Two-Wheeled Bike Commute Lets Killory Exercise Mind and Heart


Jack Stenger

Two-Wheeled Commute: IB biology teacher Marie Killory rides to North Atlanta most days on her trusted mountain bike hybrid.

Among the students and faculty and North Atlanta, getting to school can be a widely different experience from person to person, with transportation methods ranging from buses, to cars, and ride-sharing programs like Uber and Lyft. But few individuals’ methods are as unorthodox as that of IB biology teacher Marie Killory. Many times a week, the longtime teaching veteran summon up the courage to ride her trusted hybrid-mountain bike from her home in Virginia Highlands all the way up to North Atlanta’s Buckhead address at 4111 Northside Parkway. Her nine-mail-get-to-work odyssey parts her in a commuting category of one.

It may be surprising that any sane minded individual, much less one of the most intelligent people in the school, would ever bike to school. However, for Killory, the reasoning is actually quite rational. Foremost in her mind, she said, is the opportunity to incorporate exercise into her busy schedule. With her two-wheeled commute, she trades former time spent in traffic with an exercise that improves her mind and body. She also noted that environmental factors play a large role and she takes pride in the fact she’s able to drastically reduce her carbon footprint. “I figured as a teacher that teaches about our individual impact on the environment, if I can talk the talk, I should walk the walk,” she said.

As would be expected, Killory acknowledged that the switch from driving to cycling has brought about a profound shift in her morning routine. This routine now includes eating breakfast, teeth brushing, and even showering at school. But these added inconveniences are far outweighed by the benefits according to Killory, who feels her life has been significantly improved by this change, with her mood and general health seeing massive jumps in quality.

Now no one would blame you for thinking that switching to cycling as the primary mode of transportation would make life much more difficult, but it would appear that on the contrary Killory has found it to be easier. “In a weird way it is more predictable,” she said. “Since I’m not stuck on a freeway I have so much more freedom, and I’m always doing something even when I’m moving very slow because I’m still moving as opposed to being stuck in traffic.”

Of course things aren’t all rosy for our resident cyclist, considering the obvious dangers of the dangerous traffic-clogged Atlanta streets. “I’ve had some close calls, but I always plan out my route to make sure I’m taking the safest path possible,” she said.

Though biking to school has been a big change for Killory, she said it’s been a wholly positive one. Maybe even a few North Atlanta students will follow one teacher’s example and ditch the car and trade it in for a soul-inspiring two-wheeled commute, saving the planet — and skirting traffic-impeded sanity — one pedal stroke at a time.