2015 Tour of California: Stage 05
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.
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, one of those parfait jobs with the fruit on the bottom and a recessed plastic granola-filled deal on top. It was Greek and the fruit was strawberry which sounded great because I love both and I’m still kinda coming down off that Pinkberry experience from earlier this week. Not sure if you remember, but the Pinkberry lady told me their original flavor is reminiscent of Greek yogurt, and one of my toppings was strawberry, and that whole deal was a bit of an awakening for me, at least in terms of A.) what a Pinkberry was and why they were a “thing,” and B.) Greek yogurt’s range and potential. So of course, still high from my last experience I bought this breakfast project, mixed it all together, took a bite, and bummer, it just tasted kinda cold. Like, the temperature. Then, in the middle of what was rapidly becoming a disappointing meal, I learned that for some reason, maybe I didn’t order it, maybe I did but she didn’t hear me, maybe she had and but the dude working that nuclear centrifuge-looking oven spaced it, whatever the reason, I learned that my bacon-gouda sandwich order was never placed. Also, I forgot to put cream in my americano. But listen, I kept my shit together and we got to Sign-In with something like forty-five minutes to go before the start.
We get parked, we get our shit together, you know cameras and chargers and credentials—side note, I spend about 189 days a year wearing some kind of lanyard-based credential around my neck (#lanyarded), which is, when you think about it, a little bit depressing—we lock the car, we walk over to the buses and start tapping into the flow to get the vibe and find the lines and all that. Right from the start I can tell something is up because I’m just not feeling it. Sure I’m technically taking photographs but… not really. Also, I keep running into people I like a lot. Which is GREAT. But when you’re off and trying to get back on, and you keep getting interrupted or distracted, at first glance it’s a bummer. At this point I start trying, like intentionally, to take a good photograph but the harder I look and the more I think about it the less inspired I get. Also, you can’t try at photographs, at least not like that. It’s like in that one episode in season three, maybe four11It’s season four, episode four, ‘Refugees’, though the term ‘soft eyes’ comes up repeatedly during season four, even as the title of episode two., of The Wire, where Bunk is telling Kima the trick to doing good Murder Police forensics is “Soft Eyes.” Personally, even though I think mostly he’s right, which, I have never been Murder Police but this one time I did almost get jacked for my skateboard on a bus from Lansdowne to Baltimore, I always thought he was trying to rationalize his alcoholism. Anyway, I think good photography, especially observational-based variants of photography like reportage, journalism and weddings, does in fact require Soft Eyes. I don’t drink anymore, but lucky for me sleep deprivation is a solid substitute for a hangover, which Bunk claimed was how one got Soft Eyes in the first place.
I run into Emily Maye, who I like and respect a lot. And who lives in Santa Barbara. She introduces me to her parents and Saint Bernard puppy. And we talk about stuff. Then I walk around some more and take a bunch of tragically boring photographs. Then some dudes recognize me as part of Manual for Speed so I stop to talk to them. One of them works for Cadence, another works for Powell Peralta, and so naturally we start talking about skateboarding. It’s clear to me, immediately, that these dudes are rad. They remind me a lot of 1.) Venice Beach 2.) Kickflips 3.) The Dead Kennedys 4.) Getting in fights with Mall Cops & Security Guards 4.) Eating Taco Bell on a curb, at night, covered in sweat and dirt, blood running down my shins 5.) Fugazi 6.) The old Powell Peralta skate park in Santa Barbara 7.) Church of Skatan 8.) Ho-Hos as well as various other handplants, and 9.) Heshers, especially the early ’90s Santa Cruz skater kind. Also, at this point it’s clear to me that I’m impotent, in the camera. And just when I’m about to start feeling really sad with my yogurt and stupid floppy joke-camera, Lachlan Morton rolls over wearing a homemade vest. Which speaking of his homemade vest, he’s concerned about the sleeves. Apparently he’s reluctant to throw them away, he says he considered turning them into shoe covers, and/or maybe arm warmers. He says he’s not worried about how poorly shoe covers fashioned from sleeves ripped off a basically plastic jacket will perform, he knows they won’t work good, that’s not the point. Then we all start talking about tomorrow’s Time Trial, which was supposed to be in Big Bear, a place that I love, and but which is now going to be in Santa Clarita, a place that I do not love. All due to the fact a foot of snow is predicted to fall in the San Bernardino mountains in the next 24 hours. At some point we start talking about Magic Mountain and roller coasters. Lachlan says he hates going on the fuckers that do nothing but drop, the one that’s basically an elevator into the sky that stops on an imaginary 36th floor for a brief moment before free-falling back to earth. And because he’s scared of those, he does them first. Like, he walks into the park, goes straight to the thing that scares the shit out of him the most, does it, then gets on with the rest of the day. At this point it’s getting close to the start of the race, so Lachlan and I both say goodbye to the locals, then make plans to go to Magic Mountain after tomorrow’s race is over. He says, yeah, figure it out, and we’ll go.
II Today's High Points and Low Points
- Emiliano spied a toddler wearing a bootleg t-shirt that has a photo of Ted King on it. A photo that was taken by Emiliano. Turns out the baby’s father is a huge Manual for Speed fan and that the youngster is named Manuel; we didn’t have time to dig into whether this was coincidence or intentional, but based on what we know about what we do, its is safe to assume intentional. Can there be any higher high point?
- Convincing the new face of peloton mascoting, the Raging Stag, to warm up for the camera. His warm up routine includes: Wind Sprints, Stationary Running, and Horn Helmet Push-Ups.
- Kasual Klub members Alex Howes and Lachlan Morton are part of a five man break that leads the peloton out for most of the day.
- Finding the time to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones, SPOILER ALERT: the Boltons are obviously trash people, and we are unsure of our feelings regarding Stannis Baratheon’s character. Then we watch the movie Neighbors with Seth Rogen, a movie that has some really funny moments.
- Wearing shorts and a t-shirt to the torrential rain party.
- Getting yelled at by a volunteer flagger at the first KOM to stay off the road, when there were clearly no riders or vehicles coming and even after we had presented our press credentials.
- Realizing that we still had a ton of work to do after we finished binging on television.
III Told By Towle
“I’m Dave Towle, of Told By Towle, and this is Manual for Speed’s Stage 5 Action!”
“When the world’s most talented cyclists are literally tearing each other apart in the gladiator pit that is professional cycling, Manual for Speed is there to capture the Speed, Humanity and Spectacle of California’s Greatest Race.”
Stage 04: “There was a high cadence tempest raging at Stage 5 of the Tour of California. Early in the race Alex Howes and Lachlan Morton sent a Kasual Klub wave down the coast with an early breakaway that set the Twitter-verse on fire. Manual for Speed tracked the storm inland through the supercharged Kokopelli vortices of Ojai before heading towards the rain drenched finish in Santa Clarita where they watched the Manx Missile claim his third stage win of the tour. Later, God put on a light show of her own, bathing Magic Mountain in heavenly light while Manual for Speed looked on from their high speed hotel room as they feasted on a bounty of kale salads, tacos, and gelatos.”
IV Today's Unfair Advantage
Today Castelli’s Chief Noise Maker Ian Marshall auctioned off a Garmindale Jersey on the Castelli Gram to the commenter with the best caption. But that’s just part of the story. Earlier this week Emiliano Granado, Photographer, upon arrival in Sacramento had no choice but to go shopping at the Sacramento Office Max, whereupon, after much deliberation, the decision was made to purchase a white paint Sharpie so that the signatures would show up on the black and green jerseys. Later, after the jerseys had been signed, a four-way text message was sent out to the MFS team that a jersey pickup was needed from the Garmindale team in Pismo Beach. The pickup was accomplished not without some awkwardness, on account of MFS junior partner Kyle’s need to loiter around the Garmindale bus in order to obtain said jerseys. Kyle could tell by the sideways glances and hushed tones that his presence was being counted in the “creepy fan who just stands there” category and not in the, “Oh yeah Kyle, such a good/cool/funny/handsome dude, looks like he is just politely waiting for Mark from PR to finish up his conversation so he can pick up those amazing signed jerseys” category. Eventually the jerseys were procured and delivered to Ian. We can all agree that the jersey and the signature make up the bulk of this prize’s value, but the eventual winner should also know that MFS added sweat equity to this prize and that because of this, the value of this jersey will likely appreciate.
V Today's SIRIUS XM/iPhone Playlist
- 1 Prince The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
- 2 Eric Burdon and War Spill the Wine
- 3 ODB feat. Mariah Carey Fantasy
- 4 Bone Thugs & Harmony Foe tha Love of Money
- 5 Doldrums Loop
- 6 Jungle Time
- 7 Sightsee MC Big Audio Dynamite
- 8 The Holydrug Couple Glowing Summer
- 9 Tops Change of Heart
- 10 The Cramps Human Fly
VI Takin' the Temperature
Notes/Feelings/Thoughts/Observations from the Pros.
I'm pretty sure we were all gonna say when the banana peel hit John Murphy in the face.”- Ben king The people get what the people want.”- Alex Howes, on People Messaging MFS about him being in the break OPQS rider discarding a banana peel that got caught in the wind and landed directly on John Murphy's forehead.”- Joe Dombrowski Ted also tossed a water bottle into the back of someone's open truck at 50 kph. ”- Joe Dombrowski I had a dream last night that somebody told me Lachie Morton's brother was a piece of toast, and I said, 'Oh wow I thought he was a human.' But this person was so convinced he was a piece of toast that I even got convinced.”- Joe Lewis
VII Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara’s East Beach is a known hot bed for team beach volleyball, easy hook ups, low-level weed transactions and novice fire dancing, but it is most remembered as the central coast’s de facto van life trailer park. Some of the world’s heaviest hitting chillers spend their time lounging in the sand of this low pressure stretch of coast. We’re talking Golden Danny, Easy Chris, Short Penny, Margo, Dancing Melvin, 3 Pieces and more. It’s easy to see why those who enjoy the languid life flock to East Beach: the weather is agreeable and the surf is easy, and even though lately the fuzz has cracked down on this legendary zone, someone in the TOC planning commission knows what’s up.
With the race starting just off the beach anticipation was high that a sortie of these legendary personalities would be found cruising through the pits. Unfortunately mother nature had other plans and a late season storm rained out the morning, keeping these easy going folk in their rigs. Still though, this spot is a notable vortex, and as far as I know rain doesn’t a vortex unmake, so there is no doubt in this reporter’s mind that Kasual Klub riders Lachlan Morton and Alex Howes soaked up a healthy dose of East Beach’s insouciant energy in order to propel themselves on a breakaway that lasted throughout most of the stage.
This Field Recording made on 14 May, 2015 in Santa Barbara, California, USA.
VIII The Raging Stag
Dieter “Dedi” Senft, The Red Devil, has long been European road racing’s costumed darling, a devil wizard in sport sandals who seemingly vibrates his way up the steep cols of the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites. He is a known quantity, a character of such high regard that his mere presence at a race can help solidify its stature. This is not right!, Dieter has too much power and sway over the peloton mascot game. Bottom line, Dieter has been hogging the mascot spotlight for far too long. 20 plus years he has been gallivanting around in his little red costume without a valid challenger to his crown. Well Dieter, your time has come, and the challenger to your throne hails from the US of A. He is known only as the Raging Stag! His uniform is a yellow kicker’s helmet equipped with a set of giant elk horns, a Seattle Seahawks jersey with ‘Farrar’ stitched on the back, a pair of cycling bibs, Rudy Project aero shades, and trainers. The man is a committed special ops mascot, a hype sniper, who flies around the country with a packed-down, BHT22‘butthole tight’ setup. He has a powerful build and no-nonsense attitude, exactly the type of character to inspire riders to, “Take it to the next level, turn themselves inside out, light the fuse.” We caught up with the Raging Stag as he was warming up just below today’s first KOM.
A Brief Reconstruction of Our Conversation:
- DWP: “Hey you are the dude who wears horns right? We are journalists, would it be possible to take photos of you warming up?”
- RS: “I am just warming up now.”
- DWP: “Yeah, would it be possible for me to take photos of what you are doing?”
- RS: “I am just trying to get my heart going to open up the cylinders, by running a few reps and build up a cadence. I am going to work up to my pace.”
- DWP: “Cool, can I take your picture while you do that?”
- RS: “Sure, yeah.”
- DWP: “Do you do push-ups?”
- RS: “I used to.”
- [RS runs reps for a while and DWP runs along, shooting photos]
- RS: “I have another helmet, it has ram’s horns on it but I forgot that at home. This time I got away with packing just two bags and I was able to avoid paying baggage fees on Southwest. I run a super tight program.”
- [dead air while DWP continues shooting]
- RS: Tomorrow I am wearing a Rudy project aero helmet with horns on it, Rudy Project sponsors me. Keep an eye out!”
- [DWP and RS move down the hill to take more pictures; afterwards, Daniel returns to the car and we keep moving, leaving the Raging Stag to his work]
This Field Recording made on 14 May, 2015 in Ojai, California, USA.
X Santa Clarita Rainy Finish
This Field Recording made on 14 May, 2015 in Santa Clarita, California, USA.