“I celebrate the three-pronged stool of beauty, history, and interesting people on our tours.”
Naturally upbeat, Walt’s love of the city where he’s lived since the 1970s (after being born in California and raised all over the USA) continually delights and engages our guests — especially as they quickly discover how authentic his positive outlook is. This is a guy who hadn’t ridden a bike since he was twelve and then said “yes” without question when friends asked him to go on a week-long bike tour at age 29. That one week changed his life, and he has been an ardent long-distance cyclist ever since.
As a tour guide, Walt delights in seeing people who haven’t ridden for years get back in the saddle as well, at the pace they find most comfortable, and he takes ensuring their safety extremely seriously. He also loves sharing another great joy of his, our city’s history. In fact, he loves history so much that our stop at the Oakland Cemetery “bit him and wouldn’t let go,” as he says, and he now serves as a volunteer tour guide there! Walt appreciates that both Bicycle Tours of Atlanta and Oakland Cemetery let him celebrate the “three-pronged stool” of beauty, history, and interesting people. He likes to take his lead from guests as to how history-light or heavy they want to go, as there is so much more to share about Atlanta as well.
You may also suspect specific expertise from Walt when he talks about Atlanta’s hometown company, Coca-Cola (the Coca-Cola bike socks he often wears may have given him away). That’s because he retired from the company after years of service in market research departments in both Atlanta and Houston. Houston was a particular joy because Walt and his wife are big rodeo fans, and that’s obviously big there. Always embracing opportunity, Walt found a way to bring a little rodeo into his life here in Atlanta (besides watching on TV). He volunteers on a cattle farm just south of Atlanta that is owned by a staffer at Oakland Cemetery. When he needs even more, he hightails it to a guest ranch in Colorado and helps move the cattle in a different kind of saddle.