I remember early on when I moved to Philly from Ohio. I went to see Sun Ra at the CEC center, a small spot in west philly. Sun Ra was like a god from another planet rolling out to the piano. It blew my mind. That was philly for you. This community center, a dopey white naive kid from ohio, seeing god.
That is how it is in philly. It's a simple route, Belmont, The Boxer Trail, up on the road and around the ball fields, pass the box truck that'd haul the workout equipment that used to be parked on the corner weekends, before the virus.
The bench and iron plates laid out on the sidewalk. There is no cheating a rep.
Dropping down to the Strawberry Mansion bridge I pass the Dell East, home of the Magnificent Funk Fest! (worst hang over of my live acquired there). West River Drive, Falls Bridge, the Wiss, and the tow path home.
now On a weekend Wiss is the spot, and 100's of pounds of food, grills, speakers, beers, families, and smiles make their way, down to the creek in the valley. And as weird as it is, I find the weirdness of loud music rocking up out of the creek, and the parties, comforting.
I'm not every sure this time of year, out on the cross bike where I'll go. I just want to ride, and I want the ride to make me fast, and I want to kick some ass when it comes to racing in the fall.
Ah, the Monday nights of Grass Track in August. Taught me a lesson or two, and I change my cleats on my shoes about now, to avoid worn out unintended clip outs, and did so tonight.
I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for out on these preseason rides, a special motivation, inspiration, strength, fortitude, a magic spell, maybe just a bit more compassion. I'm glad I've made Philadelphia my home.
I will be racing this fall, I might even get some recording breaking fast laps in at my local grass track. I plan to dig deeper and suffer more than I can imagine, out on the cyclocross course, even if it is just by myself.