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2015 Tour De France
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MTN-Qhubeka Team Bus Eritrean Supporters Club
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There was some Deep Stoke at the Mountain Chewbacca camp today.

2015 TDF: Stage 15

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Distance 183 km Number of Steps 6.434 steps or 3.1 miles Time of Filing 1:30 AM Accommodations Appart’City Valence. In terms of location it is EXTREMELY convenient. It’s 1.5 blocks from where we failed to shoot the race near the finish. And we found public parking right out front. There is an artisanal boulangerie around the corner. A coffee shop around the corner. And two pizza places and three kebab joints within empty Perrier can throwing-distance. That said, they lost our reservation and refused to honor our online booking price. Also, they may or may not have given us Jim Fryer’s room. More on that later. The A/C in our room is already on-blast. And the internet in our room is non-existent. More on that later.

Today’s Objectives
Our unspoken objective was to restore communication and reinitiate our Pair Bond. ✓

WIFI Details

We are 10000% in the suck. First, the lady told us that yes, of course, we had weefee. Then we went to our room which was perfect except for the lack of internet. So we went back downstairs and explained the problem to our lady. Our lady said, yes of course the internet does not work because two days it was broken. Then she instructed us to sit in the lobby in an airless corner where the weefee does work.

Weather

Is anyone even reading this section of the website? Do you even care? Is this a waste of our time? We’re not trying to win a Pulitzer with this weather column of ours but we do put some effort into it. Let’s do a test. If you click this linkI will send you photographs of real dragons. Now that that’s over… today, let’s see… it was hot again. Real hot. Then it rained for seven minutes. Then it was hot again. And breezy, it was breezy all day long.

Quote of the Day

“I don’t want to parachute into the monkey cage wearing a banana suit.”
-Emiliano and I discussing the prospect of stopping on a climb to photograph the natives. The issue is that we are too visible and the fans at the 2015 TDF are too eager to be photographed. We do want to incite a negative riot. Or a positive one.

“Last time I saw GPRS on my phone it was 2001 and I had a Motorola StarTAC.”
-Emiliano lamenting today’s cellular ‘coverage’ situation.

“You got bœuf with me?”
-Anonymous

“Where’s the bœuf?”
-Emiliano and I discussing a new section on MFS dedicated to exploring the difficulties and tedium of finding food to eat in France.

“Yeah, let’s do the Surf and Cut!”
-Daniel using MFS Race Strategy jargon. A Surf and Cut is when you jump behind the caravan after the race passses and follow (or surf) behind it in the spectator and public traffic-free wake. A Cut is when you leave the course to go home instead of rushing ahead to photograph the finish.

“Look, a Triple Snoopy.”
-Daniel using MFS Chilleur Observation Jargon. A Triple Snoopy is three cycling caps worn at once in a fashion such that the brims do not overlap, allowing each brim to cover a distinct area of the wearers visage.

DEAR WORLD

Race Report

  1. We almost ran out of gas driving up the Col de l’Escrinet.
  2. It started to get real bad with about 2 km to go, right as we entered the gauntlet & barricade zone.
  3. The crowds were huge, there was NO ESCAPE.
  4. We had a collective anxiety attack.
  5. When finally we crested the Col a sign told us the next town was 11k to go.
  6. I put the car in neutral and we coasted the whole way down.
  7. The Team Katusha car in front of us would gap us on the flats but force us to brake in the turns when invariably we caught them up.
  8. They probably didn’t know that we NEEDED to carry our speed.
  9. It felt like we were hang gliding. To get more #aero we rolled the windows up. By this time the A/C had been off for the last half hour. It got hot real fast so we just sat there sweating and anxious, and bored, and transfixed by the suddenly very present humming sound of the road.
  10. In addition to the gas light which had been on for the last thirty kilometers, a new wrench-shaped light appeared on the control panel.
  11. We coasted into a gas station at the bottom of the hill, and it was open, unlike ALL the previous gas stations accessible from the course.
  12. There was no attendant but the pumps took cards.
  13. Theoretically at least. It refused all of our cards. Between Emiliano and I we have five entirely different Visa/Chase cards.
  14. We started shoulder tapping with the help of a woman who spoke both French and English.
  15. Eventually we found a woman to use her card in exchange for cash. We pumped 48 euros worth of gazole and gave her a 50 euro note.
  16. Dear AGIP, we don’t know to say your name and we don’t know why your animal has six feet, but thank you for existing in that town at the very bottom of that hill.

TODAY'S HIGHS & LOWS

    High Points
  • The latest and greatest Fan Activity of 2015 is Synchronized Wave & Dance-Based Cheerleading. We’ve seen twirling, clapping, hooting, fancy footwork and as many as 10 participants to a troupe. It’s cray… cray good fun!
  • As best as we can tell, Fruit Shoot is basically a company that makes no sugar-added hydration-type juice for kids. More importantly they are a sponsor of the 2015 Tour de France, and every day at least once a day we pass a vehicle wrapped in Fruit Shoot branding. “FRUIT SHOOT” in great big letter across the side of a van. It makes me happy.
  • On the glorious descent we pulled over and came to a stop several times in various gravel turnouts by jerking the wheel into an e-brake slide. It’s the little things.
  • Sometimes, in certain villages, the Tour de France appears to be one big 10-Speed Hero photoshoot casting call.
  • On my way up to our room at approximately 12:01 AM, I saw a family of three walk in through the front door of the hotel. It was a man, his wife, and their teenage daughter. All three were sweaty and wearing running kit. They smiled at me, said good evening, then took the stairs not the elevator up to their room.
    Low Points
  • Oh man, I can’t find my book. I think I left it in the Priory. It’s not even my book, it’s Kyle’s. I was really enjoying it. I can’t remember what it’s called but it’s about a disaffected, life-avoidant French IT dude navigating his work and what he claims is his utter lack of a sex drive. Complicating the issue further, I was using one of my last dental toothpick jammers as a bookmark, it had at least another three days/sessions left on it.
  • Yesterday I got a ride up the last 3 km of the hill with Veeral, Jered and this Dutch guy that I like. We talked about shit and laughed, and then somehow we got on the subject of car break-ins at Press Area parking lots. Apparently all the dudes have had bad experiences, and now they all insure everything against theft and damage. Manual for Speed is uninsured.
  • Baggy bathing suits.
  • We almost ran out of gas on the course. In a REAL BAD spot. We didn't, but we almost did. For the rest of the day, after we got gazole and it was no longer an issue, I developed some kind of acceleration-based PTSD or Guilt.
  • Hang gliding down the hill with the car in neutral, eating a fromage-less Survival Ham sandwich because my stomach was growling, is the SINGLE LOWEST POINT of the 2015 Tour de France for me, Daniel Wakefield Pasley.
  • Because the wefee doesnt work in our room we have been instructed by the Front Desk Lady (FDL) to sit in an airless corner of the lobby and work. As an act of good faith, she gave us a miniature table from the Petit Dejeuner room. One hour into our weefee experience the lobby has begun to feel more and more like a Greyhound Bus Station due to the ever increasing number of weefee refuges also staying in the Appart’City Valence who are now in the airless corner with us, sharing our table, sitting on the floor, pacing next to the fake plant, etc. The Front Desk is now inexplicably closed (a sliding metal garage-type door like the kind NYC retailers use has been pulled down in front of the Front Desk reception area) but we are sitting right next to it and as such know we know for a fact that FDL is in there, and that if you knock hard enough on the wooden door next to the sliding metal garage-type door, the FDL will come out albeit begrudgingly. That means everyone experiencing a whole host of problems such as keycard malfunctions and “excuse me do you know where the check-in lock box is,” walk over to us and ask for help.
  • Because we are working in the Wefee Refugee Camp in the sweaty lobby (Part 1): we are missing out on Prime Time working in your underwear time. (I made this post in my underwear.—KEB)
  • Because we are working in the Wefee Refugee Camp in the sweaty lobby (Part 2): I am in front of a window facing the sidewalk out front at street level, and as such I am on display. A drunk man just rapped on the window and offered me something.
  • We missed the almost-finish because we got stuck behind a Flashmob Cookie-Themed Joke-Car Shriner Parade between the freeway and the course. We missed the race by 5 minutes.

WE’RE NOT ROCKET SURGEONS

A New MFS Feature Where We Ask You, Our Readers, About High-Falutin’ Science-y Stuff

  1. Is there a Platonic Form of denim jeans? Or like, do cool jeans have an absolute value? Here in France, there are a million forms of jeans: from zippers, pockets and applique to length and coloration—and they’re all, by American Hipster standards, horrific. Inexcusable, embarrassing, entertaining and unintelligible. When the French come to America, are they as perplexed by our denim tastes and proclivities? Who’s doing it right? Which one of us is confused? What IS denim supposed to look like?
  2. How soon can we expect to have smell come out of the internet? Manual for Speed is a multimedia experience and as such we’d like to provide our readers/consumers with olfactory sensations. In the beginning we took photographs. Then we added writing. And animated GIFs. And most recently, sound. We are in the process of launching emojis. [mfsemoji image=”2015/07/mfs-emoji.jpg”][/mfsemoji] We hate video so video doesn’t count. And so obviously, what’s next is smell. And then taste. Just think about the tastes we can provide our readers with!!!!!!!!!! Let it be known here and now, we want/need to be on the forefront of smell and taste story-technologies.

MENDE START

FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE, AVEC CHILLEURS

VALENCE FINISH

(Not Really)

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