People ask me all the time, “What’s the Man Tour like?” I always direct them to the web site www.themantour.com. Imagine their surprise when, after the MT4 organizers cash their check, they get a flight itinerary that starts in Long Beach and ends in San Jose. Then imagine their surprise when, instead of a teen hooker from Bangkok, they find out that their roommate is an overweight guy in his early 50’s with shaved legs, a hairy ass, and the world’s worst case of sleep apnea.
Man Tour began as a way for bike deadbeats to run away from work and family in exchange for a few days of biking, drinking, and sleeping mixed in with drinking, sleeping, and biking. Now in its fourth year, it has evolved into a five-day excursion where deadbeats of all types, not simply bike bums, can run away from work and family while doing nothing but biking, drinking, and sleeping.
Don’t bogart that joint, my friend (hand it over to me)
Although the main focus of Man Tour is promotion of the healthy cycling lifestyle through beer and cheeseburgers, and although certain participants train year-round, and in fact peak in late October to be able perform at the highest functioning levels of alcoholic stupor, I always tell people not to assume that Man Tour is simply a convocation of drunks.
One among our crew is actually a Cat 1 dope smoker, and his medical condition requires a pot prescription of such powerful medicinal qualities that the weekend warrior can quickly find himself in trouble trying to stay on the pace. On MT3 a couple of our Cat 5 recreational dopers took up Gonzo on his offer of a smoke. Gonzo rolled out at tempo, with Tweedle and Twaddle latching on, determined to match the blistering pace. Pretty soon Gonzo upped the power by 2500 watts with a load of California Skunk, immediately putting Tweedle and Twaddle into the red zone, followed quickly by the purple haze zone. What had started out as an easy groove gazing out on the sequoias lining Big Sur River became an intense, all-out effort as the redwoods seemed to be growing out of Gonzo’s head.
Round the bend, and they hit a Hors Categorie doobie of Ganja Dwarf mixed with New York Diesel. Tweedle blew at the third hit. His last words before being shelled out the back were, “Do we have any pizza? Why is that tree growing out of my head?” Twaddle hung on for the first part of the ascent, but collapsed when Gonzo accelerated on the Diesel with a water bong. Gonzo sat up at the top and waited for them, but they had given up and gone back to the cheap beer.
If it looks like a pig, sounds like a pig, smells like a pig, and acts like a pig, it’s probably a pig
Man Tour participants put lots of emphasis on the manliness of Man Tour. It’s tough. It’s hard. It’s crusty. It’s a time for male bonding, rough talk, overcoming the elements, digging deep, and suiting up for a hard day’s labor in the saddle over rough terrain and mind-boggling distances. It’s a time of stamina, adversity, and manly grit. It’s a time of muscle, sinew, and brawn.
It’s also a time when grown men put on skin tight clothing and spend five days prancing around like ballerinas. It’s a time when these same men stare at each other’s asses for up to ten hours a day. It’s a time when adult men share a small, cheap hotel room and walk around naked in front of each other. It’s a time when, after a few days on the road and no women folk to ogle, some of them fellers start lookin’ kinda cute. It’s a time when, as the Man Tour brochure brags, “a Bro-mance can blossom.”
Of course, the Man Tour Bro-mance is heavy on beer farts, beer belches, indigestion, bloating, bad gas, razor stubble, hangovers, carcass breath, b.o., smelly t-shirts, toe fungus, earwax, scabs, boogers, and skidmarks in the jockey shorts, but as they say in prison, sometimes you have to take your partner as you find him. Welcome to MT4.