Archives for December 2019

Chris Saves Time & Stays Healthy by Bike Commuting

Even if you live ITP (inside the perimeter), commuting just a few miles to work can be stressful and time-consuming. Chris, a Square Software Engineer at Atlantic Station, recently started using a bike for his 2-mile commute from his home in Midtown to work. He decided to give it a try after a coworker suggested he sign up for Biketober–a fun, free competition that takes place each October to encourage Atlantans to break out their bikes and experience the benefits from enjoying the city by two wheels. 

We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Chris to hear about how relying on a bicycle to get to work has impacted his life for the better. 

 

What led you to start riding your bike to work?

There were a lot of people in the office who biked, and they were riding longer distances than my commute. When Biketober rolled around, one of my coworkers encouraged me to start riding and gave me a bike. Now, my commute is about 10-15 minutes total by bike.

What is your favorite part about commuting by bike?

It’s a faster commute, I save some money, and it’s an unavoidable workout. Before, I wouldn’t make time for working out or would work out on and off. Now, I get my exercise in each day I go to work.

How did you decide to rely on a bike for your commute?

I was interested in getting a bike to avoid driving a car and received one for free, so that helped me make my decision.

Do you have plans to continue riding your bike?

Definitely, I currently use it for commuting, but I do plan on using it to travel to other places. I’ve only had to skip riding it one day because of the weather, so it has been very useful.

What tips do you have for someone trying to find a bike that best suits their commute?

A coworker told me this quote: “Your first bike should cost less than your helmet, your second bike should cost more than your helmet, and your third bike should cost more than your car.” 

Also, starting to ride is not as bad you think. In general, cars are very respectful. There’s some unfounded anxiety about biking prior to starting. After you begin biking that goes away. I was worried about not being in good enough shape, but it was easy.

You just have to rip the Band-Aid off and start trying!

How did you determine the best bike route to take to get to your office?

I first asked coworkers who biked into work. I also tried a couple of different routes I found via Google Maps. My first attempt was West Peachtree Street, which had a huge hill, and figured out fast that would not be a good route. Then, I found that 17th Street to Peachtree Street was pretty flat, so that’s been my route since. 

Do you have any accessories for your bike that make commuting easier?

You are going to need a light for riding after dark, bike lock, helmet, and backpack. Some people use harnesses or panniers like the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic. You can hook it to your bike to carry things, so you don’t have to carry a backpack.

What tips do you have for people considering riding their bike to work?

Try to ride your bike in good weather–avoid really hot parts of the day in the summer. You can also rent bikes to try out before you commit to buying one. The Beltline has a lot of bike rental places. 

I highly recommend practice riding on the Beltline because you don’t have the pressure of cars surrounding you. You can try out several bikes to find one that is most comfortable for you.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your commute?

I used to take Bird Scooters, but I enjoy biking much more because of the exercise. I wish I had started riding a bike sooner. I’m enjoying participating in Biketober and will continue riding, as I feel healthier and am saving time on my commute!

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T3 West Midtown Showcases Bike Amenities

With more commuters opting to bike to work, it’s no wonder properties are designing spaces suited for this growing trend. T3 West Midtown, Atlantic Station’s latest property that redefines the standard for the modern creative office, is at the forefront of this movement. Not only is the building made with heavy timber, making it more environmentally friendly, it also promotes sustainable practices to its tenants, encouraging people to take transit and bike to work.

A cornerstone of this is T3’s new bike room called The Wheelhouse. It features a bike ramp for easy access, a spacious storage area, fixit station and pump, and locker and shower rooms. 

Properties like T3 are setting the standard for office buildings that want to attract companies seeking spaces that promote healthy lifestyles and sustainable commuting for their workforce.

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John Enjoys A Good Book While Riding MARTA

John is a Software Engineer at Square who was feeling stressed due to his tiring drive from his home in Ormewood Park to his job in Atlantic Station each day. Even though he lived a mere 15 minutes from his office, his car ride had turned into 45 minutes with all the traffic. 

Ever since a friend suggested he try taking MARTA to work, John has been hooked and now enjoys a stress-free commute that allows him to read books and bypass traffic. 

We recently spoke with John, and he shared all about his experience and how making the switch has improved his life.

 

When did you start working at Square, and where are you commuting from?

I started working at Square in August 2015, and I commute from Ormewood Park. 

What led you to start taking MARTA to work? 

I noticed recently that my commute was very stressful. With no traffic, it was 15 minutes, but normally it was taking 45 minutes. There were lots of intersections, most of which were blocked and jam-packed. I was always arriving home from work stressed out. 

One day, I was talking with a friend, and he suggested taking MARTA. Switching to MARTA doesn’t save me a lot of time, but it does save me a lot of headaches. MARTA also provides more structure in my life. If I don’t get up to catch my train, I end up goofing around and running late.  

How do you usually spend your time while riding MARTA?

Reading! I took a New Year’s resolution to read 12 books this year.

What is your favorite part about riding MARTA to work?

I’m gaining more me-time during the day and arriving to work stress-free. I also am getting exercise because I have to walk to get to the different stations. I get off at the Arts Center station and walk to the BB&T building. 

What tips do you have for people considering changing their commute?

Use Google Maps for your initial planning. You can tell what time you need to get somewhere or what time you need to leave. Try to use the desktop version over the mobile app as you can plan your departure and arrival times. 

The signs may be confusing if you are a new rider. One time I missed the train because I was paying attention to the wrong sign. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the stations and the destinations they serve to ensure you understand which train to board. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your commute? 

It’s helped me feel less stressed, and I enjoy the little walks between the stations and my endpoints. I encourage other people to try it! 

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