- Keiran wakes me up and says, “Hey can you hear that, that music?”
- Daniel – “No, I mean, I guess I can now, but I couldn’t before when I was sleeping, but yeah, sure, now I can totally hear some crazy techno shit, I think it’s Benny Benassi, what time is it?”
- K – “It’s 8:00 AM.”
- D – “Baby, I went to sleep at 5:45 AM and I was sound asleep and we have to get up in like three hours.”
- K – “I’m sorry but it’s so loud I could hear it through my ear plugs and I thought you were awake.”
- D – “I wasn’t.”
- K – “Yeah, well, now I know that, sorry.”
- D – “Is it raining?”
- K – “Yeah.”
- D – “Is that thunder and lighting too?”
- K – “Yeah, I think it’s raining really hard.”
<SONG CHANGE: “Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi> At this point we’re looking around our tiny hotel room trying to determine where the music is coming from. You can feel the bass. Somebody is super fucking serious about getting Pumped-Up. We can’t figure it out, it’s like, coming from everywhere, the floor in particular. I put on some shorts and a teeshirt, and I do a lap around the second floor. Nothing conclusive, but it’s def loudest on our end of the hotel. I walk downstairs, through the surprisingly busy breakfast area, toward the front door and up to the front desk. The music is now really loud. It’s coming from a door next to the front desk. <SONG CHANGE: No clue what it is but it sounds like Slayer X Steve Aoki> I press my face against the glass door and look in. Jesus Christ, it’s some kind of Zumba scene: mirrors, hardwood floors, vaulted ceiling and a dozen or so middle age Latina women in lycra, sweating. A lot. I do some quick calculations based on a combination of built-in spatial relations and an orienteering skill known as Dead Reckoning and determine that our room is located just above the stage and speaker area of the Workout Dojo. On the way back up stairs I look outside onto the street and the street is covered in water the way the sand on the bottom of a creek is covered in water. An empty carton of juice floats by.
8:15 AM: I run into the hotel clerk on the stairs. I say, “Musica, es una problema!” and I receive a response in Super Fast Spanish, of which I don’t understand anything. “M U S I C A, NO BUENO.” More lighting spanish, except this time I make out the words no and manana. “Pero, Mericoles?” Si Mericoles. “ES UN PROBLEMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Also, your fucking wifi, it’s not connected to the internet. Blank stare.
8:20 AM: I tell Keiran everything I know about the source of the music and what her Wednesday morning will likely be like.
9:15 AM: The thunderstorm reaches it’s zenith.
9:25 AM (approx.): I fall asleep.
11:30 AM: We are inside the cafe area of Vista Suites and Spa eating grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, cortado grandes, below average miniature croissants (apparently, inexplicably, a “national treasure”), a bowl of (heavily) frosted corn flakes (sold to us as something like muesli or granola) paired with a kefir-like yogurt instead of milk. And we look through the window and watch as various race officials, organizers, pedestrians and citizens attempt to jump over the class IV rapid running between the street and the sidewalk, with varying degrees of success.
- Dudes in crocs and slides sometimes just wade through it. Because they can, duh.
- One guy tried to jump over a particularly wide spot with barbell weights in his arms, he didn’t make it, at all.
- One guy, in a pair of those race car driver shoes they love so much over here, cleared the whole thing. Like a gazelle!!!!
- A younger fellow in a soaking wet Quiksilver hoodie employed the pointing method, a style of walking on your toes invented by ballerinas but made popular by PeeWee Herman in the movie PeeWee Herman’s Big Adventure. Unfortunately he underestimated the depth of the ad-hoc river by about 8-9 inches.
12:37 PM: Emiliano (driving the “rental” car) is escorted by a Police Officer onto the curb, and then down the curb in order to get around several very stationary medium-sized buses and a Police Blockade.
1:49 PM: Kiel Reijnen and Manual for Speed discuss La Pampa and Los Robles and beef. And a prototype MFS ALL OVER PRINT tee-shirt featuring a UHC athlete. Also, regarding Asian racing, Kiel suggest Malaysia. Moments later Manual for Speed and The Kings (Ben and Ted) discuss Louis Vuitton hand bags.
2:45 PM: We pass the KOM, which is a barely perceptible rise in the otherwise dead flat countryside that is covered in seriously contentious soybeans growing for hundreds of thousands of millions of miles in every direction.
3:49 PM: Manual for Speed is stuck driving behind the peloton between the towns of San Luis and Villa Mercedes; which was roughly 70% of the entire race, so, that was fun. The internet tell us the drive should take, under normal circumstances, a little over an hour. It takes us a little under three hours.
3:55 PM: This race sucks.
3:57 PM: Periodically we are passed by Water Bottle Bandits. Most of them ride motorcycles but some of them drive cars covered in tape and dents. They work in teams of two; a driver and jumper. The driver slows to a reasonable roll and the jumper jumps out, runs over to where the discarded water bottle is lying, grabs it without stopping (shuttle-run-style), runs back to where his driver is waiting/leading, gets on/in, and they hit it. The whole operation takes sometimes less than ten seconds. We’ve identified at least four different motorcycle crews and three different car gangs working our section of the race-pacing traffic.
- Keiran – “Guys, I need some clarification here. We’ve been on the road now for over two hours.”
- Emilano – “Yes.”
- K – “I reckon there’s at least a mile’s worth of traffic ahead of us?”
- E – “Yah, about that.”
- K – “Where’s the race?”
- E – “Up there.”
- K – “Ahead of us?”
- E – “Yes.”
- K – “The race has already gone by?”
- E – “Yes.”
- K – “And the racers, they’re ahead of us too?”
- E – “Yes.”
- K – “Why or what are all these people spectating still?”
- E – “Cars. They are spectating us.”
5:39 PM: MFS Correspondent, Daniel Wakefield Pasley, is surrounded by nine boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 14. They touch his tee-shirt and pull on his lanyard. They say things like, Hello! They repeatedly ask where he is from, and every time, over and over again, they laugh and smile when he invariably mispronounces Estados Unidos. At one point they chant, “Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!” A young girl asks Daniel if he knows One Direction. They are all very interested in the word alien, they say watch out for the aliens, do you like aliens?, aliens are coming, etc. Speaking of which, earlier in the day at the start, several entire families requested a photo with Daniel. In fact, this is the fourth or fifth moment like this for Daniel today. Daniel thinks it’s either his blond hair or his prototype MFS ALL OVER PRINT tee-shirt.
6:51 PM: The race ends and Tom Danielson is the victim of an attempted Bottle Jacking. While slow-rolling back to the buses through the meelee and pandemonium beyond the finish, a male, approximately 35 years old, wearing a blue striped shirt, short hair and bad shoes, reaches into Tom’s triangle cockpit area and takes a water bottle out of the water bottle cage. First of all, the dude did not even ask. Second of all, Tom was moving and not paying attention, ergo this man’s caper could have caused Tom to crash.
11:35 PM: Many of the parking lots in San Luis are unpaved, and as such, after a period of heavy rainfall they look like the land of a thousand lakes. Parking in parking lots in these kind of conditions requires strategy, especially if you are wearing valuable Flyknits. Speaking of parking lots, the Spanish/Argentine word for parking lots is estacionamiento.
2:35 AM: Manual for Speed is in the Desayuno Zone, again. All the doors and windows are open, it’s windy outside. The Hotel Clerk is watching a Youtube tutorial (in Spanish) about how to fix the carburetor in a 1969 Ford Mustang. We are a little over two hours into writing and photo editing the report in your hands. This process was complicated when during a routine Day One “sync” procedure between the app on a mobile phone and the app on a desktop, all of today’s notes and data were lost. Daniel Wakefield Pasley thought about crying but was unable to due to low-grade dehydration and exhaustion. Daniel also checked the time difference in Portland to see if his therapist was likely still taking client calls. It’s hard to describe what it’s like losing an entire days worth of note taking. For now though, let’s just say it sucks a whole lot of something you don’t want to suck.
Manual for Speed recognizes that life is rhythm, yeah that’s right, LIFE IS RHYTHM, and if the t-shirt/drawstring backpacks/bumper stickers/fridge magnets/sweatpants/ sunglasses/slip and slides/slides/mud flaps/license plate holders/friendship bracelets/totes/oversized headphones/beach towels/lifestyle products/etc emblazoned with this simple truth haven’t already been made, then by the grace of Max Roach we are going to be the guys to make them. Because if you can’t remember that LIFE IS RHYTHM then we feel that you’re at least entitled to a reminder of its fundamental importance all the time, at every possible turn. That is not to say that the rhythm is consistent, of course it is going to change, and while we are in Argentina covering the Tour de San Luis, our rhythm will be the hard 2/4 beat of Digital Cumbia. In this country, sleep is an after thought, as experience has proven, but the beats never rest. For the 2015 Tour de San Luis, Manual for Speed has partnered with ZZK Records out of Buenos Aires to provide you with a daily playlist full of ass-dropping music to accompany your time here on Manual for Speed, and of course, a soundtrack for the rest of your day. For more information on ZZK Records, visit their site. Using the image above or THIS LINK, either click to load in your browser or Right/Cmd-Click and Save As to your desktop.
“ZZK Records is music to move to, it's the future sound of Latin America. Essentially the label was born out of a weekly dance club, so there's always been an element of movement to the music we put out. What better way to get on your bike and ride, get on your feet and walk or run, or put your dancing shoes on and shake, than these daily playlists, straight from Argentina?”Grant C. Dull, ZZK Records
El G's Bike Ride
- 1 Chancha Via Circuito Bosques vía temperley (DJ Nim Remix)
- 2 DJ Nim Fauna vs Frikstailers
- 3 Frikstailers Los Originarios
- 4 Sara Hebe (Duo Calhambre Remix)
- 5 Sola Rosa Del Ray (CVC feat. Faunaremix / Frikstailers refix)
- 6 Frikstailers vs. Copyfokking Knippelsuppe
- 7 Dembowsky Pibe Jaguar (feat. Sara Hebe)
- 8 Mati Zundel aka Lagartijeando Zindud
- 9 Mati Zundel aka Lagartijeando Aero Tinku (DJ Nim Remix)