BUCKHEAD – I tossed the Blue Streak (the nickname for my Wal-Mart bike) into the Dark Knight and drove over to ride with Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and some really cool guys from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition early this morning.
(Their bikes looked a little different than the Blue Streak. I didn’t see any of their bikes at Wal-Mart, either. I also grabbed my daughter’s pink helmet. You can never be to be safe on those roads.)
I only went a couple of miles, while they rode the entire 40 miles from Buckhead to Flowery Branch to celebrate National Bike to Work Day.
Dimitroff has been planning this ride since he arrived in 2008. We’d talked about it several times, so I decided to get on out there.
Dimitroff is a cycling enthusiast. I just get on the Silver Comet Trail from time to time. I need to do it more often for fitness purposes.
Some of the riders were Atiba Mbiwan (owner of Free-Flite Bicycles), Dan Thornton and ABC members and volunteers Tim Ho and Jeffrey Wisard, and ABC league cycling instructor Neil Walker.
“I’d like to probably do this annually if we could,” Dimitroff said. “This is one of those things where you get to ride to work, get the blood flowing. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is about fun. It’s about fitness and about transportation. We are actually covering all three of those today.”
National Bike to Work Day was originated by the League of American Bicyclists in 1956 and is a part of National Bike Month, which is held every May. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition supports the event in Atlanta and encourages people to commute to work using a bicycle.
(My man Thomas Stinson was ahead of this curve. The sports writing legend turned word-editor rides daily to the office. He’s a stud!)
“We are building more awareness about bicycle presence and how we can co-exist,” Dimitroff said. “It’s good for the environment. It’s good for everyone to understand that, hey I can get on a bike and run down one of those two-mile or three-mile trips to take care my business. Over 70 percent of the rides today are less than three miles and they a driven by cars. I’m right there along with them. The real stars here today are the people who truly do it every day. We can only aspire to be that good in that area.”
Also, we got in a little football. The roster is set so everyone can stop asking about offensive tackle Marcus McNeil and defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin.
The Falcons are at 89 players and will hit the roster max when they sign fifth-round pick Jonathan Massaquoi.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog