Before leaving for MT4, it is important to pack properly. This means keeping stuff to a minimum. The wussified cyclotourist travels with three large suitcases and “panniers,” which mantourists can’t even pronounce. Below is a list of the items you’ll absolutely need on MT4, in order of importance. Remember, you’re rooming for five days on a long trip with a bunch of scruffy, aging, henpecked, overweight guys.
Chief invented sleep apnea. If the room is rocking, your ears’ll need blocking.
2. Tall white socks.
Studies prove that men ride faster, climb better, and just feel better about themselves with sparkling clean, tall, white socks.
You’ve got to clean your socks daily. Nasty white socks slow you down and make you feel dirty. Bring the Oxy-Clean stick rather than the spray. You don’t want the bottle puncturing in your Man Bag and bleaching spots all over the crotch in your spare bibs.
4. Baseball cap.
For the mantourist, a baseball cap is the ultimate in apres-ski attire. Don’t bring one that touts breast cancer awareness or some bullshit cause that will make the world a better place. The ideal cap says “Cleveland Indians” or “Caterpillar.”
You never know when you’re going to break a chain, ram into the guy in front of you and crack your fork, get bronchitis, or just have a vewy hawd day, so bring a hoody for when you get your sorry ass bundled into the paddywagon or for apres-ski. Don’t have a hoody with some stupid bike manufacturer or cycling brand on it. Football teams, cheap beer brands, or popular brothel logos are acceptable.
This stuff is just bitching. Try it out at least once before MT4, though, and practice putting it on without smearing it into your chamois when you pull on your shorts unless you want Great Balls of Fire for a hundred burning miles.
7. Underwear (1 pair).
There’s a lot of scholarly debate about whether you really need any at all. Bring a pair if it will make your wife less grossed out when you leave. If you have to choose between a pair of underwear and another pair of tall white socks…no-brainer.
8. T-shirt (one).
Only acceptable type has the MT4 or MT3 logo on it. Or any t-shirt with the words “taint buster.”
9. Electrical tape.
Just a strip to wrap around 80mm stems to keep them from rattling against your carbon wheelset. Shows you care more about your bike style than wussy clothing fashion like underwear.
10. Credit card.
Minimum $20 available balance. This usually requires significant advance savings and debt paydown for most mantourists, so start early.
$5. For when #10 gets declined, which it certainly will.
12. SPY sunglasses.
You need to look cool. Don’t bring Oakleys, I don’t care how much you paid, or what kind of deal you got, or how you think they’re bitching because their color matches your frame. They suck. Plus, their parent company, Luxottica, owns Prada bags and Chanel perfume, for Christ’s sake. Don’t be a handbag toting, perfume dauber. Be a man.
13. Bib shorts (1 pair).
A little bit of crust never hurt anybody, especially a man. You can scrape off all the buildup at the end of Day 3 with a stick and they’ll be fresh as new, sort of.
14. Jersey (1).
They don’t generally start to smell really bad until the end of Day 3. That means there’s only two full days of uber-stink. Any man worth his salt can stand two days of B.O. The entire country of France lives with it, for God’s sake.
15. Armwarmers (1).
16. Cycling shoes (1).
That’s one pair, numbskull. If you show up with one shoe you’ll look really stupid, and trust me, no one will have brought an extra.
17. Helmet (1).
You’re a man. You’re not afraid of multiple blows to the head. You’re pretty much addled anyway. Still, we don’t want to have to reimburse the county for damage to the road when your rocky skull chips the pavement.
18. Spare tubes (3).
Bring more if you have some weird wheelset. If you flat somewhere between Ragged Point and Big Sur and need an Italian reverse-thread 94 mm angled stem, you’re fucked, and no one will stop to help you.
19. Tire lever (1).
20. Long gloves (1).
At least one morning it will be cold and you’ll freeze your fucking fingertips off.
21. Shoe covers (1).
22. Rain jacket (1).
If you don’t bring it, we’ll have five straight days of rain. If you have to lug it around, we’ll get nothing but sunshine. Bring it.
23. Garmin unit and charger (1).
If you can’t upload it to Strava, it never happened. And even if it did, no one will believe you.
24. Jeans (1).
Don’t bring shorts. We’ll have been looking at your sorry ass and spindly legs all day on the bike. Cover that shit up.
25. Phone (1).
ITEMS NOT TO BRING UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE BRANDED A NON-MAN AND INSTANTLY ENROLLED IN THE HALL OF SHAME.
1. Phone charger.
This is obvious. With no charger, once your phone dies no one will be able to call you to bitch about the poopy diapers, foreclosure sale, termination letter, etc.
2. Razor/Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Floss/ Nail clippers/Nose Hair trimmer, cologne, tweezers, or any other item, balm, liquid, paste, ointment or device that could in any way make you look better, smell better, taste better, be more attractive to the same or opposite sex, etc. This is Man Tour. Time to smell like shit and look like a pig, and to scratch your ass, armpits and nose all in one swipe as you return to the wild. The way nature intended.
3. Reading material of any kind.
This is also obvious. You’re here to bond, which means talking with your bros about life, swapping lies, bragging about what a stud you were before you got married, and drinking yourself into a pathetic muddle. First guy to whip out some “book he’s always wanted to read” has to sleep with Bluebeard.
4. Medicine of any kind.
Alcoholic medicine will be available at the end of each day, so no need to BYO. Painkillers, sleeping pills, antidepressants (who the fuck would even think about getting depressed around a smelly bunch of drunk bros??), heart medicine, blood pressure pills, Viagra, and any other concoction that indicates you have a mental or physical weakness will be crumbled into powder and put into Chief’s oatmeal, where the toxic alcoholic stew in his stomach will instantly neutralize the chemicals forever.
5. Personal espresso makers, coffee packets, etc.
Men drink whatever the fuck they’re served and are glad to have it. If the morning diet is gruel washed down with dirty dishwater and lukewarm spit, you’ll say, “Thanks, can I have seconds?” and count yourself lucky. Bullshit espresso drinks will also be added to Chief’s oatmeal. Offenders will have to hit the head after Chief’s morning deposit.
6. Work projects.
Don’t you fucking dare sit down at the end of the day with a laptop and fiddlefuck around with some bullshit project that’s “on deadline.” Mantourists don’t give a fuck about deadlines unless they’re the expiration date on a keg. If your boss/corporation/client can’t accept that you’re a man, and that men don’t work on vacation, have them place a collect call to Wankmeister who’ll be glad to explain.
THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIOR WILL BE DEEMED NON-MANLY AND TREATED WITH THE UTMOST CONTEMPT:
1. Not cleaning your plate.
You’re a man. Men work all day. They’re hungry. They eat everything on their plate, period. Don’t like rutabagas? Don’t worry. Men can’t even spell “rutabagas,” let alone order them off a menu.
2. Calling home.
House burn down? Fiery car crash claim a few lives? It can wait, trust me. There’ll be plenty of time to bury the bodies and file your insurance claim after you get back.
3. Refusing to drink with the bros.
Man Tour means group drinking, and none of this “craft beer” crap. Miller, Bud, Coors, etc., only. There is no acceptable excuse not to participate, with the exceptions of “I’m not old enough,” and “I had my throat removed.” No one gives a shit if you’re trying to get your life together, break a bad habit, lose weight, stay out of prison because you’re on probation with your 4th DUI, etc.
4. Going to bed early.
Everybody knows that Man Tour survival is all about recovery and sleep, which is precisely why it’s forbidden. Glory awaits those who burn the candle at both ends, in the middle, and then eat the wax. 136 miles of hell on Day 4 after an all night drunk on two hours of sleep…that’s the stuff of legends.
Too hilly? Too windy? Not enough pee-pee stops? Feeling pooped and need a shoulder to lean on? Have ideas on how to improve MT for next year? You, my friend, are a pussy. Keep your problems and helpful suggestions to yourself. It’s Man Tour, this is the fucking route, so put your sorry assed, undertrained head down and take your beating like a man. Everyone is tired, cranky, and riding with an inflamed and festering taint. Tell it to the hand.
For additional questions or concerns about appropriate man behavior, please visit our FAQ at www.imawhinybitch.com.