2013 USA Pro Challenge: Stage 03
The USA Cycling Pro Challenge Media Public Relations Department (USAPCMPRD) likely does not recognize Manual for Speed as a legitimate race news and coverage supplier/publisher.
I A Chronological Breakdown of the Day's Events
- 10:30 AM: The doors open, the elevator is empty and but it smells like Aqua di Gio, a lightly distinguished fragrance inspired by the fresh sea, warm sun and richness of the earth. Inside the elevator Emiliano and I simultaneously remember via eye contact & smiley faces that last night we shared the sixth floor with Cannondale Pro Cycling, of Italy.
- 10:35 AM: The Team Bus Area (TBA)—a sea of white tube-socks, tote bags and foam fingers in a Sharpie and Automatic Flash storm—is already open. Beyond the TBA is Main Street and the nearest Starbucks. The race starts on Main Street, and Main Street couldn’t be more CLOSED FOR BIKE RACE, and we need to park. Windows all the way up, foot off the brake and double pointing to the small green MEDIA square in the upper right-hand corner of our windshield, we roll without direct eye contact into the mouth of the TBA past two Volunteers. The Volunteer seated in a lawn chair on the sidewalk to our right jumps-up and places his physical human body in front of our still moving vehicle, feet apart, back to the TBA, hand out. The Volunteer in a USA Pro Cycling Challenge Regulation Issue light blue t-shirt and a Location Hat to our left, chases down the driver side of our vehicle, violently brandishing a small orange flag attached to the end of thin wooden dowel. We are forced out.
- 10:37 AM: We have a meeting (in the TBA). We need to interview and photograph (in the TBA). We are pressed for time because we have to leave ahead of the race in order to drive the course in order to photograph the course. We find the back door (of the TBA), kinda.
- 10:45 AM: Now inside the TBA we power-mingle. Highlights include a semi-formal portrait session with Team Colombia.
- 11:15 AM: Surrounded by thousands of fan’s poster-thrusting hands on his way into the Garmin Sharp Team Bus, we ask Lachlan Morton what his Spirit Animal is. “What’s my Spirit Animal? Give me a minute on that one.”
- 11:24 AM: During a confidential meeting in front of the XXXX Team Bus, a small elderly lady interrupts us to ask if we knew in which direction the riders would leave the TBA for the start, we explained that we did not. She volunteered that it was very important to her that she obtain a signed photograph of Number 28, and did we know, because it would help her out if we did, what Number 28 looks like? Hands out, palms up, we stuttered in unison by way of a reply.
- 12:01 PM: In order to leave Breckenridge as quickly as possible we enter a Colorado Highway 9 exit-ramp because the entrance ramp was barricaded shut, trusting/hoping the whole time that the freeway is closed in b-o-t-h directions.
- 12:07 PM: We discuss leaving the course momentarily in order to patronize the Starbucks in Frisco but don’t, we follow the course up a KOM and around a lake. Side Note: The KOM vibe was the best USA Pro Cycling Challenge vibe yet; better than Aspen, Independence and Hoosier.
- 12:35 PM: At a Shell Station at the base of Loveland Pass Road, where we stop to empty the Soul of trash and to purchase several small bottles of sparkling mineral water, we meet Albert. He is standing in front of the trashcan on the sidewalk next to the front door of the Shell Station. He’s smoking a cigarette and staring at the ground. I know his name is Albert because he’s wearing a Keystone Resort Polo with a name tag pinned to his chest, and the name tag reads Albert. We ask him if he’s happy that the USA Pro Cycling Challenge is coming through Loveland today August 20th in likely less than forty-five minutes. He explains that while he might like to be happy about the race, it’s difficult because he was supposed to be at work in Keystone at 9:00 AM but because all Public Transportation between Loveland and Keystone is CLOSED FOR BIKE RACE he is unable to get there, and now he’s late. Three and a half hours late. He looks anxious and sweaty but says that he’s okay, he explains that he’s not too worried because many people in Loveland travel to Keystone. Editors Note: What he doesn’t explain is that, yes, he can hitchhike but the road is still closed and will continue to be closed for another hour at least, and that the only other way to get from the base of Loveland Pass Road to Keystone is via 70, which is way further and takes way longer, and, side note within a side note, closed too. We consider turning around and driving head first into the Peloton with Albert and our Media Credentials because wait, is Albert fucked? Like, how many times has Albert been late for work this month? Albert declined taking a photograph for Manual for Speed because he was wearing his Keystone Resorts Polo and name tag.
- 2:32 PM: Because neither of us received positions on Photographer Motorcycles for any of the seven stages this year, likely because the USA Cycling Pro Challenge Media Public Relations Department (USAPCMPRD) does not recognize Manual for Speed as a legitimate race news and coverage supplier/publisher, we decided to stop on Rabbit Ears Pass and photograph the race as it passed, in an effort to capture bona fide race action.
- 3:45 PM: We ask Smokey The Bear’s Forest Service homies/proxies11In the suit Smokey is unable to speak for him or herself—apparently Smokey’s gender is deemed irrelevant, and if while under the suit specifics are inquired about, the answer is neither, Smokey is gender neutral. Whatever the case, while Smokey may be anatomically incorrect like Barbie or GI Joe it has an adorable late 70’s rural Pennsylvania-style butt–in-the-front! about what with all the new informations and attitudes about fire suppression whether or not Smokey was in need of an updated mandate or raison d’être. “Always good to get the word out about preventing fires, there are beneficial uses for fire but they shouldn’t be started by humans.”
- 3:57 PM: An unedited version of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Got Your Money (from the album Nigga Please) shuffles into DJ Clif Bar Van’s rotation, and a Clif employee immediately drops what she’s doing and literally scrambles through boxes of sample-sized Organic Magic-Food to hit skip. Meanwhile the crowd’s feeling it, even the kids, and a kind of PG-tension, like a glitch in the matrix, slows time down to nearly a stop, and too abruptly a sexy-but-oh-so-soft remix of Foster The People’s neutered but-jammy-jam Pumped Up the Kicks shuffles on, time returns to normal, memories are altered, everybody feels wholesome and more importantly, super ‘cited bout bike racin! Side note: In an effort to report the specific Pumped Up Kicks remix we employed the app Shazam but the app Shazam apparently does not fuck-with Rabbit Ears Pass.
- 5:38 PM: After watching 1.5 episodes of Toddlers in Tiaras starring Honey Boo Boo on the flat screen TV mounted to the wall of room 103, we leave the La Quinta for, as it turns out, Qdoba—aka Chipolte-lite or Not-Chipotle. We wanted to go into Steamboat proper for real human-type food, maybe even something green and crunchy, and to visit the world famous cowboy store F.M Light & Sons where six years ago I bought a 10X Straw Stetson Cowboy which hat I’ve won three maybe four times (one of which was on three day mountain bike ride through Canyonlands in southeastern Utah), but had to turn around on account of coming into the back of a traffic jam next to a stack of telltale orange barricades on the sidewalk on the outskirts of real-Steamboat. On the way into the Qdoba parking lot we passed a Starbucks (Google Maps pin dropped!) and a Cold Stone Creamery.
- 6:15 PM: Emiliano eats a chicken burrito, I eat a steak burrito, we split a meatless quesadilla Side Note: In effort to manage even the lowest of expectations, we require the use of more than ½ a bottle of Cholula hot sauce.
- 6:35 PM: A short list of facts:
- Qdoba and Coldstone Creamery share a parking lot, albeit a large parking lot.
- The distance between Qdoba and Cold Stone Creamery is at max 200 yards.
- Apropos of nothing Emiliano—the point here is this, this exclamation demand/need/whatever it was, is atypical behavior—in a fit of joy and desire shouts:
- 6:36 PM: The second we park, two things are immediately clear.
- Cold Stone Creamery is a combination Cold Stone Creamery and Subway Sub Shop. Because it’s a Cold Stone, and because their thing is the real-time, customized addition of crushed confections, bars and sugary condiments into your base-flavor ice cream, and because they literally share a countertop with Subway, I’m worried that like, green pepper and mustard flavors may wind up in my mix.
- MFS Race Corespondents and 2103 USA Pro Cycling Challenge Podium Girls Candice and Courtney have just walked out of the nail salon called Nails next to the laundromat calledLaundry and are now standing right in front of us. Side Note: Somehow the World (Universe) has given us the girls we’ve been looking for. For the last 24 hours we’ve been trying to reach them through Twitter and Instagram to no avail. We are in a horrible mini mall in remote not-Steamboat Springs, Qdoba is random, Nails is random. Basically everything about this scenario is random and but it happened, and it’s wonderful.
- 6:37 PM: We interview Candice and Courtney:
“I [Candice] just got my nails did! They’re pink, it’s like a gel, like a shellac. It lasts way longer and it’s good for your nails. We didn’t do our feet. Don’t look at our feet! This morning we started in Breckendrige and the drive was soooo long but it was really beautiful. They gave us a Dodge Caravan with those automatic doors which go so slow but it’s cool when you’re walking up to the car and open the doors from far away. It’s fun to have our own car because if we didn’t we’d be stuck with another group, and like today we wouldn’t wouldn’t have been able to come to Nails.
“So the race ends then they call out they Yellow Jersey and then they do first, second and third. Then we put them on the podium, and then all the other jerseys come up individually, like Most Courageous and Man of the Mountain—MFS interjects, you mean King of the Mountain—yeah, King of the Mountain. We met Jens, we thought he was going to get first today. And we met Lachlan. He’s got swag, he’s all about the hair and the sunglasses. He seems pretty cool and style is everything. Also, we like that he gets those license plates and puts them on the back of his bike. After this (Nails) we’re going to some hot springs, Strawberry Hot Springs, they’re in a resort. You’re welcome to come but can’t take any cameras with you, it’s not allowed.”
- 7:05 PM: Just outside the Nails, Qdoba, and Cold Stone Creamery x Subway parking lot, we pass an old man driving a 4-wheel drive Segway with an NRA sticker on the front of it, carrying a walking cane.
- 10:02 PM: For various ridiculous reasons we’re reduced to back-alley Facebooking and lite-creep-stalking-thru-Social Media of Lachlan Morton in an effort to get an interview. Side Note: things look good, he’s accepted our friendship request, we’ve messaged several times, we’ve exchanged photographs. Side Bar: Lachlan rides for Team GARMIN-SHARP, GARMIN-SHARP is sponsored by Castelli, Manual for Speed is sponsored by Castelli. Meanwhile, Team RADIOSHACK-LEOPARD-TREK’s Press Officer invited us via email to come by the Team Bus in the morning for an interview with Hayden Roulston.