I Stage 04 Narrative
We are in Colorado Springs. Can we talk about Colorado Springs? Speaking of Mike Creed from Colorado Springs, we love Mike Creed because he is intelligent, opinionated, pleasantly caustic, insightful and honest—which means we can’t talk about anything he tells us because the world, no not you, the rest of the world, has proven to us over and over and over again that it has a very low tolerance for Transparency & Reality. The shit he said in the car this morning on the way to the KOM?, nope, too funny, too honest, somebody’s feelings would get hurt. The thirty-second conversation we had with Mike in the lobby of Hotel Elegante & Suites next to the Chill Zone, ahhhhh, no, definitely not, way too funny, and way too legit. All the shit we laughed about in his hotel room during his Executive Chiller Portrait session?, can’t, it was all too real, as in it was about actual events that happened in reality inside the sport of professional cycling. We know you know better but just to be clear, like in case somebody new is reading this, we are NOT talking about drugs, that shit is boring and tired, and more importantly, we just weren’t because we just weren’t.
Also, do you guys know Guillermo?, we don’t know what his title but basically he’s the dude who issues credentials, assigns Photo Motos, and liases with Media, e.g. this afternoon when we needed to figure out once and for all a reliable source for information regarding the Road Closure Situation, which Road Closure Situation is both breathtakingly ludicrous and next-fucking-level problematic, it’s Guillermo whom we parlayed with. Anyway, he’s from Colorado Springs and he said that if the race comes here next year, and if we’re still in business next year, that he would happily publish Guillermo’s Guide to Colorado Springs on Manual for Speed, which would, obvs, catalog and rank Colorado Springs’ best: 1.) Coffee Shops, 2.) Places to purchase Sparkling Water, 3.) Establishments, regardless of purpose or type, with the fastest most public wifi, and 4.) Burrito Joints. Which guide would, double-obvs, save us from having to eat, once again—I’m saying that because I’m pretty sure that we ate here like three Pro Challenges ago—at the Phantom Canyon Brewery, sad face. This is completely unrelated but kind of funny when you think about it, because it delivers on three points: first that the cycling world is actually funny if you let it be, second that Colorado Springs is a place where people are born and continue to live, in spite of Colorado Springs, and third if you have to go to Colorado Springs, wouldn’t it be nice to know where the best BJs are at?
Okay so anyway here goes: there we are in the lobby of the Elegante next to the Chill Zone, waiting for Mike Creed to meet us and take us to his room first and his house second, when Guillermo called to let us know that he was able to get us on a Photo Moto tomorrow; whether it would be the moto of Mike Love, owner of a fabulous ponytail and son of Mike Love, singer and songwriter and rudimentary saxophone player for the Beach Boys, he didn’t say. Anyway, so we’re chit chatting #kasualklub-style and I start talking about how we’re just waiting for Mike Creed to come get us and take us to Thai Food.11For the record, Mike Creed was running behind because he was making a quick run to H&M to pick up a few new cardigans; Side Note: after we ate Thai food we went to Mike Creed’s house to drop off the leftover Thai food and Mike Creed showed us his Cardigan Collection, which collection was impressive. And Guillermo is like “Thai Food, where are you going, like which one?” I said I didn’t know but that I would find out and get back to him.And that's when he said, do me a favor, tell Mike Creed to go fuck himself.” He said, “Yeah, you do that, this is my town and I would be happy to help you navigate it.” And that’s when we created the creative brief for GGTCS. Also, that’s when I reminded him that Mike Creed is also from Colorado Springs, and he was all, “Oh yeah, I knew that.” And that’s when he said, do me a favor, tell Mike Creed to go fuck himself. And I was all what?, you know, because Guillermo is so professional, like this dude, he’s very reserved and pleasant and like, straight. Then he laughed. And I laughed. And I realized they knew each other and Guillermo was just stepping out and being funny and kinda edgy and shit. Which is, in fact, really funny and interesting and welcomed. But the thing is we can’t write about this, we can’t tell the world that Guillermo told Mike Creed to go fuck himself. People might think Guillermo is unprofessional, which he isn’t. And Guillermo would worry that after reading this you might judge him or get the wrong idea, which you wouldn’t, but… and you know, this is why cycling news media might not not be sub-interesting. The point is Colorado Springs, like the place, sucks. I mean, we love Mike, and we love Guillermo, and we love the Chill Zone, but otherwise Colorado Springs is a suburban wasteland. Later, when Mike showed up, we told him to fuck himself and he said, “Great! Sounds good.”
At the Starbucks on the way to the KOM deep inside the Garden of the Gods, Emiliano chose a Cold Press juice as his primary beverage for the morning, which prompted him to ask, “What is Cold Press juice, and why do I want it, if, in fact, I want it?” I looked on the Internet and apparently the pressing action, as opposed to blending or grinding, won’t oxidize or degrade the fruit or vegetables and helps keep the nutrients and enzymes intact. And then, manufacturers of Cold Press juices, one of which describes the pressing process as one of “love and patience,” can charge the consumer a deep premium for their unconventional product. More importantly, I did my signature double-down move, the move where I buy both an Americano and a 2-pump, no-whip mocha in anticipation of limited coffee service for the duration of the race, which race is basically just a bunch of dumb laps through a fake-rock-looking real-rock park where coffee isn’t sold. On the way to Garden of the Gods I accidentally spilled my 20oz Americano onto the backseat floor of the rental car. Clearly I didn’t care about the rental car because A.) it’s a rental car, and B.) the whole front bumper crack situation (see here, #8, for more details) will most definitely trump any kind of hey what’s-the-story-with-that-stain-on-the-floor-in-the-back questions. What I did care about was how I was now heavily under-caffeinated. I wanted to stop again but Ian said that we couldn’t because we only had twenty minutes to make it to GOG before the roads closed. Good news! We made it there with fifteen minutes to spare and Ian gave me the rest of his Americano, which Americano was still more than half-full! Bad news!!!! It turns out that the Colorado State Police, who, it turns out, were upset with yesterday’s MFS Stage Report wherein we claimed that not all Colorado Police were arrogant, ignorant and petulant, decided it was time to teach us a lesson by blocking any and all access into the GOG and the KOM. As if to say, “We’re dicks!, all of us are dicks!, and don’t you ever ever ever ever forget it. We will change the road closure times on a whim and without warning!!!! Because we can!!!!!! Because we hate crowds!!!!! Because we hate photographs!!!! And because what we hate more than anything is photographs of crowds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
So we drove to the start and organized a ride up to the KOM with Mike Creed. Also, these following things happened at the start, before we drove in the caravan to the KOM in the back of the Team SmartStop Pro Cycling Car with Mike and some dude with a beard (which dude, by the way, was legit funny) and Mike’s dad, who, by the way, talks just like Mike, and is just as funny as Mike, and who is therefore just as unquotable as Mike:
- Hey Tejay, can we take a selfie with you today? “No, no you can’t.”
- Dear Tejay, I fucking vouched for you to my own mother! Don’t make me a liar, bro. Are you, or are you not, a PNG?
- We saw Alvin “An Unfair Advantage”, and we LOVE Alvin “An Unfair Advantage”!!!! Also, this reminds us, it’s not the right time and/or place to talk about it now, but we have some #watershed-type plans for Sunday involving roughly $1,456.00 worth of chalk and chalk artists.
- We coordinated a #DailyDekker Photoshooting featuring Thomas holding a small, black dog answering to Pollito, which translates to “tiny chicken.”
- We heard a rumor that Nintendo® issued Dave Towle a Cease & Desist regarding the use of the expression, “It’s on like Donkey Kong™.”
- I saw for the first time in my life, at least as far as I can remember, cotton sweatshants. I’ll let that sink for a moment. Ready to talk about it? Okay, so what you’ve got here is basically a pair of shant-length cotton sweatpants that taper hard just below the knee and end with a 3″ ribknit cuff. I think I love them. Dear Universe/Outlier, I might need a pair of sweatshants.
- Side note: Emiliano Granado is feeling overwhelmed by the ubiquitous and rampant preoccupation with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. He’s wondering, is this something you can opt-out of across all social media and real-world channels?!?!??!?!?!?
Then the race started and we went to the KOM in the GOG in the back of Mike Creed’s D.S. BMW, during which trip Mike told us a story following a two-part announcement from the COMM car by a woman about the placement of various riders in the race. The first part was in English. The second part was the same as the first part, only it was in French. And that’s when Mike said, “You know what the best number to hear called over the radio is? It’s one one one. Because in French it’s un un un, which when she says it, sounds like un un un. I’ve been waiting for that fucker to make a real move, whoever it is,22Rider #111, Hugh Carthy of Rapha-Condor JLT you just got called out! but he hasn’t done anything all week.”
II In and Around the Rocks Near the KOM We Made These Observations
- “Here it comes, here it comes pa!, here comes the pellitin!, here comes the pellitin pa!”
- “Ollie ollie ollie!!!!!!, vengee vengee vengee!!!!!”
- “Those Garmin bottles sure are sweet!””
- A grown man picked-up a generic USB cord from the ground, you know the exact style of USB cord millions of Americans all over America have millions of despite only needing two or three, and said, “It’s been stepped on, but a screwdriver will straighten that out no problem.”
- The race ended and it started to kinda drizzle.
- First a Course Marshal refused to give us a ride off the KOM in the GOG.
- Then a guy who’s been living in his truck for seven days said no.
- Then a Park Ranger driving a pickup truck said for twenty dollars we could maybe in ride in the back.33Publisher’s Note: That seems like it would maybe be against the rules and regulations?
- Between what happened to us trying to get up here in the morning, and all the problems we were having trying to get down in the afternoon, we started to feel very “in the way,” like superfluous, or like, unnecessary or unwanted or something.
- Then a couple freelancing—”It’s a hobby gone wild!”—for PEZ Cycling very graciously said that yes, they would be happy to help us out. We like them. They were nice and pleasant, and we bonded with them on the way to the Starbucks in the Safeway at the bottom KOM near the exit of the GOG.
- Speaking of the Starbucks, check this out: we ordered first, then we asked if we could pay after we returned with some bottled water, because that way we’d only have to pay once, and she said yeah, not a problem. Between ordering and the time it took to return with six bottles of San Pellegrino #executivewaters there was shift change. But the one lady didn’t tell the new lady that we hadn’t paid, so the new lady tried to give us our drinks for free. But we wanted to pay because there was the issue of the waters too; stealing coffee is one thing but stealing coffee and sparkling water is another thing. When she rang us up, she rang each individual/identical bottle of water up, one at a time. As opposed to hitting “x6” on the keyboard or waving the same bottle past the scanner six times. The whole process was cumbersome because the counter next to the register was small and she had short arms. Because they were on sale (3 bottles for 5 dollars) it made sense to use a Safeway Club Card but I don’t have a Safeway Club Card, so I asked if she had a number we could use, she said yes she had a “bogus number” we could use. The bogus number brought our total down to $10.73. In all the confusion she forgot to charge us for our two coffees, but this time we let it happen because clearly God wanted it to go down like that. Thanks God, love the work you’re doing here in Colorado Springs!