During a night characterized by elaborate arrivals of celebrities in limousines, Mad Men producer Tom Smuts chose an alternative form a transportation—his silver Specialized. Donning a cycling-specific suit and helmet from Rapha, he led a group of 15 on the 16-mile stretch from his home in Santa Monica to the Nokia Theater, where the Emmys were held. The trek took them about 90 minutes, and Smuts made his way onto the red carpet upon arrival.
The initial idea for the ride stemmed from transportation issues that were expected to arise because of a lack of limousines, as well as the time frame being the same as rush-hour traffic. It was the first time the awards have been held on a weekday in more than 40 years. But Smuts had no problem opting for his bike, as he commutes 30-45 minutes to and from his current job producing the Amazon series Bosch.
“A group of people dressed appropriately riding to the Emmys sends a message about the kind of people who commute on bikes,” Smuts told The Hollywood Reporter. “It might make drivers more aware that we’re not hooligans trying to lengthen their commutes.”
He said the ride was meant as a form of “playful activism.” Smuts put plenty of work into making the ride a reality, teaming up with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the mayor’s office, and the TV Academy for preparation. The LACBC designed the route with plenty of safety concerns taken into account.
There are already plans in the works for Smuts to organize another ride next year, and possibly rides at other events. He said he’d like to get more celebrities involved as well. “I just wish it was bigger and we had Matthew McConaughey,” he said.
Check out the photos below that Smuts posted on his Instagram, which was made specifically for the ride.