Bike-Walk Dunwoody paves the way for social connection and exercise
At 3 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month, from March through November, you can find Dunwoody resident Jason Metzger cruising the 4.5 mile loop that starts and ends at Village Burger on Dunwoody Village Parkway.
Jason volunteers for Bike-Walk Dunwoody, a group that hosts a monthly bicycle ride for enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. “Our riders range from the beginner just learning to navigate the roads, to the seasoned cyclist looking for a relaxing Sunday ride with friends,” he explained. “The beautiful loop through town is the ideal distance for most, although we do offer a shorter option as well.”
For the Bike-Walk Dunwoody volunteers it’s fun to see many familiar faces week after week. “We like to think it’s the joy of being on a bike that brings everyone back each week,” says Jason. “But, it may also be the $1 frozen custard and the discounted beers that Village Burger has waiting for us at the finish line.”
For many cyclers the end of a bike ride leads not just to a tasty treat but also a healthier, safer, more family-friendly community. In fact, community and connection are two of the guiding principles of Bike-Walk Dunwoody. The road becomes a place to catch-up with a neighbor or wave at people you meet along the ride – not just a way to get where you’re going.
You can often find groups walking to the local Mexican restaurant, Los Rancheros, or bikers filling their baskets with produce from the farmers market. These moments together not only strengthen community bonds but also gives families a chance to connect.
For Paige Metzger ,the benefits of cycling are felt by every member of her family. She likes to join in the Bike-Walk Dunwoody rides with her husband and son who look forward to the opportunity to get outside and hit the open road. “This is a great way to meet new people, spend time with family and friends and see your community from a different perspective,” she says.
In addition to the feeling the wind in your hair the volunteer group offers the opportunity for an equally important experience: riding safely. Atlanta is known for having tricky roads for bicyclists, scooters and pedestrians, so learning how to be visible to vehicles and understanding the rules of safe cycling is critical.
One of the most important safety rules to keep in mind, especially for younger riders, is to choose either the sidewalk or the bike lane and then stay there. Cutting back and forth between the two is an easy way to get hurt or cause an accident.
“The Bike-Walk Dunwoody volunteers have a lot of experience and have done a great job giving tips and answering general questions about cycling” says Paige. “Come out and enjoy the Dunwoody downhills with us – it’s a ton of fun!”
· First Sunday of every month through November
· Meet at Village Burger at 2:45 p.m. for a short pre-ride safety talk, depart at 3 p.m.
· Riders 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult
· Helmets required, gears recommended
· For more information visit BikeWalkDunwoody.org/events/monthly-community-bike-ride