When Soigneur Magazine commissioned us to create a profile of four individuals that make the Tour de France the most prestigious and remarkable cycling race ever, we decided to feature four TDF Fans.
The images in this RR were edited in the passenger seat of a Peugeot sedan between Briançon and Lyon.
I don’t have a Part One to share with you. And I feel so bad about that. I feel a sense of despondency and profound dismay. I’m in a deep AF funk.
Turns out you can do a lot on peanuts and Gatorade, but not everything.
Objective: Remember what it is about Nationals that is so special. ✓
Did we have wool over our eyes? Yes. Did we put it there ourselves? Maybe. Did others have wooly eyes? Also yes.
The finish was placed at the end of a pier so the racers could ride directly into the water if they wanted. None of them did, which is honestly so damn disappointing.
Just moments before Ian set off to tackle the most best stage of the 2017 Tour de California he took a minute to talk to us about fishing. So chill.
Let met tell you something about a five-hour motorcycle ride through the Santa Ynez mountains when it’s sunny and warm-almost-hot: if you don’t apply sunscreen you will get sunburned BIG TIME.
Surfside Donuts in Pismo Beach has the world’s best doughnut shop logo (period).
This stage is rad. You should come here and ride this stage.
Lachlan Morton has cobra skin bar tape. We are waiting for confirmation as to its origin and authenticity.
We're just getting to know Ian Boswell but we already like him, a lot.
This year I decided to commit wholly and completely to Science and Technology. I purchased a Top of the Line Trainer, I subscribed to TrainerRoad, I outlined my goals, plugged in my dates, and I got down to it.
We asked Team Sky's Tour de California roster to help us dial-in our Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) with a trip to Ocean Beach for some surfing.
Climbs that come one after another, all at once in a group.
Road to Rad, Exhibits C-D: Crowdsourced Power & Women's Racing
Flow makes a course interesting which makes the race interesting. Without flow Professional Road Racing is a Threshold Contest. Which sounds more interesting than it often is.
We’re going to unpack Luck and Love and we’re making a list. Of super clear and super basic ideas about how and why the Spring Classics work so well. And the first thing on our list is Cobbles.
Manual for Speed's 2017 Spring Classics Campaign.
So the 2016 ATOK is in the bag and for MFS we made it through, by which I mean nothing critically damaging happened and there were no unsolvable issues.
But I do want to tell you something: as much as I might feign disinterest and try on airs of disassociation I can tell you that every single day when that first rider crosses the finish line, it is spine tingling. This sport is beautiful.
Dear ATOK, you got California, I mean it’s California, the same one known around the world.
We at Manual for Speed believe it's time to begin a conversation about the state of Road Cycling in America today.
Fuck the lackluster setting, the invisible stage, the absent crowds, because none of that matters, it’s window dressing. These are the best in the world doing what they do.
If you’re a reader and consumer of Manual for Speed (or in other words if Manual for Speed is in your personal Fan Club), and you read these Race Reports, then you may (understandably) be confused about how much we actually like the institution of Professional Bike Racing.
I hugged Ben for me. For you. For everyone. We shared smiles. I asked him how he did that, I reminded him that breaks don't stay out, like, they just don't. It's not how racing works, so like, umm, dude, wow, how!?
I can’t say that the riders as a whole appreciated the gentleman in a turquoise bikini bottom sprinting up the hill in front of them.
La Redoute is maybe the single greatest section of any bicycle race ever. It’s magical.
Amstel Gold, I’m told, was boring and lite-disappointing; but I didn’t see that, I saw an incredible high-speed spectacle.
Manual for Speed brought an "Animalizer" or vision-based portal in the form of an ancient leopard skin (on loan from the Smithsonian's Museum of Hunting and Gathering) to today's Amstel Gold Roster Photoshoot.
Look, Paris-Roubaix is insane. It’s exactly why Manual for Speed was invented.
As far we can tell, the Team Presentation is a warm-up for sign-in. Or maybe, think of it like a wedding rehearsal.
The 2016 Tour of Flanders, presented by Cannondale.
SPRING CLASSICS COVERAGE PRESENTED BY CANNONDALE
Richmonders refer to the World Championship race as “The UCI.”
Manuel reports from Stage 20 of the 2015 Vuelta a España.
Manuel reports from Stage 19 of the Vuelta a España.
Manuel reports from Stage 17 the 2015 Vuelta a Epsaña.
Manuel reports from Stage 15 of the 2015 Vuelta a España.
Manuel reports from Stage 12 of the 2015 Vuelta a España.
Manuel reports from Stage 10 of the 2015 Vuelta a España.
Manuel reports from the first rest day of the 2015 Vuelta a España.
Manuel reports from Stage 9 of the 2015 Vuelta a España.
Manuel reports from Stage 06 of the 2015 Vuelta a España.
Manuel reports from Stage 05 of the 2015 Vuelta a España.
We are headed home. And, as far as we can tell, from the email/voice/text correspondence we have been receiving from home, our homes are not broken. This is a great sign.
Manuel reports from Stage 03 of the 2015 Vuelta a España.
Manuel reports from Stage 02 of the 2015 Vuelta a España.
Manuel reports from Stage 01 of the Vuelta a España.
Cycling fans seem to get more excited about the helicopter flying around to shoot the cycling than the cycling itself. Maybe we at MFS should start covering Air Shows.
If you don’t want your picture taken, then don’t come to the race in a costume that screams, “PLEASE TAKE MY PICTURE.”
The music they play for the crowds at bike races is the same music that was used to force Manuel Noriega to capitulate to the CIA.
You can’t swing a dead cat around Summit County without hitting a multi-million dollar ski resort.
Even though the WiFi signal is less than ideal the joint is located next to a Whole Foods and the tube is showing a righteous selection of flicks. Plus we’re in America. So we are doing like B or B+, ish.
The Rodeo Bulls that shared the riders’ team bus and tent area are powerful and impressive animals. But the magnificence of their physicality was tempered by the overwhelming smell of their sickeningly pungent manure that had the entire peloton questioning why their team pit was located in a stockyard.
I almost cried with joy when I got the Delta Check-in alert on my phone 35km outside Paris.
Again with the Alpes. European switchbacks, waterfalls and millions on display.
I don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of these things. I mean, in some ways, it’s proof that the Tour de France is the Greatest Sporting Event in the History of the World. What other sport lasts this long?
Every day at the end of the day we stink and we’re sticky. I think the only time I’ve ever felt more sullied and begrimed was when I messengered on a scooter in Los Angeles back in ‘93 (the freeways and that inversion layer add-up).
Walking up a well-spectated climb is maybe quite possibly my second most favorite part of documenting a race. The end is near. Alpe D’huez is all anyone can talk about.
Blah blah blah blah.
A 185 kilometer tribute to picnicking, rock piles, golden fields, and charming villages.
I think I’m over the high-speed cannonball-run honeymoon tour of France. Castles, Priories and Palaces really are wonderful but they’re also remarkably tedious. At this pace and in these conditions,you know what I want?, I want a basic-as-fuck Best Western.
Today was Manual for Speed’s first Tour de France Sunflower Patch. I know you won't believe us, and why should you?, but photographing the race proximal to a Sunflower Patch was non-consensual.
I think at the time I was writing a business plan and you’re supposed to include a SWOT; which analysis seemed pertinent to today's Health & Wellness-related decision-making.
OMFG this race has been so basic until today. Today felt exceptional. Today it felt like the Tour De France started.
The brakes now make a grinding noise when we use them for slowing and stopping. The sound has a “metal on metal” quality. #rotors The concern is this: today was the first of many mountain stages to come. If the brakes are questionable now, what will they be like in a week when we’re in the Alps, which are also mountains?
A canted yellow ramp, miles of metal barricades, medieval castles, churches and whatnots.
It was rapturous and life affirming. It saved us at least an hour, maybe an hour and a half. Now I can go home. No seriously, can I go home now?
I think what’s so fascinating, and demoralizing, about the Tour de France isn't the size and the scale, that’s to be expected, it’s a really big bike race. We knew it was big. No, what’s so infuriating, and mind blowing and, I suppose, interesting in like a philosophical-type sense, are the walls. Guys there are walls EVERYWHERE here.
The thing about France is that the restaurant in a C+ hotel is kinda A+.
We had all the right tools at our disposal, we had everything you need for a successful parking campaign: three copies of the official TDF Race Bible, sticker privilege, credentials, Google Maps, the internet, five years of “on the job” race documenting experience, a modern car, two fully functional adults (both of them marginally well rested), and 1.5 hours of discretionary time. And we still couldn't figure it out. We still fucked it up.
We are now officially in France, the land of Wefeee not Wifi. And MGSMD (May God Strike Me Dead) if this Wefeee is not every bit as good as First World Wifi. Better than average, in fact. Did France leave the Dial-Up Age once and for all?
I don’t think I can muster and maintain a PMA until the end of this race. I know it’s early but I’m changing my strategy already. I’m trading in my PMA for some ETS, Embrace The Suck.
We missed the finish-finish because I magically made a frituur appear with mind and manifestation powers.
Objective #7: Attend the Tour De France. CHECK.
This year, for the first time ever Manual for Speed squares off against the Tour de France.
Road Nationals from Chattanooga featuring a plethora of Kasual Klub Team Members.
Today, Manual For Speed had a dream come true. The best part is that it was a dream Manual for Speed didn't even know it had.
Manuel reports from Stage 21 of the Giro d'Italia.
Manuel reports from Stage 20 of the Giro d'Italia.
Manuel reports from Stage 19 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia.
Manuel reports from Stage 18 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia.
Manuel reports from Stage 16 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia.
Manuel reports from Stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia.
Manuel reports from Stage 12 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia.
Less than an inch!
Manuel Reports from Stage 10 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia.
Manuel reports from Stage 09 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia.
Okay here goes. We’re not impartial, we’re partial. Yes, of course, we still care, and have always cared, and will continue to care about the whole giant sprawling spectacle. All of the fans and the support crew, even the police and the busted-ass Sacramento Valley towns like Lodi, we care about ALL of that shit. But I’m talking about Human Athletes.
Manuel reports from Stage 08 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia.
Maybe I’m just a sucker for deformities, dysmorphia, burning man x bath salts, body mutilation, post apocalyptic landscapes and meteorological events, supermodels loading 19th century fire arms, Cirque du Soleil at speed, bod mods, Day of the Dead make-up, and a GIANT-FUCK-OFF-UNIVERSE-SIZED Monster™ Energy™ Drink™ reincarnated as a two hour music video featuring basically nothing at all except a car/motorcycle/monster-truck chase that goes all the way to the end of the road in one direction, then turns around and comes right back.
Hey everybody. How’s it going. I’m okay I guess. I should've known it was going to be one of those days. I bought a new kind of yogurt for breakfast.
Manuel reports from Stage 06 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia
It’s almost like you want us to hate you. Like you’d prefer it if we just went home right now and never came back.
Manuel reports from Stage 05 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia.
At 9:45 AM in the parking lot of the Berryessa Community Center I met my driver, Alex. After introductions we talked for a few minutes about what I was looking for. I told him I was looking for the bike race. He laughed, but not a lot.
Manuel reports from Stage 03 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia.