Monday, August 16, 2010

just around the bend
A long time ago I wrote a little pamphelt for a cycling club that met before school. This was in 2004 I think, anyway, it's still pretty funny!

The Lawnmower Handbook

By Ian Plagmann

Eat the wheat! Feel the heat! Bike or die! That is the lawnmowers Cree and if your reading this, your probably one of us, or your going to be. In this handbook there’s info on wheatgrass, biking, and general jargon we should all know. Hopefully after reading this you can realize the potential benefits of biking, wheatgrass, and totally rawking the establishment.

Section 1: Wheatgrass

This section is just info on how to consume wheatgrass and its totally awesome benefits.

Fifteen pounds of wheatgrass is equivalent to 350 pounds of choice vegetables! Juicing unlocks the nutrients in vegetables and fruits, concentrating them and making them more bioavailable to the cells of the body.

ENERGIZER: The vitality obtained from wheatgrass juice is remarkable. Two ounces of fresh wheatgrass juice is equivalent to the nutritional value of roughly 4 pounds of organic green vegetables in vitamin and mineral content. On an empty stomach, it is assimilated into the blood in about 20 minutes. The vitality lasts throughout the day.

NUTRITIONAL: Wheatgrass juice is a complete food that can be taken orally with no toxic side affects. It contains most of the vitamins and minerals needed for human maintenance. It is also a complete protein with about 30 enzymes and is approximately 70% crude chlorophyll.

BLOOD BUILDER: Both chlorophyll (as in wheatgrass juice)and hemoglobin (red blood cells) are molecularly similar. The only actual difference is that the central element in chlorophyll is magnesium and in hemoglobin it is iron. Chlorophyll has the ability to break down poisonous carbon dioxide and release free oxygen. This inhibits and reduces the action of anaerobic bacteria (a disease-producing micro-organism). Wheatgrass juice has been shown to build red blood cells quickly after ingestion. It normalizes high blood pressure and stimulates healthy tissue-cell growth.

BODY CLEANSING: The many detergent factors of wheatgrass juice can drain the lymph system, carrying away many toxins from all body cells. When an imbalance or injury exists (examples: sore tendons or joints; degenerative disease; etc.), there is a natural build-up of mucous in the lymph particular to that area. This mucous is encapsulated, helping to ensure the proper flow of lymphatic fluid. Wheatgrass juice helps to breakdown the mucous and allow it to drain. This helps to relieve pressure and allow healing.

BODY HEALING: According to Survival of the 21st Century, "In therapeutic amounts, it will detoxify the body by increasing the elimination of hardened mucous, crystallized acids and solidified, decaying fecal matter. Wheatgrass juice's high enzyme content helps dissolve tumors. It is the fastest, surest way to eliminate internal waste and provide an optimum nutritional environment. Wheatgrass juice can also be used as a poultice or wash, stimulating healthy new cells and fighting infections."

How to eat it:

Juicers are for squares. Us lawn mowers chew it like our bovine brethren. To fully assimilate wheatgrass nutrients you must chew it for more than 5 minutes. Really, you just chew it from Safeway to the school and you should be fine. When your done chewing you can either swallow or spit, swallowing helps keep you *ahem* regular.

Section 2: Biking

Urban Biking:

This section is devoted to the many things one should know about biking on the road.

General Info:

-Elbows relaxed, bend at about 90 degrees.

-Grip the bar firmly, but not too hard. If you see white knuckles, then you are gripping too tight.

-Keep your back straight, at about 45 degrees from the ground surface.

-When not pedalling, always keep your pedals level.

- Faster feet in a lower gear will often give you more speed and less fatigue


Most of the braking power is in the front brake because when you apply

the brake, your weight shifts forward and that gives the front wheel more traction.

To maximize braking power, shift your weight back when braking.

A skidding tire will give you no control. Therefore, skidding is a very bad practice.


-You must pedal in order to change gears. When changing gear, pedal lightly. It will save your drivetrain from wear and tear.

-Shift before you think you have to, e.g. climbing. When you have to shift, it might be too late.

-Do not cross your gears, it will kill it. This means that you do not run a big chain ring with the large cog or the small chain ring with the small cog.

-Shift lightly on the levers. There is no reason why you need to press the shifters real hard to shift.

-To save the drive train from wear and tear, make sure it is clean and well lubed.

Hill Climbing:

-Shift before you hit the climb. The only way to know which gear is best for your terrain is from practice. It is very hard on your drivetrain if you shift in the middle of your climb.

-Seated is better for long distance and/or loose conditions. Standing is good for hammering up a short steep section with good traction.

-If you find you are in too easy a gear, upshift once in the back. Do not dump a bunch of gears at once.

-If you are going to stay seated, move slightly forward on the saddle.

-Move your head close to the stem to keep the front from coming up.


-Never ride into something that you can't see the bottom of.

-If there are not too many obstacles, you can ride through the water as usual.

-Brakes will be much less effective when wet, so watch out.

-After riding through the water, pulse both brakes a few times to scrub off the water.

-Braking-induced skids are useless. Skidding reduces your stopping power and increases your stopping distance. Also, you have no control over the wheel that is sliding.



-assume the downhill position. Butt off saddle, weight back, keep arms and legs loose

-point the wheel perpendicular to the ground and ride straight down

-do little braking if needed, but you do not want to lock up the wheelswhile they are in the air

On the Road:

-Always be weary of other drivers

-Potentially the most dangerous situation is crossing a crosswalk and a person turns right, as in right the direction, into you. So like your first grade teacher told you, look both ways.

-If your on the road, know your singles before hand

-Use the bike lane (if there’s one present)

-When riding in a clump, stay in the same position

Nighttime and early morning:

-Lights! Lights! Lights, make sure you always have lights on your bike

-Reflectors are good to have as well


-When it’s cold, wear warm clothes

-When it’s hot, wear spandex, spandex improves blood flow

-Tuck your pant leg into your sock, or wear some sort of protective band so your pants won’t get clogged up in your drivetrain

-Tie your shoes and tuck the laces into them

Section 3: Lingo

At this point I bet your totally pumped, but before you get on the road with the faction. Theres a few words you should know, its just a little slang.

Bacon n. This refers to the scabs one acquires after a crash. A BLT is a modification that entails a total crash. (see involuntary dismount)

Bail v. To ditch before a crash

Biff n. or v. A light to moderately sized crash, pretty self-explanatory.

Cager n. Cagers, and cager-sympathizers refer to those who would rather drive than ride, there locked in a cage with a motor, were we feel the environment around us

carve v. (from skiing) to ride with great speed around the corners of

a twisting fire road.

chainring tattoo n. the dotted-line scar you get from gouging your

shin on the chainring.

crotch-testing n. sudden impact between a male rider's private partsand something very hard and pointy, such as a handlebar stem or seat.

death cookies n. fist-sized rocks that knock your bike in every

direction but the one you want to proceed in

digger n. a face plant. "Look at that guy on that gnarly single

track... he's going to go over the bars and do a digger."

granny gear n. the lowest gear available on a bike, which only a

grandmother would need to use; designed for steep uphill climbing, butextremely easy to pedal in on flat ground.

gonzo adj. treacherous, extreme, and hardcore.

hammer v. to ride fast and hard. n. someone who hammers

involuntary dismount n. a crash.

push-push n. 1. a novice's pedaling motion, consisting of alternately pushing each foot down, instead of spinning.

road rash n. large abrasions on a rider's legs and body caused by a crash, particularly on asphalt.

soil sample n. a face plant.

steed n. your bike, the reason for your existence.

wonky adj. not functioning properly. "I bailed, and now my wheel is

all wonky and all I hear are wild pigs."

yard sale n. (from skiing) a horrendous crash that leaves all your

various "wares" -- water bottles, pump, tool bag, etc. -- scattered as

if on display for sale.

Section 4:

So now that you know the wheat, the ride, and the lingo you can start rawking the establishment. If theres any questions or anything you feel should be added to this piece of reading, feel free to email me at

-------- The formatting got messed up because word to blog conversion