2015 Tour de France: Stage 10
Tuesday July 14, 2015 | Tarbes
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?
13,312 steps or 6.5 miles
Before we even got to Château d’Orleix one of the best things about Château d’Orleix was our reservation for three nights. That’s three consecutive nights in the same bed, with the same Wifi passwords/protocols and the same shower fixtures. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE SEEMINGLY INFINITE NUMBER OF SHOWER FIXTURE CONFIGURATIONS CURRENTLY IN USE IN FRANCE. Now that we’re here, and we’ve seen it and lived in and experienced it, we love it even more. It’s outside of town just off a rural road at the end of a long driveway. It’s massive. Three stories tall. It has wooden shutters on the front of its millions of windows. The worn wooden spiral staircase is glorious and ancient, and most certainly not up to code. We can’t lock our door. It’s apparently pre-lock, or maybe it’s post-lock, either way it’s no-lock. The bathroom is modern. Our room has Nagel vibes.
- Make it to our Continental Breakfast Reservation at 9:00 AM. X
- Introduce Emiliano to the Tour de France. ✓
- Decorate the MFS Whip with two new extra large heart magnets. ✓
- Take over The New Yorker’s (photo) Instagram. ✓+
- Make it onto the Mountain Chewbacca Team Bus. PENDING…
- Speaking of mountains. Go to a mountain, any mountain, even a mountain in Spain. ✓
- Christopher Froome (4:22:07)
- Richie Porte (+0:00:59)
- Nairo Quintana (+0:01:54)
Enfin, nous vous emmenons à la montagne!, en Espagne?
The race did some stuff on some roads for like 150 km but who cares because at the end it went up a huge mountain on the border with Spain.
About five minutes before the finish a woman in the crowd passed-out and fell down. One minute she was standing, holding an umbrella, waiting for the race to arrive, and the next minute she was lying on her back in the rocks next to the barricades. An Ambulance was parked just on the inside of the barricades from where she was standing/lying, and EMTs were able to reach her very quickly.
According to the Evacuation email we received today from Fabrice, our media liaison with the Tour de France, “During phases of evacuations, it is completely forbidden to overtake the vehicle in front of you in the descent.” The descent he’s talking about is the three-hour long phasal-based mass exodus off the mountain. Phase One: Phil Liggett and the Team Buses/Cars.
On the way down the mountain we saw a kid sitting in the dirt in a corner throwing rocks at cars as they passed.
About halfway down the mountain our rental car’s brakes started to smoke and stink. 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? Dear Enterprise Rental Car, what should we do?
Yesterday on our way here from Vannes we stopped at several Freeway (Motorway) Rest Stops. At one, the women’s toilets were closed for cleaning so women needing to use the restroom were encouraged to use the men’s. Which they did. Thus, coed bathrooms at Freeway Rest Stop. We watched (participated) as dozens of unfamiliar men, women and children all shared a very public bathroom together. Question, would that happen in America? #ohmygodbecky (The bathrooms in my college dorm freshman year were coed.—KEB)
- I didn’t eat one single pain au chocolat today. And I’m pissed about it.
- The French undercook their beef by two stops. Well done = medium rare.
- Today Emiliano and I ate salsichas (in a baguette with mayonnaise and moutarde) and frites at 5000 feet above sea level.
- Glace is pronounced glass. Who knew?
- Freeway Rest Stops are the best place to find breakfast and lunch in France. Freeway sounds like Fritesway.
- Emiliano would like to apologize to himself for drinking an Orangina. Twice. Yes it was hot. Yes he was at altitude. Yes he was jetlagged. But it doesn’t matter, he made a promise to himself three years ago to stop drinking soda because soda is the devil.
- This is NOT an official apology. But at this point, MFS is looking into whether or not it would be prudent to recant our claim that wefee is inferior to wi-fi. Whatever happens, French 3G is a liar and a charlatan.
I Race Report
Once at the top and through the deviation, and parked and sorted out as to where the finish was, and where the soigneurs will stand, and where we needed to be, and then with an hour to go before the finish, Emiliano and I left the barricades and walked around.Like art? Like cycling? The MFS Artist Residency was designed with YOU in mind. Hunting & Stalking for photographs. And food/water/drinks which we found in a parking lot through one of the official Tour concession stands. It was a stand-up bar counter outdoor situation but it had a roof which provided shade so we decided to dine in. I accidentally put sugar on my fries thinking it was salt because my fries needed salt and I watched a guy open what I thought was a salt packet and sprinkle the contents onto his fries. And I mean, nobody puts sugar on fries right?, not even in France? Anyway, I ate most of the fries anyway because #fuckit and my sausage roll was delicious and unsweetened so all in all it was a lovely culinary experience.
It tasted a lot like, I imagine, what a French Baseball game would taste like. Which come to think of it isn't cycling a French Baseball game?”- DWP
Anyway then we met Lisa who works at Medeo Fencing Club in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Lisa said there were three fencing disciplines; epee, saber, foil. She went on to explain that Emiliano would be better at epee because he is methodical and analytical. And that I would be better at sabre because I was ruled by emotions and intuition. Then she pointed to a short gentleman eating fries over by a rock and said he looks like a foil type to me. We said oh yeah, how come? She said because he’s petite. We nodded in agreement because he was in fact short. She said you need to be petite and precise. I nodded and said oh yeah okay sure, thinking the whole time I don’t know how precise he is he just put sugar on his fries.
II Today's Highs & Lows
- On the way up the mountain I was hungry and desperate for food. I tried to eat the Hot and Spicy pringles Emiliano purchased yesterday but while they tasted “okay”, they smelled so bad I couldn't stop retching. At that very moment, right as we were pulling into the Deviation, the Haribo candy man threw several sample-sized bags of Haribo candy into the open driver’s side window and straight onto our laps. A lot of it was the European mix stuff that is all but inedible, but some of it was the good stuff: sour candies, gummy bears, etc.
- Our hotel room is keyless. We have keyless entry.
- The crowds on the climb are so dense and intense. I think eventually they will give me panic attacks but for now it feels like a really intense and really exciting War Torn Failed State US Embassy reenactment Live Action Role Playing game. I think as the climbs escalate throughout the Tour so will the crowd-on-car ecstasy-cum-violence. I fully expect to be rocked, robbed of magnets, sprayed, ridiculed, obstructed, aggressed, ridden, blocked, ejaculated on, etc.
- Emiliano went through proper channels at MTN-Qhubeka to organize a photograph of KOM Daniel in front of the fountain inside the Hospitality area near sign-in. On the way over to the fountain from the Team Bus (20 feet tops) Daniel Teklehaimanot drew so much attention from other photographers and ENG Bros that Emiliano was pushed-out and blocked from taking the shot he coordinated.
- On the way up the mountain a French teenager behind the barriers threw what I thought was water onto our windshield and partially into my open window. Whatever it is wasn't water because it didn't dry right. Maybe it was soda? Vodka? Beer? Acid? Whatever it is, fool me once shame on you, you piece of shit fuckwad fake-ass bozo terrorist. Next time I’ll stop, hold you down and pee on you. Or report you to the authorities. Or take a picture of your asscrack and mail it to Jonathan Vaughters.
- One of the benefits of staying at a hotel versus an AirBnB are the breakfasts. One of the KEY advantages of continental buffet-style breakfasts is the opportunity to pack a lunch. Especially in Europe where invariably the breakfast spreads feature bread, cheeses and meats. Otherwise known as a sandwich, or “pocket ham” (PHACU). This morning I watched Emiliano make a hefty pocket ham. I even said out loud, man that ham looks damp and sweaty. I don’t think I’m going to make one of those, but I will probably regret it. I 100% regretted not taking a pocket ham up the mountain.
III Manual for Speed's Outbox
Manual for Speed wants (needs!?) a portrait of Phil Liggett to complete our study of the Tour de France. Also and maybe more importantly, the New Yorker Photo Instagram needs that photograph. Through legal albeit clandestine means MFS was able to get Phil’s email address. Our email to him is published below for your BTS enjoyment. If you feel compelled to aid us in our pursuit of Phil please send him (positive) encouragement via twitter.
We are covering the Tour de France for The New Yorker Magazine. They want us to provide a studied, comprehensive and intimate look at the TDF. Your are The Symbol of the Tour de France, as such, no photographic study of the race would be complete without a portrait of you. Together with Paul if possible. We need 5 minutes, tops. No lights, stands, tripods or set-up. It’s a still photograph. No video. No questions. No interview. Obviously we can do it when and where it’s most convenient for you. We would need to do it before Saturday the 18th.
Learning French Phrases #7 AN EXPLORATION, A GLOSSARY, A CATALOG FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
Nous ne sommes pas un parking.11We are not parking. Nous sommes arrêtés ici pendant cinq minutes pour prendre une photo.22We stopped here for five minutes to take a photo. Nous allons les locaux vacants immédiatement après l' compléter le système de nos exigences photographiques.33We’ll vacate the premises immediately after the completion of our photographic requirements. Nous avons tiré hors de la route dans l'intérim dans un effort pour éviter l'obstruction.44We pulled off the road in the meantime in an effort to avoid obstructing anyone/thing.
V Today's Unfair Advantage
VI A Chronological Breakdown of the Day's Events
- 9:00 AM: Still sleeping.
- 9:35 AM: Continental Breakfast.
- 11:00 AM: Arrive at the start.
- 12:55 PM: Leave avant la course.
- 1:30 PM: Stop 10 km from the start on a moderate incline.
- 1:35 PM: Abandoned that position for a corn field 17 km from the start.
- 2:05 PM: Speed to the finish.
- 4:30 PM: Make it to the finish 1.5 hours ahead of the race.
- 5:30 PM: Meet Puckbuddy.
- 10:00 PM: Make it home.
VII Today's Playlist
Private Collection Vol. 2
- 1 Mura Masa When U Need ME
- 2 Majical Cloudz This is Magic
- 3 Slow Magic Girls
- 4 DCUP I’m Corrupt (Peking Duk Remix)
- 5 BenZel feat. Ryn Weaver Touch
- 6 Danny Scrilla Magellanic Clouds
- 7 Ca$h Out Cashin Out
- 8 Odesza feat. Madelyn Gran Sun Models
- 9 Reinhard Voigt Rachanee
- 10 Slumberjack Horus
VIII Tarbes Start
Designed by Mike Perry. More information HERE. ACT FAST!!! We have a limited stock in Sm, Med, Lrg, and XL of this jersey available NOW, and we’ll ship your order immediately. Additional orders will be taken as a PRE-ORDER. Orders close on August 1st, 2015. Expected delivery is the end of October.
X La Pierre-Saint-Martin
What makes Château d'Orleix so Remarkable? An MFS Special Feature (Featuring the Words of Château d'Orleix Themselves)
- The Château d’Orleix is located 6 km north of Tarbes in the Hautes-Pyrenees.
- It has a terrace and a spa and wellness with steam room, sauna and jacuzzi.
- Individually decorated rooms come with flat-screen TV with over 100 international channels and Wi-Fi. Each has a spacious private bathroom.
- A continental breakfast is served daily in the elegant dining room of the castle.
- Reservations can dine in the restaurant or in the comfort of your room.
- The residence also has a gym and a 24/24 with free Wi-Fi.
- Beauty treatments as well as relaxing massages are offered on reservation 24 hours in advance. There is a golf course 11 km away and a horse riding center only 1 km.
- The property has a seminar room and offers study days. Room equipped with a flipchart, big screen projection for PC, wifi connection.
- The Château d’Orleix provides free private parking on site. It is easily accessible by the A64 and you reach Lake Bours just 5 minutes by car. Tarbes Train Station is 6 km away, while Tarbes airport is 17 km.”
XIII Tour Day France
Manuel Mobilizes, Mounting a Mercedes Motoring to Mountains