Thursday, December 31, 2009

Leadville 100 to build new gymnasium/shrine to Lance Armstrong, a satire story by the Bike Lemming

If you are one of the 2-3 people who follow the blog of the Lemming, you know that he's been hibernating for the winter.  He hasn't died, it's just that when his bike gets put away for the winter he really has no interest in writing about cycling.  Nestled in his cozy little cave, the lemming is putting bon bons in to his furry little mouth while washing it down with cold cans of Bud, refusing to write a blog while in the deep state of hibernation.  Or so I thought...  The lemming seems rather cynical at times and I knew if anything was produced it would be satire, I was right...

Leadville, CO
In a surprise announcement today that never really happened, the Leadville 100 commission laid out plans for a new megaplex gymnasium in the litttle mining town which hosts the Leadville 100 mountain bike race.  Here at the lemming we were lucky enough to get a fictitious interview with race director Ken Chlouber about the new gymnasium.

Ken didn't say, "In the past the Leadville 100 was a small charming race.  It was about comradriere, it was about cheering on everyone, it was about bringing economic stimulus to a little broke mining town.  Well, it still is about bringing economic stimulus to a little broke mining town!  You know, in the past we had a website that looked like someone put it together for a high school computer class project, but now we've got a killer website out of San Francisco with lots of bling.  In the past people had to round up some friends and send in paper applications so they could get in as a group, now we've got the way cooler online applications and you can do the race by yourself!  We've been afforded a great opportunity to make lots of money thanks to Lance Armstrong and the Race Across the Sky movie." 

"Getting in to Leadville has always been a fair and unbiased lottery, where if you knew someone, did some volunteering, or were nice to me [Ken] you were sure to get in.  Last year we extended that level of unbiasness by giving away entries if you paid for an expensive CTS training camp.  This year we're going to change that up, we're expecting tens of thousands of entries due to the Race Across the Sky movie, so we're going to charge a $15 non-refundable fee just to try and get in to the fair and unbiased lottery for the race.  If we only accept 1,000 or so riders and 10,000 sign up, well, you do the math.  This fee will get us well on the way to building our new gymnasium!"

Plans for the not-proposed Leadville gymnasium are rumored to include a 10,000 sq. ft. shrine to the grand poobah of cycling Lance Armstrong and will house a "Hall of Lance" where, for a small donation to the LiveStrong foundation, cyclists can ride a modified indoor trainer to videos of Lance Armstrong saying "You're stronger than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can" while a state of the art generator pumps power back in to the grid, crediting the electrical bill of the Leadville 100 foundation.  Kiosks will also be set up around the new gymnasium where athletes can enter a credit card and some basic information and receive a print-out of a full years Leadville Trail 100 training plan courtesy of Carmichael Training Systems.

When pressed about the race itself and presented with rumors from the internet that the course looked like a bunch of boring fire roads for 100 miles rather than an exciting race of twisting singletrack Ken did not canter, "The Leadville 100 is an extreme race.  You've got to be extreme to do it.  Didn't you hear in the movie where the pros such as Travis Brown said it was the hardest thing they've ever done?  Regardless, for those needing more we're adding the 24 Hours of Leadville this year.  As our website says, win this one and people everywhere will know your name!  And then once you win it, we're going to pit Lance Armstrong against you to try and defend your title, I'm just giddy with the possibilities!"

Mum was the word on if you could still buy your way in to the race by going to an expensive CTS training camp, however Carmichael Training Systems is now the "Official Training Authority of the Leadville Trail 100".  As to what that means the lemming is not entirely sure as Chris Carmichael was not available for interview, hopefully it is that acceptance in to the lottery and entry in to the race is only afforded after signing up for a Carmichael Training Systems training/coaching plan.

Stay tuned to the Lemming for more exciting news out of the little mining town of Leadville.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The lemming isn't dead, he's just hibernating...

Don't worry, the lemming isn't dead, he's just hibernating for the winter.  From time to time you still may seem him post if a wayward Bicycling article wakes him up from his sleep, but for the most part he's happily resting and hoping to entertain you in the spring.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is cool if it wasn't for the hype

Back in August the lemming made the prediction that gran fondo would become the new buzzword in cycling, and in October he made the prediction that the Leadville 100 would become the new "extreme" race that every cyclist would aspire to do whether they had ever even raced their local 6 mile race or not.

Well, an email received from yesterday seems to indicate that at least the former is true.  And if you sign up a gran fondo type Centurion event you even get a free ugly-assed hat, yippie!

Combine the mass-participation buzz of a big-city marathon, the epic beauty of a European gran fondo, and the all-inclusive nature of a cycling century ride,
and you get North America's newest endurance sports events — Centurion Cycling.

Brought to you by the same people who launched the Ironman triathlon phenomenon, each two-day Centurion Cycling event will include three spectacular rides — highly challenging 100-mile and 50-mile efforts, and a beginner-friendly 25-mile affair, that also caters to those who prefer speed.

Brought to you by the same people who launched the Ironman triathlon?  Oh my, I'm tingling all over...

To be honest, the idea of a timed, mass-start century is sort of appealing.  No longer can the typical racer wanna-be leave early in the MS150 to ensure the "win" over all other competitors who really don't even know they are racing.  If you do a century, why not officially time it?  Unless of course you are really doing it for fun, to have a good time with buddies, and you like sitting at the aid stations checking out the hot cyclist chicks.

So what does something like this cost?  Well, let's just first go back to my price gouging spree when the lemming took over the Pottawattamie Pounders double century following a lucrative Google adsense campaign. My price gouging trip didn't seem to work, even with the free jersey offer the lemming got no one to sign up, oh well.

But the Centurion events are different.  The 100 mile Centurion event will only cost you $125 if you sign up early bird, normal registration is $150, and late registration is only $200!  That's only 17,534 yen at today's conversion rates! A lot of money to ramp things up for those lazy late people is required.

The 50 miler is $100 for early birds, $125 for normal, and $175 for late registration. (2250 pesos!)  The 25 miler is $60, $85, and $100.  Imagine paying $60-100 to ride the distance you bike to and from work each day, yikes!

Disregard anything I said about it being cool, in concept it is, until you see the sticker shock.  In these days of recession better deals are to be had.

But hey, what if money is no object and you want to be pampered, hell, you can fork out cash for that too!

For complete VIP treatment during Centurion weekend, treat yourself to the Centurion Plus upgrade, including an invitation to the Celebrity and VIP reception on Friday evening; access to VIP hospitality areas throughout the weekend; special VIP registration processing with no waiting in line; bike valet service at the finish line; and a VIP gift bag including a custom Centurion bike jersey by Sugoi. The Centurion Plus upgrade is $125. You may add one guest for the VIP reception and hospitality areas for an additional $50.

The lemming wishes he could tell people to save their money. Yeah, the events may seem cool and "extreme" and a "test of endurance", but if all riders fork out outrageous amounts of cash to simply ride their bikes and get a time each weekend what's to keep events from continually jacking up prices? The lemming could preach riding for fun until he's blue in the face, but people will still add the Centurion event fees on to their quickly accumulating credit card debt, all to simply do a ride that they could just as easily go out and do on their own each weekend.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday caption contest and picture roundup

With cross season well underway and most of the bike blogs out there talking about cross in full effect the lemming feels lost.  Honestly I can't get in to cross no matter how much I try to get excited, so I thought I'd try to fit in and at least combine cycling with another activity.  Since it can't be running, why not shopping?  Thinking that was an impossible feat, I was lucky enough to come across this instructable on combining a derelict shopping cart with a bicycle for a ride with ample cargo capacity.  Soon I too will be able to combine cycling with another activity and no longer feel left out. I may even jump off my bike to grab grocery items and then jump back on to continue pedaling.

Now that I've enlightened you to my fiendish master plan, let's do a caption contest.  This might get a little confusing as the picture roundup is also today, but directly below is our caption contest.

Lemming caption:
"Billy suddenly realized that this was nothing like doing it on PlayStation 2."

Not to be confused with the caption contest, let's get in to the picture roundup from the blogs I enjoy reading and that link back to the lemming.

Stolen with great intentions from DFW Point-to-Point

Stolen with great intentions from CycleSnack

Stolen with great intentions from Alison M. Starnes

Stolen with great intentions from All Hail the Black Market

Stolen with great intentions from All Hail the Black Market

Stolen with great intentions from All Hail the Black Market

Stolen with great intentions from Beginning Bicycle Commuting

Stolen with great intentions from Bicykel

Stolen with great intentions from Copenhagenize

Stolen with great intentions from Cyclin' Missy

Stolen with great intentions from The Everyday Athlete

Stolen with great intentions from Formerly Floyd Speaks

Stolen with great intentions from Rando Adagio

Stolen with great intentions from Road

Stolen with great intentions from Sheila Moon/Big Swingin' Cycles Team

Stolen with great intentions from Sonya Looney

Stolen with great intentions from Sonya Looney

Stolen with great intentions from Sonya Looney

Stolen with great intentions from Velocorapture

Stolen with great intentions from Xvelo Designs Blog

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

An oldie but a goodie

With cold weather slowly creeping in on us and much less for the lemming to write about when he's not riding as much, I found this on my desktop the other day and thought I'd share. It's an oldie, but definitely a goodie, anything with AC/DC and cycling is, enjoy!

1st crash from Bike Lemming on Vimeo.

If by chance it doesn't work in the feed, see the original here!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday caption contest, in to the gutter quickly

This could head in to the gutter rather quickly, so try to be creative before jumping to the obvious!

I'll start out...

"Damn, I know they said running tubeless at too high of a pressure would blow the tires off the rim, but this is ridiculous!"

Post your caption!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The tale of Skunky, the ass-in-the-air descender

Perfect Skunky position, front low, tail in the air

While Skunky can be either gender, "she" is used for this example.

Skunky can be found near the back of the pack in mountain bike races.

Skunky has grasped the concept of getting off of the seat while going downhill, however she locks her legs and stands tall with her front low. This is very attractive for mating, but not so effective for technical descending as the legs are not used as shock absorbers in this instance.

Skunky is a better-than-average climber and often yells things like, "come on!" and "I can't believe I'm getting stuck behind this!" or "get moving!", while battling on the climbs for near last place in beginner. Everyone would empathize with Skunky, if it weren't for this annoying habit. Any places Skunky gains on the climb are lost during descents.

Skunky usually won't yield the trail when faster descenders happen upon her, causing overtakers to maneuver the gnarly rough nasty stuff on the trail edge, more than likely because of frustration from passing them uphill only to be passed when it turns downward. She will often quote race directors and angrily yell, "races aren't won on the downhill asshole!", another annoying trait that makes people not feel sorry for Skunky.

Skunky can usually be found wearing knickers on an 80 deg day and is often riding alone. While it has never been confirmed, leading experts believe Skunky probably runs her tires at the maximum recommended pressure regardless of the course. With a little coaching it is possible that Skunky may be one day graduate to being so far behind the seat on the slightest of downhills that her bum may touch the rear tire, a huge improvement over her current position.

A pair of skunks in perfect Skunky position
While the position is correct, Skunky is rarely seen with another Skunky in the wild

Not a picture of Skunky

Monday, October 26, 2009


Everyone gets to their breaking point, and the lemming finally got to his. That's why he has started L.A.P.D.A.N.C.E., which unfortunately means Lemming Against Previews Done As Newly Created Entries and not something more exciting. If anyone joins him the Lemming can become plural, at that point it will become L.A.P.D.A.N.C.E. - Lemmings Against Previews Done As Newly Created Entries. To be technical, this means setting your "RSS Feed" to be preview only and forcing people to go to your site to read the rest, that is BAD.

This all started because it's nearly impossible to go individually to every blog that the lemming wants to read, especially if he is doing his blog reading at work where "the man" keeps a watchful eye on him to keep him down and see if he's being productive. It's much easier to read full content in a "feed reader" and therefore fool "the man" that he might be working.

This all came to a head when the lemming thought the BikeSnobNYC, the grand poobah of cycling bloggers, had gone to preview feeds and thus had become a LAPDANCEe... A quick note to the Snob revealed he wasn't, he was simply having trouble with his feed updating and really wanted the full content in the feed. Unfortunately, not everyone has followed his lead.

In case you do not know what I'm talking about, here is an example of a preview feed:

This weekend kicked ass! I had the sickest ride of my life, I've never seen singletrack this buff! I was killing it! I even ran in to Alison Starnes. Here are all the pictures I took.....

[For pictures and the rest of the blog, please visit the full site at (insert blog name) here. If you are at work and can't go to the site because your boss is a soul-robbing lunatic too bad.]

A typical day when trying to read preview feeds, note the angry boss

A happy blog reader, reading all blogs in a feed reader

Nothing sends the point home like famous quotations, that's why I've taken some historical quotes completely out of context and massaged them to fit my selfish purposes of convincing you to do a full feed vs a preview feed.

"Ask not what your blog readers can do for you, but what you can do for your blog readers."
"We counted on our blog readers to be passive, we counted wrong."

"Content makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor."

"My favorite toast is rye toast."

A couple of readers wrote to the lemming with solutions for preview feeds, but it all sounded way more difficult than his tiny mind could grasp. If you have previously been doing preview feeds in your blog don't be ashamed, you didn't know, just change it now and we'll forget all about it. I hope these fantastic arguments have convinced you to join L.A.P.D.A.N.C.E. and that preview feeds are BAD, I can't take anymore of the lemming's complaining.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday fun, the picture roundup

Kick back because today's post is going to be a long one... I haven't done a Friday Fun picture roundup in awhile and let me tell you, I have a lot of pictures that I've been marking as I read Friends of the Lemming blogs which I figure I should get up here for everyone to enjoy.

But first, let's talk about Race Across the Sky. I kinda dogged on it a few weeks ago, but I did go and see it last night. I still stick with my initial analysis that it was over dramatized, and while difficult, it is just a race and there are certainly much harder ones out there. However, the movie was great and I'm happy to see the little mining town of Leadville getting the economic boost from Lance being there. Cycling could use more movies put together like this...

Still, as I watched the movie I couldn't help but think Ken Chlouber looks familiar. His man-crush on Lance was quite obvious and out there for everyone to see, touching him and giggling like a little school girl, but who doesn't swoon for a little stardom every now and then? But it's killing me, who does he remind me of?...

Hmm, maybe but not quite

Kind of, but still not quite what I was thinking...

That's it! I knew it! Station, from Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey!

I couldn't help saying "Staaaatiooooon" every time I saw him. Every time he touched Lance I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for him to morph with Lance in to one big super creature which could fix stuff really fast. But I digress...

It was also a tremendous feat that Lance rode 7 miles on a tire going flat, but I had to wonder, the guy has said he rides 7 hours a day, surely he changes his own flat every once in awhile? I mean, he can't have a team car EVERY day?

Anyway, kudos to NCM Fathom for making a highly entertaining and very well produced movie, even if they did try to go a little over the top at times.

With that I'll spare you my words and move right on to the picture roundup. Normally I'd give you some music to listen to, but since there are SO MANY to post this week AND I was mentioned on BikeSnobNYC today we'll just cut right to the chase and get some pictures out there. ENJOY!!!

Pillaged from Bicykel

Pillaged from Alison M. Starnes

Pillaged from Bike Dreams

Pillaged from Bike Rumor

Pillaged from Copenhagenize

Pillaged from Copenhagenize

Pillaged from Curtis Corlew

Pillaged from Curtis Corlew

Pillaged from Curtis Corlew

Pillaged from Cycle Goddess

Pillaged from Cycle Monkey

Pillaged from Cycle Monkey

Pillaged from Cycling Obsessions

Pillaged from DFW Point-to-Point

Pillaged from DFW Point-to-Point

Pillaged from Everyday Athlete

Pillaged from Everyday Athlete

Pillaged from Formerly Floyd Speaks

Pillaged from Formerly Floyd Speaks

Pillaged from GT in LA

Pillaged from GT in LA

Pillaged from Mellow Velo

Pillaged from Mellow Velo

Pillaged from MO7S

Pillaged from MO7S

Pillaged from OilCanRacer

Pillaged from Travels with my Mule

Pillaged from Rando Adagio

Pillaged from Road

Pillaged from Sonya Looney

Pillaged from Sonya Looney

Pillaged from Velocorapture

Pillaged from VeloLoser

Pillaged from Whirled Traveler

Pillaged from Xvelo Designs blog

Pillaged from Xvelo Designs blog

There you have them! I promise I won't keep saving them up for so long next time. As always, be safe out there, keep the rubber side down, and have one for me this weekend! I'm out...