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Old 06-06-05, 12:37 PM   #1
enormouslock
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legend

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.
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Old 06-06-05, 12:43 PM   #2
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Old 06-06-05, 01:14 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 06-06-05, 03:40 PM   #4
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Huh??????????????.If your going to post here......STAY OFF THE DRUGS!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-06-05, 05:05 PM   #5
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As my alma mater always says, "Lux et Veritas."
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Old 06-06-05, 05:08 PM   #6
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I appreciate your reading my thread.
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Old 06-06-05, 05:13 PM   #7
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I enjoyed reading your post.
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Old 06-06-05, 05:19 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 06-06-05, 05:43 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 06-06-05, 05:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siu Blue
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.
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Old 06-06-05, 07:34 PM   #11
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OK, I'll bite... What is it supposed to mean?

(If it means whatever I want it to mean, then it is meaningless.)
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Old 06-06-05, 10:52 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 06-06-05, 11:09 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 06-06-05, 11:23 PM   #14
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Old 06-07-05, 01:36 AM   #15
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Had me going, I thought "leave a legend" was going to mean "leave a loogie" on the biker's windshield.
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Old 06-07-05, 07:11 AM   #16
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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
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Old 06-07-05, 11:52 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 06-07-05, 11:40 PM   #18
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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.
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Old 06-08-05, 12:57 AM   #19
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<----Domo Kun
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Old 06-08-05, 05:37 AM   #20
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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.
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Old 06-08-05, 09:50 AM   #21
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Enormouslock, you have certainly made an impression! (By the way, I'm not a sir! )
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Old 06-08-05, 01:15 PM   #22
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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.
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Old 06-10-05, 10:51 PM   #23
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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.
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Old 06-11-05, 06:14 AM   #24
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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?
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Old 06-11-05, 08:50 AM   #25
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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.
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