This would be the clear cut winner — if they were competing for Stupidest Invention EVER. Dummkopfs.

Introducing The Fliz, a ridiculous contraption that looks like a cursive letter 'n' with wheels that's missing two key ingredients in a bicycle — a seat and pedals. To make the thing go, "riders" (I don't know what else to call them), are attached to the frame by a harness and propel themselves forward or backward with their feet.

My first inclination was to just absolutely trash this idea, and I will in a minute. But in the interest of fairness, I thought I'd do a little research and get the story behind why they felt the world needed this in the first place.

(flickr, ilovebutter)

The website, offers a convincing argument for why this isn't just another hair-brained idea from a country who at one point in time thought lederhosen was the height of fashion.

I don't run, or lift weights, or really do any more physical activity than I need to, however I do know people who are hardcore runners. These are the people who get up at 4am to run 15 miles before going work. I like to label them as "clinically insane". Even though they all come from various walks of life, they share one common thread; they all have developed issues with their feet, legs, and particularly their knees from the dedication to their passion.

As points out, The Fliz would take pressure off the users feet and legs giving them the ability to still get a run in without the stress on their joints. Good point, but you know what else would do that? An actual bicycle.

Finally, they make a case I can't really argue with, and that's in regards to the advantages The Fliz would provide those going through physical therapy slowing re-learning how to walk. The only downside I could see with that idea is when it comes to balance. Perhaps a Fliz tricycle would be a better idea in this instance.

Even though I said earlier that I exercise isn't really my thing, I do enjoy getting my bike out of the garage and going for a spin around the neighborhood from time to time. I actually hopped on the Greenway Passage a few weeks ago and rode six or seven miles, thinking the whole time that I should make it a regular routine, but then it got really hot again, and I got really lazy — again, and haven't been back since.

What I like about riding a bike is that it gives me the opportunity to get some exercise in while still being lazy from time to time. If I were to run and my legs get tired, every ounce of momentum I had going is completely crushed. At least with a bike, I can sit and give my legs a break while the bike does all the work. If these German engineers really wanted to come up with something useful, how about creating a bicycle seat that doesn't render my groin completely useless when I'm done riding. Now THAT is something I could get behind, or on, I guess.