“Since working as a bike mechanic, I never, not once, have felt like I didn’t want to go to work.”
Rita Berry, our beloved long-time bike mechanic with Intown Bicycles, enjoyed smashing her tricycle into stairs until it broke. She then fell in love with a bright red two-wheeler at a flea market and taught herself to ride it, which she claims as one of the best memories of her life when she finally “just let go” of the carport. This eventually led to a BMX-style bike she used to pop wheelies, fly over dirt mounds at a quarry, and bunnyhop with the neighborhood boys to see who could go the highest. It was a short hop, skip, and a jump to taking her bike apart with her dad’s plentiful tools to grease the bearings so she would be fastest. When she joined the U.S. Army right out of high school, it came as no surprise that her first purchases at both Ft. Benning in Georgia and on her base in Germany were bicycles.
Back in Atlanta, it took her a few years to find her obvious life calling. After working several jobs, mostly slinging pizza, she was driving on the highway on her way to her job at a hair salon when she noticed how pretty the trees looked and realized what she was missing. Lamenting how far life had taken her away from bikes, she marched into that local bike shop where she still works and pretty much begged for a job. As luck would have it, the Centennial Olympic Games were coming to Atlanta shortly and there was demand for alternative transportation during those few weeks so the bike shop was slammed with people wanting their bikes fixed. Rita got tossed into the job and took it from there. Naturally mechanical with significant hands-on expertise already, she was a perfect match for the challenge.
Rita wants you to know that she and her colleague Daniel ensure that BTA bikes are in top-notch condition, and that she brings her full self to their care, just as she helps care for her elderly mother on her days off at her childhood home in nearby Lithonia. Since working as a bike mechanic, Rita has never again felt like she didn’t want to go to work.