The difference between Walcek and the vast majority of metro Atlantans is that he will be on a bicycle.
This week, Walcek is riding as part of the first-ever Bike to Work Challenge sponsored by nonprofits such as The Clean Air Campaign and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. In his view, the Challenge is a very worthy endeavor.
“I’ve been biking to work every day, year-round, for years,” Walcek said. I’m a big bicycling advocate, and have memberships in Bike Roswell! for road riding and Roswell Alpharetta Mountain Bike for mountain biking. So, I’ll sign onto any program that promotes outdoors and active on a bike.”
The Bike to Work Challenge encourages individuals and teams to compete for prizes by riding their bikes to work and keeping track of their progress on leaderboards. It’s all about trying a greener and healthier way to get around.
“I’ve entered the Bike to Work as an individual and am working on joining a team. The challenge as a team is to recruit at least one member who’s new to commuting,” Walcek said.
The distance from his Roswell home to his office is three miles, most of it on Houze Road. Though the morning leg starts around the same time every day, the evening commute time varies with the season, Walcek said. “I don’t like to get caught in the dark, so it’s about 5 p.m. during winter months and 6 p.m. or later during summer months.”
His grown daughter re-introduced him to cycling back in 2004, and to mountain biking shortly after.
In addition to hitting a mountain bike trail every weekend, Walcek has completed some metric century road rides and a couple of Bicycle Ride Across Georgia rides.
“The best part of bike commuting is the daily dose of fresh air and cardio exercise that perks you up in the a.m. for the whole day before settling into the office workstation.
“I also appreciate the occasional thumbs-up encouragement I get from time to time by people in their cars, stuck in rush hour,” he said.
For more information about the Bike to Work Challenge, go to www.atlbiketowork.org.