Adam Gold received a call from a friend on Friday morning, asking if he had just seen what was on ESPN's "Sports Center."
No, said Gold.
The picture he had taken with baseball legend Barry Bonds in Colorado on July 24 had gone viral. It was everywhere. It had become a water cooler topic.
"It's been crazy and bizarre," the 28-year-old told Big League Stew on Friday afternoon. "It's been fun."
Gold said he never thought he'd get national media attention when he posted the picture to his Facebook account earlier this week. But someone he didn't even know saw the photo and posted it on Twitter, where it was found by Busted Coverage. The rest of the blogosphere caught up on Thursday, enamored by Bonds' svelte new look and cycling hobby.
So how did Gold's photo with the all-time career home run leader come to pass? Gold and his family were driving from Aspen to Leadville in Colorado on Tuesday when they decided to get out to look at Independence Pass, a spot with an elevation of 12,095 feet. There weren't many people around, just an elderly couple as well as a pair of cyclists who looked like they were waiting for others to catch up. One of the cyclists looked familiar once Gold looked past the helmet and spandex suit.
"I walked up to him and said, 'Are you Barry Bonds? What are you doing up here?'" Gold said. "He just laughed and said, 'Yeah, I am.'"
Gold said Bonds was out of breath after the strenuous climb but took some time to chat about some common interests and then smiled for a photo. Gold resides in the Bay Area and pitched three years at Cal before spending some time in the San Diego Padres farm system.
"He was a really nice guy," said Gold, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 185 pounds.
Though Bonds appears skinny in the photo, Gold said the former ballplayer's superior athleticism was what struck him the most. Bonds "is still in great shape, very defined."
"We drove up there and I still can't believe that anyone could do the same thing on their bike," Gold said. "No matter how good of shape they're in."