Picture a 50-year old man with disheveled helmet hair, a worn-out t-shirt, black bike shorts, a small rearview mirror clipped to his gold rimmed glasses and a big grin spread across his face from one ear to the other. That’s my dad and how he appeared each day around 5:45 pm. Growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, my only tangible perception of my dad’s work was seeing him leave in the morning and return home in the afternoon.
My dad, Carl Egetter, spent 34 years of his professional career riding his bike to work. Sitting at the dinner table we rarely heard of his work in the aerospace industry. I’m not sure if it was because it was boring, difficult for us to understand, or classified “top-secret” information. It was most likely a mixture of the three. But what we did hear about was his exciting 11 mile (22 miles round trip!) adventure on exciting avenues like Hurt Road and Windy Hill Road. One time he even found a $20 bill! There were also the usual canine characters along the route like “Tough Guy,” a miniature dachshund mutt of some sort who in his little doggy brain believed himself to be a Tyrannosaurus rex and always kept my dad far from his lawn with his vicious demeanor.
Now that I’m a professional myself, I ride my bike to work and create my own adventures each day. My commute is much shorter (2 miles) and I can wear my work clothes and look—sorry dad—a little less dorky as I ride down Peachtree Street. I look forward to setting a similar example for my family and community as I continue to choose my bicycle as my primary means of transportation for years to come.
David Egetter has been riding his bicycle for over a year on his commute from Atlanta’s Midtown Neighborhood to Downtown Atlanta where he is an ecologist at the Environmental Protection Agency.
David’s father, Carl Egetter, can be found almost every day on the Silver Comet Trail enjoying his retirement … on his bicycle.