Today the Venice Paparazzi spotlight shines on West Side local, Bike Enthusiast and Charity Company Owner Casey MacLean.
How many years in Venice? My family (mum, dad, and brother Oliver) moved to MDR approx. 4 years ago. We moved here after living on the West Side since I was born. I really love the beach and being outside skateboarding, cycling, and surfing. This is a great place to do all those things!
Tell us about your company: My Bike Ride is a charity bike ride I started when I was 12. I raise funds for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation and my education fund – I would love to be a firefighter one day! Since I started My Bike Ride I have raised over 30K. I hope to raise over 15K this year (but that’s a lot so fingers crossed!) I am a Cadet at Fire Station 63 Venice and I am a Junior Ambassador at CHLA and recently have become a committee member for CHLA Ambassadors too.
How long in business, and how did you get started? I have been doing this since I was 12 – I am 16 now – but may birthday is June 28th and I will be turning 17 !
How did you come up with the name of your business? It’s MY Bike Ride – I was 12 when I made that name up and it has just always stuck – it is what it is – literally!
What accomplishments are you most proud of? I am proud to be supporting both CHLA and LAFDF. They are two charities that are important to me – people have told me to maybe pick just one of them to support but I believe in both very much. I find that Children’s Hospital is an amazing place for kids to be cared for and parents not to have to worry about how to pay if they can’t – who needs to worry about that when you have a child going through something most of us can’t imagine! LAFD is close to me for many reasons – I have always wanted to be a firefighter. Always. I am now a cadet at station 63 which is really a great opportunity to learn a lot of what goes on behind the scenes (yes, I get to clean the bathrooms sometimes but I also have been out on the truck, learned to handle the chainsaws, thrown ladders, volunteer at the pancake day open house and more!). I love it when they have class – I stay as long as I can and learn as much as I can. It’s also fun to hang out with the other cadets and Engineer Hayes (who runs the program)
Past ventures? When I was about 9 I had a recycling company – my brother and I would go around all the local restaurants in my mums minivan and they would let us get all the beer and wine bottles and load them in to the van and then we would head over to Culver City and recycle them – that was just money for ourselves but I liked that we were doing something good for the environment too! I have also done all the teenage jobs – babysitting, dog walking and I just got a part time job at the Pro Sup Shop in MDR which I like a lot.
What advice would you give someone starting out in your field? Get an idea – and do it – if you fail you tried but if you didn’t even try then how would you ever know what could happen. If you can get people that believe in you and what you do – they don’t have to financially help you (If they do that’s great!) but people that are behind you and believe in you gives you a little extra something!
Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration from all the people that have supported me over the years with My Bike Ride. Without them – I mean I could carry on but, it helps knowing that people are behind you and with you! To know how pleased CHLA & LAFDF are to have the little extra donation – it doesn’t seem a lot – but everything makes a difference. Whole Foods (The Regional President rides with me every year on the second day along with a few of the team members) ride support, BBQ fundraiser at end) Santini SMS (they have supported me since ride 1 – they have given me a kit every year and this year they made me my first custom kit – firefighter inspired! – it’s for sale and profits go to my bIke Ride) Subaru (they donated $ to My Bike Ride last year – the Manager James cycled with me the first day last year, they let me ride with the Subaru team once a month and this year they are selling their Subaru team kits and profits are going to My Bike Ride) GoPro (video gear every year – either just to fill my ride or sometimes an extra camera for auction) Outlaw Graphix (car wrap since my first ride) WPRomte (last year they helped me tidy up the website in general and this year they have donated $)
Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote? Since my first ride I made up “Don’t Dream it – Do it” and that has really been my tag line. Santini has put it on the sleeve of the kit they made this year too – along with the general firefighter logo)
Favorite book, band or movie? I watch youtube a lot more than movies really – I like to learn things online – like how to build things, mountain biking, road biking, skiing, GoPro videos and the red bull stuff. I also of course watch prank videos – lol. I like to make videos too – I have a youtube channel called “fullyepic” – I just put my skateboarding, doing stuff with my brother, skiing, surfing on there. If I go to movies I prefer comedy or action movies.
What causes do you support? LAFDF and CHLA.
What’s one thing we can do to make the world a better place? Everyone should just do their part. That mean being kind to each other – helping out when needed and being a part of your community because if everyone is involved with all the little things we can all make a big difference.
List 1-2 things on your bucket list, and 1-2 on your VENICE bucket list.
- Get my helicopter license – but that’s more than a one day thing…
- Ski in British Columbia.
- See the Snapchat headquarters
- Have a tour of all the tech. companies in Venice
Describe Venice: I think Venice/MDR is awesome. It has so many different things to do and see. So many people from all over. There is the sea the sun and lots of restaurants and activities that you can do.
Describe your perfect day in Venice: I think a perfect day would be to wake up early at 6am and go for a morning bike ride. Come home take a quick surf in the Marina (I’m not that good for massive waves yet!) and ride my FIIK “big daddy” skateboard along the bike path to SM Pier – then the rings – head back home for a swim with my brother and then stay home and put all that into a video for youtube. I love thestart of the day – when no-one is about and it is peaceful and the sun is just up and you can cycle and its not crowded yet. We have no family here they either live in England or Canada and I love it when they visit and one place they all want to see is Venice ! My cousin is moving here to go to Pepperdine to study law in August for 3 years. I do really appreciate living here – by the channel/ocean – I love the firework shows we have 2 x a year – the food trucks at mothers beach and I like to watch all the great skateboarders at Venice Beach.
Where would you take a client that you want to land a deal with? I would go on a jet ski ride – and talk about business later.
What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience? I think when the BIRD’s started on the street (the scooters) – I used to think someone was filming a prank video to see who stole it but nope – it was a booming business! I think it is amazing to see how many people actually use them – they are everywhere and I now work as a charger to earn a little money – so I know they get used A LOT! I know people either love them or hate them. I get shouted at sometimes putting them in their “nests” in the morning – I don’t think people understand that they are authorized places to put them – it is just when the people riding them leave them all over the sidewalk that people get annoyed – so I totally get that.
Any shoutouts or thank you’s? I really want to thanks ALL my sponsors.
- James Hartzberg @ Subaru Santa Monica
- Patrick Bradley @ Whole foods
- Steve Medcroft @ Santini SMS
- The team at GoPro
- Kaylene Stafford from Outlaw Graphix, the only girl owned car wrap place around. She has always been there for me and does a fantastic car wrap each bike ride!
- Mike Mothner, Darren D’Altorio and Laura Gratta @ WPromote
- Katina Stallworth who used to work at Whole Foods and was actually the first person who supported me and My Bike Ride
- Brian Kincaid at Beyond Meat – Beyond Meat has helped me with the BBQ at Whole Foods every year supplying all the “meat” and he also cycled with me and he always checks in and supports me.
- My Mum, Dad and Brother (Oliver) who do a lot of behind the scenes work
- Juneau my dog 🙂
- My friends who understand when I am busy Quin, Jacq, Cullen etc
Anything else about Venice that you would like to say? Venice is cool. It is new and hip but it is old – It is so different from so many other places but it feels familiar (to me). It is busy at night – people are busy touring around on so many different modes of transportation – skates, bikes, cars, birds, walking, running. It is a community of people that want the best for their community – it is also sad to see all the homeless people everyday – you get used to them – but you shouldn’t – someone should help them and not just “move them along”
Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next? LAFD Station 63. They are right there in Venice – helping and being a part of the community and they are also training the firefighters of tomorrow (like me – ha) There is also another man I have been aware of lately – Kid Wiseman – he grew up in LA and does a lot for the community – for under privileged kids etc. He is a graffiti artist and I reached out to him about My Bike Ride, and he didn’t hesitate to say we will do something. We haven’t talked yet, but I feel he is worthy of a spotlight for sure!
HOW CAN ONE FIND YOU?
SUPPORT CASEY’S MY BIKE RIDE!
- Visit his site mybikeride.net between June 7-21, and bid in his online auction. Many local businesses have donated items such as hotels, summer camps, restaurants, activities.
- You can also support Casey by donating. There is a Go Fund Me and PayPal Button on mybikeride.net