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Showing posts with label treadmill-enials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label treadmill-enials. Show all posts

Friday, March 26, 2021

Not Your Grandma's Motorcycle Gang

Did you know that 59% of men, 64% of women, 83% of non-binary individuals, and 94% of parents secretly desire a life of gang membership (fig. 1)? If you didn't, I wouldn't blame you.  The fact is that this information is pretty closely guarded by those in the know.  This is likely due to their assessment of the danger we would face as a society if everyone decided to go out and live their dreams of lawless, drug-addled, rage-filled pillage and plunder.  Just imagine the feeling of empowerment everyone would get knowing that they were taking action within the safety of a group of like minded and stylish fellow dissidents. You want to cut off that mattress tag? Get the scissors! You want to swim right after dinner? Maybe still wear a life jacket. You want to use your cell phone before the plane lands? Get that Uber! No one can stand in your way! If they mess with one of us, they mess with all of us!


Figure 1


I know how appealing that sounds, but gangs have a lot of drawbacks as well. For starters, there's the initiation process. Usually this involves the existing members putting you through some absolutely awful hazing rituals, making you perform menial tasks, unpaid manual labor, or even the commission of felonious acts to prove your trustworthiness.  Secondly, most gangs are also fairly unwelcoming to diverse viewpoints and tend not to be overly empathetic toward the plights of others, making their way through the world as if playing a zero-sum game. Phantom Hogs Motorcycle Club is a different kind of gang. We're a fake motorcycle gang- but don't take that the wrong way. The motorcycles may be fake, but the gang is very real.  Collectively, if you use very large font, our rap sheet might be as long as a small arm. Our group has very famously been implicated in a bounce house permitting scandal, a cowboy boot ownership dispute, annoying a herd of horses, cursing at mini-golf courses, and washing cars that don't even belong to us, among several other offenses (see our Instagram page @phantomhogs for further detail).  These escapades, however, take a back seat to our running. Not running in a figurative sense, like with drugs or weapons. No, I mean running in a literal sense- like with legs.  In fact, that's really our only requirement for membership, and we don't even care what kind of running you do. Seriously, this gang has EVERYTHING (fig 2.) 

Figure 2


We welcome everyone, including roadies, dirt jockeys, peak baggers, dirtbags, desert rats, and treadmill-enials. Hell, we've even got a coupla' Bri'ish blokes, a Patriots fan and a Florida Man.  Basically, we're inclusive AF. We don't really care what you're into as long as it involves a pair of running shoes or at least flipping your Crocs into sport mode (fig. 3).

Figure 3

We don't care if you're fast or slow, and we don't care if you run from fellow racers, your family, your problems or your municipality's law enforcement officials. Actually, you don't even really have to run. Walking (AKA "power hiking" if you're an ultra runner) is just fine.  Seriously though, if you're trying to get away from the cops you're going to at least need to start jogging pretty briskly. Some of those guys are faster than they look (fig. 4).

Figure 4


I know what you're thinking. Isn't the whole point of a gang to unite a group of individuals in trying to accomplish a common goal? How is Phantom Hogs a gang if it's full of people from all different backgrounds and who aren't even all chasing a BQ? Answer: Phantom Hogs share a sense of purpose. None of us are going to the Olympics. None of us are going to show up on TV turning left onto Boylston St. leading at Boston. But we're still out there getting a little better every day. Unless we're out there getting injured. That happens too. But mostly, we're getting better and we're having an awesome time doing it. We celebrate each other's successes, we commiserate with each other over our failures, and we call Craig Peterson on his bullshit.  There's no way, MN native or not, that anyone can be that positive all the time (fig. 5, 5.1, 5.2). 

Figure 5


Figure 5.1


Figure 5.2

"But why male models motorcycles?" I hear you asking. Phantom Hogs started back in 2018 when Georg Baerje, Tyler Lernihan, and I were sitting in the office talking about getting motorcycles and matching leather jackets. Sort of. Tyler wanted to get Vespas.  If you know Tyler, that's very much on brand for him. We quickly realized, however, that the likelihood of all of us being able to convince our wives/ SOs that this was a good idea just wasn't practical. We realized right away though that the appeal of a motorcycle gang is actually the gang- not the motorcycles. All three of us had running in common, so I started the Phantom Hogs group page on Strava and we had our first three members. We continued as a gang of three for a couple years, until Covid meant that we could no longer travel, race, or run with the groups we normally did. All of a sudden, a virtual running group like Phantom Hogs made a lot more sense. Before long (pretty much immediately, actually), we were the fastest growing internet-based fake motorcycle gang on the planet. Over the course of the last year, we've held fifteen virtual races and events, and multiple group happy hours. We've done streaking challenges, vert challenges, photo challenges, and we even teamed up to absolutely crush a 100 mile real-time relay in 17:52:58, 00:07:02 ahead of our team goal.

There's going to be a lot more to come in 2021, including races, team challenges, and social events. So by now you may be wondering how to join the gang and run with the Hogs. Well, the first thing you should know is that you should never pay Tyler any membership dues, no matter how convincing his argument is. Membership in Phantom Hogs is free.  Just search for the "Phantom Hogs MC" club page on Strava and request to join. That's it. Our only ask is that you stay active in the group, encourage other members, and make it absolutely RAIN with Kudos (fig.6).

Figure 6


Phantom Hogs Scavenger Hunt- Results!

First, let me apologize for the slight delay in posting these results. This has been necessary due to some controversy regarding an item one...