Dancing Goats Coffee Bar in Midtown is a typical neighborhood coffee shop. For Pattie Baker, a freelance content creator, it’s her office. It’s a place where she brews up editorial articles, books, blog posts and social content for herself and her clients.
Pattie doesn’t just call one coffee shop her home. She switches up her office location depending on the meetings, interviews or events on her calendar for the week, which means her commute changes with her schedule. You might run into her anywhere from Decatur to Alpharetta. It’s easy to keep up with her though, as she live-tweets as Sustainable Pattie, a nickname someone gave her when she founded and led the Sustainability Commission when Dunwoody (where she and her husband live) became a new city in 2008.
Pattie’s Daily Commute
A home-based independent consultant after a corporate career with Turner and UPS, Pattie’s commute shifted in 2013 when her youngest daughter was accepted to DeKalb School of the Arts in Avondale Estates. There was no school bus. Pattie decided to toss her bike, laptop, and camera into the car and park it by the Atlanta Beltline.
The mother/daughter team left the car home most of the time and took MARTA many places, on which Pattie was thrilled to discover she could bring her bike at any time.
“Traveling at the Speed of Bike” quickly became her lifestyle. She even wrote a book on the lifestyle change, which you can read more about on her blog.
“Getting places on time is more predictable when riding a bike,” said Pattie. She also joked that it justifies the donuts and ice cream, which we think is something everyone can agree on.
Beyond balancing out her love of sweet treats, Pattie said meeting new people along the way is the thing she enjoys most about her commute. Her bike, named “Magic,” is layered with brightly colored paint, which serves as an amazing conversation starter. She says she meets the friendliest people on MARTA elevators as she makes her way to and from the train, bike in hand.
“The satisfaction of breezing past traffic-packed streets is particularly enjoyable, and you discover that places in Atlanta are a lot closer than you think they are when you go there by bike,” said Pattie. “One of the most rewarding moments is during a morning commute when I see the sun peek through the fading fog and rolling hills in Piedmont Park. I stop and take a picture of that almost every time.”
Pattie has some great advice for those looking to get in gear:
- Use Bike Commuters of Atlanta to network with other bike riders
- Try your commute on a weekend first to sort through the logistics and scope out any multi-modal options along your route
- Take a bike skills class to brush up on road rules, to learn some tips and techniques, and to get rubber-hits-the-road advice for choosing a route that matches your comfort level (see her blog’s Bonus Resources tab for some helpful short videos)
Pattie also notes that bike lights, a GoPro, grapes and dried dates, a MARTA Breeze Card, a bike lock and tea tree oil wipes are some of the essentials she carries with her to get through the day. Looking to make your commute more like Pattie’s? Check out our Ways to Get Around page for various clean commute options available in the metro Atlanta area, and don’t forget to sign up for our incentive programs to earn cash on your clean commute.