SAN VALENTINO ALLA MUTA / NOWHERE ELSE
Team MFS: Klaus Bellon, Raoul Sturme and Daniel Wakefield Pasley.
I’ve been wearing the same underwear for the last three days.
I haven't shaved my face in five weeks. My legs are hairy, hairy like those of college students foot-bagging in the grass. I haven't done laundry in three weeks. Three days ago in room 508 of Hotel Torino, Ian Marshall washed 15 pairs of Castelli cycling socks in the bathroom sink. After washing them vigorously for 30, maybe 45, seconds he left them in the sink overnight to soak, and in the morning he draped all 15 pairs of socks (30 individual units) along the top edge of the shower box, over three different towel bars and around the top of the trash can under the sink. This endeavour, Ian’s washing endeavor, inspired me to do laundry—until I forgot. Now I've been recycling dirty socks for the last five days. My boots have been wet for the last 48 hours though, so I’m not sure clean socks are even a priority (especially considering my tee-shirt situation). I have regular nosebleeds (allergies), post-n-pre nasal drip (allergies) and itchy eyes (allergies).
I am quick to anger, irrational, confused and bloated. I regularly get into verbal altercations with Polizia, Race Officials, Spectators and other Photographers. I drive with impunity which impunity technically does not exist.
Two nights ago, the night Klaus arrived, the same night we ate fritters, deep fried and non-specific sushi, popcorn shrimp, user-selected meats and vegetables grilled Mongolian-while-you-wait-style, "Asian style” Italian pasta, assorted sushi rolls (most of the fish cooked, with most of what wasn't cooked a variation of krab-with-a-K or white fish/pollock) hash browns, and similar at Ristornate Bambu: Cucina Italiana Cusine Glapponese, we finished working and went to bed at 4:00am. That morning we woke at 8:00am to drive to Mori for the start of Stage 18.
Last night we slept for three and half hours. I’m wrecked.
- At the start of yesterday’s Time Trial they played The Bomb by the Bucketheads.
- ITALIANS LOVE T&A! Like publicly, and without any shame at all. Nobody seems to be questioning anything related to the large-scale employment (in both senses of the word) of T&A, today, in 2013.
- The race today was cancelled due to bad weather. Because we had planned to transfer from Dimaro to Ponte di Legno with Team Colombia on the team bus, we were in the lobby of their hotel when we were told about the Snow Day. Team Colombia stayed in the same hotel as Vini Fantini.
- Less than fifteen minutes after learning about the Snow Day, we were told that Danilo Di Luca had tested positive for EPO.
- A short Moto Polizia straddling his bike, backing it up in order to turn it around, in the dip of concave switchback, wet pavement, on his tippy-toes, once or twice on just one tippy-toe, almost falling over.
- It’s 2:30am right now, I just pounded a can of coke and a miniature Loacker Gran Pasticceria Crème Noisette.
- Yesterday, three quarters of the way up the Time Trial course, while walking/standing/shooting on the inside of the barriers, I accidentally farted (loudly) on a spectator. His response, “Basta!” I maintain he snuck up on me while my back was turned.
- An old man wearing a cardboard box over his head in the rain.
- Another old man, this one wearing an upside down canvas tote bag over his head, again in the rain.
- When watching the TT from high on the course, dozens and dozens of switchbacks are visible at the same time from a single vantage point. Watching the procession stretched out for miles below, the riders and the rider’s team cars behind them, it looks like a science fiction wagon train, a dayglo exodus.
- Yesterday on the Time Trial course I overhead a small group of Italian couples in their mid-forties discussing Jane Fonda.
- If crowds behaved in America like they do in Italy, they'd be getting tasered. Walking, driving, cavorting on the roads in such a manner—and it works well in Italy—simply isn't compatible with American expectations and lawmen.
- The Colombians love their Team Bus, which bus used to be the Saxobank Team Bus, which bus is driven by Saeco’s old truck driver.
- Darwin Atapuma played a form of classical music karaoke using a miniature keyboard AP on his iPhone, and the resulting “music” was broadcast to the bus using Bluetooth Speakers. He played the same song three times before his teammates requested música – “I find Classical Music to be very relaxing.”
- I fell asleep on a bench on the team bus 32 kilometers from our destination. I woke up when I rolled off the bench (the bus was as that time clearing the apex of switchback) onto the floor where I hit my head on a purple hard-shell piece of roller luggage. I was laughed at.
- San Valentino alla Muta is in Italy but everyone here speaks German, we are “on the triangle between Germany, Italy and Switzerland.”
- “If you’re going to puke, puke in the stairwell.”—Jarlinson Pantano addressing Klaus Bellon.
- "The original route, the one that was closed due to snow, was much worse. We even thought that maybe staff would ride in the bus and that riders would ride in the Team Cars because the roads were going to be so twisty and bad."—David Evangelista, addressing Klaus Bellon.
- After arriving in San Valentino alla Muta we attempt to check into the hotel where Team Colombia is staying (we don’t have a reservation here – long story) but they are booked. The owner would like to help us so he offers to drive us 2 minutes down the road to the Hotel and Spa his sister owns, Villa Waldkoenigin. He comes in with us, locates his sister, inquires if rooms are available, and asks if she would be willing to extend the same rate to us that he is extending to Team Colombia at his hotel. He explains that we are a part of the team. She has rooms available and she agrees to the 70 euro rate. Later, after a tour of the facilities, we inquire as to the standard rate. She tells us that it’s 390 euros a night, which rate includes breakfast and dinner.
- After checking into Alpino x Dwell Magazine the Hotel, we return to the Colombians who are on rollers in the middle of a discotheque (Disco Enzo) in the basement of their hotel. It smelled strongly of extreme cigarette smoking.
- Team Colombia’s kit looks as good under black and purple lights as it does in broad daylight.
- Aqua Con Gas is now Mineralwasser.
- For our Five Course Set Meal in Villa Waldkoenigin (our waiter Rudi spoke at least five different languages) we had two choices:
- Frischer Salatteller
- Lauwarmes Apfelsuppchen Mit Calvados
- Hausgemachte Maltagliati Mit Rahmwirsing Und Salsiccia
- Steinbutt Vom Grill Auf Asiatschem Gemuse
- Zittushalbgefrorenes Mit Waldfruchtecoulis Und Schokozigarette
- Frischer Salatteller
- Frisch Gepresster Meonesaft
- Zhgenkasepralinen Mit Fruhkingssalaten Und Rosa Pfefferdressing
- Spinatspatzle Mit Sauce Vom Gewurztraminer Und Rote-Beete-Chips
- Frischer Erdbeerbecher
Team Colombia Bus Transfer Playlist (Bonus Disc)
Still Into You by Paramore
Quien Eres Tu by Frank Reyes
Cositas Que Haciamos by Farruko
Rechazame by Prince Royce1
Se Me Olvido Que Te Amaba by Frank Reyes2
Ayer Te Vi Con El by Frank Reyes
Molinos De Viento by Mago De Oz
El Presente by Julieta Venegas
La Herida by Heroes Del Silencio
Me Voy by Julieta Venegas
Angelito by Aventura
You by Romeo Santos
Pienso En Ti by Frank Reyes
Amore Disperato by Nada