Hundreds assist man through city on reclined ride

It may have been the laziest tour of San Francisco in history.

While sitting idle on a ratty La-Z-Boy chair propped on top of two dollies Wednesday, San Francisco filmmaker Tyler MacNiven, a winner on the reality show “The Amazing Race,” trekked 8 miles from the Mission district to the Golden Gate Bridge in the span of eight hours.

He was helped along by hundreds of residentsand tourists who were nice enough to push him down busy downtown sidewalks, up steep hills and onto the wind-whipped, sun-beaten bridge.

Filmed from start to finish and broadcast online, the event was part of a local tech project trying to revolutionize the way consumers receive news and information online.

“We want to prove that it’s possible to broadcast a story semi-live … that people sitting at work can quasi-follow anything going on around the world as it’s happening,” said Chris Lindland, 35, founder of online clothing retailer Cordarounds, which sponsors MacNiven’s adventures.

Footage aired in the form of 30-second video clips every half-hour on Zannel.com, a San Francisco-based company, Lindland said.

MacNiven’s adventure began at exactly 9 a.m. in front of his Dolores Park home. The Woodside-born filmmaker rolled his wheeled golden-brown La-Z-Boy chair onto the sidewalk and began asking passers-by to push him.

Hundreds helped push him and the chair through the crowds of tourists and locals on Market Street and the waterfront, he said, including a 4-year-old girl, an 80-year-old man and even a wheelchair-bound local. He said he didn’t once set foot off his chair.

“The golden chariot was strictly powered by unrefined human kindness,” he said.

Meanwhile, more than 750 people followed the adventure online, commenting in forums while downloading continuously updated video clips of MacNiven’s wild antics. Users were able to follow MacNiven’s progress from their laptops and cell phones, Lindland said.

In previous San Francisco broadcasts on Zannel.com, a so-called Pied Piper of boozing was sent downtown on a weekday to convince people to leave work and join him for drinks, Lindland said.

“We got around 50 people to leave their jobs that day,” he said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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