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.