Today I flew aboard American Airlines flight 2527 from Dallas to Salt Lake City. As the plane was on initial climb, I reached into the seat pocket in front of me and grabbed a copy of “Celebrated Living”, American’s First Class-only inflight magazine. Andy Garcia was on the cover.
CL is considerably more upscale than American’s regular inflight mag, advertising $50,000 wristwatches, and Aston Martins, and all sorts of ostentatious stuff I really have no desire to own.
I flipped through it idly, waiting for the seat belt sign to go off so I could whip out my phone and listen to a couple of NPR podcasts I’d downloaded at the gate. An article entitled “Global Rut Busters”, about exotic vacations in places like Belize and Norway, caught my eye. Seemed interesting. As I flipped toward the end of the article, on page 56, I saw two photos of……me.
More precisely, not so much as photos of me, but photos in which I was one of several subjects. But it is definitely me, I’ve seen both photos before, they were done in a professional photo shoot about 6 or 7 years ago.
I guess guys like George Clooney and Lance Armstrong get used to seeing themselves in that type of context, but not me. I have, on occasion, appeared in a few sports and computing magazines, but I always knew beforehand. This one, I had no idea. I just ran across it out of dumb luck.
In a small, lame way, it was pretty cool.
My good friend Donnie Arnoult, a former elite professional bicycle racer, owns a bike shop called Maui Cyclery, as well as Go Cycling Maui, which is sort of fantasy camp for bike racer wanna-be’s. Go Cycling Maui made CL’s “bucket list”, and the article was accompanied by two photos showing the Maui Cyclery racing team riding, as a group, down our exotic-looking roads.
It’s easy to tell which rider I am, because on the day those photos were shot, I was wearing a Briko “Twinner” helmet, which are rare in the US, and have a distinctive shape.
I was really happy for Donnie, because the article spoke in glowing terms of Go Cycling Maui, and it listed the shop’s phone number. I’d guess, pulling a figure out of my ass, it was about $40,000 or $50,000 of free advertising. As soon as the plane landed, I called him and told him all about it.
I grabbed 3 or 4 copies and will FedEx them out to him tomorrow, since I’m on the road and won’t see him until the end of the month.