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We love bringing you stories of real-life clean commuters in metro Atlanta! Check out this story from David Pedrick, who bikes to his to work every day.

David says…

I live in Adair Park. Minus a couple railroad tracks, the ride into Midtown is fantastic. I biked to high school once to illustrate how easy it would be for others to bike as well. I lived 17 miles from school while most of my classmates lived within a mile. Since then, I have been biking to work every day to show that it’s a normal way to get to work.  

I save lots of money on gasoline and parking fees. I fill my gas tank just once a month, and that includes an annual trip back to my family in Iowa. In addition to personal financial and health benefits, I really value the community that biking builds. Finally, the environmental benefits of biking to work are incredible. Driving a vehicle for short trips uses many more resources, whether it’s roads, parking spaces, energy, emissions, than biking.

Biking to work = huge savings on your commute costs. How’s that for a reason to switch?  See how much you could be saving by using our Commute Calculator. And on top of that, you can earn cash and prizes from Georgia Commute Options by switching from driving alone to biking, walking, carpooling, vanpooling, transit or telework! http://gacommuteoptions.com/Save-Your-Commute/Earn-Cash.-Win-Prizes



Whether you’re an avid biker who has ridden to work for years or a newbie that has yet to experience the joys of cycling, the Atlanta Bike Challenge has something for you.

Starting today, September 27, to October 25, the fourth annual Atlanta Bike Challenge will be going strong all over the metro area. You just have to ride your bike 10 minutes per day to participate! Log your trip at ATLBikeChallenge.com or through the Love to Ride mobile app to qualify for great prizes.

What’s the goal? It’s all about participation – which workplaces can get the most people to ride a bike? Last fall, approximately 1,800 people and over 200 organizations took part in the Atlanta Bike Challenge. This year, we’re still looking to get Metro Atlanta businesses and organizations can to compete with each other to see who can get the most staff to ride a bike during the challenge. Log your miles to win prizes, earn bragging rights, and see who can encourage the most people to give bicycling a try. It’s free to join and fun for all!

To find out more and to register, visit ATLBikeChallenge.com. And connect with us on Facebook.

Lesley Carter is a communications specialist and the voice of Georgia Commute Options social media. You can get in touch with Lesley here.



The Atlanta Bike Challenge is a fun and free competition to encourage your friends and colleagues to experience firsthand the joys and benefits of riding a bike. There are lots of fantastic prizes being offered to tempt your team and opportunities to compete with your fellow metro Atlanta businesses. If you're new to cycling and are looking for some guidance, here's a great place to start! Sign up at ATLBikeChallenge.com.





May 11-15 is National Bike to Work Week, a time when everyone has the chance to ride their bikes to work, even if it’s just part of the way. To celebrate, Georgia Commute Options and other organizations across metro Atlanta to host events that introduce biking to newcomers, encourage new ridership, and reward those already riding their bikes to and from work.

If you want to get involved in Bike to Work Day (May 15) in the metro Atlanta region, check out these opportunities near you:

  • Akers Mill Energizer Station: Celebrate National Bike to Work Day on May 15 from 7 to 9 a.m. in partnership with the Cumberland CID and Bike Cobb.
  • Recreation Center Energizer Station: Grab pastries, coffee, water, and breakfast bars along with cool bike gear giveaways on May 15 from 7 to 10 a.m.
  • Third Friday Decatur Fun Ride: Meet at the Decatur Recreation Center on May 15 at 6:30 p.m. for a ride with other bike buddies. The ride will be followed by a visit to a local pub or restaurant for refreshments.
  • Woodruff Park Reading Room Energizer Station: Grab high-fives and some grub on the way to the office as a reward for cycling to work between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on May 15. Find out more here.
  • Fix-a-Flat: Snyder Cycles will be parked in front of 55 Park Place to give Fix-a-Flat and bike cleaning/chain lubing lessons from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on May 15. Find out more here.
  • Colony Square Energizer Station: Join Midtown Transportation on Friday, May 15 in front of Colony Square at 14th and Peachtree Street for coffee and bagels between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Find out more here.

Did you know that every mile you drive alone costs $0.59 per mile? This adds up to thousands a year! Riding your bike to work can keep that money in your pocket — along with reducing air pollution and fighting traffic congestion. See how much you’re spending with our Commute Calculator here!

Happy Early Bike to Work Week!

Victoria is the Junior Communications Specialist for the Georgia Commute Options team - helping out with writing, editing, and maintaining all our important deadline schedules. She's a big fan of carpooling and Reese's. Want to get in touch with Victoria? Click here.



I worked in Copenhagen, Denmark for a year right after college, and while I had biked recreationally before that, cycling soon became my only mode of transportation and way of life. As many people know, cycling is ubiquitous in Denmark -- many families don't have cars, the infrastructure is safe and well-protected, and bike lanes are often plowed and de-iced before the roads in the winter!

Then when I moved to Atlanta for graduate school, it was a serious adjustment to bike culture here. It took me a while to get used to, but I love the freedom of biking to work. I get a little burst of natural energy so I'm awake when I get to the office, get to skip past all the traffic by taking quieter side streets, and save quite a bit of gas and gas money. I try to be a cycling ambassador, since the general public attitude towards cyclists still needs improving (and for the record, some cyclists' attitudes towards drivers also needs improving!). Since I just graduated with my Master's in Public Health, it gives me a great opportunity to practice what I preach and use my commute to improve my health. I'm excited about how popular biking is becoming in Atlanta, and look forward to positive improvements in infrastructure and advocacy!

Erika works for Task Force for Global Health and commutes from Old Fourth Ward to Decatur each day. Between commuting and errands, she bike around 40 miles a week. To see how Erika and her workplace are doing in the Atlanta Bike Challenge, click here.



I’ve always loved exploring my neighborhood, but hadn’t thought about the freedom of “bike as transportation” until recently. This year’s Bike to Work Week was the catalyst that started a very good habit; that week I biked every day. I’m not as regular every week, but I use my bicycle as primary transportation (along with my Vespa). My car has moved to approximately 4th place, after “by foot.”

I try to take a slightly different route every time to explore. The neighborhoods I pass through to get to work are at the same time thrillingly and quaintly historic – the stately Victorians of Inman Park, the thriving businesses on Edgewood, Martin Luther King Jr’s birthplace and the homes surrounding it in Old Fourth Ward. You miss a lot in a car, which I love experiencing by bike. Biking isn’t just about saving the environment or “one less car” on the road (though those are important too). It’s about knowing your city and your neighbors and yourself.

I’m lucky. I work about a mile from my home, in a building with a (creepy but functional) shower. I live very close to the start of the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail, for easy trips to Midtown and the Freedom Farmers Market. And I love every second of it.

Lauren commutes from Inman Park to her job at Vert in Old Fourth Ward. She rides an average of 5-10 miles each day. You can connect with Lauren on Twitter @laurenzarzour.



I’m not the most technologically proficient person, but I do have an extreme dependency on one of the most helpful and amazing technologies to grace mankind: the smart phone. With the omnipotent power of the internet in our pockets, we can find both the cutest puppy video and directions to dinner. But like all powers, we must wield it responsibly and with care—like learning which bike routes are the safest in Atlanta and how much extra time you have to curl your hair in the morning.

Metro Atlantans are constantly moving, whether we’re heading to a new restaurant, riding our bikes on the BeltLine, walking to our bocce league game, or our commute to and from work. Our smart phones can help us get from here to there, with a couple puppy videos in between.

  • MARTA On the Go: Ever wanted to know exactly how long you should wait for a MARTA bus or train? Thanks to the real-time tracking on this app, you can see what street a bus is currently on and whether or not it is on time. I live only a block from my MARTA bus stop so I am able to check the app when I am getting ready in the mornings and decide when I should dash out.
  • Cycle Atlanta: A project between the City of Atlanta and Georgia Tech, Cycle Atlanta allows you track your bicycle routes. A little nervous about giving biking to work a try? Ride on the weekends and test which roads you like. Cycle Atlanta allows you to easily report problem areas (obstructed bike lanes, pot holes, etc.), so that the city can improve bike infrastructure.
  • 511 Georgia: Oh, Atlanta traffic. You have burned me so many times. My carpool partner and I need to make it home, but was there an accident? Which exit should I take? The 511 Georgia app can show which areas are slow moving, ongoing construction and traffic accidents. The app even updates every two minutes!
  • Human: I thought I would try this new app after I read about the addiction involved when health meets technology by David Sedaris. Human encourages you to try alternative modes of transportation and then tracks and maps how much of each mode you do. An easy way to reach your fitness goals would be by trying biking or walking to work.
  • Google Maps: Google Maps is a great resource for helping you find MARTA connections and bike routes. Unfortunately, Google Maps doesn’t have all the transit options available yet. If you are looking to ride transit to work, contact Georgia Commute Options and we can help you learn about your options.

Now you have the ability to use the power of the smart phone for good. With these apps you can reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality through a commute alternative! Onward!

Emily Estes is an Outreach Manager with Georgia Commute Options for Dekalb County, Rockdale County and the Airport area. Emily enjoys hot sauce, yoga, and discovering new parts of Atlanta. On any given weekend, you can find her at the Freedom Farmers' Market, walking or biking the Atlanta BeltLine, or enjoying a popsicle on her porch. Emily utilizes commute alternatives in all forms of  her life, from carpooling to work to carpooling to her weekly bocce matches. 

Want to connect with Emily? Email her here.



In honor of the 2nd annual Bike to Work Challenge coming to a close, I would like to spotlight on some of the bike commuters that I have the pleasure of working with in the Interstate 85 North territory.

Mark Filer: Mark picked up cycling as a form of exercise in 2009 after being encouraged by several friends and wanting to have an alternative to running. In the summer of 2011 Mark became involved with the $3 a Day program and earned $56 by biking to work instead of driving alone! Mark has been an active bike commuter since, continuing to log his green commutes at LogYourCommute.org and has teamed up with some of his coworkers to participate in local and national bike challenges. Mark and some of his coworkers biking in to their workplace are pictured below.

Bill Morgan: Bill works at Gwinnett Public Library and is proud that he and his wife have been a, “one-car couple,” for three years. In addition to saving on car expenses and gas, Bill feels that he doing his part to save the planet. Looking back on the past three years Bill says, “It is amazing how many trips you decide are not necessary when your choice is to walk or ride the bike to where you need to go.”

Bakari Height: Bakari is a Georgia Tech graduate student and is an intern with The Clean Air Campaign. Because Bakari does not have a car, he bikes almost exclusively within the five-mile radius around his home in the Old Fourth Ward.  Once he started  biking, he realized that most of his trips were around the same duration as people who would drive, and faster than waiting on MARTA. It also helps when he needs to rush to class quickly! Below is a picture of Bakari getting ready to ride!



“I am going to start biking to work,” I told my wife a little over a year ago. She gave me the familiar, “that’s nice dear, but I’ll believe it when I see it,” look that she has patented during our marriage. This well-practiced look has greeted my promises to watch less TV (I blame AMC), to teach our three dogs proper dog etiquette (guests to our house would argue with my idea of proper), and to compete in a half marathon (a half of a half marathon is all I have been able to complete to this point). Given my record, I was determined to follow through with this one.

Being an attorney, I applied my “keen” analytical skills to identify several small obstacles that I would have to overcome to fulfill this promise: (1) no bike; (2) I hadn’t biked on a regular basis since I was a teenager, (3) I had no clue how to get from my house to work on a bike and (4) I can’t show up to work a sweaty mess. Discouraging at first, each of these obstacles was pretty easily overcome with a little bit of research and help from others. Along the way I realized that there are great resources available for the would-be urban biker.

The first problem I tried to solve was how I was going to be presentable at work after riding a bike. Working a job that quite often requires a suit, I needed to find a way to bike six miles and then look as if I had just stepped out of a GQ ad (okay, maybe shooting for GQ is a bit high, but at the very least I would need to avoid appearing as a failed contestant from America Ninja Warrior). If I could not find a solution, the idea of biking to work was dead in the water. I had heard rumors that my office had a shower facility. A quick search revealed those rumors to be true. I did not inquire further to see if the reason for the showers was to encourage members of the firm to exercise or pull an all-nighter.

With the first problem solved, the next step was to get a bike. After talking over the various kinds of bikes with friends and searching online (www.atlantabike.org is a great resource), I settled on a hybrid/commuter bike, one well-suited to handle the sometimes off-road conditions of Atlanta’s roads and the metal plates covering “on-going” repairs with which we all are all too familiar. I looked online for new and used bikes, but the selection was overwhelming. Luckily, Atlanta has a number of great bike shops with employees friendly enough to answer my questions and help me find the right fit for my needs.

After I secured my bike, the next step was to get comfortable riding a bike on the mean streets of ATL while determining the safest route to work. I turned to www.ridethecity.com/atlanta for assistance with the planning. The website includes various levels of safety for a given route, as well as available bike paths, streets with bike lanes, and streets with sharrows (Google Maps has improved with its bike routes since my initial mapping, so it also provides some decent directions). After mapping an initial plan, I took a weekend morning to test out the suggested route. Once I made a couple of runs and a few tweaks to the route, I was ready to go.

The first few times of riding to work were a mixture of excitement and nerves. It was a weird experience waiting for the red light to turn green while on a bike with numerous cars sitting behind me, but I soon got used to it. It has been over a year now since I began biking to work, and with the opening of the Eastside BeltLine, as well as the bike lanes on 10th Street, the ride has only gotten better. I really look forward to seeing other bike lanes open throughout the other parts of the city, as well as other bike-friendly improvements. I also look forward to seeing my wife’s look this time when I tell her I am going to get her to start biking to work too.

Matt Warenzak is an Associate in the Intellectual Property Practice of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, specializing in patent prosecution and litigation while also handling copyright, trademark, trade secrets, and licensing issues. In his spare time, he is a board member for Out-of-Hand Theater.



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