Monday, October 10, 2016

Roll Model: Jack Wachtel

I just moved down to the city in mid August, and the automobile gods frowned upon me right before I came down. My loss of a car put me back into the saddle, and truth be told, I don't know if I'll ever go back. I cruise mainly through the Edgewood Avenue area, and you can catch me most mornings at Cafe+Velo. Never leaving my side is my trusty steed, a 1992 Trek 1200 Aluminum. First and only bike I have owned, and I'm zealous about squeezing every inch of life I can from it.

I grew up in Canton, so I'm ecstatic to be out of the suburbs. But even in my short time here I think I've surpassed the initial joy that comes from being cradled among the concrete forest of a progressive metropolis. Atlanta is a microcosm for our nation: a sprawling puzzle of subjective identity. A thousand varieties of opinions and cultures, and enough diversity to draw political borders around the neighborhoods. The American identity is impossible to put a pin on, but calling yourself an Atlanta Native is badge of passion.

But that pride is something you miss when enclosed in a rolling, two-ton, cage of steel. You fail to witness the living, breathing entity that you can’t help but fall in love with once you sleep down here for a week, because it’s something that only a resident can know.

So what has my saddle given me? A chance to romance my city, and a city to call my own. For what good is living free, if your house is not your home?

Jack Wachtel

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