Friday, February 27, 2009

Even triathletes must have standards

I received an email today about an Ironman 70.3 in Kansas for only $225. The first thought that came to mind was why anyone would want to pay $225 to do a swim, bike, and run all in the same day in Kansas and how I can get in on that racket. Granted, parts of KC are cool, but there are lots of places the lemming would go before Kansas.

But triathletes are a different bunch, and thinking like a triathlete, if I was faced with the decision of going to Kansas to do a triathlon or competing against JTT in the Escape from Alcatraz, I'd pick swimming with the sharks and the humiliation from JTT when my bike handling skills failed to compensate for my lack of fitness without a second thought.

Being easily amused has its perks though. I started looking around the site, amusing myself that "Over 1,800 athletes including 50 Professionals will compete for 50 Ironman World Championship 70.3 slots at Ironman 70.3 Kansas." It dawned on me that the 50 slots given away were probably the key motivators for the race. Like wolves thinning out the herd, people going for the little 70.3 big time might assume that Kansas is their best shot out of them all, at least I would. Problem is so does everyone else.

Just when I was about to close out of the site, I found this little gem in the FAQ:

FAQ Symbol Can I use a recumbent bike?
  • NO

Not only are recumbents not allowed, the word NO is capitalized as to shout NO! when answering. It appears that even triathletes have standards and for all of their goofiness, even they can't "handle" recumbents. Mountain bikes with slicks are ok, but no relaxed seated bikes, who is the next victim of this discrimination? I have no solid reason as to why this is enforced, perhaps no place to mount aero bars?

It's unfortunate really, there could be hours of drunken entertainment on the odd sports channel if more recumbents were allowed in large events. Just think of recumbent downhill mountain bike racing and the chaos that would ensue. Imagine the time trial in the Tour of California and the comments from Craig Hummer about the enclosed plastic fairing. The large packs and spectacular crashes in crits would be way more entertaining when a bunch of recumbents mix it up.

Monday, February 23, 2009

As giddy as Levi Leipheimer after hypnosis

I got a message from Stevil the other day that BikeSnobNYC was doing a piece on the Y-Foil. The lemming has never turned down an opportunity to sharpen the pitchfork, light the torches, and chase the Y-Foil ogre, so I headed on over there to get my daily laugh. Little did I know, I would become as giddy as Levi Leipheimer after a hypnosis session, there was a link to the Lemming from BikeSnobNYC!

Having a link from the BikeSnobNYC is like the grand poobah Lance Armstrong taking a break from destroying everyone on the tour to come ride RAGBRAI with you. It's like Ted Nugent taking a Saturday off from hunting big game to hunt squirrels with you. It's like Bruce Jenner taking a pause from Wheaties box photo shoots to pole vault over your fence, it's like Michael Phelps foregoing a bong hit to come party with you. It's like David Letterman kicking Joaquin Phoenix off the stage to interview you. To say it in no less words, it's cool!

But back to how hypnosis is helping Levi Leipheimer. Apparently, according to RoadBikeRider, Levi is now a paid endorser of the Ultimate Cyclist, a hypnosis CD meant to be listened to while falling asleep. I can't imagine the ladies enjoy that routine. I haven't heard the CDs, but I guess that sublimal messages say, "Lance Armstrong is not faster than you.." over and over again as you drift off to sleep, dreaming about crushing Lance up Alpe d'Huez.

To jump on the bandwagon, LTS (Lemming Training Systems) will be offering discounted hypnosis sessions with the purchase of every PowerTap. We'll also sell a triathlete package which includes the Powertap'ed Zipp dimpled wheel, discounted hypnosis sessions, and the Ultimate Cyclist CD.

Good things never last, and my feel good giddiness soon faded as I read this creepy bike love article on

Monday, February 16, 2009

Welcome campers

A reader sent me this story idea on the premise that he remain anonymous lest it hurt his chances of getting in to a popular bike race in the future.

Every since a few popular pros did the Pottawattamie Pounders double century, the number of entries in to the race have been obscene and each year the organizer must limit the number of entries.

This year LTS (Lemming Training Systems, not Landis Training Systems) has teamed up with race promotor Ken Floyd to offer 40 guaranteed positions in to the race for the low cost of only $1250. Your $1250 will not only guarantee a race entry, but entitle you to a 2-day camp, preparing you for the Pottawattamie Pounders double century.

I was lucky enough to score an interview with myself over this partnership and thought others might enjoy the conversation:

Lemming: It seems each year there is a lot of heartbreak for people wanting to do the race and getting denied via the "lottery", is it fair to guarantee a slot in the race for a bunch of extra cash?

Coach Lemming: Definitely it is fair, everyone has an equal opportunity to pay me for the camp and get in to the race. I'm not excluding anyone willing to pay. This will be a great opportunity for anyone wanting to succeed in the Pottawattamie Pounders double century.

Lemming: So what will you cover in the camp? Is it as easy as riding your bike a lot before the race and just keeping the pedals turning the day of the race?

Coach Lemming: No, it's way more complicated than that. We're going to be riding the actual course, but over two days instead. We'll also cover which sport drink you should use, how to ride the crucial parts of the course, how to put on a rain jacket and proper bike fit. I will give you secret insider tips on how to get past the halfway point of Chlouber Mine, the best gear to climb Columbine Pass with, how to not make your heart rate monitor read 255 as you go past the powerlines outside of town, and how to triumphantly finish as you ride down Pottawattamie's famous Boulevard.

Lemming: Will riders be riding their own bikes or will you have bikes available for them?

Coach Lemming: Riders are always welcome to bring their own bikes, however we will have 20 Trek Y-Foils on hand for an extra fee. I highly recommend renting the Trek Y-Foil as it's not often you get to ride a bike born from jets.

Lemming: Are there going to be any big names in the race this year?

Coach Lemming: We were hoping to get the grand poobah of cycling Lance Armstrong here this year, but he's probably going to be over in Europe winning his brazillionth Tour de France. Chris Carmichael was another one we wanted to do the race, but he'll be doing the Leadville 100 on August 15th. We may have to settle for Tyler Hamilton.

Lemming: Have you learned anything from your years doing the race?

Coach Lemming: Absolutely! I learned that I trained for it wrong the first few years. I was going out and riding my bike for long distances and neglecting speed. I found that doing that made my endurance great and I could ride all day, but I was slow and that wouldn't fulfill my goals. To reach my goals I had to mix a lot of fast riding in there.

Lemming: Should it instill confidence in potential clients that a coach trained wrong for a race?

Coach Lemming: Definitely it should. Being a ex-pro I have many tools available to me, but I've proven that even being an ex-pro wasn't enough to achieve my goals until I applied the correct LTS principles. It's not about just any plan, it's about adopting the correct LTS plan, and executing that plan.

Lemming: What's you vision for the future of this race?

Coach Lemming: This year I have 40 people paying me for a spot in the race, there's no reason it has to stop there, and I think Ken Floyd is open to gifting me more guaranteed entries. I envision a future where everyone, including our grand poobah Lance Armstrong, goes through LTS for a spot in the Pottawattamie Pounders double century. I love helping people succeed and can see no better opportunity than that.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Special Valentine's edition

The Lemming's posts the last few days leading up to Valentine's have been along the lines of finding love, as such it was rather fitting to open my email today and find this spam offering classes promoting self-love. All this time I thought we should be finding love in others, when we could simply love ourselves.

The more perverted among us may think they know where I'm heading, you know who you are, but you are wrong... You see, that's because the Lemming believes riding an indoor trainer while watching Tour de France videos is about as close as a cyclist can come to "self-love". I'm ashamed to say I've done it behind closed doors in the past, and I will probably do it again if I can't get my bike outdoors to have my needs fulfilled.

Just because we do it doesn't make it right. It's not the sort of self-love that is makes you feel good about yourself, rather it's something hidden from the general public and only revealed to our closest cycling friends. It's too embarrassing to tell co-workers and you'd never bring it up on a first date. Actually, it's kind of like that scene in Pulp Fiction where Butch and Wallace get trapped in Zed's shop, then Butch gets free and hacks the gimp with a sword, then he ponders freeing Wallace and finally does it, at that point Butch asks Wallace:...

Butch: Are you OK?

Wallace: No, I'm pretty fuckin' far from OK.

That's how I feel every time I get done riding the trainer indoors to Tour de France videos.

Now granted, self-love riding the trainer style is still probably way better than the BILF types, the Lemming will never quite understand wanting to get jiggy with your bike. But since February is indeed Love Awareness month, according to that email, I'm going to go ahead and proclaim February National Ride the Indoor Trainer while watching Tour de France videos month. This Valentine's Day ride the trainer to one of Lance Armstrong's tours, preferably doing my "Champs Ulysses" workout. Your warmup will be the ride in to Paris as you choke down Accelerade while Lance is sipping champagne. Then sprints with the greats, on the trainer you'll be right with them, and the cooldown period being the podium ceremonies. Have at it, and when your co-workers question your sanity, point them my way.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Pentavirate and farewell Style man

BikeSnob NYC takes a week off blogging just as Style Man quits Bicycling? I smell a conspiracy in the making.

Stuart Mackenzie: Well, it's a well known fact, Sonny Jim, that there's a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentavirate, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as "The Meadows".
Tony Giardino: So who's in this Pentavirate?
Stuart Mackenzie: The Queen, BikeSnob NYC, The Vatican, The Gettys, The Style Man, The Rothschilds, *and* Colonel Sanders before he went teets up. Oh, I hated the Colonel with his wee *beady* eyes, and that smug look on his face. "Oh, you're gonna buy my chicken! Ohhhhh!"
Charlie Mackenzie: Dad, how can you hate "The Colonel"?
Stuart Mackenzie: Because he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly, smartass!

Style Man's first entry to Bicycling according to this entertaining article started with:

"a reader wrote in to Bicycling magazine to ask if it was okay to wear cycling shoes without socks"

"Sure, no socks looks cool — if you've got the physique of an NFL tight-end and are sprinting ten-second 200-meter times. But as with everything else, style ain't about right or wrong, it's about suffering and conviction. After all, a nerd is just a freak without confidence."

Genuis, pure genius... Of course, there were some that didn't think as much, after all Bicycling is a magazine aimed mainly at road cyclists, a group that often takes themselves too seriously as a whole anyway. Every comedy show I've been to, there always has to be one guy in the crowd who gets upset when a comedian pokes fun of something he takes too seriously, regardless of how funny or true what is being said really is. I have to wonder why those sort of people go to see a comedian in the first place.

But I digress, farewell Style Man, you've kept me entertained and kept me honest over the years as I read Bicycling, say hi to BikeSnob NYC for me when you see him at "The Meadows" this week, you will be missed!

In case you can't make the SkirtChaser 5k

In case you can't make it down to Tempe to chase some skirts, my endless combing of the internet has come up with another option for you. If you've been to any bike race, you know that guys outnumber bike women at least 5 to 1, and your chances of landing a date with a the lone single biker babe are worse than getting struck by lightning.

With those odds, any lonely Valentiner with a PayPal account should jump on the chance to win a date with the beautiful women of Punk Rock Cycling. The auction says, "If you win this auction, the girls of PUNK ROCK CYCLING will treat you to a fabulous evening of food and drinks. Anywhere you want. Any day you want." The auction is set to end Feb-13-09 10:58:13 PST. When I win, we'll be flying to Paris for Valentine's Day.

I assume the girls of Punk Rock Cycling will arrive in Paris for our rendezvous by UPS Ground as that is the shipping and handling method specified on the auction. I've always wanted to ship myself somewhere via UPS, packed only with a water bottle and some bananas for sustenance, and one of those portable toilets used for camping. The girls of Punk Rock Cycling can be the guinea pig for my theory of cheap travel. If it works, I might be coming to a city near you!

Before max-ing out your credit card to land one, or all nine, of the Punk Rock Cycling babes though, it would be wise to heed the advice Lemming reader Nick gave waxing poetic on the SkirtChaser 5k, "Imagine how a dog track dog feels after chasing a rabbit it can not catch in it's mouth. It's only reward? Nothing.

I see a parallel here. ;)"

Of course, the reward in this case isn't nothing, you still get a "wicked fun evening" of dinner and drinks with the 9 women of Punk Rock Cycling, and that is definitely worth the $237.50 that the auction is up to at the moment. Honestly, that's less than $27 per woman, much less than even a standard dinner and movie date, and won't you look like a ladies man out with them all? It will be the perfect picture for your Facebook page, that's chapter six of my e-book!

As always, I didn't want to be duped and I wanted to be clear on the meaning of "wicked" before bidding. I turned to the Urban dictionary and was surprised to find that the term wicked apparently started in New England (watch the video, it's worth it) and must be used as an adjective before an adjective. In case you are confused, I found this great example in the Urban Dictionary:

"That wicked cool car is wicked fast is owned by that wicked old guy, who drives it wicked slow when it's wicked hot out, which makes me wicked sad cause I'm wicked broke and I got to walk a wicked long way."

So, after perusing the hella (synonym of wicked) cool Punk Rock Cycling site, the lemming's wicked personal pick is the wickedly hot and wickedly sexy Keely Shannon, she alone will be invited to the wicked tight after-date party. Not that the others aren't probably a lot of fun, I'm sure they are, I'm just a one-girl sort of lemming.

Anyway, to get the girls some press and get the bidding up on their ebay auction, here is the text from their site, happy bidding!
The girls of PUNK ROCK CYCLING are looking for that special valentine! With the upcoming race season just around the corner, this may be the last chance the girls on PRC will have to go out on the town and have a ripping good time. Just one problem… we need a date.

If you win this auction, the girls of PUNK ROCK CYCLING will treat you to a fabulous evening of food and drinks. Anywhere you want. Any day you want.

Each girl on PRC has a challenging calendar of races coming up, and those races can get expensive. With entry fees, travel costs, hotels, etc each girl on PRC will spend anywhere from $2000 to $3000 dollars through the year on bike racing. This is why the money from this auction will go towards the team’s costs that they have through the year.

Place your bid now for a wicked fun evening with the girls of PUNK ROCK CYCLING!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Release the hounds! SkirtChaser 5K Tempe

I opened my email today and excitedly found the SkirtChaser 5k Valentine's Day Run in Tempe from my normal spam. With a catchy name like the SkirtChaser 5k, it had potential.

I have to hand it to the marketing crew, it's a great idea. The women (mostly in skirts) start out 3 minutes ahead and the guys pursue, all seeing who can get to the finish line first. I can picture the start of the race as the hounds of Mr. Burns running down Homer Simpson. Sadly skirts aren't required so the classic pickup line, "that's a nice skirt, it would look even better crumpled up on my bedroom floor" won't work in all cases here, even being Valentine's Day and all.

The after race festivities include a happy hour-like block party, dating games, and PG-13 fashion show. Quite possibly this could be the biggest party of the year with lonely singles excitedly chasing each other and then getting all liquored up as they lament about having no Valentine's to share the day with. Wording on the site tempts those lonely singles, "Be careful on that course! You may be the next "most likely to make out at the water station" winner!!"

Reading through the FAQs produced curious questions:

Q: Are strollers allowed?

A: Yes, you may run with a stroller but we ask that you start in the back of the men's wave (even for the ladies pushing the stroller). The course gets very crowded so to keep it safe strollers have to start very last.

Going with the skirt chasing theme, the Lemming's interpretation of that is that it would seem to indicate that guys don't want to chase women with strollers, or maybe that women with strollers should try to catch the guys that run from them, or perhaps that catching women pushing strollers would not be sporting? Regardless, that's what it says.

At any rate, it sounds like a blast, and until one comes to Pottawatomie I won't be "making out at the water station". If anyone makes it to the Skirt Chaser 5K, send me pictures, my email address is under my profile.


Saturday, February 14, 2009


02:00 PM


Downtown Tempe


Tempe, AZ 85281

Additional Information

Winner Snags $500!
Regardless of gender, the first person across the line takes home the grand prize!

Catch Me Wave
The women's start will kickoff the event, with all women wearing a SkirtSports Skirt. Race Skirt included with entry.

SkirtChaser Wave
Catch us if you can! The men will eagerly watch as the women have a three-minute lead before their start.

Block Party
The post-race Block Party includes happy-hour style food and drinks, dating games and a fashion show- all the way down to the skivvies!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

This blog could have been named my plan for a greener tomorrow, but that's a dumb name. So really, was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No! Well, it's not over now! After watching the Day After Tomorrow and hearing all of the talk of global warming I had the VW Bus all packed and ready to head to Mexico where it will stay warm after tornadoes hit Los Angeles, 100 foot tidal waves hit New York, and a new Ice Age envelopes only Canada and the United States. That was until I received a message from frilly chick that shook the world as I knew it.

The message was quite simple, it was that she was going to do an indoor triathlon and was wondering if I had any tips for her. The first thing that came to mind was "don't do it". But then I thought about the little mouse above. Sure, he'd like to be outside playing where he'd d have a happy life until a hungry house cat throws him up in the air multiple times before devouring him, but he's also happy indoors, and he probably loves his little wheel. Even though he's sitting in a cage littered with shredded newspapers and his own feces, and the only attention he's paid is when his water or food is empty, his wheel to nowhere keeps his mind and body happy.

So I had to be proud of frilly, she was doing a swim, bike, and run to nowhere, but it made her happy. However, as all happy thoughts go, I got to thinking. With the number of health clubs in the US, the number of cardio machines at each club, and the work everyone puts in, why not use this untapped resource for a greener tomorrow so that I personally do not have to move to Mexico when the new Ice Age envelopes only Canada and the US? Do we really need to watch a little red dot go around the track on an exercise bike plugged in to the power company to make us happy?

So I started concocting my plan. That plan is cardio machines with generators on them. Entire health clubs will run on their own power and even feed power back in to grid so we can stick it to the man! Not only that, but the generators will be alternators from old junk cars, thus reducing junkyard waste, damn I'm smart! When my plan takes off, we can even feed in to the egos of certain athletes as we hold contests through Bicycling magazine and RoadBikeRider to see who can generate the most power in a day, in a month, in a year. There would be a monthly membership fee, but in-store credits would be given for amount of power fed back in to the system. With the in-store credit a person can buy merchandise like hokey t-shirts with my brand name on them.

Admittedly I'm not the first one to think of this. There are entire plans to make a bike/human powered generator here and there was even a huge bike-powered cell phone charging station at the Coachella Music & arts Festival. So alas, I'm simply a visionary with no real knowledge of the subject, kind of like Al Gore. My lack of knowledge will be just another example of the man keeping us down. All I can do now is leave us with the only known picture of frilly chick.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Confusious say...

I was doing some poking around tonight on who is visiting the Lemming's blog and how they are getting here. As always, some keyword searches are rather disturbing, for example someone finding me by typing "lance intervals", I hope my tips on having someone read Bicycling to them and sprinting each time Lance was mentioned helped as they contemplated ending their mundane existence after yet another boring night on the trainer.

On the other hand, some are downright funny, such as "what forces are responsible for slowing you down while coasting on a bicycle" and "why can't you breath well at high altitudes". I can only imagine the disappointment these people must have felt finding my blog while looking for a lesson in Physics and/or Anatomy, and finding the drool I spew out.

However, I also saw "things that make u stronger when u work out". I've never truly answered this question posted in the form of a phrase, have someone kick you in the jimmy while you workout to the Marine Corps fight song, there is no way that can't make you stronger. Unless of course you already are Jason Bourne and found this blog by searching for "trek madone bourne identity", then you already kick ass.

Perhaps most surprisingly was that the second most searches for this blog came on some version of "he was a hardworking farm boy. she was an italian supermodel. he knew he would have just one chance to impress her" beaten only by people searching for Y-Foils. The surprisingly close number of referrals from both searches lead me to believe that the same people searching for Y-Foils are also probably trying to find out more information about the mysterious Rosetta Stone ad in the back of Bicycling.

But lastly, I saw two items that I felt needed immediate attention. They were "what is the best way to get ready for a spin class" and "proper way to sit on a bicycle during a spin class". To not answer these questions after someone found my blog would be like Mr. Miyagi not giving you the meaning of life after you caught a fly in chopsticks.

To understand how to get ready for a spin class, a potential spinner has to understand what spinning is. And to understand what spinning is, a potential spinner has to understand how to get ready for a spin class. First, buy gym membership, preferably one with escalators like the 24Hour Fitness above, you don't want to waste any energy you might want to exert in class. Next, pack gym bag. Pack one bottle of 4:1 Accelerade for class, and one bottle of 4:1 recovery drink for after class. Drive to spin class, ignore the feeling reminiscent of seeing your ex-girlfriend with another guy for the first time as you pass other bikers outside enjoying the ride. Waddle to spin class in bike shoes as the cleats make that grinding pop sound on the floor, check out hot chicks in gym, duck in to spinning room to start adjusting bike. Now comes the mental preparation, realize you're going to have to listen to crappy music in a room with a bubbly cheerleader type who hasn't ridden outside since she did the MS150 a few years ago, not only that, but you're going to have to stretch afterwards. Doing a spin class is to learn what true suffering really is. That should about wrap up how to get ready for a spin class.

Now, the proper way to sit on a bicycle during spin class. This depends, most bikes you put your feet on the pedals as you sit your ass on the seat, then you grip those things called handlebars with your hands as you spin the pedals round and round. This can understandably rather difficult, but be assured that spinning bikes are just the same, despite their funny appearance. The point of contention lies in the question. If you want to sneak out of class when you are bored out of your mind, the proper way to sit on the bicycle during spin class is in the back right by the door. If you fancy the soccer mom in your class, the proper way to sit on the bicycle during spin class is right beside her. And lastly, if you've got the full Discovery kit going on and some freshly shaved legs, the proper way to sit on a bicycle during spin class is right up front where you can show your form in the popcorn sprints. I hope this answered any outstanding questions?

Monday, February 2, 2009

I had a dream I did a double century, but it was on a recumbent

I woke up this morning to find that the BikeLemming has made the Featured blog over at Bike Blog Collection, not as cool as being mentioned by Stevil over at How to Avoid the Bummer Life, but still cool. At first I was ecstatic, almost the euphoria one might feel after completing a double century. As I started to investigate, I realized that I didn't make the Featured blog necessarily because the BikeLemming is a worthy piece of reading material, but instead because apparently this blog has returned the most "hits" back to Bike Blog Collection.

Having that realization felt like after I celebrated my completion of the double century, I went out to load the bike on to the car and was alarmed to find out that it was a recumbent. Not only that, but it had one of those plexiglass aerodynamic windscreens on it, and I was wearing a Get 'bent!, Ride a recumbent! t-shirt.

But still, I have to say it's cool that the BikeLemming is up there on the Featured Blog. I also see that a person can write a guest blog to go on the front page of that site, maybe I'll submit one of my old blogs. That's where I have to ask the advice of my two or three readers, what has been your favorite BikeLemming blog since it's been started?