Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

So late the other day a celebrity entertainer walked into my shop and bought a bicycle.

He was very subdued and polite, knew what he wanted, and was neither ostentatious nor stingy with his money. He simply wanted an inexpensive bike to use a few days while in town. I would hazard to guess that it was easier to buy a cheap bike and perhaps donate it rather than travel from city to city with his own equipment.

I knew who he was from the moment he walked in the door, though I kept it low key rather than announce to everyone his presence. I greeted him politely, and because I was already engaged with another customer I brought up someone else to attend to him. The other person did make a big deal of it, but that could hardly be controlled by me.

I helped him choose the appropriate tools to be self-sufficient in case of a flat, since he would need a 15mm wrench to remove the rear wheel of the single-speed bicycle. His humorous comment on the oddly named tool was the only time he let loose with his public persona. After that, I asked him politely if I could have a photo with him, and he obliged. Then he went off to a waiting, chauffered SUV.

So that is my celebrity story, provided as requested by others. I have little interest in providing names, and the fact that this man is a cycling enthusiast is already well documented elsewhere. The man was utterly polite and courteous, if he wanted to make a big commotion he would have. So I think I’ll keep it low key.

At times in the past I worked as a personal travel assistant to an entertainer. I have done several world tours, stood as extra security in dozens of autograph sessions, dealt with overly enthusiastic fans/stalkers. I’ve met prima donnas who need to always be at the center of attention, but I think most œcelebrities just want to do their thing. To be sure, most celebrities are not above using their position to get a little more customer service, but they probably aren’t looking to start a new fan club franchise every time they buy a cup of coffee.

So if you take anything from this, know that the rich and famous also enjoy cycling! Rejoice that the good life doesn’t have to be all Cristal and Louis Vuitton. The guy was a gentleman and a cycling enthusiast, and I hope he enjoyed Seattle’s brief sunshine.



10 Comments

Great story Mark. Did the celebrity get a bro deal?

no, he didn’t get a bro deal.  he didn’t pretend to be my friend and i don’t pretend to be his.  i provided polite, professional service without fawning all over him, and he was courteous and respectful.  retail at its most eloquent.

My celebrity sightings have been very similar. Never sold a bike to one, but it’s the same thing—just treat then normally.

How is Tom Skerrit these days anyway?

Did you sell him a Jethro Tule?

My bet, Robin Williams… he’s a total bike geek celeb.

Robin Williams is at the Showbox this week - about 5 blocks from Mark’s shop.  I ran into him in San Francisco once in the Presidio.  He was on a Ti Seven - one of his many rides.  At the time (~2002?) he said he was up to about 60 road bikes, “It’s an expensive addiction I have” he said.

yes, it was a jethro tool.

I’m just throwing this out there Mr. V… “have you heard about our celebrity customer this week”

What I just realized is that your most likely going to ship the celebrity the bike, to his address, which means I could slip my long-anticipated screenplay into the box and the celebrity will see it! I need to change a few casting choices, add a scene about the ultimate bro-deal, and I’ll have it done today!

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Lance Armstrong on Robot Chicken was the previous entry in this blog.

Greg Lemond: How ya like me now! is the next one.

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