Robyn Elliott, Chief Happiness Officer
Wheeling in the birth of great ideas is a natural for the bicycle! For Einstein, it was the “Theory of Relativity.” For me, it was Bicycle Tours of Atlanta. While we all watched the residential construction industry come to a slow pace and then a complete halt in mid 2008, I knew I had to do something different. My days as a construction inspector were numbered and it was finally time for me to pursue a passion. From the time I was a kid to a teen and all the way through my adult life, I’ve had a strong relationship with the bicycle.
So I decided to turn to my first and most enduring love for inspiration (the bicycle) and create a way to make living. I have always enjoyed showing off my hometown of Atlanta and knew that the time had come for this southern city to have her very own bike touring company!
Please join me and my team and let us share with you our beautiful city! I’m sure you’ll agree with President John F. Kennedy when he said, “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.”
Walt’s a retiree from Coca-Cola and has enjoyed his second act gig with BTA since early 2017. He has lived more than half his life in Atlanta, having moved here over 40 years ago. He likes to say he wasn’t born here but got here as fast as he could. He enjoys sharing his love of the city with natives and out-of-towners alike; everyone learns something new on our tours. He’s an avid recreational cyclist (no racing!), including doing lots of multi-day bicycle trips (to places like New Orleans; Gulf Shores, AL; Savannah; Indianapolis; along the Mississippi River in Minnesota and along the Natchez Trace in Mississippi). So when he’s not showing off his hometown with Bicycle Tours of Atlanta he’s probably riding his bike anyway (or at a rodeo with his beautiful wife, Jeanel!). Walt is a member of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Zoo Atlanta, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and he also volunteers with the Atlanta Track Club and the Historic Oakland Foundation.
Victoria comes to Atlanta by way of the Hudson Valley region in New York and has been calling the ATL home since 2006. She joined the BTA team in late 2016 and was extremely instrumental in developing our Civil Rights Tour. Her parents are from Spain so she is first generation American and, of course, speaks fluent Spanish! Before joining BTA, she volunteered as a walking tour guide for the Atlanta Preservation Center. Her love of history, and the people who made it, is evident during her tours. She’s a gifted story teller and a heck of lot of fun to hang out with! She also loves running, crossword puzzles and adding to her collection of vintage yearbooks. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her beautiful daughter, Amelia, who is also bi-lingual – we call that a tour guide in training!
Tim is thrilled to be riding with BTA and joined the team in 2013. Originally from Akron, Ohio, he moved to Atlanta in 1993 from St. Augustine FL, where for eight years he worked as a tour guide in the nation’s oldest city. Since living in Atlanta he has worked as an actor, bartender and talk show host. Currently he works in the medical field as a standardized patient. What does this mean, you ask? He literally educates medical professionals on their bedside manner and examination techniques. Sounds cray-cray, right? Well, somebody’s got to do it! His favorite part about working with us is sharing and telling the story of his adopted home: Atlanta — “The City Built In A Forest.” His favorite role in life is being “Father” to his son Coltrane, who will often assist on our tours. Tim’s special skills include standing on one foot, playing the harmonica, and juggling — all at the same time. Welcome all and ever forward! Ride on!
Pattie Baker has been exploring the city of Atlanta by bike since 2013—ever since her first ride on the newly-opened Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail. She made every day she rode a day of discovery and adventure. While she was talking to strangers, taking photos, and researching every aspect of our ever-changing city, there were stories coming to life in her head. At the end of her day, she would write about what she uncovered on her blog, TravelingAtTheSpeedofBike.com. During this time, we were doing our best to “court” this interesting woman (who is also a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor) to become a tour guide with BTA. In 2018, our wish came true and she joined our team. Originally from New York, she is a married mother of two grown daughters and has lived and worked in metro Atlanta for almost thirty years. Her favorite thing about Atlanta is the art. And if you get to meet Pattie while on one of our tours, you’ll know why we are thanking our lucky stars to have her on the BTA team!
Doug has been an important part of BTA since 2008. He lives in Roswell, Georgia where he owns a graphic design, photography and video business. Over the years, he has offered valuable counsel, professional services and unyielding encouragement. We are lucky that he loves cycling and leading tours so much that he’s willing to make the trek to Atlanta to help us with our large corporate and special events. He’s an avid cyclist, a dedicated bicycle advocate for his community, great friend and serious chocolate lover. Oh, and he has a very loud whistle, and knows how to use it! When he is not cycling or creating solutions for his clients, he is pedaling the Roswell Pedicab or doing his favorite thing — spending quality time with his very funny and lovable family: wife Peggy, and their amazing grown kids, Anna and John. If interested in connecting with him professionally, check out Fallon Design and Photography.
We are so fortunate to have Rita as part of the BTA team. Since 2015, she has been the reason people say, “oh, this bike is in such great condition.” Having our bikes operate perfectly every time they roll out on a tour is the job of this wonderful woman! She juggles her time between working at a great local bike shop, personal assisting to a long-time client and spending time with her Mom and favorite nephew about an hour outside the city. She is also one of the kindest people you will ever get to meet and the most talented bike mechanic we know! If you happen to see in the shop when you are there for your tour, please say hello and tell her SHE ROCKS! Because she really does!!
Sara joined the BTA team in 2016 and like most of our guides, is very good at juggling a super active lifestyle! She hails from New Jersey and has called Atlanta her home since 2011. Around that time, she completed a life changing, cross country bike trip with Bike and Build, a non-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for affordable housing. As you can see from the photo, she takes her weekend warrior activities rather seriously as she participates in foot and bike races throughout the year. She even completed her first IRONMAN 70.3 in 2017! She is a people person, an Atlanta United season ticket holder, a lover of local brews and mom to a beautiful husky named Luna. She truly enjoys riding alongside our visitors from all over the world, as “we learn something new every time we hit the pavement, if not about our city, certainly about each other!”
Brad and his wife Marty have lived in Atlanta for 22 years raising two kids, three dogs and one cat. He has been with the BTA team since 2016. Brad retired from Wells Fargo in 2014, donned a back-pack, purchased a tent and hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Today, he spends his time riding his bike, managing a small business and of course leading tours for BTA. Brad has a love for the history of Atlanta and its neighborhoods. He is an active community participant in all things Atlanta Beltline, a volunteer for the Atlanta Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech and is an active member of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
A first generation Colombian/American, Lucy first began bicycling as a commuter. Biking is now her preferred method of transportation for recreation, group rides and exploring Atlanta. Her hobbies include bike polo, belly dancing, rock climbing, gardening and cooking. She is focused on local initiatives, community groups and projects including Living Walls, SOPO Bicycle Cooperative and Truly Living Well — all of which provide great Atlanta intown perspective and info when she tours with our guests! Lucy will soon be graduating with a Bachelors in Architecture from Southern Polytechnic State University. A very well-rounded individual, Lucy’s current fascination is the Atlanta urban agricultural scene -– and she may be training to be an urban farmer sometime soon too!
Gary rides with us as much as he can, but he has many things up his sleeve, so we consider ourselves lucky when he can join us on a tour! Recently retired, but busier than ever as an active Board Member of a nonprofit promoting safe bicycle riding. He relishes the time he gets to have with his adorable granddaughters, but recently carves out as much time as he can to spend with his bride of 13 years, Carole. In late 2017, he and his wife had a life altering experience when she spent 30 days in the hospital fighting for her life with double phenomena and a dangerous strand of the flu virus that so many did not survive. That said, when he tells us he is has plans to take his sweetheart on a date and can’t help with a tour, we completely understand! But if he happens to be on your tour, you are in for a treat!
Sam Narten is our lovable mystery man, originally from Chargin Falls, Ohio (home town to Tim Conway) and has called Atlanta home since 1978. He is quiet, kind, reliable, a very skilled cyclist and (once you get to know him) a very funny friend. He has been part of Team BTA since 2013, but over the last couple of years has cut back on his touring due to all the traveling he and his main squeeze (Ginna) do. He helps out when he can and if you have the pleasure of having Sam on a tour, he may come across as “all business” – but that is only because he takes your safety very seriously. In 2017, he was involved in a serious bike accident while making his way to a bike event in the wee dark hours of the morning. It took him almost 8 months to recover, but he is back and we are all so grateful! When we say you should always wear your helmet, we really do mean it!