Allow us to introduce you to Jonathan Mann! He is a field technician who currently works behind the scenes to help keep Relay Bike Share rolling. He’s a rock star.
Can you explain your role as a field technician?
Jonathan Mann: As a field technician, I ride around the city making sure our bikes are working well by changing the batteries and performing light maintenance. It’s important for the bikes to be in high traffic areas and in places people can use them efficiently.
Why work with bikes?
Jonathan Mann: I love my job because I love bikes! I love to be outside all day, I love riding and I really enjoy the people I meet every day -cyclists, visitors, people who use Relay bikes and people who are just curious about them.
What did you do before becoming a field technician?
Jonathan Mann: I was a career journalist and spent three decades as a foreign correspondent and then anchor for CNN. I loved traveling the world, reporting from exotic and exciting places. But I never got a chance to really dig deep into Atlanta the way I do now, getting to know so many places and neighborhoods. It’s such a fun, fascinating city.
Did you bike while working as a journalist?
Jonathan Mann: I used to ride a lot when I was at CNN. I gave up owning a car. I was a full-time cyclist even when I was on the air, riding to work each day. It was a great and lucky lifestyle! With my position as a field technician, I ride even more now, though, so I’m even luckier.
You ride a giant cargo bike around Atlanta?! Please share the details.
Jonathan Mann: I ride a Yuba Spicy Curry, a pedal-assist E-bike with a trailer attached. It allows me to moves bikes around the city. It’s a bit of a beast! We’ve never weighed it… but I’d guess that fully loaded with three Relay bikes attached, the trailer must weigh at least 180 pounds!! Without the love I get from the motor, I’d never manage to coast up the hills in Atlanta. I still get quite a workout. During the day, I have to make sure I save enough battery power to get me through my whole shift. I alternate between utilizing the E assist or doing most of the work old-school, with my legs.
Thoughts on bike share in Atlanta?
Jonathan Mann: Atlanta is a natural place for Relay because the weather is perfect for cycling so much of the year. The public transit is also stretched super thin for people without cars. I love Atlanta but, imagine how much greater the city would be with more bikes and other transit options. Cycling is not only fun for kids, but it’s also great for adults… and it’s fabulous for cities.
What would you like to share with Atlantans?
Jonathan Mann: If you don’t ride a Relay bike regularly (and I mean regularly), you should! If you’re riding Relay already, ride more! Cycling has long been the way I’ve gone to the grocery store, the post office, and the shopping mall. Bikes aren’t just fun, they are a great way to turn errands into a healthy outdoor exercise that opens the city before your eyes… and they turn city streets into active livable spaces.
Also, If you’re riding a Relay bike, be nice to it! It just wants you to take it places…leave it clean, secure, and locked-up nicely so you or someone else can ride it again soon. The happier our bikes are, the happier I am.