photos courtesy of Bicycle Tours of Atlanta
A stuntman. A hip-hop lyricist. An historian podcaster. An Emmy-award-winning newscaster. A Coca Cola retiree. They come from all walks of life. All parts of the country. All ages. They show up at the repurposed cotton warehouse on the edge of the Atlanta Beltline’s Eastside Trail an hour or so before tours start, and pull the right size and type of bike for each day’s guests from around the world. As they tuck individual names into little tags on each well-maintained bike so guests feel welcome and know their needs have been personally considered, they chat with the ease of people who are used to having each other’s backs (literally).
They inflate tires and check brakes. Next, they pack water, snacks, spare tubes, and a first-aid kit (just in case, and rarely needed). They hang helmets, already cleaned after ending the previous day’s rides, from handlebars. And then the guests arrive — excited; perhaps even a little nervous if it’s been awhile since they’ve ridden a bike. They welcome them wholeheartedly to this naturally-socially-distanced activity that has proven to be even more valuable during the pandemic (and biggest bike boom in the USA since the 1970s).
A brief best-practices intro and a short loop around the courtyard helps them see each guest’s comfort level and adjust the ride accordingly. And then it’s time to show off the City of Atlanta in ways even locals haven’t seen, while also honestly sharing its troubled truth. As these experts with both bikes and people move through space and time, they ensure guests’ safety and react seamlessly to whatever they encounter along the way. No two days, no two tours, are the same — but the same commitment to unyielding excellence prevails.
I had the opportunity to serve as a tour guide with this company, Bicycle Tours for Atlanta, for a little over a year prior to the pandemic. I had an even greater honor recently when I was hired to interview and write new bios for the astounding team that company founder Robyn Elliott has built. Trust me when I say that being a bike tour guide is a stunningly hard job, and every one of these people makes it look easy. It is no surprise to me that Bicycle Tours of Atlanta is Atlanta’s number one outdoor activity on TripAdvisor with more than 900 five-star reviews.
I invite you now to meet Tim, Doug, Troy, Sara, Walt, Victoria, April, Tanner, Cory, Judy, and, of course, Robyn (whom you’ve met previously as part of the You Go, Girl series).
See here if you’d like to put stories to work for your company. For estimating purposes, each one of these bios was a four-hour time commitment (1 hour research prior to each interview, one hour for each interview via phone, and two hours to write/revise each bio). Discounts on my professional writing rate are available for nonprofit organizations, B-Corps, and if I fall in love with what you are doing to create a better world.