Road Cycling is, in fact, about the finest, most transformative, most powerful sport known to man. And for many, that is enough. That is as complicated and/or nuanced as the whole thing needs to be. But for us, for Manual for Speed, it’s clear that Cycling is bigger and more profound and frankly, more interesting than a simple superficial single interpretation of SPEED. We maintain that Professional Cycling is the Greatest Spectacle on Earth. From Human Athletes and Chillering to Naps Naps Naps and the Mobile Performance-based Circus that is a high-speed, semi-volatile parade of athletes, fans, cops, staff, supporters, judges, team cars, neutral support, media, feed stations, KOMs, Sprints, et cetera, this website (and project) is dedicated to the whole Fuck Show.
Castelli is dedicated to innovation and the pursuit of performance. Decades of meeting the demands of professional cyclists and teams has resulted in extensive fabric and materials R&D, progressive design, and influence and pedigree within the pro peloton. More importantly, without their support we probably-possibly would never existed. Castelli made and continues to make Manual For Speed a reality.
*Developer Note: Hi Kevin.*
ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! THE TOUR DE FRANCE!!!!!!: We will be covering the TDF in its entirety—absolutely all of it. The racers, the chillers, the camera men, the dogs, the hedges, the chairs, the tape, the cobbles, the #cobblegoblins, the vicars, the podium girls, the podium shoes, the gendarmes, EVERYTHING, #live and #inperson. This is the de facto premier sports event for all dedicated #chillers.
Additional race season highlights include Paris-Nice, Milan-San Remo, the Tour of California, the Tour of Utah, the USA Pro Challenge, the World Championships, and The Tour of Britain.
BOISE TWILIGHT CRIT
TOUR DE FRANCE
TOUR OF UTAH
USA PRO CHALLENGE
USA CRITS FINALS
TOUR OF BRITAIN
UCI ROAD RACE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
What follows is a non-hierarchical list of MFS Goals, Projects and Campaigns.
- Race Coverage: High intensity in-your-face action from the hottest spots on the international racing calendar. Manual for Speed’s race coverage makes you feel like you are pressed up against the barriers, hanging on to the back of a moto, and literally so close to the peloton that you can taste-feel the riders sweat as they whip past you.
- For the Record (FTR): An index of insights, outsights, and excites straight from the mouths of Human Athletes.
- Human Athlete Visual Showcase (HAVS): Athletes are gifted physically/mentally/spiritually/visually—no doubt about that—and Manual for Speed knows just how to unwrap those gifts for you.
- Manual for Speed Manual (MFSM): A clinical and precise investigation into what it takes to develop the processes and take the step-by-step steps that will lead you to the essential essence of speed.
- Manuel: Manuel is a make believe totally real dog and illustration-based correspondent that we send to races to report on, illustrate and interpret everything and anything related to the key moment(s) of the day, all in the manner of court reporting—for which he is famous and for which he has won awards.
- Reach for the Dream: As a cyclist you have but one dream. Manual for Speed will show you how to grab that dream and love it into your life.
- Ask A Pro (Dear MFS): Advice from an artisanally hand-picked selection of athletes and players who pull the strings in the worldwide cycling festival.
- Kasual Klub: Those who can truly #chill will maybe care about what this is all about… or not… whatever.
- American Crit PRIMES at American Crits: Tired of winning energy bars and haircuts? Of laying it all on the line for some tubes and a handshake? So is MFS.
- Dave Towle Contest: You will literally turn yourself inside-out while ratcheting it up another notch all the while ripping the legs off of anyone else who gets in your way to win this contest.
- MFS Museum: Artifacts, relics, charms, amulets, long lost treasures, hidden keys to hidden doors and a whole lot more will be on display and up for sale on the Manual for Speed museum page.
- LA SWEAT: 2/3rds all-female racing team, 2/3rds unprecedented insight into American Professional Racing, and 3/3rds Sunset Strip flash, LA Sweat is set to release some hard bodies into some hard racing.
- Body By Pete: Manual for Speed’s personal fitness guru and potential Olympic hopeful Pete Morris will give you the inside tips and tricks to building your perfect body.
- Manuel the Dog Goes to the Giro: Manuel does Italy, capisce?
- Smoothie Genius: A motion picture presentation on how to blend fruits and vegetables and supplements with elegance and aplomb.
- Turning Pro with the Murphy Bros.: This is what happens when people STOP racing amateur and START racing for real. The Murphy Bros. do what it takes to make tons of money racing bicycles.
As correspondents, artists, journalists and publishers both inside the in the field and out, we have special needs. #microsponsors are those brands and products that help to meet our ever-evolving, ever-changing, ever-transmogrifying needs.
Please buy products from these people, they support us. We endorse them.
Head / Mental Acuity – Stumptown Coffee: We hold Stumptown Coffee accountable for our fringe hour brain fitness. Their vibrant caffeinated beverages keep our lights on in the dead of night; their elixirs electrify us throughout the insipid early mornings. If you hope to achieve anything remotely close to what MFS has, you will drink Stumptown Coffee.
Body / Future-Sartorial Garb – Outlier: MFS understands the future, we GET IT, and therefore we wear clothes that are prepared for the inevitability of the next outcome. Looking good is not a secret, it’s Outlier.
Camera Clothes / Photographer Specific Ute Vests and Luggage – Billingham: Photographers know that it isn’t the camera, the lens, or even the end result that sets true professionals apart from the pretenders, it’s their camera luggage. For MFS the only choice for camera luggage is Billingham—for those in the in, this is an obvs.
Please consider buying products from these people, but don’t do it yet, we’ll get back to you.
Feet / Foot Aware – Nike FlyKnits: In 2015 we would like to make Nike FlyKnits our official footwear sponsor, on account of they are hella tight, hella light, and fantastically functional for all orders of business.
Water / Effervescent Hydration – Perrier: Water, plain water, is fine. And fine is fine if you are fine with fine, but fine doesn’t get you to the next level road racing spectacle coverage. Fine doesn’t get you an insider look at what makes the global cycling spectacle tick. What we’re getting at is that we are not fine with fine. We strive for excellence; we intend to tame the untamable. To do that, we won’t settle for plain water, we demand water with something more, because that’s what we intend to give you, something more.
Manual For Speed is a work in progress. Take our ABOUT page copy for example, it’s changed every year for the last five years, basically since the beginning. We’re either inconsistent, or evolving, or both. What follows are slections/highlights from the last five year’s About’s.
Professional cycling—at its most elemental level—is about speed. Support staff, management, individual racers and the team collectively are dedicated to its pursuit. Training, nutrition, physiology, psychology, and strategy combine to realize it. Speed is the bottom line; the ultimate goal.
Manual for Speed is not a technical manual or training resource. It is not a report of last week’s results. We represent an intimate, insightful and studied look at speed. Viewed from as many perspectives as possible, this project is a humanistic and episodic look at what professional cyclists do and endure to go as fast as they possibly can.
Garmin Cervelo is an established and accomplished UCI First Division Pro team while Team Exergy is a rookie Domestic team with high expectations but no record to speak of. One seasoned, one brand-new. One racing at the pinnacle of professional road cycling: the other on the way up. Each faces a unique set of opportunities, demands, commitments, and expectations. Yet both teams are trying to go as fast as they possibly can, both are committed to speed.
Manual For Speed is focused on Alex Howes and Team Garmin-Sharp, Development (Colombian, American and Belgian), the Giro d’Italia, Domestic Racing, and Cyclocross.
Manual For Speed is an intimate, insightful and studied look at speed. Viewed from as many perspectives as possible, this project is a humanistic and episodic look at what professional cyclists do and endure to go as fast as they possibly can.
Our driver is good because he is a French Postman (technique) and because he’s running Pirate Wheel Support for his brother (passion), which brother is some dude on Ag2r currently in the race as in racing it. Nobody knows the rolling rural post-agricultural goat tracks, jerk woods, farm lanes, and townships of Northern France as well as our driver, a driver who we’ve relied on completely and absolutely, the way a child relies on his parents, for knowing everything—the course, the language, the time splits, the gendarme relations, where to get that good pan, what to wear, where to look, all of it, everything. He is our guide and our compass. We love him. We think his name is Christian.
And but now—suddenly—our good driver is bringing the car, our car, to a stop five hours into the race and roughly ten kilometers from the finish. Possibly-Christian leaves the engine running, gets out of the driver’s seat, stretches, lights a cigarette (of course), flashes us a semi-limp thumbs-up meant to acknowledge (we think?) that we are Americans, that today was okay even though we are all still more or less strangers on account of nobody is speaking the same language, but that it’s time for him to you know, go. And just like that our dude hops into the dusty Peugeot with questionable media credentials idling behind us and joins his wife, his father, his mother, his two daughters, a pawn shop race radio, and a tangled stack of maybe fourteen wheels, leaving the course and our lives forever.
At this point now sans supervision it’s hard to know exactly how far behind us the race is but we know it’s not far at all on account of the helicopters hovering (bearing down) in our general direction. More pressingly, we know that at this moment we are parked li-trul-lee in the middle of the course, surrounded by thousands of millions of European cycling fans an eighth of a mile deep in every direction. And we know that we are totally in the way, as in blocking, the single most important one-day bicycle race in the world.
To be clear, this is our first time at basically everything: shooting a Spring Classic, shooting Paris-Roubaix, driving in France, driving on a closed course during a race, driving on a three thousand-year-old farm road covered in cobbles and smashed oil pan parts, charging a 5-speed Turbo Diesel Rabbit through ten solid kilometers of a reluctant-to-part-or-move-or-give-way-until-the-very-last-moment cycling hooligans, Tokyo Drifting roundabouts and shredding countless toes of hard creeping chillers in the process, cops and robbers-ing it through blinking crowded intersection after blinking crowded intersection, (recklessly) passing moto cops in sketchy corners as per their violent gesticulations, et cetera, including covering the world in dust, our dust, eat our dust.
But we figure it out. We say goodbye to our guide, translator, and driver, whom we’d only met the night before in the parking lot of a bike shop in the village of Chantilly after several hours shoulder tapping for a bilingual racer car driver ($150 OBO). A guy who, after what felt like an hour of theese is not posseybull, finally agreed to drive us, begrudgingly. And who then outlined his plan for where we should meet in the morning (a bakery, of course) and how the race would likely unfold by drawing a series of semi-elaborate diagrams in the sand at our feet using a stick and a selection of readily available stones as proxies for all the race’s usual nouns like racers, team cars, crowds, et cetera.
We do it. We see the race six times, including all the iconic & heroic & storied & cobbled sections like The Trench, as well as the start and the Velodrome finish. We do all this despite the lack of access points, parallel roads, or a thoughtful, well-devised plan. The worst thing that happens is one of our Hasselblads, left for a moment on a roadside bush, is stolen by a teenage girl using a “covered” stroller as a stolen goods wheelbarrow. Oh and someone also steals the media/course credential stickers off of our rental car but the race was over so who cares.