Results for
2015 Tour of California

Mad Max: Fury Road

Click to view whole series

First let me remind you that today’s UCI America Tour 2.HC Classification stage was held in an Amusement Park parking lot. So whatever else we talk about, let’s keep that in mind. But listen, classic, right. Because in America that’s where we race, we race in parking lots. Industrial Park parking lots. Shopping Mall parking lots. DMV parking lots. We love parking lots. What’s not to love? They’re paved, well-lit, self-contained, generally flat and safe. And like the retail stores to which most parking lots in America provide access, they’re utterly devoid of content and interest. In other words they’re safe, like culturally speaking. So to recap: in America parking lots are good and that’s why we race in them whenever possible. To be fair to the Tour of California they diiiiiiiiid find a suitable alternative to Big Bear, where it snowed six inches last night, in basically less than 48 hours.

“But to be fair to Manual for Speed, we’re talking about the King of California, Peter Sagan, riding around the parking lot at Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita, CA for a little over twelve minutes. And calling it a World Class Sporting event.”

Sometimes it was cloudy. Sometimes the sun came out. It was supposed to be cold but it wasn’t, it was kinda warm. At one point, I learned from the announcer that the ramp zone from which riders start their race is called the Start House. Makes sense, it’s probably the same in downhill skiing. In the middle of the day Kyle drove to a Chipotle to get all three of us some burritos. I ordered carnitas but they were out of carnitas so Kyle substituted carne asada. I would have preferred barbacoa (At least with barbacoa you’re sticking with the shredded texture, even if you’re forced to work with beef instead of pork..)

For about two hours I photographed a new world class athlete riding his bike by himself down a pretend street created with orange barricades, every minute on the minute. I didn’t go far from the start though because after talking to several other media about the course, I was able to confirm that it was very stupid and utterly devoid of anything except the watered down, 17x recycled essence of mediocre parking lot. So basically I just worked the first corner of the course. I worked it hard though. I stood on the right side of the street—and the left. I shot forwards—and backwards. I photographed from the apex of the corner, as well as the lead up to it, and the stretch of road beyond it. Also, several times I squatted on the ground in what is commonly called a crouch. I shot with a flash and without. I shot portraits and landscapes (Verticals and horizontals). I did some angled shit too, just to mix it up.

Later, after the race was over, and after confirming free access for MFS and a selection of MFS Human Athletes into the Magic Mountain theme park would not be granted, and after photographing the Podium Women in their hotel room for the latest edition of YO! MFS Cribz (Podium Women in the Hilton Garden Inn), because the traffic between Santa Clarita and Ontario was bad, real bad, we made a plan to go see Mad Max: Fury Road. It happened like this: We were in a Starbucks killing time, listening to some of the worst music on earth, when suddenly Kyle looked up from his laptop and said hey my brus, should we go see Mad Max or what?

My favorite part of this story is that not once over the course of the last six days had we discussed either Mad Max specifically or even watching a movie at a movie theatre at all. It was just one of those random left-field jobs, something I like to call ‘spontaneity’. The idea demonstrated moxie and the music—forty-minutes into this auditory & emotional-torture experience we started to refer to the playlist in question as the Junk Drawer Mix—was so demoralizing that we needed to take some kind of action sooner than later. Also, as it turned out we were less than a mile away from a 7:45 PM showing of Mad Max: Fury Road. It was currently 7:30 PM. Clearly the Chiller God wanted this to happen… so it happened. We bought some tickets, a bucket of popcorn, a bucket of Coke and some Sour Patch Kids.


At the end of the movie the audience clapped. I remember 15 years ago or whatever when I saw Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and the audience clapped too. Sometimes movies, like books and music and I’m sure all kinds of other media as well, are next-level in terms of what’s possible. Maybe I’m just a sucker for deformities, dysmorphia, burning man x bath salts, body mutilation, post apocalyptic landscapes and meteorological events, supermodels loading 19th century fire arms, Cirque du Soleil at speed, bod mods, Day of the Dead make-up, and a GIANT-FUCK-OFF-UNIVERSE-SIZED Monster™ Energy™ Drink™ reincarnated as a two hour music video featuring basically nothing at all except a car/motorcycle/monster-truck chase that goes all the way to the end of the road in one direction, then turns around and comes right back; I don’t know why and I don’t care, whatever the case, that movie jacked-me-the-fuck-up. It made me want to butt-chug about 15, maybe 16 Red Bulls, drop some acid, paint my face with feces, set my dick on fire, rent a PT Cruiser and race it to Mongolia over the land bridge, steal weapons from a Russian oligarch, buy a hockey team, go back in time, find Harriet Tubman and arm the Underground Railroad with lasers and nitrous-assisted, fully armored golf carts.


This movie gave me a full body erection. I’ve never wanted to mainline a can of Monster into my eyeball as much as I did/do after this movie. Sprinkle in some neo-surrealism, model babes in the desert doing a fashion wet tube-top party, monster trucks, and exactly 873,389 hits of acid and you get this movie. FUCK YEAH.


Consider this : Steampunk monster trucks, post-apocalyptic gasoline cults, massively deformed super villains, nitro charged everything and anything, epic desiccated wastelands, prescient water crisis motifs, linen clad super models, Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, and the end of humanity. Sit with it.

Right. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of this, nothing. So let’s give it a name, let’s call it Mad Max: Fury Road. Let’s make it a movie, and let’s set the timer to around two hours. Now before we start putting war-mad gas punks behind the wheels of a fleet of supercharged offroad vehicles let’s make sure we give them something to chase, how about the future of mankind? Works for me. The details don’t have to be too intricate or compelling, after all we have nitrous, surreal landscapes, supermodels, and a general cultural understanding of nuclear fallout to help smooth out any rough patches. Not that they matter anyways because we’re one minute in and I have already bought the whole shebang: hook, line, and sinker. Out of the two hours there might be a total of 15 minutes without the guttural roar of an engine being run at or beyond its limits, and this is absolutely the maximum amount of time needed.

Mad Max: Fury Road is a completely engaging visual mind melter, it’s the movie equivalent of watching the Space Shuttle take off, of visiting the lion cage at feeding time. This is Shark Week where the sharks swim in an ocean of Redbull and they are fed on Taco Bell flavored beef laced with tabs of Merry Prankster acid.

While the plot may lack sophistication, no one gives a single shit, because the art direction is 1000% realized. At any time your eye can track to the most remote corner of the screen and feast on something unsettling and beautiful. All of this design and art is then skinned on top of what amounts to Travis Pastrana’s nitro circus, to create a movie that not only pays homage to the three original Mad Max films but establishes a precedent and thirst for more to come…

next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next      next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next     next