Forty days alone in the wilderness was enough for Jesus, but Lance Armstrong is facing an altogether longer period of solitude.
The disgraced former cycling icon was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles 44 days ago -- on October 22 -- and has spent most of the intervening period in his hometown of Austin, Texas.
While he contemplates his next move, there have been beneficiaries of his new-found infamy, notably Mellow Johnny's bike store.
Call it the power of celebrity or call it voyeurism, but thanks to Armstrong's notoriety the Austin store co-owned by the disgraced cyclist with its name inspired by the Texan's nickname on the Tour -- Mellow Johnny's, an Americanized version of the French for the leader's yellow jersey, maillot jaune -- is doing just fine.
Giant photographs of Armstrong -- crossing the line arms aloft -- loom over racks of bikes; a set of framed, signed yellow jerseys fill another wall; Armstrong merchandise on offer at every turn from cycling spandex to lemon-flavored waffles.
"It would be Lance's decision," general manager Will Black explained to CNN, when asked why the memorabilia remains on display given Armstrong's spectacular fall from grace. "If he decides he wants us to take them down we would but until that happens they will stay up."
And by the look of the shop's bustle on a Monday morning, Mellow Johnny's will survive the scandal that has enveloped Armstrong.
"We haven't seen it in terms of the number of customers coming in," Black said. "It really hasn't had an effect in a negative way."
It is not just cycling enthusiasts that are flocking to the shop, the stars of Formula One also stopped off during the sport's first visit to Austin last month.
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso took a look inside Mellow Johnny's, while seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber of Red Bull both purchased bikes.
Written out of history
Since the release of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) report which stated there was"overwhelming" evidence Armstrong was involved in "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program", ever seen in professional cycling, the American's reputation has unraveled like a onion being peeled away one layer at a time.
Armstrong steadfastly maintains his innocence. But a few blocks east of Mellow Johnny's is the yellow-hued headquarters of the Livestrong Foundation -- the charity Armstrong set up after overcoming testicular cancer that had also spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain -- has taken down his Tour race-winner's yellow jerseys.
But if the American has been written out of cycling history -- "Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling," said the International Cycling Union's president, Pat McQuaid recently -- the cyclist's legacy at home in Austin remains deep-rooted and complex.
It was thanks to Armstrong that this laidback city became synonymous with cycling.
Its biking culture has been strengthened by the presence of close to 50,000 University of Texas students using bikes to commute around town, the city's provision of cycling infrastructure and the popular biking trails which circle the shoreline of Town Lake on the fringes of downtown.
Few in the city disagree that Armstrong put Austin on the cycling map --- and vice versa.
"The Lance Armstrong effect is part of what gave cycling such a big boost here," president of the Austin Cycling Association Gilbert Martinez told CNN.
"When he started winning the Tour there was lots of buzz. People gathered to watch it, there were parties all round town, not just at bike shops but at bars and grills. It was a tremendous boost."
The city paid tribute to Armstrong's contribution to cycling with the creation of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, running east to west across downtown.
There have been calls for the bikeway to be renamed -- but Austin's mayor Lee Leffingwell says he has no plans to amend this homage to Armstrong.
So as they whizz past Armstrong's name emblazoned on square, green and white signs, Austin's cyclists have a permanent reminder of his deeds -- good and bad.
"Lance is a very divisive topic," Martinez explained. "There are people who really believe he was persecuted and it's not fair what's happening to him.
"Then there are others who feel he is getting exactly what he deserves, there's a reputation of Lance as a bit of a jerk and this [the doping] was part of his win-at-all-costs personality.
"There is a sizeable part of the community who really don't care one way or another.