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2015 Tour of Yorkshire: Stage 01

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It’s 12:09pm on Tuesday the 5th of May and this is the first sentence I’ve written regarding  Stage 1 of the probably-inaugural but either way definitely first-ever Tour of Yorkshire. Which means this is late. Really late. Like… at least three days late. Also, guys, it’s really weird writing one of these things in the breakfast nook in the back of my house on Prescott and 25th. First of all, in spite of Comcast, the internet works. Second of all, I can’t hear Ian “An Unfair Advantage” Marshall snoring.

It’s now 12:26pm. My dad called about dinner tonight. He always trying to get me to bring the kids to his house in Vancouver but I don’t want to go to Vancouver for all the really obvious reasons which list OBVIOUSLY starts with 1.) It’s Vancouver. Also it’s like dude, if I pick them up from the YMCA at 5:30 and they’re supposed to go to bed by 7:45—at the latest—that means we’re talking about a little over two hours to eat dinner, do bath, High Points & Low Points, teeth, and everything else. Plus Dad, dude, you’re a hundred years old and retired or whatever, you’ve got plenty of short-term time, you’re long on short-term time, and coming to Portland doesn’t suck. I mean maybe it does actually, but way less than going to Vancouver. That feels so true it doesn’t even seem arbitrary or subjective. After talking to my dad I also spent about ten minutes tearing the house up looking for coffee. Which is insane because every week Stumptown Coffee Roasters #microsponsor sends me a bag of coffee and because I travel a lot that shit starts to add up—Stumptown, if you’re reading this, don’t get the wrong impression, NO AMOUNT OF COFFEE GETS WASTED, it’s just that at certain times it kinda builds up a bit—and lately there have been bags of it everywhere you look, if you’re looking in the kitchen. I mean, it’s not like we’re potting plants with the stuff it’s just at this point coffee beans are typically not a problem. Half & Half on the other hand is rough; as of yet, Manual for Speed does not have a dairy sponsor. Anyway, today, just now, I can’t find any coffee. So I called Keiran who is in Iowa going to her niece Ruby’s First Communion—I’m not sure but I think it’s a Catholic thing but listen that’s an entirely different story. Point is, Kieran said she gave one bag to Jess. Jess manages Keiran’s shop Porch Light so that totally makes sense. She also said that a fresh box came on Friday before she left, and that there should be some in the green coffee jar—I checked and there isn’t—and that there should be half a bag on the counter—there is and but I already used that all. And that was that. My Strange Lack of Coffee thing was going to remain a mystery but then I go this text (verbatim) from Keiran at 12:24—”I JUST REMEMBERED!!!!  I brought the pound in the box with me to Iowa!!!  Sorry I was distracted with plants and totally couldn’t remember. So I finished one pound and started another which Kelly who watched the house and Cat must have finished. Like I said I also gave a pound to Jess and I brought a pound with me.”

It’s now 1:07pm. It took awhile to write that last bit, also I checked my email which is I KNOW a total nonononononnonononono when sitting down to write, or to do anything really, at least anything that requires focus. Listen, the point is this Race Report is late and getting later and for that, I owe you an apology.

I’m sorry.

Seriously, I’m not just saying that. I mean it. I fucked up. Speaking of which, I also owe you an explanation. Okay, okay maybe I don’t technically “owe” you an explanation. But you definitely deserve one. Two things really stand out: 1.) I forgot my MacBook Pro charger. 2.) The internet at the York Holiday Inn is the single worst internet in the world. I’m not being hyperbolic. Okay maybe I am but whatever, it was scientifically bad, I know that much. I’ve been to France. And Spain. And Italy. And Argentina. Oh, and recently for non-MFS related reasons I was in Bolivia. So I know what I’m talking about. The internet in the York Holiday Inn is the single worst internet in the world. At one point, when I still had some residual power left, I caught it taking information OFF my computer. It’s hard to explain but instead of putting shit into my computer, it was making my computer dumber and slower. And I’m not talking about “uploading,” I know what uploading is and uploading is generally an intentional-type thing. I was signed into the wifi on my phone for awhile but it made texting (just words!) problematic/impossible. And if you don’t believe me you can ask Laura Fletcher who tried to upload a  2 minute video but stopped when the progress bar informed her it was going to take 38,552 minutes to complete.

I was, as they say, especially in places like Yorkshire, which is in England “up against it.” All of this reminds me that sometimes traveling is a dick. I know it’s a privileged and entitled perspective to have, and that it’s unpopular to talk about, especially to people who would like to travel but for whatever reasons don’t have the resources or reasons to do so. I get it. So listen, let’s talk about it this way. Sometimes I, Daniel Wakefield Pasley, suck at travel so bad, sometimes I do travel so wrong, it becomes a problem. I think what I’m trying to say is that I have problem.

“Yorkshire UK 1851 locator map” by Dr Greg, Nilfanion and MRSC. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2010. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

What follows is a short list of Tour of Yorkshire travel-related incidents that both directly and indirectly illustrate how bad I am at traveling.

  1. I recently got arrested in Italy.
  2. On the way into England, between the plane I took from Amsterdam to the Budget Rental car desk at Manchester Airport, I had to go through Border Control/Immigration. It’s pretty standard right. In general, if you want to enter a country, especially by plane, you have to pass through Border Control/Immigration. And more often than not, first you have to fill-out some paperwork: where are you staying?, what flight did you come in on?, are you traveling for work or for recreation?, etc. In this particular case I left the question, “Where are you staying?” blank because I didn’t feel like spending three minutes scrolling around Gmail looking for my reservation and besides, I didn’t think it was that big a deal. Apparently it is, in fact, a big deal and so the question was put to me during the Q&A portion of the Immigration process. I said that I didn’t really know, “Just kinda around.” The interview went downhill from there. The lowest point was when, after having already spent ten minutes in the giant plastic Penalty Box of Shame in some kind of adult time out, the Immigration Officer informed me that I was being aggressively, maybe even criminally, blasé.
  3. I forgot to pack socks. I wore the same socks for three days, the first of which days was 37 hours long.
  4. I forgot my computer charger.
  5. I forgot to activate my work bank ATM card before leaving for England.
  6. I forgot to go to sleep the second night I was in England. Instead I stayed up the whole night reading. What happened was I finished Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami, and I hate going to sleep without starting a new book, so I started reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, who wrote Middlesex, which book I read but I can’t remember a single thing about, except of course that its about a hermaphrodite. Speaking of which, it’s weird to get up after having never really gone down. I tried doing some extended blinks to like… force quit, if even for just a second. But that didn’t really work. So I took a shower but that didn’t work either. No matter what I did it I couldn’t shake the feeling that I hadn’t gone to sleep because in the end the truth was, I hadn’t gone to sleep.
  7. I forgot to not break my 550 EX flash.
  8. I also forgot to not break my Quantum Turbo SC battery pack.
  9. The night before leaving England on my way home I forgot to not stay in Yorkshire which is two hours away from Manchester Airport instead of Manchester which is zero minutes away from Manchester Airport the night before my 5:55am flight.

Traveling incidents/inadequacies/problems/snafus aside, Tour of Yorkshire was a good race. I don’t really have anything more to to say about it on account of I can’t remember much of what happened the day of Stage 1 because it was a long time ago and I haven’t slept that much in recent history, and I didn’t have a way to record (as in write down) what was happening as it happened because of the charger thing. Here’s the best I can do.

  1. It was REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY well spectated. The crowds were nothing short of remarkable.
  2. Part of, if not all of, this course was part of last year’s Tour de France. In fact part of, if not all of, all three days of the Tour of Yorkshire were part of last year’s Tour de France.
  3. In the plane on the way to Amsterdam on my way to Manchester the day before, I texted Raoul, our European Race Operations Manager, and it was decided right then and there, without any previous discussion, that he would come to the race. So he did.
  4. Some journalist dude from Wales named Daniel Ostanek, who I’d never met in person before, was also part of the MFS TDY team. Daniel, Raoul and I very much enjoyed your company even though you and I have the same name.
  5. Yorkshire is adorable.
  6. Some kid told me I had a “flash coat.”
  7. I saw a guy in rubber boats standing on the roof of a house talking on a cell phone.
  8. It’s fun to talk about côtes as if you’re talking about coats.
  9. We came to this race instead of the Tour of Great Britain in part because of David Millar and his Maserati. Also because one of the main dudes at Castelli, not Castelli USA but Castelli Castelli, as in Castelli Italy, told us it would be a good race. And he was right. Steve, thanks!


Basic Stuff

  1. Yorkshire is a county in Northern England. It’s the largest in the United Kingdom. For administrative reasons, the country is split up into: North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and, of course, East Riding of Yorkshire.
  2. The county’s name comes from “York”, the name Norse warrior-kings used for the area in modern-day southern Yorkshire. And “shire”, the administrative center of an area.
  3. The main cities in Yorkshire are: Leeds (population 750,700), Sheffield (population 551,800), and Bradford (population 293,717).
  4. Yorkshire’s official Twitter account has 97,000 followers. Weird Al Yankovic’s has 3.7 million followers.
  5. A popular custom in Yorkshire is the Long Sword Dance. The dance may include a “ritual beheading.”
  6. The International Sword Spectacular was held in Yorkshire in 2008, it was the “the world’s biggest gathering of sword dancers”.
  7. The “finest Viking sword ever discovered”, the Cawood sword, was found in Yorkshire in the 19th Century and is currently on display at the Yorkshire museum.
  8. The unofficial anthem of Yorkshire is On Ilkla Moor Baht’at.
  9. Yorkshire Day is celebrated on August 1st. It’s intended to promote the historic English county of Yorkshire. August 1st is also Coolio’s birthday, as well as Jerry Garcia’s.
  10. Yorkshire is said to have England’s biggest medieval cathedral, the biggest parish church, the world’s biggest fish and chip shop and is also home to Britain’s tallest man.
  11. Six saints are from Yorkshire. One of them, Nicholas Postgate, was “hanged, disemboweled and quartered” for being a priest. His arms and legs were sent to friends. One of his hands, however, was sent to Douay College.
  12. Percy Shaw, inventor of “cat’s eyes” (reflective road studs that are imbedded in street surfaces) was from Yorkshire. In his old age, he insisted in removing all furniture and carpeting from his home. He was left with little more than a number of televisions, which were always turned on, and tuned to different channels. Only one was a color television.
  13. Other notable Yorkshire natives include singer Joe Cocker, actor Sir Ben Kingsley, TV personality Jeremy Clarkson as well as bands Def Leppard and Arctic Monkeys.
  14. The 1993 film Dancing Queen, named after the ABBA song, was set in North Yorkshire.
  15. The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog breed first developed in the 19th century in Yorkshire. The breed was bred to catch rats in clothing mills. Yorkies, as they are affectionately known, should not weigh more than 7 pounds. Tricia Nixon, Richard Nixon’s wife, had a pet Yorkie named Pasha, who lived in the White House during his presidency.
  16. North Yorkshire only has one laser tag establishment, called Action Zone. It’s website warns locals, “beware of cheap imitators.”

Popular Yorkshire Slang

  1. ‘Guff’ = Fart
  2. ‘Bog’ or ‘Cludger’ = Toilet
  3. ‘Bonce’ = Head
  4. ‘Butty’ = Sandwich
  5. ‘Chuddy’ = Chewing Gum

Most Popular Surnames in Yorkshire

  1. North Yorkshire: Smith
  2. South Yorkshire: Smith
  3. West Yorkshire: Roberts
  4. East Riding of Yorkshire: Smith

Top Three Things to do in Yorkshire According to TripAdvisdor.

  1. York Bird and Prey Centre
  2. National Railway Museum
  3. National Coal Mining Museum






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