Manual for Speed does not Press Release. This is the first time we’ve ever done a Press Release. And likely the last. We get lots of emails; like about how Global leader in Electric Aviation Yuneec will showcase E-Go, an electric Skateboard, at Interbike 2015, which we delete before reading, for all the obvious reasons. But this was different.
First of all we didn’t get an email, we got a call. And it wasn’t a call from a stranger named Camden Wicker, and it wasn’t about LifeBEAM’s one-of-a-kind DIY heart rate tracking kit.
It was a call from Tim, Trek Factory Racing’s Press Officer. We love Tim. Tim tells us jokes. He smiles at us. In France at the Tour de France this year he told us a riddle about how you can learn everything you need to know about the French by asking one to say out-loud the number 97. We tried. The experience wasn’t illuminating in the slightest. Maybe Tim was just F-wording with us. Maybe he just wanted to see if we would actually ask a handful of random French Chilleurs to say out-loud the number 97 in an effort to learn more about what makes the French, French. Which we did. And like we said, we like Tim a lot. Anyway, it was a call from Tim and Tim wanted to talk about Kiel Reijnen.
Kiel Reijnen is one of Manual for Speed’s favorite subjects. Kiel is one of our Favorite Human Athletes. He is the humanest of athletes, we love him.”
Internally there some dispute over when and where we first met Kiel. Emiliano thinks he met Kiel on the floor of a hotel in Philadelphia. Daniel thinks he met Kiel in a carwash in Boulder with Alex Howes. It doesn’t matter. Over the last four years we’ve come to love and admire Kiel. We’ve interviewed him, we’ve photographed him, we’ve seen him in his underwear, we’ve seen him in yellow, we know his wife, we email him, we have each other’s phone numbers, we like him, he’s our friend. He’s a darling and a gentlemen, and a bona fide sweetie. Also he races good, real good. We can’t say for sure because we don’t do stats and science and facts, but based on anecdotal evidence and observation he appears to be remarkably consistent and capable. He wins shit. And when he doesn’t win shit, he gets close, like second or third. Also, seriously, people, he wears house slippers partly made from salmon, his Spirit Animal is a bear, he loves to barbecue, Genghis Khan is one of his two role models, and he quotes The Fast and the Furious. Kiel is the real deal.
A month ago at the USA Pro Challenge in the parking lot at the bottom of a ski resort in Steamboat Springs, we had this conversation with Kiel:
- MFS: “Hey, how come you don’t race World Tour? Like, aren’t you on a radar or two?”
- KR: “I don’t know why but nobody ever asks me. It’s a little strange. I think about it all the time.”
- MFS: “Interesting. We sorta wondered. We thought maybe you get the offers but you’re not into it, too much travel, too much sacrifice, that kind thing.”
- KR: “Nope, nobody asks. I might go. I mean, it would have to be the right offer, it would have to make sense.”
Ummmm, apparently Trek Factory Racing made an offer and it made sense. Kiel, congratualtions! You made it, you’re going World Tour!