggets, tid-bits,
and try and keep them squirreled awayed,
Plan & Exucute

very good, very good weekend!

cheerio,  dlowe



Charm City:
great course, good balance of working and handling the bike. got off the line fine, sat on the lead wheel for the 1st lap, then fell back to 5th. 1st, road off, and Paul Wahner and I battled the rest of the race for 2nd & 3rd, nasty tough fight. Again, I waited till the last chance possible, and passed him into the last corner onto the pavement, hammered, and took 2nd.

not making day two, off to Chicago.  See you all at the Cooper/Chester cx weekend,

Cheerio!  dlowe


Quaker City


Quaker City made huge strides forward in course design, a vast improvement from it's inaugural race last year.   If it stays small, and keeps itself on the schedule after Town Hall,  it fits in  nice with what I'd like.   A weekend of climbing.   and a bit of "locals" racing. 

I burnt a lot of matches early, and suffered, trying to stay fourth.  I had to dig, and never got out of the hole I put myself in.   I spent most of my time over the limit.    The gap in front of me got away.  
I finished 4th.

Carlos Cabalu,  I like his photos.  I like that he shoots film.  He knows his stuff.

Three of his shots:
                   photo: Carlos Cabalu

                         photo: Carlos Cabalu

                      photo: Carlos Cabalu

My legs hurt, I'm tired, I've got a couple little bits to teach myself/change, .....a good weekend.

Cheers!  dlowe


Snake Eyes

the paper is strewn about the floor, kicked aside, from the rabid excitement to rip open our presents.
I know what I've got,  and I know what you've got.
and it's now just down to work,
Race Race Race
and I know that somehow,
I think I got it in me,
I really want to stand on that top box.

Town Hall Cross:
More awesomeness from promoters & crew.   Hard it was, all done up rightly nice.  parking, toilets, officiating, great job on crushing me, with a longer uphill, no switch backs, and the drop and pea stones, Nice!

I clipped in fine, and us old folks got off to battle, Me and Paul Wahner squared off again.
I punched him in the abs, he slapped my ear.
I bit his thumb,
and he kicked my ass.
Wahner 2nd
dlowe 3rd.

Rick was nimble and smart, He left us all in the dust,  Douglas Gray, Kevin, all of us to our infighting,
and again got the best view, from atop the biggest box.

maybe I'll make up spoke cards for the waterice ride it's "Snake Eyes"  11 next year.

                                        photo: m.c. delicious  Derek Green

Cheerio, dlowe


Tent Life

Nittany CX   "Turnaround"

             crushing myself, and some peeps having happy tent time Photo: Bob Wassell jr.

I was in a bit of a funk,  my mind, on day one,  it just would not sit down.  I tried to focus on the process, prep, eating, pre-riding.  I was fixated on cornering, I wiped out a couple of times during the warm up laps.  and during the race, sitting in the lead group of  the  55+  I took the first dirt turn in the woods, and washed the front wheel out, plowed into and blocked the line up for the group.
I also wiped out around the 180 downhill,  I never got into the groovey mind set of racing.   but in the end, I had a good race, and finished 5th.

I think I suffered more, in my brain, than muscle and lungs.
                                      my internal fight - photo: Bob Wassell jr.
Day two,
the course is turnaround, and races the opposite direction.

I did not figure out a way to dissipate my internal demon thoughts, they just left me.
I got a great start, sitting in the front group again, comfortable, even put in a dig on the front.
then, dangled and got gapped, dug hard, and deep.
I had Paul Wahner gapped, but you know the Wahner Bros.  they ride like the Krays, proper English Gangsters,  they don't forgive a debt, and will make you pay.  With not a lick of concern for their pain, or well being,  they will get you!   Paul f'n chased me down, as soon as he caught me, I attacked, he was gapped a hair, and then there again, I attacked, ditto.   He came around, and I followed his wheel, to finish the last lap,  I was gonna wait, as long as I could, and not give him a chance to get me back.  I went on the finish straight, and just nipped him at the line,  maybe got him by 8 inches.

                                       glued on - Photo: Ryan Filson

                                     Tent life, post day one  Photo: Glenn Turner

at the end of day two, sitting under Ben's tent, chatting it up, I looked at Kelly Cline, "I don't want to go back to the real world"  

good weekend.

Cheers!  dlowe


The Pits


what I remember,  not much, hot, going hard,  trying to escape the grim reaper bearing down on me the last two laps,  You don't want to look in the rear view mirror and see a Chris Long,  closing in on you.  The 55+ riders, the front group,  seems to be pretty even in strength, some a bit up, some a bit down each race.   A couple just a bit stronger than the rest.

The course, excellent,... I took some stuff I learned in a cx clinic this year, and took a wider outside line in the corners, and conserved my effort, as much as I could.    The people in the pits,  spraying a little water on me,  that helped.  Big old Rob Sutherland,  dousing me like a flash dancing cx racer.

Cheap Mexican beer, is good on hot days, and sitting in the shade with the grim reaper, after the race with Feathermen, and others,... dazed-iling chatting, cooked,  boiled, poached, roasted, seared.

It was hot,  it was just another obstacle to master,....and  to hold off the grim reaper,... just look ahead, ride hard, smart, don't pop,  keep away from the reaper.

Cheers to V3 Fairhill,  just as excellent as always.


I had my camera, but have gotten a bit lazy and focused on other aspects of the day.  so more poached photos...

                                    thankful for photos:  Bill White photographer

start of the Master's 55,  still shaking it out, we are riding a bit to much, nose to ass, as a group, anxious to win,... as a group, an early attack, steady and strong drops the clogged infighting group of chasers, for sure!

that is Rob with the beard,  seeing him each lap,  was like seeing a greek god,  pelting me the weak mortal man, with just a tad of water,

so  much awesome!
                                   photo:  Bill White!