Every Tuesday Ashley Boalch will showcase tech savvy movers & shakers.
While many of us have talents that are limited to our multi-faceted smartphones, in our weekly Tech Tuesday segment we’ll learn about their favorite gadgets and apps. Let’s explore how these advancements simplify their lives.
Monument Realty’s co-founder, Michael Darby, was recently interviewed in the Washington Business Journal for Monument Realty’s resilient comeback after the 2008 bankruptcy of the financial firm, Lehman Brothers. The Washington-based real estate development firm partnered with Lehman on $2.6 billion dollars in projects, so when Lehman filed the largest bankruptcy in US history, Monument had to make drastic changes in order to survive the turbulent market.
With an incredible story like this, we were interested in what Michael does to help him deal with the stressful nature of his career. For us Sip With Socialite ladies, some retail therapy and a few Cosmos would do the trick, but we know the fellas get their fix a little differently. Here Michael shares with us his passion for cycling and his digitally-advanced bike that even tempts us to give it a try!
Tell us about yourself – where are you from? What are your passions in life?
Since coming from Melbourne, Australia over 25 years ago, I have co-founded Monument Realty, one of Washington, DC‘s leading real estate development firms. I oversee the firm’s diverse work throughout the region, including a portfolio of more than five million square feet of office, residential, and hotel space. When I’m not closing deals in the office, I enjoy cycling, golf and traveling the world. As an Aussie, I am naturally drawn to the water sports like kite boarding and windsurfing.
What is your current go-to gizmo, gadget or app?
Because I am into long-distance cycling, I am constantly looking for new products that can help me improve my performance. I purchased a Felt 7005 aluminum carbon fiber road bike to help me with century (100 mile) races, and it is the best decision I ever made.
Why do you find it so awesome?
First of all, the bike only weighs 19 pounds! Cellphones used to weigh more than that. But this bike is about 20% lighter than other bike frames. Even more interesting, its operation system is completely digital. Not only am I able to clock my pace, personal records and distances, the bike has internal cable routing for the brake system. This makes cruising up the hills of the Front Royal Skyline Drive that much more fun.
It’s pricey, but a worthy investment for someone who is serious about improving his or her performance on the bike.
Where can we find it?
This bike is available through an array of bicycle vendors, but I personally like Bonzai Sports Center in Falls Church, VA. They offer really good customer service and the sales people actually know a thing or two about cycling.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
When I was a kid spearfishing with my brothers in Australia, I had a run-in with a shark. The shark swam near me just as I was trying to spear a fish. Instead of panicking, I let go of the spear and sank down into the water to wait for the shark to circle around. Those were the longest seconds of my life, but he finally swam away.
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