1:00 PM: Driving to the Hilton was easy. Parking near the Hilton was easy. Finding the entrance to the Hilton was easy. Getting the first half of our press credential package (PCP) was easy. I walked into the Media Room, they asked for my “Sir name,” I figured out what she meant, I told her my last name was Pasley, she said, “Oh great, I’ve been waiting for you to come in and pick up your credentials, your photo is my favorite photo!” Side note: so far this is the best race credential experience in Manual for Speed history, I mean, she was smiling, I was smiling, we admired my badge together, the vibe was synchronistic.
That’s when I was handed the orange vest. Not the blue or the green or even the fluorescent vest, the o-r-a-n-g-e, orange vest.”
For reference, the orange vest provides its wearer with the least access possible—we’re talking about the same access field tripping Boy Scout troops, local bloggers, and friends and family of ex-town council members get. I mean, when media access to the finish line is limited to the host broadcast crew and photographers with either blue or green vests only, and all other media is forced to access the riders after the stages either in the team area or at the presentation stage mixed zone—the PRESENTATION STAGE MIXED ZONE!—you do not, I repeat not, want to be caught in an orange vest. I threatened to fly home. The woman helping me said that I could always speak with Gennie, but not now because Gennie was in a course meeting.
2:00 PM: We met Lachlan in the lobby, followed him down an escalator ramp under the Hilton to the Adelaide Central Market, in the center of which we sat down at a coffee shop and drank coffee and recorded an interview, which interview is forthcoming. Highlights include an eagle attack.
3:00 PM: Lachlan returns to sequestration, we’re hungry so we eat at Sushi Train—Sushi Train is a local chain restaurant with 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp. I eat my first (and last!) tuna fish salad hand roll.
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM: We lurk outside the Hilton, hustling portraits and interviews.
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM: We suffer through the most boring Team Presentation in history, which granted, is a categorically boring non-event—except when you think about the Giro during which presentation we listened to various Benni Benassi remixes and an announcer who kept saying don’t breaka my ballsa, and there was a giant pink mountain squirrel, chicks in team kit and high-heels, high-top sneakers, and Italian men wearing Speedos. And today, in Australia, all we had was an incumbent mayor using this event and the recent construction of like four—maybe five—new bike lanes around town in an effort to get re-elected. And three dudes dressed-up in Aboriginal body/face paint. Two of them danced around while the other main dude played the didgeridoo, a wind instrument developed 1,500 years ago which musicologists classify as a brass aerophone—in fact it’s sometimes described as a natural wooden trumpet or “drone pipe.” Then Phil Liggett talked and made some jokes I guess, at least I think they were jokes.
And bla bla bla bla bla because seriously it was like going to an outdoor mall with some cousins you barely know the day after the day after christmas to watch their dad, your Uncle, accept the Most Tenacious Salesmen of the Year award at a regional, bi-annual Life Insurance Conference, only instead of two dollars, Cokes cost five dollars. And everybody is still wearing shants.”