AACK: Tulsa Tough Knife Fight Podium Ceremony
First of all, the results are totally arbitrary. And subjective.
I Letter from the Editor
Dear Knife Fighters,
We’re sorry that it’s taken so long to publish the results of the inaugural Knife Fight. As many of you know we became embroiled in a self-inflicted scandal over the last month—the details of which can be found all over the internet, on our Instagram feed, on other Instagram feeds, in an 800-comment deep Reddit thread, et cetera et cetera—and as such, have been otherwise occupied. Additionally, we thought the project deserved some breathing room, distance and space from the events of Tulsa in order to move forward in a deliberate and thoughtful manner. At any rate, we feel there is no reason to dive any deeper into details of the scandal here and now because this is a happy place. Why is this a happy place? Because now more than ever we believe wholeheartedly and with every bone in our body in the Knife Fight concept. We have HIGH Knife Fight esteem. This is a Knife Fight-positive space.
- Knife Fights are basically no different than Primes.
- Knife Fights are basically a collection of “elected” instead of prescribed Primes.
- Primes are great. Animating a race is great.
- We are continuing the Knife Fight program. We are as committed as ever if not more committed to promoting Knife Fights.
- To everyone who bought socks: we seriously basically literally love you.
- Speaking of which, while we are basically sold out of socks (only a few smalls left)—and by the way we bought A LOT to start with—you can bet your bottom dollar we’re making more. Maybe, probably, for ever and ever into infinity.
II How the Results Resulted
- First of all, the results are totally arbitrary. And subjective.
- We took into consideration everything we could. Everything. We probably could have taken more into consideration if we spent more time looking through the TV coverage of each race, but that would have taken too long.
- We answered everyone’s emails and calls and texts.
- We relied on eyewitness accounts.
- We were in the race, so we were there, so we can speak anecdotally on the subject.
- We wanted to celebrate Knife Fighters who did it right, which means we did NOT even remotely consider any of ourselves.
- We considered, style, speed, punches thrown, power, speed and style.
III Tulsa Tough Knife Fight: Results
First Place: Luke Hall
Luke gets first because Luke came to Tulsa with at least one pair of Knife Fight socks and the commitment to win with style and a punch. Which he did. On Saturday. During the Brady Arts District Edition of Tulsa. With two to go he lit it up. End of story. Dear Luke, you’re a winner.
Pointing to left field and winning with a punch is ANIMAL beyond all belief. And Luke, first place means you get an MFS jersey of your choosing.
Second Place: Ray Hall
Ray (no relation to Luke) gets second place because Ray got first place, on Friday night, in the Blue Dome edition of Tulsa Tough. He also gets second because he wasn’t actively or “willingly” participating in the Knife Fight program at the time. In an effort to be fully transparent, until around day five (nearing the zenith) of the post-race scandal, Ray basically knew nothing about the project, or for that matter Manual for Speed in general. At any rate, while most of the world was writing hateful, misleading and egregious things about us on the internet, Ray instead surfed over to our web store and purchased not one but two pair of Knife Fight socks. Which, as far as we were concerned, retroactively entered him into the Tulsa Tough Knife Fight.
Winning something you never even entered is ANIMAL. Not succumbing to the sirens of groupthink and fake news, choosing instead love in the form of patronage, is also ANIMAL.
Third Place: Team Party Time’s Deuce, Matt & Bret
These guys are ALL tied for third for so many reasons, some of them shared. Let’s start with the shared reasons:
- They pre-registered to Knife Fight.
- They booked a two-hour photoshoot with Manual for Speed in advance of the race.
- They spent their photoshoot credit with Manual for Speed at Pair O Dice tattoo located at 2921 S Harvard Ave, Tulsa, OK.
- Where and when they all got Knife Fight tattoos, which Knife Fight tattoos are cool as fuck.
- They 1000% deliver on the implied promise of their namesake. All day, every day.
More individually-speaking, this is why all three are tied for third:
Deuce rode himself into a lather on Saturday during the Brady Arts District edition of Tulsa Tough. Off the front over and over again. Throwing punch after punch. Destroying himself. Riding himself into a state of PSYCLING. Panting. Foaming. Sweating. Digging deeper and deeper. Until with three laps to go he popped. That my friends, is textbook Knife Fighting.
Matt organized everything. He’s ON TOP OF SHIT. It’s maybe not as glorious as Deuce’s display, but no less valuable and necessary. Tattoo Shop photographs are not going to take themselves.
Bret rode like Deuce all weekend in at least two—sometimes three—races a day. I think Bret is strong as fuck. Like, LEGIT strong. Also, dude is funny and so humble. It’s hard to be that strong and have his fully developed sense of humor and perspective. Dude is basically a modern gentlemen mixed with Texas and bikes.
Just being on Team Party Time is Animal.
Honorable Mention: Brian Thieme
Brian gets Honorable Mention because after having been in a mostly three-man, but at one point—thanks to me—four-man break, for the whole race, lap after lap, in the heat, pulling through, sharing the work and being a valuable member of his three member community, all but guaranteed a spot on the podium, with one to go, less than a hundred feet from the finish line, he accidentally crashed himself into the barriers. And fucked-up his hand. Like, inflated cartoon style fucked-up his hand.
Crashing yourself out of the race and off of the podium, because you’re that wild, and that unpredictable, is ANIMAL.
“Hey man I appreciate you asking me before including me in the Knife Fight. I do believe in the concept maybe for some of the same reasons you guys came up with maybe different, for me I like the idea of shaking the Cat 3 races up as most all of the races near me seem to follow the same pattern, there may be a brave soul or two who attempt to initiate or get away in breaks but almost every time the pack is quick to chase them down and wait for the last lap or two for the final sprint. Same ole same ole race after race which gets boring to say the least. So I like the idea of encouraging folks to mix it up and take chances. Also I believe in second chances so I am cool with being included but would like or ask that somehow you let it be known that I myself had ABSOLUTELY NO KNOWLEDGE about the rest of it. Because I didn’t.”
IV Pair O Dice with Team Party Time
V Knife Fights: More Than a Race—A Movement
Nobody knows how long the tradition of Knife Fighting will be immediately and acutely necessary. Five years, ten years, maybe fifty years. But what we do know is this: the concept, the mantra, the manifesto, the modus operandi, the raison d’etre, the philosophy and psychology and spirituality of it all, is timeless. I’m not fucking around. I, Daniel Pasley, do solemnly believe that. Riding for the good of others even to the detriment of your own self interests, is tight. And bottomline, in this world it’s hard to animate and drive ANYTHING forward. Not just a race, A N Y T H I N G anything. And it doesn’t come without sacrifice. In the case of Cat 3 racing, for most of us, that sacrifice is a shitty result. So Dear Knife Fighters, thanks for participating in what we think is a very noble and important part of the future of Road Cycling.
Maybe that’s why Team Party Time got Knife Fight Tattoos. Or maybe it’s because the art—thanks Steve Hockett!—is cool as fuck. Who knows. We never asked them. Also who cares because all that matters is they did, and we have proof, boom. Reasons smeasons.
VI Knife Fighting in the Immediate Future
Although our “personal” execution of the inaugural Knife Fight was disappointing and misguided at best, we continue to believe in the ethos of the project. We have no doubts or reservations about continuing with the campaign. Right now we’re just a little fuzzy and unclear as to the execution—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, right? Evolution is real. Change is good. Refinement leads to greatness. For now, here’s what we know:
If you buy the socks, and you wear the socks at one of the races we targeted for this year, and you throw punches, and you tell us about it in a manner that indicates that you were the clear winner of said Knife Fight, we will happily award you a jersey. End of story.
Please note that L/XL and XXL sizes are currently out of stock and on a pre-order basis. Socks will be shipping in approximately six weeks (end of August). Email confirmation of an order will count as eligibility for the 2017 Knife Fight schedule.
BONUS: [email protected] with a photo of your current Cat 3 registration for an extra dollar off!