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8.13.2017

the clinic

as we were walking back to the car with the barriers,
I think Kelly said "yua, know, cross people are good people"
"they are" I said,
"but maybe it's a learnt thing"
to me on of the best part of this sport, is learning.
we make good racers, we make us better people.
cross is silly, a gangly defined sport of make shift courses, hazards, and a Magnificently glorious short period of intense efforts.  I've seen tears, big happy teethe smiles.
numb toes and tomato red hot sweaty faces.
To do one race is grand, to do two dozen in a season is normal.

                                          photo: M. Avery


this free cx clinic has been going on now 20 years.   I came to cx late, I missed the roots, the beginings of the sport in this area.   But.    I've always tried to listen hard, and with quite
attention.


The group split into skill levels.


we did off camber, cornering, starts, barriers, all the stuff,

I always go away with the feeling that everyone wants me to be the best racer,
they give me their secrets,
correct my form, and nit comb my carry,
I don't know, I sorta get the feeling like all else in this queer sport,
that they want me to do my best to Crush them,
to be an unconventional,  a syncopation clean riding machine,  a fearsome, formidable opponent, ...
almost... a,
undefeatable  Opponent.
to bring out the most best in them,
that in the end, that all I want, is not to beat everyone, or to be 1st,
but to be the best at the worst of times.
at my best of conditions.

Cheers,  dlowe


8.06.2017

Toe in.




a couple of  flavor of philly dlowe cx  riding day pictures. 


The water is cold, I dip just the tips of my toes in. It is chilly. I ease in.  
Riding in wet grass, chatting with my allies.  Getting ready to follow Reuther around. 
I wipe the thin dirt off the braking track of the rims, and behold, the squeal is gone. 
I wipe out, washing out the front tire, and I know as the bike slides out,
that someone is going to follow soon, and Joey P. is coming down on me. 
We're up, I apologize, nothings busted, and no bruises.  We chase back on, I apologize again. 

August, practice.  The first one was good. heavy. We are real lucky around this area.  The talent is deep, competitive, comitted in all the good ways.  Practices fan out from downtown phila.
to Reading, Delaware, I'd be piggly happy, rolling up to these practices, and join 'em. 
The blood is full of Carbon, glue, toe spikes, and a calm vigor. 
and I figure whatever the race attendance are, growing or shrinking, that cx runs about the same in all our veins. 

I've already got a room booked in Baltimore for Charm City. 
and a bit nervous to face the Queen Granogue. 

I'm glad to have this love.  real lucky.  
and the lolly gaggy time of water ice, and explorations, snapping pics of philly,
changes to sets of :30's.




Cheers Cyclocross Racers!
dlowe









7.05.2017

24psi

fresh thick cut grass,
I'm shaking it down, and inspecting, make a list of bits to order.
One more year on the Cannondale Super X.
It's treated me really well, and I love riding it.  I do dream of 1x11 electronic shift new machine.
Next year.  
for now,  I didn't think about it, just kept ripping around the yard,  our 1/4 acre plot.
I got a beat old set of tubulars and I'm free to destroy them, to lower the air and hear 'um rip.
flat pedals, and kicking a leg out, snapping the ass around.
Damn fun.


the Water Ice ride was yesterday, I really don't know the count, I just started counting, and this one was #11 Snake Eyes.  83 riders, I think I talked to, smiled at, chatted with about most.  and it seems like most had fun, and so,  this ragged ride will last on.

I did a search for some pics, but came up with some quotes from the past.

"My cross bike is my Spring Classic bike and its in pieces in the basement."

"what does "nice pace" mean?"

"where was everyone? I was at HZ at 9"

"I have to see if I can find the ability!"

I think in general, I am a more agreeable mood starting 7/4,  I cheer up a bit, a little lift in my step.
Cx has been a great find for me, a true joy.  It's ragged, haphazard, bluntness, I really love.
and if there is any truth to the Trickle Down Theory, I hope this ride, gives a bit of fun, understanding,  fear, and a stupid tasty reward at the end, to all my cx friends.

Cheers to you all,  dlowe.


6.17.2017

Challenger

I started out cycling on the mountain bike.  Despite my late in life start, lack of talent, my determination, and quick healing, immunity to pain, drove me on, to meet a goal. Cat 1.
I did it, and like things sometimes, you get there and that makes you quit.


I returned to racing the mountain bike today.
and had a Blast.
I rolled the start, good, I felt I wanted a 5th place finish, a top 5 was my goal.
I was balled up in thoughts, and I carved them down to, approaching the race, to think, that, as if the race was just a good  fast group ride.

this race goes on the short list of to do's, Monkey Hill, Riverton, Challenger,...


I am still breaking in a new camera, the Olympus tg-5, and am pretty happy with it.

                         My CX Bro, Featherman, rocking the Mtbike racing.

I don't think I ever want to have a goal again, then when I reach it, that, it's done.



I napped hard.  97% of the pictures I took today were under whelming.

I like the camera.  I like that it slips in a jersey pocket.  It reminds me of tri-x film.


I came in 8th,  most of the race, I was 6th, but got tired by the end, and lost them two spots.
I'm happy with that.

Race, Ride, Recover, and Challenge yourself.....

Cheers! dlowe


6.12.2017

a little Rash

Riverton Criterion

you ether make it,  or are like the majority, barely hanging on, or not surviving at all.

I came into corner 3, on the outside, calm, 2 deep, feeling good.
I was riding the race in Hockey Shifts.  Going hard, in the shortest time burst I could manage, gliding up and into the corners conserving pedaling, keeping the rest level higher than the going hard levels.

In the apex, the tires let loose, just may of been a little rough road, coming into the corner too hot, or just a poor line over-confident choice.   and I slid across the ground,  to gawking spectator faces, looking at me.

Riverton is a good hometown race, of the highest quality, and to finish, to win, its a statement.

I should of headed to the pit, and jumped back in.   My mind said, check yourself out, your lucky you did not take anyone else out, and that  it looks like all you got, was a bit of road rash.

Its a hard way to leave a race, Is there an easy way?

I stayed and had a couple of beers, chatted with friends, and wore my badges of dis-honor, my medic wrapped arm, and leg,...  not proudly, but truthfully.


                                                          American Crit Racing 
       photo: Ron Short Photography.


See you next year Riverton.    Cheers! dlowe

6.05.2017

Ride, rock,rinse, repeat.

I've been having so much fun, enjoyable, spunky good times on the the bike, that I forgot, how to race a crit.

Tour De Fish
I came in last in the field sprint, after going for the 3 laps to go prime, when I rejoined the field, I was in poor positioning, and weak legged status.  All the chasing in the woods and town line sprints, made for fun times on the bike.   but my mind, forgot, that when Old Men kit up, that it's serious business out there. HA!  and being in the right place, just doesn't happen, you gotta go after it.
I've become soft and truthfully a bit un-confident, of reading the other riders, and holding my place or moving up in the field.  
I had a blast, and the legs felt awfully good, the soul, a bit crushed, but hell, someone has to be last.

It's been mostly highs around here, great rides with friends, feeling groovy and a bit nippy faster on the mtbike.  
Polished up the cx bikes, and chomping to get going on the training and skills.
and despite my lackluster finish, enjoying the road riding an awful lot too.

                                  Photo: A. Hennessy    post rock "Lorenzo's"!


           Thursday Mtbiking fun.  P2P notarace


                         mtbike openers at the Plateau

                              crit tent time, beers and lots of snearky small talk, getting ready for CX!
                                                     photo: d. Finkelstein



damn, I love riding the bikes,  all of them!

cheers pals,  dlowe

5.23.2017

The Velosophers

I ride with certain people cause I like the way they ride.  Their skills, guile, experience, strength, the know when to close a door on someone, or a silent sweeper, making the 2nd to last rider in the group, not worry about it so much.

I ride with people cause they are good story tellers, just enough of the choice moments, and deprecation, and bravado, to entertain.

I ride  with people that I know will listen to my ramblings, about my ride, or race, the spewing recaps of the highlights of my take of the ride.


                                                view from last nights pint glass

Mondays are movie night, and movie night is filled with beer, pizza, bull shit, some snoring, and a movie.  Last night was Trainspotting II.
not so good,



This morning, was East Park Sprints. making my second appearance of the year.
The make-up of the largess group was a bit stocked with 2/3 males.
I tried my sitting in the back watching, and sneaking wheels up, out of the wind.
...not such a good day to do that.
A large number of the riders clogged the front, ....by the small uphill curve to set up the sprint, they were blowing,
down the hill blowing,
into and around the corner into the sprint, blowing
and all the way to the line, blowers.
repeat 7 laps.
It made it more challenging, I got lippy with a blown dude,
of course by all means, he was right, in blowing, in the middle of a downhill, into a corner, and
me taking a f'n awful wide line to avoid him.

Ha!  I like a bit of piss, old man yammerings, of angry words on a ride!

I learned a lot today, and had to work a bit harder, and think a bit more, look farther up the road for the lines, and I had to cheat a bit less, not able to sneak in there hiding on a pull of another riders wheel.

It was real nice to see the Featherman at the sprints, rolling in a lap late,  he looks strong.   Saw the Saint Clair pedaling in, as Featherman and I road out to get some coffee at Volo,  Of course it was very nice to sit and have a snarky chat about the ride, catch up a bit on life, enjoy a fine cup of coffee, and velosophies a bit.
I love my learning, the constant education of being a rider, with a simple love, riding a bicycle.

 Cheers to my fellow velosophers!
dlowe

5.21.2017

Swedish Fishing

I was chasing, spinning my little legs, as fast as they would go, to get the SSmtb going fast, to keep up with the small group, laughing off the front of this group ride.

Eating pierogies after the TT Friday, sipping a beer chatting with Kelly about riding this weekend,
I said, "I'd love to ride Fair Hill"  Kelly said "I'll give Marc and Diane a call?"
Yea, "if we could do a ride Sunday that'd be swell!"

       another fine Photo from the master, Diane.


You make your luck, and I think most of the people I've been riding with, they've been riding a long time, and they are good riders, and most of all, they are people that laugh, have fun, and really make riding enjoyable.


As I chased Chris ,Kelly and Buddy, we hit a creek crossing and bombing through the water a sharp pointed rock got Chris's tire, and out shot Sealant and flat it went.   The group re-grouped, and sorta a gasp, of a bit of a let down, at the un-opportune time to flat, was exhaled.

I said to Chris "Swedish Fish".
He pulled out his stash, and them little sweet fish,  umm, were good, shared between us all, and the jokes started, and photos were taken and almost too quick Chris had his tire fixed.


It was another just damn good day to ride.
You do make your luck.

Cheers!  dlowe


5.20.2017

Monkey Hill TT



                                   an early version of my TT bike, back in the day.


Monkey Hill TT is a Blast.
3.1 miles on a Friday night, after work.   It's a swell lap of cobbles,  turns, a perfect challenge for every rider.

warming up, I was loose and chatty,  talking it up a bit with a young-in.  "I hope the bike does not boucne apart"  I said, referring to the starting section of fast jarring rough, downhill cobbles.
He looked at me and replied. "hope you don't lose your dentures"!

I road well and kept all my teeth.  Lots of smiles and great cheering and heckling along the really painful  finishing  climb of the cobbled Monkey Hill.

I could not figure out the podium, and I think the other two 55+ gentlemen, had to rush to make the AARP discount rate at the local buffet and missed the photo.  Quite happy I was to stand on the wrong step, and remembering some advice from JR  Petsko, (he runs the best podiums, shipshape and smart) I did the pose.



and Cheers to my teammate Kelly CX Cline on his great ride!  3rd place. 45+



Man!,  I have such a blast doing this cool fun challenging race.  So good to see friends, have a beer, and eat some pierogies.  I do love the pierogies!


Cheers Monkey Hill!
dlowe






5.17.2017

95 south

I miss those old days, of the simpler times internet.
Between Instagram, facebook, twitter, a few emails,  messages and this old blog....
I need time, to focus and think, to conjure up ideas.  Writing is very hard for me.
...and I want to keep doing it.  and not too sucky badly.




I was riding my mountain bike tonight, after a drive home from Princeton to Philly,
lots of traffic, down route 1.

I like personality, flaws, big, strong, quite achievers, but people that are pretty true, ones that can't help it,
that they most of the time they tell the truth, show ya the truth, and that's all they can be, lying, not something that's acceptable to them, they are not capable of it much.

I like winners that are smaller than the image of a winner.
Champs who are nice, that love to ride, that are talented and work hard, and win.

On my mountain bike ride, just riding, the sun lowering, it lit up the thickening new green tress, and fell on me.
I looked back over my left shoulder and saw my shadow, popping in and out,
chasing me, laid on top of, flowing over the tress and brush, low golden sunlit.
Riding with me.


the sun dropped, and in a minute, it was over.





I needed a nice ride, to have it fall upon me, and look around,
I railed a bit, skimming the edge of my bars on the corners, nipping the trees.
I hit it a bit harder and got good clearance over the down trees.

two more days on this gig up in Princeton, and I'll give at it all the best I can,
do my best, and the drive, it won't get to me, ....won't let it
I'll relax, and not get to tightly focused on it,

I hope to Make the Monkey Hill TT friday night.
I'll drive down 95, shed the work duds, and pull on the skin suit and fucking give it my all.

Cheers Blokes!

dlowe


5.08.2017

goose bumps

I was a bit under-dressed for the ride from my house to Belmont.   Which was fine, I knew when  I got in the woods, the chilled snappishness, of the short ride over to the trails,.... that I'd warm quick.

                               off the main trail, along an old one that's disappearing


                a new trails, weaves back and forth, and stumbles along, like an old town drunk


                                   


It's funny to pop out at a road, from a small hole, from a bit of woods, in the city.   and then cross and poke back in.




I got lost in the woods today.  On the trails I know well.  It took me forever to ride, with many stops.  I don't ride my mountain bike much, but I do love riding it. It's dialed in pretty sweet, finally feeling just right.  I did dive and bomb around a bit. Popped out of the Wiss,, under 76, a small bit of dirt up to the cynwyd trail, and home.   It's not often that I am lucky enough to get lost from it all. Its a real good feeling.  Today I savored it, and was glad, to enjoy something rare.


Cheers!  good riding to you    
dlowe

4.27.2017

500



it was a perfect game,  I went last minute, bought a cheap seat, in the front row of the outfield
got there early, and took my pleasurably time strolling out of the game enjoying the Philllies win that put them one game over 500.
We hit a grand slam, the fans, were good philly fans, fuck's and taunts a few even threw a few $1 dogs out onto the field to follow a giant phillies late game home run.
All seem to know the game, the dude next to me explained to his girl how a hitter "pulls a ball".
After my dreadful performance at the Home Opener, I needed this ballpark redemption.
It's great, seeing the same lady taking my money to park in the industrial lot.
The same old dude at the gate.
I ate a bunch of $1 tofu pups.
a High-five to everyone around me cheering the grand slam.
Just fine, feeling, laying in bed, to sleep, the windows open, chilled a bit, closing my eyes, with a win.


                       watched a bit of warming up


and a good find at my thrifty store

a great store on the edge of Parkside Ave.


Cheers, dl

4.22.2017

4.12.2017

Quasar

east park sprints


This morning at 6:42a I swung around to the back of the group, the tail.   It's sparse at the back, balding thin.  Most everyone is bunched forward, hard-ons to go.
Saying "hello" to the blank faces, stern looks, to my place, the rear.
"you ready"  I said, to my tail gunning comrade.
"my first" she replied.
"Welcome"
we rolled.




opening day


"they win?"
"how'd it go?"
"the phillies win?
I was asked in the concourse, making our way home,  Meach, Anthony, and I,  from opening day.
They were losing, and it was cold.  we got to the park early, pre-gamed, and shivered for a Long time.
and left early.
I won't ever again.




Most everybody is losers.
good Losers don't lie.
It hurts, stings, grumpness.


I did fine for my first east park sprints today.
moving from the back to the front.
I did not get first on any of the 7 laps.
I rolled honest.
and was really happy with rolling 5's, somehow just on the cusp of the front, fifth every lap, consistent.


Cheers, dlowe


It's not what you roll, but how you roll, that I love about you.
Quasar.





3.28.2017

dirty feet


                                                                 photo: Tony Stewart



When I was a little kid, my younger sister and I would be sent down to Parkersburg Wva. to stay with our Grandparents. Playing out in the front yard, till the sun started to go down, and it was getting dark.  My Grandma, would have to wipe our bare feet with a towel, wipe off the soot.  There was a big smoke stack not to far away, at some plant.  Everybody had jobs there.

Work road trip,  to shoot in a burnt up house, back in Wva.

The bike road back with the gear, and I got on the trainer, in a couple of different hotel rooms.

I circled back, up to Columbus, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, to see family.

I only know one hill in Beaver, and if I get the chance, I hit it up.

Vegan Polish food, local beers, and finally a visit to the Warhol museum.



Cheers!  dlowe