In early January we revealed we would be working with BikeArlington to create an exciting series of films, showcasing the work the city has been doing to promote cycling for the residents of Arlington and the people who are benefitting from it. Shortly afterwards, we sent out the casting call, asking local Arlingtonians interested in being the subject of one of the six films to contact us and tell us why they should be featured. The response was more than we could have asked for, and we want to thank each and every person who took the time to write us. After two weeks of open casting, we received over one hundred responses, from people from all around Arlington, and each with their own individual stories.
The task of choosing just six was not easy, and we were tempted to see if we could sneak in a few more films instead of making the hard cuts, but after numerous conversations with potential cast members, and many brainstorming sessions with our team, we are happy to announce our official cast. The people selected offer unique and personal stories about the living in Arlington and how riding a bike has helped improve their quality of life. Covering a spectrum of ages, professions and lifestyles, we are excited to really showcase what life is like for people in Arlington. So with that, meet our cast!
Annie (top left) - Annie’s application caught our eye instantly. This bright young lady has accomplished so much for being just fifteen years old. As a home learner, she and her family are fortunate to live in a part of America rich with history, and they spend countless hours visiting the various monuments and galleries throughout Arlington and Washington, DC. Outside of studies, Annie is honing her craft as a pre-professional ballerina with the BalletNova Centre for Dance. She’s a creative soul, using not only dance, but also photography in her spare time, to create conversations with the viewer. We are very excited to tell this young girl’s story through film and hopefully inspire other young people!
Chris and Rachael (top middle) - This father and daughter duo offered a very personal story to us, and we are honoured to be able to work with them to share it. After being diagnosed with Leukaemia three years ago, it was at the suggestion from her doctor that Rachael and Chris decided to start riding bikes together. Neither could have expected the positive impact it had on them during such a difficult time, but the confidence and strength Rachael gained through learning to ride are traits that paralleled her battle with this disease. Now riding bikes is a part of their daily lives, and has sparked a passion and bond that we are excited to experience first hand.
Grant and Gillian (top and bottom right) - We couldn’t travel all the way to Arlington and not make every effort to meet up with this cargo bike-loving family! Owners of both a Yuba elBoda and a bakfiet, stay-at-home dad, Grant, and working mom, Gillian, have made two-wheeled travel an essential part of raising their two children (with number three on the way). Whether travelling to school, work, the shops, or participating in Arlington Kidical Mass - a series of group rides organized by Gillian - this family appreciates the joy and connectivity active transportation provides, not to mention the affordability when raising young children. With similarities to our own daily life, we look forward to following this active family around.
Norma - aka ‘Nonie’ (bottom centre-right) - With our eldest nearly reaching double digits in age, we sometimes wonder what life will be like when our kids have grown, which is why Nonie’s story intrigued us. A recent empty-nester, she has a lot more free time than in previous years, and life now is about rediscovering herself and appreciating having more freedom. In particular, she is taking the time to reconnect with her eldest sister, both of them regularly meeting to ride Arlington’s great trails while also chatting about their lives, both past and present. Nonie is also beginning to explore her more adventurous side, trying activities she wouldn’t have dreamed of before. We love her adventurous spirit, and can’t wait to hear all about it in person.
Natalie (bottom centre-left) - “Bikes mean business”, and this lovely lady has taken this message to heart, merging the convenience of being able to ride a bike around one’s neighbourhood with real-estate. Known locally as the Bicycling Real Estate Agent, Natalie offers home buyers a unique way to search for their new home. Taking clients on rides through their choice neighbourhoods, she helps identify those areas more “bike-friendly” and connected, encouraging them to select a place where relying on a car to get around won’t be the only choice. Long passionate about caring for our cities and our environment, Natalie has found a way to combine commerce with compassion, and we are confident she will inspire other who see her story.
Edgar (bottom left) - Originally from Colombia, this gentleman has had the privilege of cycling around the world, including Ciclovia in Bogota and the streets of Copenhagen, and has called Arlington home since 2006. Edgar has watched the city change over the years to be more bikeable, and is putting his experiences to work helping other newcomers and daily labour workers whose transportation options are limited, offering bicycle classes in Spanish. Now fully fluent in English thanks to his own teacher (now wife), Edgar is an advocate for more bicycling education in Arlington and the DC metro area. We can’t wait to hear his stories and see some of the positive impact he is having in the community and the people he helps.
In less than three months we will be making the journey to Arlington to meet these people, as well as countless other who are making the city a great place to live, work, play and cycle. Lots of behind the scenes work is yet to be done between now and then, but we eagerly await our trip, and the opportunity to capture just a snapshot of a place many of you are happy to call home.