• Crewz draws bicycle crowd

    Crewz draws bicycle crowd

    Local residents from the Arcadia neighborhood and other parts of Phoenix came together for a neon themed bike cruise held by the Madison Improvement Club.

    Arcadia “Crewz” kicked off Saturday morning (Feb. 16) at the home of the MIC, the S.E.E.D. Café on the corner of 38th Street and Indian School, at 9 a.m., where a number of local vendors from around the Valley created a set up for participants similar to a farmers’ market.

    The MIC also sponsored the 100 Club of Arizona at the event, a nonprofit organization that supports families of fallen public safety officers and firefighters who have been critically injured or killed in the line of duty. By providing resources, the organization hopes to aid families with safety and welfare.

    Vendor stands at S.E.E.D. included anything from mud candles and aromatherapy to materials made by Bicyclette, a company that uses organic material made from bicycles in their merchandise. The event was even open to those who didn’t own a bike. Old Town Beach Cruiser, another vendor featured, offering bike rentals to customers for just $8.99/hour.

    Andrew Varela, co-owner of the MIC, created the idea of the bike cruise. A resident of Arcadia and frequent visitor to the S.E.E.D. Café, Varela shared his ideas with a small team who helped him put together the event. By offering a bike cruise to residents, Varela hopes to support local businesses by bringing in new customers and clientele.

    “I wanted to create an event for Arcadia to bring together residents and the community,” said Varela. “Any time we can dress up and raise money for a good cause is great.”

    Before the cruise, riders were given a chance to relax and eat at the café, or even take one of the many spin and yoga classes offered at the MIC.

    The café boasts both flavorful and locally sourced organic ingredients, said Sydney Karger, manager of S.E.E.D. While the café does serve many regulars daily, Karger was hopeful that the event would attract new customers.

    About 30 riders were ready to ride their cruiser bikes down the bike route at 11 a.m., led by Carly Gilleland, who also helped to organize the event.

    “Andrew is very passionate about supporting local businesses and he wanted to create an event that really does that,” said Gilleland. “Riding bikes is so much fun and a good way to bring together the community.”

    Starting at the S.E.E.D. Café, riders followed a bike route that first stopped at Milagro Grill in the Arcadia Commons shopping center. Milagro Grill gladly welcomed riders to dine and drink during their visit, or just simply relax on the patio to enjoy the sunny weather. At 1:15 p.m., riders cruised over to O.H.S.O. Brewery for the last stop on the bike route.

    Jennifer Twitchell, a resident from 16th Street and Glendale, found out about the bike cruise through Facebook and was very excited about the event.

    “We love to ride our cruisers everywhere,” said Twitchell. “I just love to get outdoors, be with great people and visit local restaurants and bars. That really appealed to me when I read about the event.”

    Twitchell, along with other riders, dressed accordingly for the theme. Leg warmers, neon tights and off-the-shoulder tees were some of the popular trends sported by riders for the cruise.

    Varela said themes for future bike cruises would continue, as well as his passion for spreading local entrepreneurship in Arcadia.

    “I want to stress the point that as we grow as a company, it’s important to support local businesses and plant new seeds in the community,” said Varela. “My goal is to spread the word for these local businesses while reuniting the community.”
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