Last year for Valentine's Day our friend Payam wanted to do something special for his girlfriend back home in Toronto. He imagined a heart as big as San Francisco for her... so he went out and made it.
27 miles and 1,100 calories later, Payam, his Mission Bicycle, and a GPS app had inscribed the whole of San Francisco with a Valentine ride for Clare.
But that's just the beginning of the story.
On his way home from the ride, Payam stopped by Mission Bicycle world headquarters. Still out of breath, he told us about his ride. With his blessing, we published an email and blog detailing the gesture.
Our fans shared it with their fans. It. Blew. Up.
The story was picked up on both local and national blogs and news outlets. Clare was smitten, and men across the country were annoyed.
Fast forward in time and space. A London production company is hired by a big client to make a 30 second TV spot, and they love Payam's heart. Our phone rings first and we play old-timey operator and connect the two.
Within a week the production is rolling, starring Payam and his Mission Bicycle. These folks could have cast anyone, but they sought out the actual guy who had the idea in the first place.
We quickly built an exact replica of his bike for his body double to ride. The tight schedule and closed streets demanded two Payams, not just one. Hundreds of people worked to share this story with millions of viewers. A story, originally meant for just one lucky girl.
The day of the shoot arrives. Two Payams, two bikes, an army of staff, and one scary cool camera truck attack San Francisco streets.
What does Payam have planned for this year? "Chocolate and flowers."
Photos by Bill Coggon
Payam and Clare