As video seven in the sidebar tells, in the summer of 1986 I put up a legend with my body on a highway in Santee, CA. I was coming home from a bike trip for the day and had a flat tire so I was walking my bike. I think it was in the late afternoon.
The legend happened as a result of me seeing a cyclist approaching on the road ahead of me. He was riding an expensive bike with a windshield. To help him stabilize I put my bike beside me and put out my legs and arms in a star. when he got up to me I flipped my hands perpendicularly and sighted my feet and my hands, first away from the cyclist and then toward him, smiling, which he returned.
As this was happening, just before I flipped my hands, an expensive car approaching swirved into the opposite lane of traffic, back into its own lane, and onto the shoulder where it parked.
After the exchange with the cyclist I took my bike and continued to walk down the highway toward the parked car, where its occupants had exited the car and lined up along the inside of the shoulder, three of them, appearently father, mother, and young daughter.
As I passed the three figures I said nothing nor did they. I looked gravely into the distance.
Then i walked home, which wasn't far away--a home on Buena Vista which its owner had rented out as rooms.
Shortly afterward, perhaps the next week, I left Santee, traveling first to Boston and then to Chicago, where I have been for the most part ever since.
If by some chance word gets to the three travelers who saw me that day, or the cyclist on the bike with a windshield, of this post, the sky is the limit, as I have seen every indication the incident was remembered and has guided bicycle culture in the united states ever since.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
bicycling legend of 1986, Santee, CA
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