L.A. activist going on 45-day bike trip across U.S. to understand America ahead of election

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A 33-year-old gym owner and social justice activist embarked Monday on a 45-day bike trip across the United States.

Seth Gottesdiener is traveling from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., hoping to understand the state of Americans in the days leading up to the 2020 election. He calls it “The Great American Bike Ride.”

“I actually want to connect with people and I really want to find out why the country is so divided right now,” Gottesdiener said. “It’s so funny to me because we’re called the United States but I think this year it feels like the divided states.”

A documentary film crew is following Gottesdiener on his trip, and along the way, he and his team will interview everyday Americans to get their take on the current political climate.  

 “It’s going to be a huge undertaking, physically and mentally,” he said.

The activist has led protests in L.A. and raised money for HIV and AIDS research by biking from the city to San Francisco. But this journey is different.

Gottesdiener says protesting is one way to get a message across, but with this ride, his mission is to listen and learn.

“Through this feature documentary, I really hope that we start to bridge the chasm of divide that we’ve experienced in 2020,” he said. “We can’t keep living like this as a country and I think we just need to start listening.”

Residents throughout the country can submit an interview suggestion to Gottesdiener online for people he could meet along the way. He’s also accepting donations on GoFundMe to help fund his journey.

He plans to stop in 22 cities in 13 states, including Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana.

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