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2015 Tour De France
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There was some Deep Stoke at the Mountain Chewbacca camp today.

2015 TDF: Stage 11

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Distance 188 km Number of Steps 13,735 steps or 6.7 miles Time of Filing 2:35 AM Accommodations Château d’Orleix round three. Sadly our last.

Today’s Objectives

Find Breakfast. ✓
Find Coffee. ✓
Make it onto the Tourmalet. ✓
Photograph the Tourmalet. ✓
Have a nice dinner. X

WIFI Details

Again, 100% satisfaction. Youtube. Downloads. Uploads. Facetime. All of it.


Emiliano is radioactive. He is glowing. On the way to dinner we parked in the underground garage under the Tarbes city center, which, wait, why don’t we do this in America? Building a parking garage underneath the town square/plaza makes so much practical-, convenience- and spatial-based sense. Oh wait, I know why. We don’t have town squares/plazas, we have Jantzen Beaches and Bridgeport Village Malls. Anyway, in the darkness of the parking garage (where for the second day in a row the soundtrack to Clockwork Orange was playing on the PA system) Emiliano was “giving off” light. I pointed it out to him. I said dude, you’re like pulsing and emanating light and shit, like, are you on a phosphorescent algae diet maybe? He said, weeeeeelllll, before you go any further you should know that it looks like whatever I ate, you ate. Point is neither of us ate anything, we just got Tourmalized hard. What does that mean? It means we spent most of an afternoon on what is effectively a summertime Alp in Western Australia.

Quote of the Day

“Pump it down!!!!!”
-Emiliano, in reference to what is for us, as well as everyone else driving the course, about 160 kilometers of ‘an expectation to wave, and beep, and honk, and make eye contact, and otherwise engage with wall-to-wall spectators’

“Petite dejiney is killing my Atkins diet”
-Emiliano in response to a ‘streak’ of predominantly bread- and carbohydrate-centric meals.

“Grandmas don’t ride bikes on freeways in America.”

“Grandmas don’t ride bikes in America.”



OMFG this race has been so basic until today. Today felt exceptional. Today it felt like the Tour De France started. I know it was supposed to start in the Netherlands on July 3rd but it didn’t. And yes, a lot of people are saying that it started (and ended) yesterday because of the Froome thing. But for us, for Manual for Speed it started today. Here are four reasons why:

  1. The course was scenic and visually stunning. THE MOUNTAINS!!!!!! There is still snow in the couloirs. The colors. The roads. The switchbacks. It was all so… Tour De France-ariffic.
  2. Climbs!; a 3, a 4, a 3, a 1, an HC and another 3.
  3. We saw it with our own eyes and cameras and that makes such a big difference.
  4. We parked 5 km from the top at a chalet and walked the rest of the way up, Hunting & Stalking. After the race came past we walked back down to the chalet. The way down was traumatic on account of the large volume and range of vehicles trying to IMMEDIATELY go both up and down the mountain on a narrow two lane road, and a goat path that followed the fall line. You got your basic and to be expected stuff like bikes and cars, you got scooters, motorized scooters, hang gliders, rollerblades, trekking poles, longboards, kiteboards, motorcycles, mopeds, trikes, ATVs, etc. All doing the mass exodus thing. By the time we made it back to the chalet parking lot, the way down was a solid mass of essentially parked cars. So we ate glace. Emiliano always gets vanilla, which is gross in France because they make it with too many eggs. I always get chocolate. Then we got in our car and sat in traffic for two hours until Campan, Hautes-Pyrénées. Every summer for three months the entire village of Camapan is decorated with Les Mounaques, which are basically life-sized Raggedy Ann dolls posed together to simulate various domestic tableaus, i.e., doing laundry, having dinner, milking cows, feeding dogs, looming yarn, washing dishes, painting fences etc. Yes, it’s creepy. Yes, it’s alarming. Yes, we thought of Chucky and Children of the Corn too. And yes, I’m going to do my best to explain WTF by way of cutting and pasting.


“In the old days, When a man of the Valley of Campan married outside the “norm” (eg, a widower who married a girl), he was the subject of a “racket.” The uproar was a noisy manifestation of social discontent that struck those we wanted to flog. A Campan, this tradition is linked to the system of inheritance: the oldest child, girl or boy, inherited all the property of the parents: land, animals, house. Marriage The rules take into account: one does not marry an heir and heiress.The wish of every cadet was to “to come in-law” in a family by marrying the eldest. If considering an heiress to marry a boy from another village, if a widow or widower bent over head to marry a young, the villagers demanded a kind of compensatory tribute. If this tribute was not paid, it was pandemonium. Within a month before the wedding, every night, all young, cow bells around his neck, came to the din around the house of the bride. A couple of rag dolls, mounaques, was clinging to her house. They were supposed to represent the faults of brides and grooms. All this ended when the wedding day the bride and groom were passing under the torque mounaques and if young people were given a substantial sum to enable them to party. This custom of our traditional culture and People were brought up to date and of human size mounaques manufactured by volunteers adorn the streets, squares, laundries, balconies and galleries Campan houses during the summer months.”


    High Points
  • Listening to the French pronounce Dan Martin. Dan is a classy guy to start with, but when the French say his name he sounds like a movie star married to super model.
  • Halfway up the Tourmalet we passed by a group of friends and/or colleagues dressed as a CHP, a US army soldier, a construction worker, a Native American, and Leather Bar patron.
  • Hearing for the first time in Europe a horn designed to sound like a Cavalry Charge.
  • For the first time at the 2015 Tour de France, somebody recognized Manual for Speed. Thanks possibly-British-or-maybe-Scottish dude whoever you are!
  • While listening to Radio Fun we heard an advertisement for House of Cards Season Trois.
  • Phil Liggett wrote back to Manual for Speed. It would seem we have preliminary approval, we just need to work out the details such as when and where.
    Low Points
  • Widespread Gratuitous Tripoding. Dear Novice & Hobby Photographers, if it’s SUNNY and BLUE and MID-DAY, you don’t need a tripod. In those conditions it’s impossible to need a tripod unless your camera weighs like thirty pounds, which it doesn't.
  • Halfway up the Tourmalet we passed by a group of friends and/or colleagues dressed as a CHP, a US army soldier, a construction worker, a Native American, and Leather Bar patron.
  • The quality of light in France.


  1. …do a typology of Race Spectator Movements & Sounds with Madison?
  2. …commission Yves Baudy to produce a series of Racer Portraits?
  3. …launch the Manual for Speed Patron Saint Series of Candles and Water Bottles? Starting with, of course, the Patron Saint(s) of Wi-fi, Executive Waters, Rental Cars and Flash Batteries?



Aimez-vous twerk?

Can you twerk?

Pouvez-vous fixer mes freins?

Can you fix my brakes?

Puis-je garer ici pour cinq minutes? Bon peut-être sept, mais pas plus de dix minutes?

Can I park here for five minutes? Well maybe seven, but no more than ten minutes?



  • 1 Feder feat. Lyse Goodbye
  • 2 Monique Bon La Musique
  • 3 Julien Dore feat. Mickey Green Chou Wasabi
  • 4 Soprano Le Pain
  • 5 Michael Calfan Treasured Soul
  • 6 Mokobe feat. P-Square Getting Down
  • 7 Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Vs. Ummet Ozcan The Hum
  • 8 Egophonik Sugar Babe
  • 9 Eva Simons feat. Konshens Policeman
  • 10 Maitre Gims Est-Ce Que Tu M’aimes?
  • 11 Bee Gees Tragedy
  • 12 Culture Club Karma Chameleon


At Col du Tourmalet, One Day Only!


Part I


Part II

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