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At the Races #5: Blue Collar Worker

Bonus Treasures

At the Races #5: Blue Collar Worker

Sometimes hired by the organizers, sometimes unwitting spectators—but always around.

At the Races #5: Blue Collar Worker

Let me paint a picture for you. It’s a weekday, your boss is up your ass about getting that concrete poured, running conduit, fixing some mistake that asshole Vic made when hanging the drywall in that new trendy coffee shop (as if this town needs another one of those, anyway). Maybe it’s first thing in the morning and you’re on your way to the job site, or perhaps it’s after lunch and you’re trying to make it back to work—only you discover your route is now completely closed off.

What’s this? Police, barricades, people in brightly-colored full body swimsuits standing around with their bicycles?”- MFS

Maybe you think “Fuck!” or maybe you think “Fuck yes, good excuse!” This all depends on the situation. Are you a government employee, a private contractor, an employee? Time, as they say, is money—unless it’s someone else’s money, in which case time is just there to be wasted. I mean, the drywall can wait a couple hours; might as well hang out and see what this thing is all about, right?


This is where we find you. Perhaps you’ve heard of road bike racing? Lance Armstrong? Greg Lemond? The Tour Day France? It doesn’t really matter, what matters is that you’re here now, you didn’t buy a ticket, you didn’t mean to come to the show,11Sidenote, this obviously doesn’t touch on all of the BCWs races require themselves to make, you know, the whole thing work in the first place—some of whom you’ll see below in the typology jammer. but providence delivered you here anyway. Enjoy the spectacle, as you are now a part of it (incidentally, this rad road you helped build over this mountain pass is also a part of it).

Field Study: Blue Collar Workers
Scroll to the right to see examples of Blue Collar Workers in the wild.

AT THE RACES is a study of the more ubiquitous or “prevalent” types of chillers found spectating PRRs on any given day, at any given race. To help us properly identify and catalog chillers, Manual for Speed commissioned world renowned interpretive illustrator and dog walker Thomas Slater. Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Contemporary Human Taxonomy from Oxford and has been supporting his family as a commercial illustrator since the age of 7. His recent work titled Gran Fondo’ler (Confessions of a Cycling Enthusiast) is currently being considered for a solo show at the Tate.


Head to our 2017 Introduction post for the At the Races index.

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