- On 1 January 2016 the Commissioner of the UCI, Brian Cookson, contacted us about the future of our sport. He said he wanted us to save cycling.
- We asked him, “Of course, sounds great, but what do?”
- He said, “You must make a report! You must show us the way forward. It must be complete. It must be powerful. It must have vision. You are the chosen one(s), just like Luke Skywalker and Nemo and that Highlander guy.”
- We said to him, “Dude, this is big, real big. Are were scared?, yes! But will we do it?, yes of course! And then we told him it will be a work of art and we will call it Road to Rad.
- Later that night it was decided: the first thing we needed to do was look for the lost heart and soul of our sport, we needed to find our religion. We needed Divine Intervention.
- So we planned a secret pilgrimage combination walkabout and did it.
- More on that later, but for now, what follows is basically what happened. (Please note the birth of a Classification Jersey & Revolutionary Totem.)
I don’t know exactly when it happened but it happened in the middle of the night. I remember it was dark and cold, and we were stumbling around in circles. Our phones were dead and we didn’t have flashlights. I think about that sometimes. Why didn’t we bring flashlights?, we should have brought flashlights. Anyway. For now I can’t tell you where we were or why we were where we were, but I can say this: 1000% we were not in Oregon or New York or anywhere in America. Also, as per the plan and our instructions, none of us had eaten in 36 hours and so the mood was tense and yes a little bit weird. Double also it’s not like there’s a Starter Kit for receiving visions (but now that I think about maybe there is one for walkabouts). Point is we were lost in the dark and nearly hopeless when a giant ball of dancing ethereal light descended from the heavens above and zoomed over to our dusty position in the rocks on the top of a very remote hilltop. I don’t know what we expected, but I don’t think we expected the ball of light to slowly but ever so surely coalesce into the shape(s) of Mario Cipollini and Vance Larmstrong before coming to a stop in the sky right above our heads where they just kinda hovered, like a couple of life-sized Tinkerbells. At this point there were five of us, you know, including the two celestial bike legends. And we all had very different responses to our shared destiny. What follows is a verbatim transcription of our conversation which we recorded, obvs, so you can trust that it’s one million percent accurate.
- Emiliano: Seriously, I haven’t eaten in three days and it’s you two clowns? Also, why are you guys wearing kit, or wait, are those modern dance leotards? Which, when you think about what’s the difference? No seriously, thoughts?
- Kyle: Wow, I know beggars—guys, is that what we are, are we beggars???— can’t be choosers but are you two idiots the whole party or did you just get here early to cruise chicks? No, but really, where are the rest of you? You know, the less repugnant legends? You guys take different cars or..?
- Daniel: Wait, aren’t you guys still technically living? The notes we got were VERY rough but we had reason to believe we’d be meeting the future gods of cycling. Something about a “pantheon.” I guess I just assumed you’d all be dead, but ah, I guess this is maybe a moonlighting kinda deal for you dudes?
- Vance: Listen, you think Manual for Speed was our first choice to carry the word of [cycling] god(s) to the masses? A) Nobody reads your blog anymore. B) When they do they don’t believe anything you say—for good reason. You know, sidenote, I asked Yeezy about it and he was like, hell no, why would I endorse those losers? And I was like, I knew it. C) You guys don’t even use wide angle lenses or crazy angles.
- Mario: Vance, shut up. Okay guyz. We have a whole list of shit to tell on you. Important shit. Shit you must do. Let’s call them Commandments. But for now, you must return ANIMAL SPIRIT to the peloton. Cycling has too much science. You Americans love science, Germans too. But it’s too much. So now we must celebrate a style of racing that is raw and primal and full of heart. You’ve seen my costumes, no? WE MUST BE ANIMAL. We need some kind of symbol or badge. Something that everyone everywhere can buy and wear to champion the return of Animal riding. We have the yellow and the green and the polka dot and the world champion stripes, but we need something new and wild. I can see it now, it’s like a zebra but from the future. Anyway, you guys figure it out, I need to use the powder room. If you know what I mean.
- Vance: Okay dudes, that’s it for now, but listen I hope you’re ready for this. This is the first of many visits and we have A LOT to cover.
Is it your duty as a cyclist to buy this jersey and help fund the future of cycling? To in effect televise this revolution? To be a changemaker? To spread the word?
Yes, yes it is.
Also, is this just the limited edition tip of a pretty amazing iceberg that when this iceberg drops you’re going to be so happy you have the kit to prove you were down from the start?
Yes, yes it is.
Is Road to Rad something Ferociously-Optimistic Coming Your Way?
Yes, yes it is.
Will this kit impress your friends, make strangers love, make your parents respect you and lead to whatever kind of sex it is that you’re into?
Yes, yes it is.