General Cycling Discussion - legend
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06-06-05, 12:37 PM
I have cycled long distances in Europe and the U.S., but my cycling wasn't riveted into the minds of anyone in particular until later, when I had a flat and was walking my bike along the left side of the road in Santee, CA. I looked up and cycling up the low hill toward me was a fellow on a beautiful touring machine complete with air shield and mirrors. A moment went by and suddenly I had the idea that I ought to plant a legend right there for him to see. I had learned to leave legends as a homeless person in New Haven, CT. You plant your feet wide, stretch out your arms, creating a five-point star, and glance at one hand, then the other, because these lines of sight are chords in the pentagon and have special geometric meaning. So I propped my bike against my right hip, took up the legend position, fanned out my two hands forward, and glanced at my left hand. Then, as I turned to my right hand, the other cyclist was just coming upon me. Looking beyond my hand, I smiled broadly at the fellow and he smiled broadly back. But wait...there's more.
Right as I looked at the other fellow a car coming up the hill at a distance of about 100 feet suddenly swirved from its lane into the opposite lane and then back, and shot into the shoulder and stopped. There was some other traffic which must have wondered what was going on. A man, a woman, and a young girl got out of the car on the shoulder, and stood at the outer edge of the shoulder, all in a little row of three. The other cyclist continued on up the hill behind me and I proceded to walk forward down the hill. My home was a mile away, and I intended to fix my tire there. As I walked on, soon I came to the three passengers. They were silent, lining the shoulder, and gazed straight ahead respectfully as I walked with my bike right on by them. I did'nt stop to chat. That would have been anticlimactic in the worst way. I put on a stern demeanor as if to affirm that I was not your average cyclist, wished I could have talked to them because they were proving that they were not your average on-lookers, most certainly the man. It was quite a moment.
Later that summer Greg Lemond became the first American to win the Tour de France. It made me more than a little proud. And now Lance Armstrong is going even further.
I'm just glad cycling has become really popular. It means a lot to me.
What is the purpose of a legend?
Please explain how you "leaving a legend" correlates with the 3 individuals standing on the side of the road, Lance Armstrong, and/or the popularity of cycling.
06-06-05, 03:40 PM
:( Huh??????????????.If your going to post here......STAY OFF THE DRUGS!!!!!!!!!!
06-06-05, 05:05 PM
As my alma mater always says, "Lux et Veritas."
06-06-05, 05:08 PM
I appreciate your reading my thread.
I enjoyed reading your post.
06-06-05, 05:19 PM
I'm glad you enjoyed it and took the time to say so. I'm sure there will be a wide range of responses and I look forward to reading them as time goes on. Thanks again. Bye.
Siu Blue Wind
06-06-05, 05:43 PM
So is your real legend this post? I'm usually pretty open minded but man, you are WAAAAAY out there. Unless I'm missing something that maybe you can explain.
So is your real legend this post? I'm usually pretty open minded but man, you are WAAAAAY out there. Unless I'm missing something that maybe you can explain.
I don't think there's anything to be read from the post.
While it was a relatively well-written story (with the obvious flaws), I think we're just being baited. :p
OK, I'll bite... What is it supposed to mean?
(If it means whatever I want it to mean, then it is meaningless.)
06-06-05, 10:52 PM
I began solo distance cycling before the current cycling craze began. It became for me an outlet for frustration at losing a college girlfriend to her professor/tutor. As such it was successful because when I returned to school after a solo trip in Europe I was refreshed and full of optimism, both romantically and career-wise.
Here is another story:
In my senior year at college (the first time, I have two BAs) one day I took a break from studies and walked randomly through the library stacks, turned into a random aisle, went to a random bookcase, a random shelf, and picked out a random book. It was a book I had never heard of, obviously for me, but not unknown to a lot of people. It was the I Ching. I read in the introduction that the book was to be used as an oracle, choosing one out of the 64 texts by a random process. Now I know a lot more about the book. But while others know a lot more about it, I found it without any guidance from anyone, in every sense one can imagine. It stands with me like some other things that have happened to me, one of which is that day when I left the legend in Santee. Not everyone knows what the I Ching is. Not everyone knows what a legend, as I described it, is. It is for the individual to weigh. I accept it all, and I try to understand the disbelief, if that is descriptive. The comment from way124 is all I need to feel justified in making such a "way out" post. You can pile an awful lot of derision on a single comment like that and still consider yourself valid. I also appreciate the qualified compliment from orikal that it was "relatively well-written". As for explanation, I am happy with the post as it stands.
Siu Blue Wind
06-06-05, 11:09 PM
It may be relatively well written from a scriptive sense, but if the reader is left only to be in confusion, your message is unclear. How, for example, is Lance relative to the three observers in your story? I too enjoyed reading your post but only because it was a challenge. It did not, however, make sense. It may be due to the fact that I am the type who might read too much into a statement, yet it may be so simple. Hence my inquiry IS THIS POST YOUR LEGEND? I feel you have no rhyme or reason, NO EXPLANATION, which is the effect you may have wanted to achieve, thus, your legend. Cheers.
06-06-05, 11:23 PM
06-07-05, 01:36 AM
Had me going, I thought "leave a legend" was going to mean "leave a loogie" on the biker's windshield.
06-07-05, 07:11 AM
The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
got to keep the loonies on the path
06-07-05, 11:52 AM
Dear Siu Blue,
There are a number of levels of interpretation to my post. On the simplest level, it is an absurd anecdote, even though it is not fiction. I didn't know at the time what the hell those people were doing stopping in such a dramatic fashion and lining up that way. I did, however, know that placing what I am calling a legend is a way of calling attention to oneself in public and is not done lightly because you can be called a lunatic just for doing it. My reason was that I assumed the other cyclist was possibly on a very long trip and from my own experience he could use another cyclist's giving him something to focus on of a human nature to give some orientation to his trip, not to distract him, definitely, but simply to serve as a land-version of a beacon requiring no particular input from himself, telling him "I've been there myself, friend, and I wish you well on your journey" without saying something verbal that would require him to take his mind off what he was doing to make some verbal response. His look back to me told me he took it exactly in that way. He smiled happily. Neither of us needed to say anything else.
I would have been glad to forget about the whole thing as simply a greeting between cyclists on the road but then the car swirved into the oncoming lane of traffic suddenly. This was an open area of road--no buildings in sight and no people in sight. The only event the car's behavior could have been linked to was my "legend," especially because they got out of the car and simply stood at attention by the side of the road. Ever since I started to plant legends I had not any idea what they might mean to others. But I always knew what they meant to myself. They are, just as I said, "beacons." They serve the purpose of marking off experience when you have reached a point in life when you are not sure what you are doing but you have a keen sense that you are still pursuing the right path. I think the man at the wheel knew that because I think some human behavior is well grounded in history, even if it isn't common knowledge.
Greg and Lance come in as far as I am concerned because I take my place in cycling history very seriously and I don't wish to either over or understate it. As my trips were long and lonely, so the explanation of why I think they are significant will be long and lonely too. Still, the details should be interesting most of all to other cyclists because many of them have had similar experiences. The family by the side of the road may not have been cyclists, but they certainly believed I was not your average roadside wayfarer. Would you have stopped to talk to them, or just said hello? Not if you had just placed a legend and wanted to remain under its protective umbrella for the long term in your life and theirs. I believe it should be evident to the experienced cyclist that I am not trying to brag about my life. There are countless ways to do that and instead I am saying things that cause some degree of perplexity, at risk of my own good name at least here on this site. I do this because I believe in legends--legends of men and women throughout history whether they left legends of stance or not--and in the power of solitude as we find it on the road, the freedom to travel and get so totally into our own private journey that it takes on a greater significance in the whole scheme of things, not for egotism or pride, but for celebration of free will and our right to free passage along any of our roads or highways. I think if you talk to anyone who has cycled a long distance you will find a boundless joy for the enterprise of cycling, and joy is often mistaken for insanity.
Siu Blue Wind
06-07-05, 11:40 PM
Ok, enormouslock, that's what I needed, thank you. You see, although I sometimes dwell deep into a meaning or statement simply to interpret, apparently what I lacked was the insight to understand even more so. I can certainly see now what you were trying to communicate with the lone biker on his excursion of solitude. I feel that he was fortunate that you were there to be able to see him as he sees himself. You are right, communication can be expressed in many different ways, be it verbal or non. That was some story about I Ching in the library. Something had drawn you to the book, to the passage. It is the same type of power that had driven you to post on this forum regarding your legends. Thus, producing a new legend. Yes, a new legend.
06-08-05, 12:57 AM
06-08-05, 05:37 AM
I'm so glad we finally figured out our mutual needs, Sie Blue. Your remarks are valuable to me, and I thank you heartily. I do appreciate your perspective regarding the legend quality of posting here about the event, and it is indeed true. My hope is that somehow eventually the family of three will get wind that a comment about the event has finally appeared, and provides some filling out to their part in the experience. I have no idea what they did about it, and I really wonder what both our paths might mean to the other. Thank you for returning to the thread to check up on it. I'm new at this site and I'm trying to get my wings, as it were. Your own writing is good too, I think. Thanks very much for your concern, sir.
Siu Blue Wind
06-08-05, 09:50 AM
Enormouslock, you have certainly made an impression! (By the way, I'm not a sir! :p )
06-08-05, 01:15 PM
Siu Blue, my apologies on mistaking your gender! I myself am a guy.
Thanks for being a faithful correspondent. Do you have any stories you would like to tell? There have been subsequent developments in the years since my thread incident, but mostly of a non-cycling nature. The day after I went homeless--again--in 1992 I was walking down the street in Chicago just before dawn when I turned and saw, on a building across the street, a seemingly electric fire emerge from its wall and dance around a window, then disappear inside the wall again. Again, hard to explain, but it does remind me of Moses's experience with the bush. The only other time I spoke of this was a few weeks ago at a church meeing. The pastor was very interested, but of course struggled to understand. I believe it was related to the spark that hypothetically started life, still being active in our destiny. One of my degrees is a bachelor's in physics so my natural impulse is to look to science for an explanation instead of religion. Moses didn't have a physics education to my knowledge, so a lot of religious bulwark has been erected around his experience. My fire seemed interested in that building for some reason. I had left architecture school the year before after three years of graduate study without getting my degree--due to a school error they weren't willing to admit. I'm sorry to put a non-cycling comment here, but I feel a bond to the cycling community deep in my soul and I hope they will take it in stride. I believe the combined effect of my legend and my experience in architecture school--when a professor refers in class to one of your projects as "Vintage (my last name)" you somehow get the idea your doing especially well--led to the emergence of the fire (I sometimes refer to it as "the fire that does not consume", which is an accurate observation.)
These things have been pent up inside me for a long time and I needed to get them out into the light of day, for which opportunity I thank bikeforums.net whole-heartedly. And again, I apologise for the non-cycling nature of this particular post. I also apologise again for getting your gender wrong, Siu Blue.
Take it easy.
06-10-05, 10:51 PM
To bring the thread back around to cycling I must concentrate my vision on the days immediately after I saw the "fire that does not consume" in Chicago in 1992 or so. I was in a quasi-public space and was tapped by the Italian Mafia as first in Chicago, not as a gangster, but as simply first over all I see, having no superior authority to contend with. I found out in 1987 that my blood is Roman, making me eligible, and I became known to inner circles in the East in 1985 or so as one of some note. My big break was being attacked in Santa Cruz, CA in 1981 by several young men in the street at night. I roundly defeated them defensively and an onlooker stepped forward to shake my hand and welcome me to the city. I believe that is when humans started to map my journey.
So since 1992 or so I have been first. I have used it to establish myself professionally, which is hard to do when your stardard has to be in keeping with being at the top with no money to speak of. I am not a gangster and I don't direct gang activities. I serve primarily as a focus of interest and example.
So then came 2002. One day I learned that my ability, learned from my days as a performer, to keep a broad, bright smile in public is considerably needed by everyone. I got on a bus to go to do some business down town and made my smile the whole way. I had done this the previous day on the elevated train and someone noticed me and knew something about it and took up a continuous litany for all to hear stating that someone was going to be sorry because someone (myself, pretty obviously) had made it and would be weilding some heavy social machinery soon. He kept it up for my whole trip. But on the day of note I got on a bus and smiled widely all the way, got out at my stop, did my business, and waited for a bus home. Then all of a sudden a parade of weird custom bicycles came winding down the street, and I mean weird--some tall, some reclining, a lot with unnusual things welded on. There I was smiling widely, very widely, on the sidewalk watching the parade, when one of the paraders saw me and shouted, "I found the king!" This marked the end of my being just "First in Chicago" and now being a king. I knew kings in the United States existed because in my travels, walking through the Yale Law School in New Haven, CT, (my first BA was taken at Yale) when I was homeless, I read a notice stating that there are about 550 monarchies in the United States and there was going to be a seminar or something about them at the law school.
Bicycle story in the end, that's what it is at this point. I have an audience in the custom bicycle world for weird machines. (There's a name for this type of cycle but I don't remember it. I read about them earlier in a local paper.)
Like my audience of three people in my earlier story in Santee, CA, the one man who shouted out in the bicycle parade may be interested in finding out my story, or may be given comfort if the net affect of ricosheting cause and effect reaches him one way or another. I am thankful that he received me in that way. If I could do him some favor large or small I certainly would if it were in my power. All these people inspire me to think that there is a cadre of knowing people in the world. It gives me some measure of confidence to advance as a human being, and to advance the lot of human beings.
I am coming close to the start up of my first website, which I hope will go a long way to bring me into closer harmony with the race. I will post here when that is achieved.
06-11-05, 06:14 AM
OK, so you have a "place in cycling history," have seen the burning bush, been tapped by the Chicago Outfit and recognized by the art bike crowd as their king.
What, exactly, do we do with this information? Should I just keep my eye open for a grinning guy with a welding torch and a pinkie ring next time I'm on the Blue Line?
06-11-05, 08:50 AM
I don't know. Maybe you could try casting the I Ching about it. I just did, and got the hexagram: Long Lasting (persistence, perseverance).
Seriously, thouogh, I appreciate your apparent lack of interest in the bare facts I have presented. I believe in content also and that's why I mentioned that I'll be coming out with a website in the next week or so, where I'll be sampling some of my creative work. If that leaves you flat maybe we can get together for a beer sometime.
06-11-05, 04:22 PM
I'm wondering if anyone besides me likes semi trucks. In my experience, they're more predictable than cars. You can expect they know where you are all the time so if you ride conservatively you shouldn't have any problem with them.
06-11-05, 04:47 PM
enormouslock, if you were not in Chi town I would swear you are a friend of mine I ride with. You write/speak just like him. :D
06-11-05, 04:54 PM
I'll drink to that too.
06-11-05, 05:13 PM
06-11-05, 05:40 PM
Indeed. Certainly a refreshing change from "I just shaved my legs!" or "Is steel really better than CF?", and no more painful to read. Actually it is a lot less painful. At least it makes you think.
06-16-05, 01:55 PM
Here's an idea I came up with when struggling to learn the ins and outs of sew-ups. Put oil on your fingers before manipulating the adhesive tape so you don't get all sticky with the adhesive.
I had learned to leave legends as a homeless person in New Haven, CT.
Why does this fact not surprise me.
06-16-05, 04:16 PM
Would you like to add anything?
06-16-05, 07:43 PM
Okay, I guess you have nothing to add. Here is what I have to say about your comment: I survived homelessness and am here to tell you about it. You obviously have no respect for those who are unfortunate enough to land in that condition, for whatever reason. Believe me, there are all types of homeless people, just as there are all types of people. A lot of people have learned a great deal from wandering. I am giving you an opportunity to expound on your opinion of homelessness. Please, fill me in on the niceties of your motive for making such a comment. I really don't want to be upset if there is no reason to be upset. Maybe you have a jovial view of me, and are simply making light of the whole idea of someone being homeless. That's harmless enough. Or maybe you have nothing at stake in this thread and just had a thought you felt would add to the discussion. I don't mind that. In fact, I don't mind anything that anyone says about anything. I'm really trying to understand your comment in a positive vein. Should I consider homelessness some sort of second-class citizenship? Please, enlighten me. Make your assumptions audible. Be a good communicator. I'm willing to listen. But while you're getting around to posting here again, I'm not going to sit around with baited breath. There's a lot of positive things to be said. We're all cyclists, whether we were homeless at one time or not. Let's live for the moment, enjoy life, and engage in some sensible debate. Ughh... I'm getting slap-happy...
06-16-05, 08:33 PM
Man that's gotta be the best anti-trolling post i've ever seen without comign across as anti-troll.
You're my hero enrmouslock.
06-16-05, 09:42 PM
Thanks, Operator. I didn't know these things had a name. "Trolling," you say? Seems apt, and there does seem to be a lot of things like that said.
06-16-05, 09:53 PM
Wow this was an intresting post made me check to make sure of what I put in my pipe .. But it was VERY well written and abit enlightening :beer:
06-17-05, 07:25 AM
Man, this whole thread is way too deep for my little peabrain. But if I ever see some fella standing on the side of the road posed like a starfish, I'll know to keep my mouth shut and watch out for swerving automobiles.
06-17-05, 10:44 AM
I was homeless for a while, purely by choice. It was very nice. I lived for a while in a van (yes, down by a river!) with a friend. We rode our bikes whenever we wanted, we made a few bucks fixing bikes and things, and ate lavishly with donations from the farmer's market. After a while, we started getting other opportunities, and our time of freedom ended when we went back to the default world. But I still remember it with fondness, not always easy, but our situation meant we were able to be happy.
Nice stories. If I ever see a fully-faired cyclist on an empty road, I'll splay myself out like a starfish as well. :)
06-18-05, 08:53 AM
Warm thanks to both phidauex and PurpleK for their remarks.
06-18-05, 10:25 AM
And here I thought this post was about his Acura.
06-18-05, 01:52 PM
Today I went to a cast-call for 5000 extras for the Jenifer Aniston movie, "The Break-Up" being shot here in Chicago and in Hollywood. On the questionaire they asked if you have a bicycle. Unfortunately, I sold mine a few weeks ago. But I was booked for at least one day's work without the bike. (I thought about borrowing a bike, but I have phiilosophical issues with that.) I've done extra work on Home Alone 2 and The Chamber. It's a blast and the catered lunch is always great.
I saw your post in the 'alt bike' section and came here to read your thread. Thank you, sir, for being here and openly sharing your stories and responding to the replys without animosity. I don't pretend to know what all of your stories mean, but they are a refreshing breath of fresh air on a forum where many have strong opinions and politeness is sometimes in short supply.
I am glad that you have passed through your phase of homelessness. The homeless recieve precious little support from those fortunate enough to be considered successful, despite the vast material wealth of our country, and they are often vilified through no fault of their own. That makes me very sad. I try to help the homeless as much as I personally can, sometimes with 50 cents, sometimes with a $20 bill, sometimes by providing them with recyclables they can turn into cash, and sometimes with a meal. It lightens my heart to do so.
06-18-05, 09:42 PM
I am most gratified by your post and I hope I continue to be worthy of it in the future. Your conduct toward the homeless marks you as not a pushover for the downtrodden, but someone who thinks about this issue a great deal and knows what lies beneath the surface in life.
Siu Blue Wind
06-18-05, 11:33 PM
I know this may sound a little strange, but instead of being sad for the homeless, I admire their strength. These wonderful people have to deal with the judgement of others, the strategies of survival, they have a strong support system amongst themselves, and they become stronger every day. Of course, I too try to help them with clothing and such necessary items such as sleeping bags but there are actually a few people who turn down offers of a free meal. They instead wanted to earn it. In case you were wondering how I have become acquainted with these wanderers, they live next to the building that I work at. They keep the area clean, are welcome to use our facilities to clean up and are not drunks or druggies. Occaisionally a friend of theirs who is inebriated will visit, but will not stay. It is a matter of respect. And sometimes on our lunch hour we will visit and hear some neat stories! My only concern is their health, for we did have one man die on Thanksgiving where he camps out.
I'm not sad for the homeless, but for the way our society often treats people in this situation.
Siu Blue Wind
06-19-05, 12:00 AM
Randya, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I had a co-worker ask me why I was out there talking to "that bum". Boy, I was the wrong person to say that to. Angrily but tactfully I simply replied that I was having a conversation not with a bum but with a person who was quite knowlegdeable of the world around him and that I was learning something from him. Then I suggested he might like to learn someday, too.
06-19-05, 12:13 AM
Wow, this has got to be the most surreal, yet comforting, thread in a while. It's actually made me feel calm and relaxed. Thanks a lot, all of you.
06-25-05, 01:01 AM
Having decided during my sophomore year at Yale to try distance cycling solo, I set my immediate goal to commute during the summer between home in Glen Ellyn, IL and Batavia, IL, where I was going to be in my second summer working at Fermilab as an electronics technician. The trip is about 10 miles one-way. To start it off I wanted to taste a small two day ride to Wisconsin and back. I purchased a Raleigh Record for about $60. (This was in 1971.) Then I worked on assembling everything I felt necessary for the trip and was up until about 3 am. I felt that a 6 am departure would be prudent considering I had no idea how long it would take me as a total neophyte to reach WI. Then I realized I didn't have an alarm clock and didn't know when my mother would be getting up and so couldn't see my way to interupting her sleep to ask her to wake me up in three hours. I knew from school what toll staying up all night takes, and the value of every minute in slumber when you must perform the next day. I decided I simply would wake up in three hours by creating some sort of subconscious imperitive and surrendering my fate to it. It was not complicated. It was simply the net consequence of a host of prior decisions.
I woke up at 6 and took off.
I chose to travel by the only north-south state highway passing through our area. I didn't know how long it remained north-going. I just knew it went north from town. I don't remember if I had a map. In any case, I decided just for the experience of learning to reckon with my senses rather than with the more intellectual faculty of map-reading. If I did have a map, I didn't use it.
The route was not scenic. Traffic was fast. I tried to keep up a good pace, estimating my mileage against my estimate of the distance to WI. I don't recall seeing any mileage signs.
About an hour into my trip I suddenly got the feeling I was off-course, traveling more north-westerly than north. Again, if I had a map, I didn't use it. I just decided to make a 180 degree turn and find a place where I might have had an alternative route heading due north.
I found a route I believed would take me north again and turned onto it.
A little later, I started to have trouble with my rear derailleur, brand of Simplex. I had no choice but to disassemble it and learn how it worked. It soon became obvious I had unleashed a monster. The spring in the thing had one end that was manufactured bent out so that it could fit in a little hole in the body and load with force when you assembled it. Getting the right tension on the screw inside the spring turned out to be touchy, and it slipped out of allignment time and time again as my fledgling bike-mechanical impatience became a burden. At least I had made the right decision to take allen wrenches with me. I applied a little sweet-talking both to the bike and myself and somehow it came out all right and stayed that way for the rest of the trip, and the summer too for that matter.
I realized I would eventually have to separate from the bike for appreciable lengths of time and found a motorcycle shop where I was able to buy a motorcycle chain and lock. I had never seen a lock and chain that big. Thus my username, enormouslock. The security I got kept the bike with me through two summers of commuting to Fermilab and two 1800 mile trips. I let my guard down when I lost my apartment to fire and left the bike unlocked and unattended on the porch of the girl whose love I was sick over causing me to be negligent and cause the fire to begin with. Then my advisor dropped his objections to my major coursework plan, just before graduation, because I appealed to his sympathy with the story about the fire and the bike. Had I not had that excuse I might have had to spend another semester to get my degree. What is fortune; what is misfortune?
When I got to Wisconsin my bottom began to hurt badly. I figured it would go away so I learned to live with it. It was a Brooks leather saddle.
I had always been a stickler for language propriety but when I got to a point where there didn't seem to be anyone around for miles I decided there was something, what I didn't know, demanding me to swear at the top of my voice, which I did with some sheepishness, if that is possible. It was a transition. Later, a station wagon was traveling ahead of me with some fellows on the tailgate and they shouted out some fraternal idioms at me. I had never used idioms, as weird as that sounds. But on this occasion I was sufficiently beyond any world I had previously thought I would travel that I felt I needed to return in kind, so I shouted out, "right on!" It was my first descent into counter-culture and opened up new avenues of social give-and-take for me. It doesn't sound like much, but for someone who would refrain from saying, "heck", it was a clear departure. I had been the managing editor of my high school newspaper and I always considered my audience.
I got to Lake Geneva and somehow discovered I had traveled 60 miles, by map or other means I don't recall. I found out there was a big name band playing nearby that night and went there and joined the crowd, I remember walking around feeling very Illinoisan among Wisconsiners, but not unwelcome. There were about a thousand kids there. That night I camped out on some road in the bushes and the next day started out feeling more confident of making the 60-mile trip in one day. I don't remember details of the trip back, which I suppose is strange, considering how much of the trip up I remember. Maybe I went up on the strength of uncertainty, if there is such a thing, and came back in the arms of certainty missing anything that might have marred the trip, or worse.
I don't remember the moment I arrived back at my house. When I cycled between Seattle and Chicago at a later date, and came bombing into town on a wave of ebullience full of the swell of places and atmospheres, especially the rocky mountains, I will always remember the way my mother had no greeting for me of any consequence, and the way I accepted that token of passage into an uncharted region of experience, beyond the ability of old habits of speech to communicate, even to your own mother.
But as for my Wisconsin trip, it was formative. What perhaps amazed me most was the sensation, somewhere along the way, that my body had grown more muscled, despite the knowledge that that was quite improbable. I also started to appreciate food, but not water, yet.
My commute to Fermilab was pleasurable all summer long and I repeated it the next summer, but not before going to Europe to cycle from Stockholm to Nice, and not before going to Seattle to cycle most of the way back to Chicago, just as long a distance as in Europe. (I got tendenitis because my crankarm got bent. I hitched for a while. One ride I got was in the back of a pick-up truck where I found an old pipe six feet long and with the owner's permission I used it to bend my crankarm back. When my tendenitis healed in a few days my bike was back in good shape, like me.)
But that's another story.
06-25-05, 01:07 AM
Clarifying, it was the chain and lock that lasted through all those rides. I gave my Raleigh after that first summer's commute to a friend from high school, named Jane Hulseberg by the way, and bought a Swedish bike in Stockholm that lasted through the European and American Western trips until it got stolen as I described above.
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