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Old 07-22-08, 02:55 AM   #1
RonPrice
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Tour De France/tour De Force

Most of the days of July are Tour de France days. This world's largest cycle race, a 23-day, 21-stage bicycle road race is run over more than 3,500 kms. It has long been a household sporting name around the globe, even to those, like me, who are not interested in cycling. The race consists of 20 to 22 teams with nine riders each.1 My major intention here in this prose-poem, though, is not to describe the details of this major international sporting event. Rather, I want to describe and discuss the bicycle term, peloton, which, until last week, I had never heard of in my English speaking life. Thanks to my wife, who keeps me up to speed on many a contemporary aspect of culture, this term, peloton, is a key part of the language in the bicycle road race world.

The nuances and the varying significances, the strategies and the tactics, the meanings and the uses of the peloton can be googled on the internet. Readers will be supplied in such an internet search with more information than they will probably require, as I was. I discovered in the process and to my pleasure that I had been part of pelotons for decades. Let me outline my peloton experience briefly in what follows, the poem part of this prose-poem. -Ron Price with thanks to Wikipedia Encyclopedia, 22 July 2008.

We all have to make slight adjustments
in response to those around us riding
through the groups that are a part of
our lives here on this mortal coil--earth.

This is particularly true if we are at the
front of the group, if we are an example
in some way to those others behind us.

We in the front are not necessarily better
people---we are just the ones at the front
leading the way in some respect or other,
doing some special job, task, some work.

When crashes occur, those at the front
have less chance of falling over and they
can dictate the tempo to some degree,
initiate breakaways and decide tactics
in the face of strong, violent head winds.

Sometimes the peloton must be spread-
out, strung-out and at other times the
crunch of the group is tight and thick.

Iíve been watching this process for years,
little did I know, in groups of people who
were never riding bicycles at all, but who
drank great quantities of tea and coffee
and could collectively talk the back side
off a barn door as they slowly, seductively
insinuated a tour de force that has just
recently stuck its head above the ground,
the waterís edge: a tour de force that will
play an important part in the unification
of the peoples of the world, in the ongoing
and inevitable planetization of humankind.

Ron Price
22 July 2008
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Old 07-22-08, 09:14 PM   #2
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err...
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Old 07-23-08, 03:00 AM   #3
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So are you trying to sell us something or not? I don't understand.
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Old 07-23-08, 05:43 AM   #4
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Tasmania. That explains it.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:22 PM   #5
RonPrice
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I appreciate everyone's "measured" enthusiasms. This prose-poem is whatever you want it to be. That is one of the virtues of poetry. Bike forums are just one of the many venues for my work. I will explain some of the functions of my prose-poetry as follows.-Ron Price, George Town, Tasmania
--------------------------
My poetry and prose allows me to release surplus, excess, energy and an abundance of thought and desire which I am unable to assimilate and give expression to in my everydayness and its quotidian features. The entire body of my work is an expression of thoughts, desires, passions, beliefs and attitudes which I am unable to find a place for amidst the ordinary. This literary opus adorns the ordinary; it enriches my everyday experience, as if from a distance. I have come to see and feel my literary efforts as if they were a breeze en passant over my multifaceted daily life. I do not write to convince or proselytise, but as a form of affirmation of all that has meaning and significance in life, my life and, by implication and since all humans share so much in common, Everyman's. I write of that foul rag and bone shop, as the poet W.B. Yeats called the heart, and of that golden seam of joy in life, of frailty and strength and of the abyss of mental anguish and a heart exulting unaggrieved.

An additional part of my oeuvre is an epistolary narrative written over fifty years, 1957 to 2007. This epistolary work is driven by a desire to write and writing that is acquired, refined and thought about over a lifetime, with a core of facticity and a periphery of interpretation, imagination, intuition, sensory activity and an everyday analysis in the context of these letters. The inclusion of this collection of letters and more recently emails and internet posts in its many sub-categories is part of my effort This epistolary narrative is intendedto provide a prose-poetry mix of sensory and intellectual impressions to try to capture the texture of a life, however ineffably rich and temporarily fleeting, in one massive opus, one epic form, with branches leading down such prolix avenues that its total form is most probably only of use as an archive and not as something to be read by this generation.

At the present time there are some 50 volumes of letters, emails and internet posts under ten major divisions of my epistolary collection. The third division of the ten contains my contacts with sites on the internet and there are some 25 volumes of site contacts at: site homepages, forums, discussion boards and blogs with their postings and replies, inter alia.

Sometimes site administrators, bemused by my offerings, deregister me; sometimes they give me advice but mostly I am accepted as, perhaps a little eccentric but on the whole an enrichment to site content.-Ron Price
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Old 07-23-08, 09:38 PM   #6
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Bikeforums is no place to be mentioning Yeats!
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Old 07-23-08, 10:03 PM   #7
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Well I'm not one to wax utopian about bikes, but i would say this seems to be the first year that the wide spread American media (NY times, ESPN) gives the tour daily coverage-- coverage that goes beyond just big results for Americans, no less.
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Old 07-24-08, 06:47 AM   #8
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Bikeforums is no place to be mentioning Yeats!
Sean was a helluva good domestic.

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Old 07-24-08, 09:51 AM   #9
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Sean was a helluva good domestic.

That's Yates.
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Old 07-24-08, 12:21 PM   #10
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^ I understand. Note the emoticon.
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Old 07-24-08, 12:30 PM   #11
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Ron, I think that here you will find that we are one equal temper of heroic hearts. Made weak by time and fate and probably too much eye-rolling when Craig Hummer says something stupid, but strong in both will and DVR skills.

To quote the great Jens Voigt paraphrasing the equally great Tennyson (actually Jens is better), the purpose of the Tour is, "To climb, to sprint, to time trial... and not to yield."
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