His name is Lars Olenfuld the third. He is the type of guy who will steal your girlfriend when you’re not looking and make you feel good about it. His boom box is always rocking a intense guitar solo accompanied by the hypnotizing beat of the base drum. He sports an epic mullet, a mullet of which there have been written many epic stories. Stories involving pirates, sea monsters and riding horses backwards whilst juggling chainsaws. Men want to be him and women want to be seen with him.
I first met Lars on a warm summer afternoon. I was out on a training ride, heading into a stiff north wind and no matter how much I shifted I couldn’t find a gear capable of ending the burning in my legs. I rounded a corner and there sitting upon the the wooden guardrail of a two lane country bridge sat Lars. He was listening to Simple Man and shining up his pair of aviator sunglasses. I rolled to a stop pulling up next to Lars, looking like an awkward middle school boy standing next to the coolest kid in the high school.
“Hey there,” I said trying to be as cool and collected as I could dressed head to toe in spandex.
“You like riding that thing?” Lars pointed to my bike. He reached over and cranked his boom box up to 11 just as the guitar solo began.
“Yep,” I said over the wailing guitar.
“No you don’t.” Lars spat at the ground near my shaking legs. “You’re weak, you hate that bike right now. In fact your secretly hoping I’ll give you a ride home in my sweet pick up truck.” Lars’ mullet glistened in the mid-afternoon sun.
“No I don’t. I love riding my bike. It’s well…awesome.” I said in protest. “I’m getting faster everyday.”
“Stop lying to me boy.” Lars stood up and moved towards my bike he placed his hand upon the hoods of my bike and gave it a shake. “Want to know the secret to riding fast?” Lars said.
“Getting more aero?” I replied.
Lars reached into the back pocket of his tightly fitting Levis and pulled out a rusty ball pean hammer. “This is the secret to riding faster.”
“You’ve been out here too long.” I said laughing. “No way a hammer makes you faster.”
“Oh but it does,” Lars calmly replied. “If you want to ride faster, every now and again you must visit the man with the hammer and guess what? I’m yours.” He raised the hammer high into the air above his head. The rust on the head of the hammer glistening like rich man’s gold. Lars dropped the hammer upon my quivering exhausted quads and a pain like I had never felt before shot through my entire body. I hopped back onto my bike as Lars continued to reign hammer blows down upon my legs. I began to pedal, gears I couldn’t push before I was now able to spin.
My pulse quickened, sweat dripped from my brow. The average speed on my computer slowly rose. Lars followed along all the while beating me mercilessly with the hammer. I rode faster than I ever had in my life that day.
Yes Lars Olenfuld the Third is my man with the hammer and if you want to ride your bike faster you must find your own. Because as Lars says, if you want to ride faster you must visit the man with the hammer.