Amazing Race

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Despite having left first, the Frat Boys are hitting a setback in the form of a traffic jam. In other cabs, Dallas is also complaining about the traffic conditions, and Tina is coaching their driver to go into spaces between vehicles that don't seem to exist. And so the Frat Boys decide to abandon their cab when they spot Terence and Sarah on foot. They arrive at the shop at more or less the same time and pick up their hats and their clues. Dan is currently and unfortunately displaying my least favorite feature of the Cholita hat, which is that it is apparently worn perched high on the head, almost like a fez with a brim. Who was the genius at Amazing Race, Inc. who decided, "You know what The Amazing Race needs more of? Hats." But on to the clue, which is a Detour.

Phil tells us about the Detour choices, as is his wont. In "Musical March," the teams will have to walk to two plazas that are several blocks apart. At each plaza, musicians are waiting to be dragooned into service and then led to a third plaza, where they'll be swapped for the next clue. If we're learning anything this season, it's that there's no dignity in being a musician these days. In "Bumpy Ride," teams have to go to another plaza and choose themselves a pair of "locally crafted bicycles." Phil is being generous when he says "locally crafted," because these things literally look like they were whittled. With axes. Out of tree stumps. They are literally made entirely of rough-hewn wood, including the undersized wheels, which are essentially laminated disks. Lance Armstrong would rather ride Sheryl Crow again than one of these things. Any team electing to ride one will need to navigate using the map attached to the handlebars (actually, it's a handle-log) to reach the same plaza that's the endpoint of "Musical March." Oh, one other thing: "Caution: U-Turn ahead."

For those of us who haven't watched this show in a couple of seasons, Phil explains what a U-Turn is. It allows you to force a team behind you to go back and complete the Detour option they passed up. "Teams can use this power only once during the entire race," Phil adds, "so they need to decide on the best time to use it." As though there are a lot of options. Dan browbeats Andrew into doing "Musical March," "because I'm not a strong bike rider." Oh, that sounds like the kind of remark that is simply rich in backstory. But instead of sharing, they go off in search of band members, Dan reminding Andrew that they have to go on foot as instructed by the clue.

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Amazing Race

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