After waking up in an Econo Lodge we went to the start area and photographed it. Ian took the car up the road before the closure #becausegandalf. Emiliano and I made arrangements to ride to the top of Monarch Pass in the Team Novo Nordisk Van with Troy Lyons, Team Novo Nordisk soigneur. Which is exactly what we did—but not before photographing Thomas Dekker holding a Pomeranian named Bear. At the top of Monarch it was cold and exceptionally boring. There were many people wearing Full Body Costumes and Dare Wear high altitude frolicking. A Jug Band played contemporary Jug Band music. In every direction and as far as the eye good see, there were paper KOM polka-dotted Burger King crowns. After the race passed we jumped in behind the caravan and drove down the road a mile or so to Monarch Ski Resort where the race was scheduled to finish in two hours. We found the internet inside the media room and did that for awhile. We also each ate a Kielbasa sausage. Then the race finished.
- The Bean Coffeehouse and Eatery at 120 North Main Street in Gunnison, aka Gunningham, happened. If you order a breakfast burrito please allow three minutes for it to cool down before eating it, otherwise every other aspect of working that place is pretty straightforward. FTR, we spent $39.16 on two 20oz Americanos, one iced latte, two breakfast burritos and a No. 6, which is lox, plain cream cheese, onion and capers on your choice of bagel—of which my choice was Everything, it’s always an Everything.
- “Just because Phil is all bikeracebikeracebikeracebikerace doesn’t mean I have to be all bikeracebikeracebikeracebikerace.”—Joe Lewis (See photos, below, for more detail.)
- Okay, apparently these dudes do meet. I know what you’re thinking, sure they’re meeting but what are they talking about?, tactical weapons, maybe #ferguson?, nope, they were in fact talking about logistics and contingencies and closures and various race related issues. Hmm.
- We tried to bribe Chad Andrews with a twenty dollar bill. We’re not sure what his official title is, but he does some TV/Media stuff. Two things were/are on our mind. The World has spoken and the World demands more coverage of Team Garmin-Sharp and Alex Howes—and we out here trying to facilitate that. Also, what would it take, and like who do we need to talk to, to get the USA Pro Cycling Challenge Music contract? The whole thing. The start area, the finish area, all the areas. Playlists, jock jams, theme music, soundscapes, presentation jams, finish line theatricals, musicals, chillout jams, you name it and we got you covered. We’re serious, let’s get the talks for 2015 started.
- “Listen, we like your scarf, lady, but we’re not going to wear you Burger King KOM hat.”—MFS
- “I’ve got to go feed my people.”—Petar, Mavic SEAL
- “Dude, can I think on that for a moment?”—Eric Marcotte
- “Her name is Bear. I saw a dog that looked just like her kill bear a once; the bear took one bite of the dog and choked to death, hahahahahha!” Lolz.
- “I’m in the Yellow Jersey. I didn’t see this coming but its really great. Yadda yadda yadda. And all that stuff.”—Alex Howes
- “A pair of Senior Citizens just threw a miniature KIDS MIX packet of Jelly Bellys at my face. I caught them (with my hand), but only just barely. The miniature KIDS MIX packet contains 20 flavors kids love!—Berry Blue, Blueberry, Bubble Gum, Butter Popcorn (#hellanasty), Chocolate Pudding, Cotton Candy, Green Apple, Lemon Lime, Sunkist Lemon, Orange Sherbet, Peach, Raspberry, Red Apple, Sour Apple, Sour Cherry, Strawberry Jam, Toasted Marshmallow, Tutti-Fruitti, Very Cherry and Watermelon. It turns out the Senior Citizens, a married couple from San Diego, are the National Jelly Belly RV Crew & Street Team. I can’t remember his name but lets call him Arnold; anyway, Arnold’s favorite place in America is the boondocks.
- Ted King rolls past us doing handlebar antics on his way to the start. He’s simulating the act of gassing or revving a motorcyce. Ted King is braaaaaping. Which reminds us to ask: is there, or is there not a market for a BRAAAAAP TILL YA DRAAAAAAP t-shirt?
- “I was in the feed zone, cars were coming, I looked around, there were no hills or trees or any kind of cover. But I had a water bottle and a van, so yeah, I pooped in it, the water bottle.”—Troy Lyons
- “Ronny the swanny!!!”—Troy Lyons
- Note to self: get one of every Bicycle Race Spectator Noise Making Device (BRSNMD) including a cowbell, clapper, air sticks, horn, kazoo, whistle, air horn, bugle, etc., and make a recording of each in a scientifically controlled environment. Then compare them based on the nature and quality of the noise each produces. I’m not sure what happens after that, this idea clearly needs work. I’m thinking a ranking based on volume, pitch, pain, scale, range, etc.
- Overheard on Monarch Pass Vol 1: “The cops are always late, am I right?!”
- Overheard (by someone else) on Monarch Pass Vol 2: “I used to do triathlons, but it’s not worth it.”
- Deep in the way back of the Monarch Ski Resort parking lot we accidentally/deliberately secured a week-long sponsorship in the back of a van. It’s called #smithselfie, wait for it.
- Okay we get it, we talk about Alex Howes a lot. But listening to Phil Liggett and that other guy talk about Alex Howes ((Or rather, Alex “House.”)) in Yellow and the Tommy D Dilemma on international TV or whatever, that was pretty pretty pretty cool.
- “Kombucha is like a mouth full of yummy goodness.”—Troy Lyons
- “I like your shorts, they’re steezy.”—Starbucks Barista in Woodland Park
- On the way back to our hotel, local Colorado radio played an extended advertisement for MANCORE. “[heavy guitar riffs] When you think of a competitive edge, a few factors come to mind: age, physique, stamina and energy all play a role in the DRIVE a man has to be at his best. As we age our testosterone levels naturally deplete, resulting in a loss of that drive, that SEXUAL drive you had in your 20s? You’re just not that man you used to be. Here at Complete Nutrition we think you can be better than the man you used to be, and we’re here to help you redefine your competitive edge. With MANCORE. [drums] MANCORE. […] We’ve included LongJack Extract to prevent testosterone from being bound up by sex hormone-binding proteins. [extreme guitar riffs] HGH NIGHT SPRAY!!! Increase of up to 157%. Only two pills in the mornings, two pills in the afternoons. About thirty minutes before sleep, take six sprays of the HGH NIGHT SPRAY into the mouth. The HGH NIGHT SPRAY is intended for nocturnal use only and should not be taken if alertness is required. MANCORE.”
- My mom sent me an email this evening about Tejay van Garderen. She wanted to know what I thought of him. She said he seems like a Perfectly Nice Guy (PNG) but for some reason she’s never a big fan. I haven’t responded yet mostly because I’ve never met Tejay. Dear Mom, I can say this. Alex Howes and Tejay are friends, which is a good sign.
Troy Lyon's First Thirteen CDs
- 1 Bob Marley Rastaman Vibrations
- 2 The Beatles 1967–1970 CD #1
- 3 Ben Harper Fight Your Mind
- 4 Beastie Boys Paul's Botique
- 5 Various Artists Morgan's [Schmitt, RIP Exergy] Mashup
- 6 Portishead Portishead
- 7 Bela Fleck and the Flecktones Outbound
- 8 The Beatles 1967–1970 CD #2
- 9 Bonnaroo (Various Artists) Sweat Sounds Vol. 8
- 10 Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Alexander
- 11 Bob Dylan Times They Are A Changin'
- 12 Metallica Kill 'Em All
- 13 Band of Horses Mirage Rock
Brought to you by 10 Speed Coffee: They’re from Calabasas, California, but today in a parking lot in Colorado they sponsored our mouths. #sponsormfs
- “Yesterday was absolutely one of the most interesting bicycle racing stages in North America in a long time ever.”
- “They will be expected to control the breakaway—not if it happens but when it happens.”
- “You know what they say, good things happen on Wednesdays in Gunnison Country, everybody knows that.”
- “Tejay Van Garderen is looking at Tommy D right now and literally saying, ‘Come on Tommy is that all you got!!!!'”
- “This guy is the Punisher of the Peloton today.”
- “Look at the size of that gap right now, they’re not even in the same zip code anymore!”
- “How about Serge Tsvetkov today, hes having an amazing day, he’s another guy obviously destined for a Grand Tour!”
- “Tejay is taking the bull by the horns now!”
- “Tejay is breaking legs in the peloton today!”
- “It’s too late Tommy D, you’re not coming around Tejay now!
Mavic makes footwear and wheels, but more importantly Yellow, the color of sunshine, produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity and generates muscle energy. Furthermore, yellow is associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and free-but-exceptionally-reliable mechanical service, in particular service related to wheels, i.e. bicycle wheels.
“You can always fit one more thing in your bag.”—Phil Gaimon
“I don't want to see anyone today. I want to ride away from everybody.”—Tommy D.
BEN KING was unavailable for comment.