In the early days of Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, Stan Lee had an office in Santa Monica. It was located in a large business plaza with the Pacific Ocean’s waves rolling only a few blocks west of us. Stan’s office was on the 2nd floor, nicely situated between director John Woo’s suite and actor Pierce Brosnan’s (who was then still playing James Bond) production company on the other side. Famous producer Alan Ladd Jr. was just around the corner.
Although Stan was of course impressed with his celebrity “neighbors” (he soon got friendly with Pierce Brosnan, since as far as I know, Brosnan was Stan’s favorite Bond even before he met the actor), he was even more impressed with the great Santa Monica weather. Stan enjoyed long walks most of his life, but he must have seen some bicyclists riding around as he took his daily strolls through town, because at the spry age of 80, he decided that he wanted to start riding a bike around Santa Monica.
Stan got himself a new bike and rode it around the beachside town on the warmest and sunniest days. I don’t know if any readers were living or working in the Santa Monica area in the early 2000s, but if you were, you may have spotted Stan as he cycled around the neighborhood. Of course, no one could stop him to get an autograph as he whizzed by on his bike, and even if they did, I don’t remember Stan mentioning it. Fans might have been able to catch him at traffic signals as he waited for the lights to change and got a quick autograph that way, though.
When Stan was away from the office, he locked up his bike in the parking garage of the business plaza. There it sat when Stan, always very busy, didn’t have time to take it for another spin. Eventually the weather turned cooler, and Stan rode his bike less and less. Not long after, we relocated our POW! offices to Beverly Hills. However, when it came time to move, Stan had misplaced the key for his bike chain and we weren’t able to find it—nor did we find time to cut the chains and load up the bike as we moved. Sadly, we ended up leaving it behind.
As far as I know, that bike might still be chained up somewhere in the parking lot of that Santa Monica office building. (But it’s been over fifteen years, so it’s probably not there any longer.) Most likely some parking security officers unchained the brand-new bike and passed it on to an enthusiastic cyclist. Who knows, today someone in the Santa Monica area might be riding that very bike, not knowing it was once owned by Stan Lee. We can only hope so.