Tuesdays with Michael
Substitute title: "Or how I learned Arlington's resident ultramarathon world champion is more normal than you might think..."
#LocalCeleb Michael Wardian is not like you and me. You can read more about why here, here, and here. In short, he runs ungodly amounts of mileage and when he does, does it faster than most other people on the planet. Most recently he got noticed for being the fastest to run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. He runs so much he literally has put more miles on his shoes than he has on the new car he bought last June.
But we like him because he bikes, too. Tim Kelley and I met him on a recent chilly morning to ride from his house in the Arlington Forest neighborhood to his office on Embassy Row in DC.
“We actually bought this house in part because of the access to the bike trails,” he said as we coasted to the W&OD Trail, noting his wife and two sons also enjoy the easy access. “We really like everything Arlington does to make this a bike-friendly community.”
Despite having world-class running speed, our commute was leisurely in its pace, maybe because five minutes into our ride I got my second flat of the morning (which is another story). But in fixing the flat, I learned something new about Mike, something that showed he is normal. He told me he was actually nervous about our ride because he, too, had a flat on his bike before we arrived and was concerned he wouldn’t fix it right. He had done it right (having refreshed his memory by watching a YouTube video), but still wanted to learn.
“There’s a pro-tip right there,” he said, as I donned latex gloves, which I carry for just such pre-work roadside repairs. “I never would have thought of that.”
So here was a guy I had read about, a guy who runs ultramarathons through the Sahara Desert in the middle of the night, concerned about an easy bike ride to work. In that way, he is really like of a lot of other people, those who want to ride more, but just aren’t sure how they might deal problems that might come up during their ride.
As we began to ride he admitted his apprehension was a little silly. “I figured it out, and that’s a great feeling to fix something yourself,” he said. “People can do a lot if they just take the time to think it through.”
We at BikeArlington are happy to help if you are like Mike, and need advice or pro-tips on how to handle the little bumps in your commute. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Do you have a great commuting story? We want to hear from you. Email email@example.com.