Barricade Feet

Boise, ID

Boise is undeniably a sandals town. The Dry Heat and limitless sprawl have created a town that during the middle of the day gives off a “ghost town/under marshal law” vibe, but search and you will find a few crowded pedestrian centers. Places of congregation, where if you stand still with eyes closed listening to the symphony of the crowd, a non-native will immediately note the flapping staccato percussion a la Skoota Warner. What you are hearing is the dis-syncopated slapping that arises from a community shod in flip-flops, roman sandals, slides, and Velcro®-equipped sports adventure footwear. Once attuned to this rhythm it is inescapable.

HAIR CARE

Athens, GA

DATE: 28 April 2014   TIME: Mid-Season   SUBJECT: Recovery and Prep Bonus Technique

Manual for Speed Manual #3, Recovery and Preparation: 42 Techniques to Properly Manage a Human Athlete's Mid-Season Mind, Body and Soul was made in partnership with Team Stan's NoTubes p/b enduranceWERX (Becca Schepps, BrittLee Bowman, Tracey Cameron, Jennifer Nordhem and Sara Yankcovitz), and The FEED, a team of bona fide specialists using science and technology to create The Feed System, a science-based sports nutritional paradigm the result of an exhaustive, comprehensive fact-based study throughout which they worked with the world's best cyclists, runners, triathletes and mountaineers.

  1. Historically—Keep in mind that the role hair has played in people's self-image goes way back to ancient history. As long ago as Greek and Roman times, elaborate wigs were signs of status and wealth. Beautiful hair was associated with royalty, worn like a crown. Cleopatra was famous for her thick, black locks. Samson's long hair symbolized supernatural strength. During American Colonial times, upper class men and women wore white, curly wigs. Political figures and judges also adorned them as a sign of wisdom and sophistication. With decorative, attractive hair being highly valued throughout history, it's likely it will continue to impact how we view ourselves today.
  2. Developmentally—Another way to understand the psychology behind hair is to note its role biologically. For example, we instinctively view babies born with thick hair as heartier than those are with little or none. As children grow, we continue to see hair growth as a signal of good health. For adolescent boys, early facial hair is associated with virility, and on teen girls with signs of fecundity. Luscious thick hair is often equated with female sensuality and sexuality. Likewise, as we enter midlife, thinning or losing hair is associated with aging, loss of health, decreased fertility and virility.
  3. Aesthetically—Hair frames the face, the feature considered most important in terms of first impressions. Faces generally are viewed as playing a greater role than bodies when it comes to attraction between people. Following a person's smile, eyes and skin, their hair is often the next feature people notice on first encounters. It is among the top three features—along with height and weight—used when describing others and one of the feature most often recalled after a social interaction occurs.
  4. Self-Esteem—Our sense of attractiveness is strongly connected to confidence and positive self-esteem. Many men and women associate confidence with feeling in control, and hair is one way most of us can be in charge. For example, hair can be altered through cutting, coloring and highlighting, but controlled through straightening, curling and styling. Styled, well-kept hair gives us the external appearance of being well managed and it can contribute to feeling that way internally. Some people say that a manicure or pedicure creates a similar sense of feeling in control.
  5. Beauty for the Ages—As people get older, they inevitably feel loss in a number of ways—decrease in strength, flexibility, height, cognition and acuity. Even people in very good health are faced with dealing with changes that are inevitable. Although hair loss, thinning and graying are natural consequences for most aging people, a lot can be done, without too much time, effort or money to enhance hair style. Unlike surgical and cosmetic interventions that are used to update other physical features (e.g., lasers, face lifts, tummy tucks, teeth implants), enhancements to our hair are much less radical, and yet they can make a huge difference in how we feel about our aging appearance.

 

Vuelta al País Vasco

Basque Country, ESP

DATE: 9 April 2014   SUBJECT: Basque Samurais

  1. The Suzuki Samurai is a US variant of the Suzuki Jimny off-road vehicle, which has been in  production in one way or another since 1969. It was preceded by the HopeStar ON 360.
  2. In North America, the Suzuki Samurai (SJ-Series) was introduced in 1985 for the 1986 model year. It was priced at just $6200 and 47,000 were sold in its first year.
  3. An unfavorable 1988 review of the Samurai in Consumer Reports magazine said the vehicle was unsafe and prone to rollovers. This led to a controversial lawsuit (Suzuki v. Consumers Union).
  4. The Samurai was sold in Colombia and Venezuela as the Chevrolet Samurai, assembled in Bogotá, Colombia by General Motors Colmotores. The design has also been licensed by Mazda and Mitsubishi.
  5. The Samurai has also been licensed and sold as the Maruti Gypsy in Chile, Kenya and India. The version of the Gypsy with a 5-speed gearbox is called (drumroll please) the Gypsy King!
  6. The Suzuki Samurai holds the world record for the highest altitude (21,942 ft) reached by a four wheeled vehicle. The record was set in 2007 in Ojos del Salado, Chile.
  7. There are no words in the English language that are "perfect rhymes" for samurai. "End rhymes" include clarify, rarefy, terrify, verify.
  8. JC Whitney has 6085 auto parts for sale for the Suzuki Samurai.
  9. The most popular video on Youtube featuring a Suzuki Samurai shows an off road comparison between a Jeep Wrangler and a Suzuki Samurai. In it, the Samurai is able to go up a hill that the Wrangler cannot...the car's owner then comes out of the car and simulates masturbation as a way of celebration and, one can only assume, to taunt the Jeep Wrangler owner/operator.
  10. The Suzuki Samurai has fun written all over it.
  11. Like the E-Double.. or the PMD 
    He drives a Corvette, 
    I drive a Samurai Suzuki 
    I'm a locksmith.. with the key to fame

Vuelta al País Vasco

Basque Country, ESP

  SUBJECT: Animation Retrospectives

We asked Bingen, a spectator half-way up Alto de Gaintza, if he's ever seen a feature-length Graphics Interchange Format documentary about Euskal Herriko Itzulia. He shook his head several times (see above) and said, no, no I have not. But I would like to! So we said Bingen!, you will! Aqui y pronto! Aqui y pronto, Bingen!

 

21 March 2014

MFSM-002: NTR x DC

DATE: All day, every day   SUBJECT: Hydration

An animated guide to hydration with Dan Chabanov.

A full Manual to Nutrition is available here.

Colombian Humor

World Tour

DATE: Every Day   TIME: All of the Time   SUBJECT: For The Record

I think it was in Poland, it was a relaxed bit of the race, it was pretty warm, and Jacob was taking a pee while we're rolling along, and this Colombian guy—Jacob's on the outside and the Colombian is coming up—swung over like he was peeing and sprayed a bunch on Jacob. Jacob got really pissed until the Colombian got out his bottle and starting cackling like crazy. We were all losing it. The Colombians are awesome, they're just laid back, have a great sense of humor.1

—Alex Howes2

  1. FTR #61: HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR []
  2. Photo from "Stage 19" of the 2013 Giro d'Italia []

Be Illuminated; Use Reflectivity

ICNY x MFS

  SUBJECT: OP ART

FTR #60: Be Illuminated; Use Reflectivity1

  1. For science nerds: Reflectivity or reflectance is the fraction of incident electromagnetic power that is reflected at an interface, in contrast to the reflection coefficient, which is the ratio of the reflected to incident electric field. For safety nerds: Retroreflection occurs when surfaces return a portion of the directed light to its source. This is why retroreflective materials appear brightest to observers located near the light source – a driver and the vehicle headlights, for example. This is true for drivers at almost any viewing angle, which makes retroreflective surfaces excellent for night visibility. Source: 3M - Reflectivity (PDF) []

Biographies by Klaus

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

DATE: 9 February 2014   TIME: 12:41 PM   SUBJECT: Rick Zabel

NAME: Rick Zabel DOB: 7 December 1993 (Year of the Rooster) BIRTHPLACE: Unna, Germany1
TEAM: BMC Racing Team

As the youngest rider at the Dubai Tour, you’d think there would be very little pressure for neo-pro Rick Zabel to make his presence felt. And perhaps that’s partially true, but when your last name is Zabel, and your dad won the Green Jersey at the Tour de France six years in a row (not to mention his proclivity for amazing haircuts and  that fact that he single handedly taught Mark Cavendish how to sprint), people expect things of you.

Luckily Zabel has already achieved plenty even though he's only 20 years old. This is perhaps due to his deep commitment to the sport, which led him to drop out of high school in 2012 in order to sign a contract with Rabobank’s Continental development team. Soon after, Zabel won the U23 Tour of Flanders and became Germany’s national champion in the same category. Then came a stage win at the Tour de Normandie. He comes into 2014 with high hopes, both for himself and for his beloved Borussia Dortmund, the German football club he supports.

  1. As is common for many German towns, Unna produces it's own traditional herbal liqueur. Even though science and modern attitudes about nasty cough medicine-tasting alcohol suggest that “Herting Pörter”, named after the town's gate or port, is likely harsh and viscid, their tagline is Der Gute Likor, or in English, The Good Liquor. Although the distinct Westphalian dialect is primarily spoken by only the elderly, most residents of the area still have an accent. []

Biographies by Klaus

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

DATE: 5 February 2014   TIME: 3:18 PM   SUBJECT: Willie Smit

NAME: Willie Smit DOB: 29 December 1992 (Year of the Monkey) BIRTHPLACE: Lydenburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa
TEAM: Vini Fantini-Nippo

If you want to talk to someone about having a balanced life, about the ability to carefully and successfully juggle several activities, interests and responsibilities, while giving them all equal attention, avoid talking to a professional cyclist like you’d avoid a feces-throwing monkey. This is because their lives (cyclists' not monkeys') often rely on being singularly focused, which makes exceptions in that regard worth noting.

South African Willie Smit, one of the youngest riders in the Dubai Tour at only 21 years old, is a full-time law student in addition to racing full-time for the Japan-based Vini Fantini-Nippo team.1 His secret for being able to integrate both activities into his life? When using an indoor trainer Willie places a simple, garden-variety cafeteria tray onto his handlebars in the form of a makeshift tabletop, on which he stacks his textbooks, allowing him to read up on South Africa’s constitutional law from the comfort of Zone 2.

  1. Willie notes that his teammates are from widely disparate backgrounds and he has trouble understanding most of them. []

Biographies by Klaus

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

DATE: 8 February 2014   TIME: 2:25 PM   SUBJECT: Majed Albalooshi

NAME: Majid Albalooshi1 DOB: 31 May 1987 (Year of the Rabbit) BIRTHPLACE: United Arab Emirates
TEAM: UAE National Team

There’s a homogenous quality to professional cycling, particularly when one sees the peloton go by, all in nearly-identical lycra attire that differs only in its dye-sublimation. Sure, the riders wearing those team kits vary in their backgrounds, personalities and skill levels, but their careers share a common experience. That, however, changes drastically in 2.1-level races like the Tour Dubai, as designated by the UCI. In those races, paid professionals riding for the largest most well-equipped teams in the world race alongside amateurs who—in the case of Tour Dubai— are forced to use-up at least three of their Vacation Days just to compete. For example, 26-year old Majid Albalooshi.

Majid races for the UAE National Team but earns a living as an officer in Dubai Central Jail, a sizable penitentiary facility that houses 4,000 convicts in the Al Aweer desert. Though he spends a significant amount of hours training on his bike, he’s unable to say that he’s a cyclist by profession. This is because the UAE cycling federation, which was founded in 1974, has yet to allow any of its riders to become professionals, let alone classify “cyclist” as an occupation. Which means that on Sunday the 9th (the race ends on Saturday and Sunday is NOT a day of rest in the UAE), Majid probably went back to work at Dubai’s central jail in the Al Aweer desert.

  1. MFS has seen his named spelled as Majid Albalooshi, Majid Al Balooshi, Majed Albalooshi and Majed Al Balooshi. The first seems to be the most common. []

Biographies by Klaus

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

DATE: 5 February 2014   TIME: 1:28 PM   SUBJECT: Evan Huffman

NAME: Evan Huffman DOB: 7 January 1990 (Year of the Snake) BIRTHPLACE: Elk Grove, CA
TEAM: Astana Pro Team

Evan Huffman is one of the few 23 year olds from Elk Grove, California that almost never makes references to the movie Borat. It’s hard, and perhaps a bit foolish, to make jokes about a hapless, pseudo-Kazakh character played by a British guy in a movie that was actually filmed in Romania, when you race for a Kazakh-backed team, and so many of your teammates are from that country.

Be that as it may, things are still good for Huffman, who starts his second year with Astana after dropping out of college and jumping straight from the amateur ranks to the sport’s top level (like Andrew Talansky, Huffman rode for Cal Giant-Specialized as an amateur), racing Paris–Roubaix as a neo-pro. Evan started cycling as a tri-athlete. His musical taste is skewed heavily toward metalcore, he enjoys bands like Arizona's Greeley Estates and California’s Confide.1

  1. Unfortunately Confide is no longer together. []

USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships

Boulder, CO

DATE: 12 January 2014   TIME: 5:22 PM   SUBJECT: Brady Kappius

MFS asked Team CLIF Bar Cycling rider Brady Kappius for some thoughts on USA CX Nationals. What follows are his own words.

Cross Nationals. The one race everyone is peaking for and the only race anyone remembers next season. For added effect, it was in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado this year. No pressure right? Riding to the race from my front door with my spare bike in hand was pretty surreal. It just seemed like another local race, except it was the biggest one on the calendar for almost all US riders. I lined up on the start line in the exact spot that I train, week in and week out, doing practice starts with nobody watching, this time with 6,000 spectators. Hearing my name every 5 seconds for 60 minutes along the course gave me chills, and added motivation to hold onto the wheel in front of me, trying to not get lapped by Jeremy Powers. Thankfully I managed to make that happen. Just barely though. With nobody chasing me on the last lap, I had a bit of time to soak things in a little more. Gave some high fives, rode some stairs, and hopped some barriers in an indirect attempt to say, "Thank you." Because at the end of the day, we're just riding bikes around a dirt field in the middle of winter, wearing stretchy pants, jumping off our bikes while still moving, all in the athletic endeavor, called cyclo-cross, that consumes so much of my life.

I finished 22nd in the elite men's field at the 2014 US Cyclo-Cross National Championships in Boulder, Colorado. I was the last rider to not get lapped by race winner Jeremy Powers.

—Brady Kappius

USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship

Boulder, CO

DATE: 12 January 2014   TIME: 10:30 AM   SUBJECT: Evan Murphy's Racetime Playlist

Evan Murphy, Manual for Speed Human Athlete, provided this playlist to MFS. It served as the base for his USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championship run, in which he finished in 59th position—after his second year of racing UCI-level cyclocross. Use of this playlist does not guarantee a spot in the USA National Championships.

  1. Bout It Bout It by Freddie Gibbs feat. Kirko Bangz
  2. Higher Ground by TNGHT
  3. Party In The USA by Miley Cyrus
  4. Hold On We're Going Home by Drake
  5. Countdown by Beyoncé
  6. I <3 U So (Skreams Made Zdar Feel Like He Was 20 Remix) by Cassius
  7. Like Glue by Sean Paul
  8. Flutes by Hot Chip
  9. Kelly's 12 Play by The Dream
  10. F*ckwithmeyouknowigotit by Jay-Z feat. Rick Ross

A Brief Typology of Australian Naps

South Australia, Australia

DATE: 19–26 January 2014   TIME: Whenever it's hot (always)   SUBJECT: Temperature Regulation

Of the myriad techniques Australians utilize to combat the effects of the omnipresent South Australian Sun, none pay as many dividends as the siesta. Combining the soothing temperatures of Eucalyptus shade with the minimized body heat produced in an unconscious state, the napper is able to pass through the hottest parts of the day in relative comfort.1

Some nappers opt to avoid the shade, and instead bathe in the harmful UV and UB rays provided by our local star.
Some further opt to avoid laying down at all, which is not a recommended strategy.
  1. Side effects include drowsiness and missing the race you came to spectate in the first place. []

USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships

Boulder, CO

DATE: 12 January 2014   TIME: 3:29 PM   SUBJECT: Stu Bone on Nationals

We asked Bear Development Team Director Stu Bone to give us some thoughts on CX Nationals. MFS conducted an interview with Stu on his work with Bear Dev, to be published soon. What follows are his own words.

Welcome to Boulder, CO, where the men shave their legs and the women don’t. In your daily life, your family and co-workers likely enjoy pointing out all of your yuppie, masochistic, endurance sports insanity. Boulder however, will welcome you with open arms. Unless, of course, you’re trying to snake their parking spot at Whole Foods on Pearl Street.

Seriously though, one of my favorite things about USAC National Championship events is that they bring social media to life. I am always stoked to show up at an event like this and meet/connect with all kinds of really cool people that I’ve been interacting with on Instagram or Twitter.

Making new friends and connecting with distant ones brings real meaning to these events.

This year I was bummed that I wasn’t able to connect with @mwicross, @crusty_pov and @alyssasevern (plus dogs Mavis and Bullseye). But there were many others, like @yonderjournal, @castellicycling, @lasalaimages, @realwheelsbicyclestudio and @thek2 that I was stoked to meet up with in person.  We enjoyed a couple great meals together and some solid race-time heckling.  The community of people at USA CX Nationals is as good as it gets—it was really great to see everyone.  I look forward to watching @lancey_pants race for an @beardevteam national championship at the next 2015 CX Nationals in Austin, TX.

Prior to the 2013 USA Pro Challenge

Aspen, CO

DATE: 18 August 2013   TIME: 4:30 PM   SUBJECT: Public Perceptions

I almost got my ass beat for wearing skinny jeans to a Waffle House back home in Georgia once, though I suppose I should’ve known. I still get “Go Lance!” a lot, which at this point I hope is just ironic. I’d much rather get called derogatory names, that doesn’t bother me at all.

—Phil Gaimon1

  1. Excerpted from an upcoming interview on Manual for Speed. Phil is racing for Team Garmin-Sharp in 2014. []

USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships

Boulder, CO

DATE: 12 January 2014   TIME: 2:41 PM   SUBJECT: Bike Handling

"I did 12 UCI weekends this year, that's roughly 22 races because a few of weekends were only one day. And I can only remember three races where I didn't crash. That means I crashed nineteen times this season. At least, maybe more. The thing is I'm really bad at handling my bike, on dirt. I'm great on the road but I'm new to cyclocross. So now what happens is I get really excited if I just don't crash, like regardless of where or how I finish. And today I didn't crash, not once, for the whole entire race. So for me, today  is a success! This race is right up there with my other three crash-free races this season."

Oh and there was this lady in this one corner yelling at me, "GO MANUAL FOR SPEED!" Every single lap.

—Evan Murphy

USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships

Boulder, CO

DATE: 12 January 2014   TIME: 12:51 AM   SUBJECT: Hair Care

MFS: Are you aware, like when you look in the mirror every morning, that your hair is fabulous?

"I don't know that I realize it to such an extent, but yes, I am aware that I was blessed with my hair. I really don't think about it too much, it just grows. There are plenty of girls in cross that have better hair than I do, but I don't think any of the other guys do.

"The last haircut I got was in April, a run of the mill $20 haircut at a local barber in Redlands. Honestly, I only got it because it was so hot during the race. Even at home I just go wherever, I don't have "a guy." I usually just cut it as soon as the weather starts warming up, or when it becomes too annoying.

It's only January and I already have a lot of hair as it is, so by this spring it could be really long. But I'm also not sure I'll last that long."

—Jamey Driscoll

"He really, actually does not think about his hair. I don't think about his hair myself too much, but I did tell him the other day that he might want to go short again. Maybe with a little mohawk thing? The flowing locks are really nice in the winter, but he's hot when he has short hair! Maybe a South American  soccer player cut, maybe a scruffy-looking beard. But really, he doesn't care about his hair and I really don't care that much either. And that's why it's so good, it's natural."

—Carly, Jamey's Girlfriend

USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships

Boulder, CO

DATE: 11 January 2014   TIME: 2:59 PM

"I have a '68 Plymouth GTX 440. Lately I've been spending a bunch of time researching what I want to do with it; I'm not doing any of the work but I need to be smart about what work is done to it. What modifications I want to make, what motor I want to put in it, color schemes, things like that. I've seen a nice burnt red orange color that I like, and you'll see them in dark green, that looks really nice—and I normally don't even like green cars. I think I'm gonna go for a silverish gray though. Not a sparkly, shiny silver but something more flat. Then I'll do a flat black hood and roof, and it's gonna have traditional red stripes on the side. The car won't be period correct; for me the goal isn't to own a perfectly original car. Especially since I don't want it to be nice, I want it to be just nice enough. Really good suspension and brakes and a fuckin' fast motor.

Everything else can be C-quality, because I just want to drive it and not worry about every little thing. I don't want to look at a show car, I want to rip it around.

It's gonna have a 7 liter fuel-injected motor cranked out of a new car. I want it to start, you know? I want it to run, all day. On the other hand, I don't want it to say anything about me. It was my grandpa's car so I just want to restore it. I like it 'cause it's a badass car, not because I'm making some statement about myself. And anyways, this does say something about me1—but I don't give a shit what people think about it. The thing is, it doesn't matter what I put out there, people will perceive it how they will, so I just do what I want. My grandpa would dig it, so it's cool with me."

—Ryan Trebon

  1. He points towards his beautiful, lycra-clad bike racing body. []
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