On Sunday night, viewers from around the world tuned in to the 67th annual Emmys Awards. Similar to the Academy Awards for film and the Grammys for music, the Emmys recognize outstanding work in American primetime television programming. The Emmys are quintessential Hollywood, with actors and actresses, editors and producers, parading in the splendor and soaking up the limelight as millions watch. Those familiar with the golden awards associate them with glitz, glamour, red carpets, fashion police, and limos. Lots of limos!
For Mad Men writer-producer and Emmy nominee Tom Smuts, however, limos are passé. Since last year, Tom has opted for a more efficient and liberating vehicle to get to the awards ceremony, his bicycle. This year, he led a 20-mile bike ride from his home in Santa Monica to the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles for his second annual #bike2Emmys ride, demonstrating that it is possible to bike anywhere in Los Angeles. Not only did Smuts and his posse bike on one of the hottest days of the year (that nearly caused one Emmy attendee to faint), they rode in their Sunday’s finest in true Mad Men style.
Tom was joined by a City officials and bicycling enthusiasts including Councilmember Mike Bonin, Marcel Porras from the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Tamika Butler, professional cyclists Tim Johnson and Dave Zabriskie, members of the Vision Zero Alliance and many more.
The group fueled up at Tom’s house in the morning, convening to devour a delicious breakfast spread and gain inspiration before taking off. Councilmember Bonin provided his support for the efforts. “As city government is working to make biking safer in LA, Mad Men producer Tom Smuts is working to make it more popular. I was very happy to wish luck to Tom and his friends on Sunday as they prepared to bike from his house in Santa Monica to the Emmys downtown as part of Tom’s annual event,” said Councilmember Bonin.
Along the way, the ride stopped to highlight three City of Los Angeles initiatives:
- Vision Zero is a worldwide movement, started in Sweden, to eliminate all traffic deaths. While traditional traffic safety campaigns have focused on changing human behavior to reduce collision risks, Vision Zero takes a fundamentally different approach by instead putting the responsibility on government to manage the streets using evidence-based strategies to prevent fatalities and serious injuries. Vision Zero is data-driven, outcome-focused and collaborative across agencies and departments. In August of this year, Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a Vision Zero executive directive to end all traffic deaths and serious injuries in Los Angeles by the year 2025.
- Great Streets Initiative recognizes streets as the city’s largest public spaces and engages local communities in place-based strategies to provide economic revitalization, increase public safety, enhance local culture, and support great neighborhoods. The ride traveled along Venice Boulevard a Great Street in Council District 11, represented by Councilmember Bonin.
- Bikeshare, a service in which bikes are made available for shared use, will make its Los Angeles debut in 2016 with over 1,000 bikes at 65 stations in Downtown Los Angeles. Ride participants picked up bikes from a pop-up bikeshare kiosk and rode to the event. They skipped the limo line and parked at bike valet, to simulate the ease of docking at a future bikeshare station.
LADOT congratulates all the ride participants and especially, the idea man and ride organizer, Tom Smuts. His efforts make it possible for Angelenos to consider everyday biking, no matter what the destination. A big congratulations to all the Emmy nominees and winners as well, which include Tom’s show Mad Men. Mad Men was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series in its final season. As a writer and producer of the show, this is Smuts’ second Emmy nomination. For more from Tom, hear him discussing his joy for bicycling on this podcast with Pedal Love.