James GonzalskiJoined Team in 2021

    “I like how sharing stories about history makes it come alive again, every single time.”

    Born in New England and raised in Nashville, the wheels really started rolling for James in high school when he used his employee discount at Kmart to buy a Huffy-brand bike. You can call that bike cheap, if you want, but James called it a treasure for years. In fact, he even brought it with him to college at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), where he earned his degree in computer engineering, although he didn’t really ride much in Atlanta at the time.

    A move to Washington, D.C., where his wife attended graduate school, changed everything for James. He discovered the extensive repurposed rail trails — especially the C&O Canal Towpath, upgraded to a fancy (for him) Jamis Coda bike, and found himself spending more and more time bike-packing on long-distance rides when not working at his day-job as a computer consultant. Inevitably, this led to an iconic Seattle-to-Boston bike ride, for which his boss (and Appalachian Trail through-hiker) graciously gave him unpaid leave. Is it any surprise that Wilderness Voyageurs, a national bike touring company, welcomed him as a tour guide? In fact, if you don’t see James leading one of our tours here in Atlanta (where he and his wife returned a few years ago, that Huffy long retired), he may be at the front of a long-distance tour! It was actually following one of those tours in Savannah that he discovered Bicycle Tours of Atlanta and contacted owner Robyn to see about opportunities. We are so grateful James joined our team in Fall 2021.

    With deep appreciation for rail trails and their role in preserving the past as we forge forward, James is particularly interested in history and how it informs today’s world. His favorite stop on our Fall in Love with Atlanta tour is overlooking Atlanta from the Jackson Street Bridge. He can see our city’s humble beginnings as a railroad terminus — just as he has seen so many other cities’ histories on rail trails across the USA. Of course, the Atlanta Beltline, Atlanta’s very own repurposed rail trail, is particularly close to his heart as well. Who knew how far that Huffy would take him!