Payam Rajabi (The Verizon Ad Cyclist) on Love and Long Distance


Originally published as part of My SF on Huffington Post SF

Payam Rajabi became a San Francisco celebrity and the envy of every Bay Area bachelor last month when he was featured in a Verizon ad for the Love Cycle Droid Razr M. The adorable commercial followed his efforts to bike a heart-shaped path around the city. The story was inspired by Rajabi's own Valentine's Day gift to his girlfriend the year before.

One year later, Rajabi and his girlfriend are still together and going strong. Their relationship became long distance when he moved from Toronto to San Francisco last year to pursue a career in Silicon Valley. They keep the love alive with Facetime, pizza picnics and care packages of paella ingredients.

Fear not, uninspired San Franciscans. Rajabi's chances of upstaging your Valentine's Day plans are slim. He is a self-proclaimed holiday hater and has no plans to outdo last year's performance. The Huffington Post caught up with Rajabi to talk endorphin-fueled romance, adventure dating and the appeal of a biker.

Let's talk about last year's epic Valentine's Day. My girlfriend and I had been doing long distance for a couple of months. I had recently moved to San Francisco from Toronto. I wanted to think of a gesture that would be conveyed through something other than physically being there. I just printed out a map, and put a little sketch of hearts around it and eventually found something that was easy enough to ride.

So you're kind of a romantic? Honestly, [the project] came to me after I had just a finished a very long ride so the endorphins were running through me and I had just had a beer so I was little bit tipsy. I was able to let go and think of this idea.

How did you get involved in the commercial? They were like "we're actually going to shoot this commercial in San Francisco, would you be interested in checking out the set being an extra?" Then I got there, and they were like, "actually, we want you to act in the commercial."

Click here for more questions with 24-year-old Payam Rajabi!

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