Date: Thursday, January 22nd
Manual For Speed Team Addendum: Today we were joined by Tubular Tommy's mate, Steve Moores.
Stage: Thomas Foods Stage 3
Distance: 145km. You know how sometimes meteorologists give you the actual temperature and a "feels like" temperature for any given day, due to wind or whatever? For example today in Park City, Utah it was 21 degrees, but because it was also windy and snowing it "felt like" 18 degrees. Same thing here, only it's not a temp thing, it's a distance/sunlight correlation thing. You see, while the physical race distance was 148.5km, it felt like—and this is just my opinion, which is at best based on pseudoscience—178km, on account of the race taking place under the Australasian Sun, which sun is hotter and brighter than the sun we have on Earth in the Western (normal) Hemisphere.
SKODA King of the Mountain (otherwise known as Man of the Mountain, or MOM) #1: Corkscrew Road at Montacute Road—Category 1 (9.0%, 2.4km long, 137.6km in)
Weather: Daylight, which in Adelaide in January is pleasant enough if you're able to absolutely avoid direct contact with sunlight, at all times, without fail.
Race Synopsis (According to the Santos World Tour Down Under 2014 Race Manual): "Stage 3 sees the day start at Norwood, an inner-city Adelaide suburb known for its great shopping and lively eateries. The SKODA King of the Mountain climb will take place on Corkscrew Hill, an ascent sure to have even the toughest legs burning. It'll be a speedy finish towards Campbelltown, which is hosting a stage finish for the second year running."
Objectives: Find the podium girls, befriend the podium girls, avoid direct sunlight at all costs, photograph the race or whatever, purchase a wide assortment of 4SHAW socks from the Giant Bicycle dealer in Adelaide, etc.
Today's Retraction: I lied. I'm not going to abide by the condition of my accreditation. I retract my coerced statement of intent to abide.
Today's Cultural Exchange (Australia vs. United States x South Africa): Steve was reminded of the movie Chopper during a conversation we had in the shade while waiting for bike tournament to pass today. He was explaining to us that his four year old daughter is banned from race spectating, which she dearly loves (for exactly 2 minutes) because she's too easily distracted: "Look dad, a log." Which reminded me of Dale and the hole he dug in The Castle, which movie represents roughly 67% of what I know about Australia, and in which movie a young Eric Bana plays Dale's brother-in-law and martial arts expert. After quoting close to 89% of The Castle's best quotes, Steve asks if we've ever seen Chopper, another Eric Bana movie. We say no. He describes the movie and without hesitation we make a solemn promise to watch Chopper in the very near future.1 Later, while waiting in a Greek deli at the bottom of "the gorge" for our sandwiches to be made, we play Die Antwoord's Zef Side video on my iPhone for Steve to enjoy. Steve enjoys it. And that right there, that is proper cultural exchange my friends. Side Note: Stopping in at and ordering sandwiches from the Old-World-not-New-World deli was a life affirming experience. I ordered a ham, lettuce and cheese sandwich on a white roll spread with mayo (the mayo here is sweet, you've been warned!) and mustard, and it was delicious. Related But Secondary Side Note: Beetroot (AU) = Beets (USA)
A new MFS feature called "Dear Adelaide": Dear Adelaide, why does your water taste so horrible?
Today's quote about today's stage: "I couldn't enjoy the finish yesterday because I was too busy not having credentials and not being allowed to be on the course, so even though I enjoyed being there and I wanted to enjoy the race, I couldn't. Today, I enjoyed the race. Today, Tour Down Under, I appreciate you."
Today's Game Changer: Manual for Speed enjoyed today's stage immensely, in part because the actual race today was more interesting than previous days, during which previous days the race was boring, like really boring, due mostly to the lack of interest, which lack of interest had nothing to do with the athletes or their performance (both individually and collectively) and had everything to do with the proportion of non-interesting things lacking in energy and enthusiasm to interesting things like competition, hills!, crowds, etc.; which proportion was, until today, something like 100:1. I also think our newfound (at long last) love for the TDU has something to do with a health and wellness product I discovered in a servo today. What's a servo? You dont know what a servo is? Too funny! Okay so "servo" is short for "service station." Get it? Anyway, today I discovered one of Australia's best kept secrets, it's a proto-engery drink called Farmers Union Iced Coffee, and it made everything better. My lack of sleep, my sunburn, a tedious hour of dubstep (thanks a lot Fresh 92.7), the lack of parking, the incessant orangeness of my vest, all of it. If for some reason the marketing department of Farmers Union Iced Coffee (FUIC) is reading Manual for Speed, please let's talk immediately about potential sponsorship and North American distribution opportunities. Now everybody, let's get FUICed up! Some spilled milk is worth crying over!
Shoutouts: Andy White (FYXO) thanks for carrying me on your shoulders to the top of Corkscrew Road, I'm sorry I farted on your head. Thanks dude in the corner who said as I walked past, "The man, the myth, the Akubra hat." Thanks Peon Pro for the chat. Thanks dude on the way up Corkscrew who offered to buy my Akubra. Thanks to the that other dude who recognized my Manual for Speed SPEED SPEED SPEED shirt, and said hello and offered support solidarity-style. Thank you to the woman shooting the race with an iPhone in a leather case on the first climb today, who after asking me if I thought I had taken any good pics said this to me: "In situations like this I like to go snappy-happy!" Also, shoutout to Tubular Tommy once again, this time for solving our vest problem. #upgradeyourself
A chronological breakdown of the morning
8:54 AM: Wake up next to my lovely girlfriend, walk downstairs, wave through the sliding glass doors to Ian who is at the table in the back patio "relaxing" with his phone, walk into the kitchen, pour a cup of coffee (Riocoffee CREMA—smooth/aromatic/mellow) from a gritty half empty french press, sit down at the kitchen table, open up my computer and stare at my computer.
9:00 AM: Let Steve in the front door. We've never met Steve before. Tubular Tommy was otherwise engaged today, and therefore unable via driving and local knowledge to assist our TDU Coverage efforts, but in classic Tubular Tommy form, he knew a guy. It turns guy's name is Steve.
9:30 AM: Leave the house, drive across the street to the CIBO, order two long blacks (with room to pour cold milk in at the top), a latte for Steve, and two pancetta-type breakfast sandwiches. On the way to the start, we ask Steve to share a few things with us about who he is and what's on his mind. This is what we learned. Steve's last name is Moores, he lives in Victor Harbour, SA. He's known Fat Tony aka Tubular Tommy from the beginning. After recently successfully weathering a midlife crisis, Steve has decided to go back to uni to become a teacher. It was either that or get a girlfriend and a sports car, and his wife thought the idea of going to uni was better for their partnership, "so that's working for us." Before that he was in civilian defense recruiting and rehabilitation-type work helping people with mental health issues and things like post-traumatic injuries. He has two beautiful daughters, Darcy and Audrey. Side note: After a day of Steve, it turns out we really like Steve.
9:45 AM: Park near the start, which start was in an outdoor shopping mall, begin the day in semi-earnest.
10:37 AM: We leave the start area in order to drive to the top of the day's first stage.
Things Steve told me
- The shiny black road surface which in America we call asphalt, they call Hot Mix. "They whack it on so smooth so it's fast, but it only lasts about 10 minutes. By the end of the tour it''ll be gone."
- What we call a Fred, they call a Hubbard.
- Australia is the only country where you can eat your national emblem.
- Willonga, the crux of Saturday's Queen Stage, is not a proper lump, it's just punchy.
- He saw a guy on Corkscrew standing in the bush on a steep hillside, kinda wedged into a tree about 10 feet above the road. Anyway, the guy was pruning and landscaping his view for the then imminent peloton, with professional pruning and landscaping tools that he brought, presumably for this exact purpose.
Norwood, Start (0 km)
Houghton (approx. 18 km)
Houhgton (approx. 21 km)
Ascending SKODA King of the Mountain: Corkscrew Road (137.6 km)
SKODA King of the Mountain: Corkscrew Road (137.6 km)
Addendum: Australian Team Kit Which Should Be Made Using Castelli Team Kit So That We Can Openly Like It's Because It's Exceptional, Graphically Speaking