Thursday, May 05, 2011

Derek on a bike, the media sensation!

I don't really know much about the news industry, but I have noticed that whenever I meet foreign journalists in Tbilisi, they always seem to be working on multiple articles, usually on totally unrelated topics. Example: today two Swedes stopped by the office to interview my colleague Mathias about some of the work that TI Georgia is doing (for those not in the know already, we're an anti-corruption organization). Twenty minutes into the interview, Mathias came down to my desk and told me that they also wanted to talk to somebody about bicycles. I guess this makes sense--if you're going to pay 1,000 euros to fly a reporter and a photographer out to Tbilisi, you ought to get more than one article out of them.

Anyway, the Swedes were very nice guys who were shocked that they hadn't seen any bicyclists all day (for context, I saw three or four cyclists on my ride home yesterday, which might be a new personal record, but today it was rainy). In retrospect, I'm not sure I did a good job selling Tbilisi as a city for cyclists; at one point they asked me if it would be fair to call riding here an "extreme sport." After a few more questions, we went outside and I posed for a few photos by riding my bike up and down the hill next to our office. They seemed very happy with all that material, so in a month or two I expect I'll end up in a tiny photo accompanying a 200-word sidebar article in a Swedish bicycling magazine. Good thing I wore my aqua argyle socks.

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