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Fan Club (Cobble Goblins Edition): Phil Gaimon

Fan Club

Fan Club (Cobble Goblins Edition): Phil Gaimon

You could say Phil became a hobby of ours, or you could say we became friends, both characterizations of our relationship are accurate. We like him personally and we're fascinated professionally by him—I think because, well, he's fascinating.

Fan Club (Cobble Goblins Edition): Phil Gaimon


I Introduction

It was 2013 and we only had one friend in the Pro Peloton, but then we met Phil next to a ski lift in the Village of Snowmass. It was the day before the start of the USAPC, we had nothing to do, he had nothing to do, so we did a conversation which turned into an interview. A long and and insanely illuminating interview. To describe it as candid would be an understatement. From that point on we took an interest in Phil. You could say he became a hobby of ours, or you could say we became friends, both characterizations of our relationship are accurate. We like him personally and we’re fascinated professionally by him—I think because, well, he’s fascinating. Take his trajectory for example:


  • 1999–2003: Fat Kid.
  • 2009: Domestic Professional Cyclist (Team Jelly-Belly).
  • 2012: Wins Redlands Bicycle Classic.
  • 2014: World Tour Professional Cyclist (Team Garmin-Sharp); STAND OUT SEASON, see Tour de San Luis.
  • 2014: Publishes acclaimed book about the reality of being a Professional Cyclist.
  • 2015: Domestic Professional Cyclist (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
  • 2015: Wins Redlands Bicycle Classic. Again.
  • 2016: World Tour Professional Cyclist (Team Garm—, I mean Cannnodale Pro Cycling).
  • 2016: Spring Classics campaign, including but not limited to a last-minute Paris–Roubaix call-up.
  • 2016: This Cobble Goblin edition of Fan Club.

II Nine Questions with Phil Gaimon
Kwestions with Klaus

It used to be that the man who won Amstel Gold would receive his weight in beer as a prize. Given the chance to win your weight in anything, what would you take (and gold, or other things that you’d trade in for other goods don’t count)?


I’m supposed to say cookies, but then my weight would increase and my job would become more difficult. I like having one cookie a day, because I don’t have self control if there’s more sitting around. Also, they’d go stale. Okay, got it, here’s the compromise: I’d like my weight in lumps of cookie dough that I can bake myself, one at cookie at a time, frozen so they won’t go bad, portioned out by date, in a magical box that only opens on that date so I can’t cheat.


What will your duties be at Amstel Gold, as far as you know?


I’m getting that I’ll be covering breakaways early on, trying to make the splits at much as I can, and simply being there for the guys as long as I can. This is my first monument and my first WorldTour race this year, so it’s going to be part adventure.11So much for that claim, Phil. Hope you had fun during Paris–Roubaix!


If you are unable to 100% fulfill your duties at Amstel Gold, will you go back to your team hotel, and put Deana Carter’s “I Shaved My Legs for This?” on repeat?


All you can do is the best you have with the legs you have, and I’ll always do that. You’ve reminded me that I do need to shave my legs, though.


A cookie must never contain…


Raisins or butterscotch.


A cookie must always contain…


Chocolate and love.


Is Girona just a big pool of pro cycling gossip and talk? If so, can you tell us some funny bits you’ve heard, leaving out the names of those implicated?


Yes, it is that. I heard one last night about a rider at a party after the race breaking a window on accident, and then running from the police. Except it was in Asia, all the riders were staying at one hotel, and his face was on race posters all over town. Had paid for the window.


Would you ever consider changing your site to PhilTheGrill and selling custom gold and diamond grills to pro cyclists? Why or why not?


I don’t really get the whole idea of jewelry, but I would like to follow in George Foreman’s footsteps with a real grill. Wait, the domain is taken. Why’d you get my hopes up? Some other asshole named Phil is selling grills.


Us mere mortals will likely never eat at Celler de Can Roca. Can you tell us what the best restaurant in the world is like in gastronomic terms? How are their bathrooms?


It was like eating a museum or a great movie. More like art than food, but still delicious. The bathrooms were hidden, actually. Just a mirrored door in the wall. I had to ¿dónde esta el bagno? to the host guy. It was nice in there though.


Any truth to the rumor that this bike racing thing is merely a ploy to get more subject matter for another book?


I’d race even if I wasn’t writing about it, but there are days when it’s raining and you’re looking out the window at cobblestones thinking you don’t want to do it. And then I go, “Well, this is will be fun to write about,” and it helps me get out there to soak up the experience, mud, and pain.

III Fun Facts with Phil Gaimon

  1. FAVORITE FOOD: I’m enjoying the Spanish omelettes here in Girona. Egg and potato, and I put a little hot sauce on it. When I get home, though, I’ll get a burrito first.
  2. FAVORITE COLOR: Bright green, of course.
  3. FAVORITE BAND: I mostly listen to podcasts to be honest. Music gets boring on long rides, and it’s a chore to find new stuff. There’s nothing better than Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” though.
  4. FAVORITE MOVIE/VIDEO GAME: Home Alone. It’s a kids movie, but it holds up, I’m telling you. I haven’t played video games since I retired from Counter-Strike at 17, but I bet I’m still good. Do they still play Counter-Strike?
  5. IF YOU WEREN’T A CYCLIST, WHAT WOULD YOU BE? Super fat and grumpy. No one could love me.
  6. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE BORED? I call my mom or sweep the floors.
  7. FAMILY: Mom in Atlanta, professor at Georgia Tech, sister in Austin, working on a Ph.D. “Not getting a PhD” is a recessive gene.
  8. GUILTY PLEASURE(S): Junky cereal. Europe’s cereal game has America beat. All sorts of chocolate and granola stuff. Dinner and dessert rolled into one after a long bike ride if you don’t feel like cooking.
  9. SIGN: “Road Closed.”
  10. PRIZED POSSESSION: I have a little townhouse in Toluca Lake, a neighborhood outside of Hollywood. There’s a small garage full of bike stuff, I can walk to Sweet Salt, which is a great little restaurant with wonderful cookies owned by a good friend. It’s a very pleasant life over there.
  11. IF YOU WERE A SUPERHERO, WHAT WOULD YOUR POWER BE? Sleeping on airplanes. I get so jealous.
  12. CELEBRITY ROLE MODEL(S): Elon Musk. He doesn’t want to be a celebrity and he’s bad at it, but he’s so damn smart, it happened to him. If they could make him president, we’d be better off.
  13. WORST FEAR(S): Someone texting and running me over from behind.
  14. BAD HABITS: When I get to a hotel, I’ll just explode my suitcase everywhere. It’s so much easier than digging through it.
  15. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SMOOTHIE!!!??? I finish every ride with a shake: OTE protein, kale, beets, almond butter, and apple juice. I don’t care if that sounds gross.
  16. HIDDEN TALENTS: I think my biggest talent is how far I can get on having limited talent.
  17. WEIRDEST DREAM: Alex Howes’s mom dreamt something about my socks and tweeted about it. I have to get to the bottom of that.
  18. FAVORITE QUOTE: “Don’t change. Just get better.”—Me. I thought of that when I turned 30 and had a giant cookie for breakfast, and I’m still really proud of it.
  19. FANMAIL ADDRESS: I have a contact form on that’s been a good outlet for various weirdos out there. Or you can tweet me @philgaimon

IV MFS Memory Lane™ with Phil Gaimon

This is Manual For Speed’s first ever Memory Lane feature. And who better to feature on this, our inaugural edition, than Phil. Please join us as we take a look at some of our favorite moments with Phil over the years.

We met-slash-interviewed Phil before the 2013 USA Pro Challenge, turns out Phil is great and we like him, and we think he likes us too. Plus he tells us interesting stuff. READ MORE!
#philler #phillering #phillerism READ MORE!
Phil helped us out by modeling the use of reading to benefit cycling performance. We helped him out by driving his book to the top of the NYT Bestseller list. READ MORE!
Phil showed the world that even though he's a bigshot pro cyclist, you've probably got more in common with him than you think. READ MORE!
Phil won the Redlands Bicycle Classic, and we celebrated with an impromptu fashion shoot. READ MORE!
Phil was a Phounding Phather of MFS' Kasual Klub. For chillin'. READ MORE!
Phil gave us a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes magic that allows him to operate at such a high level when YO! MFS Cribz visited his siq pad in Southern California. READ MORE!
Phil really likes cookies. READ MORE!
Phil, despite being tall and (relatively, like for the pro peloton) heavy, is called up last-minute to race the 2016 Paris-Roubaix! So we tracked him down before the race to see what the Gaimon vibe was like. "I did Paris-Roubaix and all I got was a murse in my gift bag?" READ MORE!

V Spring Classics (aka Cobble Goblins) Underwriters
Thank You!

For the next three weeks Manual For Speed is your Spring Classics Virtual Reality. Creating a three-week-long virtual reality requires a lot of support both emotionally, psychologically and financially. Our underwriters provide us with all of three and more. We cherish them because of it; won’t you cherish them too?



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