Manual For Speed At The Races, TdF edition #2
Manual For Speed believes that Road Cycling is the Greatest Spectacle on Earth. We believe this for so many reasons but here are four of our favorite.
- Unequivocal unparalleled athleticism.
- Cycling’s legendary, nearly magical, quasi mythical, vaulted and exalted, history.
- The atmosphere. The sensory overload that is the constellation of team presentations, cobbled start plazas, start/finish discotheques, costumes, kit, the caravan, gadgeta flying through the air, the endless assault of car horns and clappers and AM/FM transistor radios and yelling and screaming and cheering and ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ-ing, the mountains, the mountain top villages! the switchbacks!!, helicopters, feed zones, Jumbotrons, beer gardens, the sea of banners and flags and pennants and homemade fanboy t-shirts and paraphernalia, painted cars, color coordinated headwear, et cetera et cetera.
- The people; the racers, soigneurs, DSs, mechanics, marshalls, volunteers, gendarmes, TV moto operators, announcers and most importantly the fans who are the actors and the players in this the Greatest Spectacle on Earth.
In fact it’s for that reason, that fourth reason, that we (Manual For Speed) created a study we call At The Races. At The Races is a collection of all the people—individuals, prototypes, archetypes, etc— we’ve found, documented and cataloged at bicycle races over the last five years.
With that in mind, when Soigneur Magazine commissioned us to create a profile of four individuals that make the Tour De France the most prestigious and remarkable cycling race ever, we decided to feature four TDF Fans because;
1. The Tour De France is the single greatest race in the world. Cycling or otherwise.
2. It’s 23 days long.
3. It happens in France.
4. France is in the middle of Europe.
5. The TDF is a European institution and icon.
6. The TDF represents a pilgrimage for thousands if not millions of fans from AROUND THE WORLD.
7. The French picnic better than anyone in the world, except maybe Argentines.
8. The TDF is a remarkable feat in terms organizational, engineering and coordination.
9. The greatest cyclists and cycling teams compete in the TDF.
10. It’s the most prestigious race in the world. Cycling or otherwise.
11. It’s basically an annual olympics for bikes.
12. Cameras mounted on motorcycles and helicopters record EVERYTHING that happens.
13. It draws, inspires, prompts, demands, cajoles and coaxes Fans from everywhere on earth to bring their A-game.
14. It’s basically an annual olympics for fans of bikes. TDF fans are the best of the best, the creme dela creme.
AT THE RACES, TOUR DE FRANCE FAN EDITION #2: TRACKSTAND WORLD CHAMPION; CLEMENT
Costuming: Red White and Blue (France) skinsuits, aero EVERYTHING, casual footwear
Special Powers: POSITIVE VIBES, preternaturally good at balancing on a bike, infectious smiles, the good clown energy with NONE of the bad clown energy, hand gestures
Natural Habitat: France, the streets of France. Classrooms. Birthday Parties.
This ATR:TDFFE is unique because we’re featuring an actual individual person, Clement Leroy, who is ALSO a Fan archetype. But in this case the archetype “part” is far less interesting to us compared to the wonderful human being that is Clement, who we met and spoke with in the town of Vannes, France during the Team Time Trial at Stage Nine of the 2015 Tour De France. Anyway, it’s our opinion that for now all you need to know about Clement and why Clement is such an exemplary cycling Fan can be addressed in two points.
Point One: The Facts
This dude is a fan of the Tour De France, we found him track-standing on the side of the road with everyone else watching the race come past.
1. Clement may go to other races, but he DEFINITELY goes to the Tour De France.
2. Look at this photograph, he is nothing if not a character.
3. Characters make it interesting. Ergo, Clement directly and, in our opinion, substantially contributed to increased “interest” factor. Bike racing needs that.
4. Nobody else can track-stand as long as he can, he as a title to support that claim. Clement is a Track Stand World Champion.
Point Two: This Video
First of all, right away, you learn that Clement is the 2013 Track Stand World Champion. We don’t “want” to say we told you so, but we told you so. Also, maybe you’re no Jamie Foxx but right away you should, we hope, recognize Creator (Vs. Switch and Ferq Nasty) by Santigold, which means no matter what happens over the course of the next 2:35 minutes, no matter how boring it might be, it’s going to sound good. Also, leather helmet. And then just like that, we see Clement not only track-standing in a variety of environments, he’s also juggling. Can you track-stand? Can you juggle? Can you juggle-stand? We didn’t think so. Then he throws a foot over the bars, and the other foot too. Next he’s on a ping pong table in front of hundreds of kids. We see him in living rooms, class rooms, hospital rooms, all the rooms. In front of a charcuterie, in an old folks home, in a chippie, in front of the entrance to a cave. There is NO WHERE and NOBODY for whom Clement can’t and/or won’t perform a juggle-stand demonstration.
AND THEN THIS..
“An original way of traveling. I wanted to go to Norway to see their fjords and their northern lights. And I wanted to do that meeting a maximum of people on my way. So I’ll purpose a private show to every people who will accept to open their door to host me ! I’ve tried it in France and it was really nice, so I’ll try it for 4 months, from the february 21st to the june 20th.” – Clement
Apparently, the first half the of the video is Clement performing his act in the homes and businesses of France, while the second half the of the video is Clement talking about an upcoming European tour in which he intends to take his act to 15 different countries including but not limited to; Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Estonia, Austria and Switzerland.
Which leads you to this: House Bike Show YouTube channel
1. Clement is a Fan of the Tour De France.
2. Manual For Speed is a Fan of the Tour De France
3. Soigneur is a Fan of the Tour De France.
4. Soigneur is (also) a Fan of Manual For Speed.
5. Manual For Speed is, it turns out, (also) a Fan of Soigneur.
6. You are a Fan of Soigneur.
7. Now you are a Fan of Manual For Speed.
8. We are all Fans of Clement.