Today’s You Better Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself Observation: Dear France and French People, just because we are driving a Volkswagen with Swiss plates does not mean we are Swiss. I know we’re loud and speaking a foreign language (which is, for the record, English) but that doesn’t mean we can’t understand some basic French words and comments.
We hear you making comments, casting aspersions, prejudging us, and we don’t like it!
Today’s Unfair Advantage Brought to You by Castelli Observation: Manual for Speed gave Ted King a pair of FULLY operational [We’re talking no cable fray, both channels loud and clear, only tangled a few times, pure white in color, etc. If we were to post these on eBay the words LIKE NEW!!! LN would be used.] OEM iPhone 5s headphones. The reg white ones. He was riding back to the Team Bus through the crowd and media gauntlet after sign-in right as we were walking past when we made the hand-off; not a word was exchanged #tactical. And now Ted King has headphones that work, which means he can pretend to not hear people if he needs to, which is crucial when he’s trying to focus on the race and the day ahead—therefore those headphones give Ted King an Unfair Advantage. And because we will write the cost of those headphones off as a part of Manual for Speed, which we’re able to do because Castelli basically provides 98% of the financial support needed to keep Manual for Speed fully operational, it means that Ted King’s headphone-based Unfair Advantage was brought to you by Castelli.
Today’s Totally Rad Observation: In one of the many towns we passed through today, Manual for Speed saw this dude hanging out in front of a coffee shop. Yeah, right, big whoop. Well this dude had swirly lines shaved into the sides of his head, a long curly rat tail and a big silver hoop in his left ear. He was in sweats and Nike trainers and this cool leather varsity-looking hoodie. And he was four years old.
Today’s Culinary-based Observation: The French hate salt.
Today’s Second Culinary-based Observation: The French don’t sell or seem to care for potato chip flavored potato chips. We’re not talking about seasoning here, we’re talking about the fact that the majority of potato chips here are designed to taste exactly like various complex ethnic entrees or fast food favorites or types of meat; e.g. kung pao chips, chicken McNugget & curry sauce chips, beef (boeuf) chips, etc.
Today’s Sonic Observation: In France, they still ring bells. The city-wide, on the hour and/or at key times of the day kind-of-bells.
Today’s PUMPED AND JAZZED Observation: Autour Du Monde Snack Bar in Montimarault does NOT serve Stumptown aka MFS Coffee #microsponsor which gives Autour Du Monde a totally Fair Disadvantage. Side Note: Seriously, the coffee in France is pathetic. That France borders Italy only further confounds slash exacerbates the problem. And here’s the real irony as far as Manual for Speed is concerned: the pain au chocolat in France is unfailingly stunning—even a cold PAC purchased from an off-brand gas station in the late afternoon is something to savor—but in Italy they’re an embarrassment. The problem almost always starts with Nutella. Italians replace chocolat with Nutella in their PACs, which is sacrilege. So the question then becomes, where can you have an amazing cafe latte WITH an amazing PAC, at the same time, from the same place? On the border maybe? In Switzerland? Nope, neither, you just can’t, it’s just not possible in Europe. But in America, in Portland, at a Stumptown, it’s close, real close. As close as it gets. (#americandream)