We know that you love Manual for Speed, that in the most important sense it is your lifeblood, your cultural IV drip. You’re dependent, you’re an addict. All this is totally understandable, the content is just that good. In acknowledging this we acknowledge that this winter must have been hard. What with the whole “No Pro Tour” thing, plus some obviously pissed-off storm gods and a highly contentious political climate, it’s a wonder that you survived this winter at all. But then again, survivors are our kind of people. Others can say what they will, but to us you’ll always have grit.“Fortunately for all of us, the seasons are just that, and the off-season is now well into its seasonal decline. And with that comes the annual rebirth of Manual for Speed.”MFS
Like the budding of a magnificent and sensual flower or the blooming of algae in the arctic seas, Manual for Speed will bloom once again this spring. (For those of you who prefer a fauna-based analogy, try this: like the mighty Alaskan grizzly, MFS is set to spring forth from our winter cave with a voracious appetite to consume data and shit out piles of coverage that will make your heart skip beat after thrilling beat.)
That means another year of the mind-blowing and genre-bending race coverage, in-depth and out-of-our-depth interviews with the pro-peloton’s favorite racers, photos of dogs, butts, drunk Belgians/German/French People/Brits/Italians/Spaniards/Euros/Non-Euros/World Music People, lonesome and confused bystanders, and disgusting food! That means more think pieces dripping with insight and invective; the stream of consciousness creative non-fiction barrage of ideas, references, and self-aggrandizement that is recognized world round as the archetypal postmodern cycling dialectic.
What’s more, this year we’ve decided to dip more than just a toe or two into the world of video. We’re going to fully submerge ourselves and there is no doubt that you’ll want to get wet too!
Obviously 2017 is a complete year and there are so many machinations, foreseen and unforeseen alike, that will go into it. So rather than dig further into specifics, why don’t you take a look at our schedule of races for the year?
- April 9: Paris–Roubaix
- April 16: Amstel Gold
- April 17: Tro-Bro León
- April 19: Fleche Wallonne
- April 23: Liège–Bastogne–Liège
- April 29: Red Hook Crit Brooklyn
- May 11-14: Tour of California (Women)
- May 14-20: Tour of California (Men)
- June 3: Project Y / Dirty Kanza
- June 9-11: Tulsa Tough
- June 23-25: USA Nats
- July 22: Red Hook Crit London
- July 13-21: Tour de France
- September 2: Red Hook Barcelona
- September 4-10: Vuelta a España
- September 17-24: UCI Worlds
- October 14: Red Hook Crit Milan
If you’re thinking “My god that’s impressive,” you’d be right.
While we can spend all day paying homage to ourselves, we at Manual for Speed would like to take a moment to pay homage to what really makes this whole thing happen: Professional Road Racing (PRR), the Humanity of PRR and the Spectacle of PRR. And by Spectacle, we mean the Whole Spectacle. All of it. The team hotels, the presentations, the cobbled start plazas, the announcers, the pumping-up of the jams, all the sporty new outfits and colors, the caravan, the gadgeta, the honking and the traffic, the scenery!, the mountains!, the descents!, the seemingly impenetrable crowds parting Red Sea-style on an alpine switchback (at the very last second!), the helicopters, the feed zones, the shouting and cheering and jeering, the Jumbotron TV’s, the beer gardens, and, of course all of the towns, villages and cities around the world through which the races race. Manual for Speed is about all of that, the whole context, the whole thing, the whole Professional Road Racing World & Spectacle. And there are two kinds of people in that PRR World & Spectacle:
- Racers, they’re the ones in kit, racing.
- Chillers, that’s everybody else, and we do mean err-body else: the fans, the crowds, the soigneurs, the moto police, the volunteers, the coordinators, the (traffic-related) passersby-cum-fan-in-captivity, the villagers, the TV cameraperson, the dog walkers, the runners, the jumpers, the streakers and the freakers—they’re all C H I L L E R S, unless they’re French, in which case they’re chilleurs. #chillers
AT THE RACES is a study of the more ubiquitous or “prevalent” types of chillers found spectating PRRs on any given day, at any given race. To help us properly identify and catalog chillers, Manual for Speed commissioned world renowned interpretive illustrator and dog walker Thomas Slater. Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Contemporary Human Taxonomy from Oxford and has been supporting his family as a commercial illustrator since the age of 7. His recent work titled Gran Fondo’ler (Confessions of a Cycling Enthusiast) is currently being considered for a solo show at the Tate.
In the coming weeks we’ll be introducing these characters one at a time to help you prepare for the upcoming season, as we are of the belief that a key to competency is familiarization. And we want you to be as Manual for Speed-competent as possible in 2017!