Nothing bad happened. It was a stunning day. The race was wonderful even if, maybe because, all the favorites were defeated by an Australian. I could talk about the word vibration. I was lite-obsessed with it, plus if I did I could make a connection between the physical vibrations that come from riding across uneven medieval rocks and the metaphysical vibrations that come from being a part of something truly magical. But I’m not going to do that because look, Paris-Roubaix is insane. It’s exactly why Manual for Speed was invented.
- Cobble Goblin: A block of stone possessed by the devil, found hiding in the “road” next to the other non-living cobbles/pavé, which waits until cyclists come by before attacking them. For example, last Sunday Fabian Cancellara was just riding along (in the middle of a bike race called Paris-Roubaix) when a Cobble Goblin tried to eat Fabian’s front wheel, causing Fabian to crash and, subsequently, Peter Sagan to stunt.
- Cobble Gobbler: A professional cyclist who performs well in the pavé sections. The winner of a Spring Classic. For example, Phil Gaimon is maybe not a Cobble Gobbler. But whatever dude, he got the call, he showed up, he made it roughly 80km, and he’s one of the .000000000000000067% of the population physically capable of being a professional cyclist racing at the World Tour level. Also, he’s got a poster and you don’t. But but but but but… you could have one too!?
- Cobble Gobblin’ The act of shredding cobble/pavé gnar. Tom Boonen did come serious cobble gobblin’ on Sunday but, I guess, that other dude from Australia that nobody’s ever heard of did more.
This poster is an homage to the Spring Classics, therefore it is an homage to Cobble Goblins. Art by Benjamin Marra. Printed by Topo Copy in Ghent, Belgium.
The first link I got today via text/email was this video, which video I’d never seen before. I love Utah Saints and this dude’s necklace and skunk tail belt flair make me happy.
Sticker Privilege while driving the course, especially through Arenberg.
About two hours into the day Klaus invented the cycling equivalent of Truck Nuts: Bike Balls. He was VERY excited about the anatomically-correct nature of Bike Balls, especially when compared to Truck Nuts.
Klaus’ story about the monkeys in northern India that allegedly try to have sex with your ears while you’re sleeping. And the subsequent product idea that came as a result of that conversation: Monkey-Proof Ear Muffs.
A conversation with Klaus about the expression, “How do it know?” in reference to whether the machine that gave us a ticket to park in a nearly-full parking lot knew how many spots were currently available.
Today’s Playlist. Today we listened to some of the worst music ever made ever. Apparently when music from the ‘80s and ‘90s dies, Belgium exhumes it, covers it, then remixes the cover into a house song, then plays it on the radio for supposed/alleged enjoyment. The music was so bad and there was so much of it, and I was so burned-out by the end of the day, that eventually I turned it up. It was like I was cutting, but with music.
Accidentally keeping my bib. By the time I got back to the car and realized it was still on it was too late. The Press Office was in the infield where I’d just come from. The Organization (ASO) wants them back. YOU HAVE TO GIVE THEM BACK. They will send emails. I don’t know what happens if you don’t give them back but it’s probably bad. I still have to give this one back. It’s sitting right next to me as I write this, staring at me, pulsing. I will have to mail it. I’m not looking forward to mailing this bib back. Mailing things is not my strong suit, mailing things to a foreign country from a different foreign country is even less my strong suit.
At the end of the race the first riders through collapse in the infield in exactly the same spot where ALL the soigneurs and media are standing. The first finishers are a mess, they can barely stand, they’re wasted, utterly empty. There is something incredibly alluring and captivating about the state they’re in. Maybe it’s their fragility. Maybe it’s as simple as bearing witness. Whatever it is, one way or another it has everything to do with absolute commitment. Clearly, everything they had to give they gave. Short of death, nothing, it would seem, is held back. They roll in, dump their bikes then collapse, slump and stagger around in the grass among the media which media proceeds to savagely consume them even further. The raw, insatiable appetite of the media is unseemly. About half way through the first wave of finishers I stopped taking photographs for a minute or two, which is eternity in there. It’s hard to describe the scene without using pornography and sexual references like bukkake and gang bang, but that’s what it feels like. It feels like an orgy, in a bad way. It feels sinful or something, you know, the one about flesh and gluttony and all that. Whatever is happening it doesn’t feel wholesome. It’s chaos, media are knocking each other over, yelling at each other, everyone is in everyone else’s way. The riders continuing to finish while all this is happening can’t get to where they’re trying to go. People are stepping on each other. One dude is on the ground, cramped and moaning, meanwhile he’s literally surrounded by two dozen media sticking cameras in his face and up his butt. The sound of shutters firing, flashes flashing, it’s disturbing. I mean, I def started shooting again so I’m 1000% part of the problem, but something is not quite right.
Klaus lost an eBay auction for a Colombian pressing of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
How to travel tactically light & be a successful race-based Importer/Exporter:
• Only pack second-hand or thrift-store clothes.
• Or clothes that are old and you no longer want to keep.
• Or in some situations, new stuff that you know is in demand and that locals will pay a premium for. E.g. in Cuba they love Adidas, so shop and pack accordingly.
• Leave your clothes behind in the hotel room. Or leave them in various places you visit over the course of your stay. When you’re done with something, leave it. Wear a polo once, give it away. Not swimming anymore on this trip? Leave your trunks in the bathroom on the floor next to the toilet. Be creative! Have fun with it!
• Be tactical, pack EXACTLY what you need down to the day. The goal is get to the end of your trip with only one outfit left, the clothes you need to fly home in. The point is, your luggage should be absolutely empty at this point.
• Purchase those commodities and goods specific to the region/locale in which you’re traveling. Cuba = cigars, Argentina = wine, Turkey = rugs, etc.
• Use ALL OF THE FREE space in your luggage to pack your commodities.
• The rest should be VERY self explanatory and if it isn’t, this game is not right for you.
For the next three weeks Manual For Speed is your Spring Classics Virtual Reality. Creating a three-week-long virtual reality requires a lot of support both emotionally, psychologically and financially. Our underwriters provide us with all of three and more. We cherish them because of it; won’t you cherish them too?
with additional support from:
Cobble Goblins art by Benjamin Marra.