Bicycling in and around Atlanta.

Friday, June 30, 2006



Peep's New Bike

Last night we put the finishing touches on Peep’s new bike.  Of course Peep’s new bike is one of my old bikes; we built up my old Gary Fisher Wahoo frame into a nice all around bike for my youngest kid.  It’s probably just a hair to tall for her but she’s still growing and I’ve always preferred my frames to be on the big side.  This weekend we’re going to ride over to the Silver Comet Trail and give it a proper shakedown. 


Building this bike with my kid has been a great experience.  Not only did it provide a lot of father daughter time it also allowed her to learn the basics of bicycle mechanics including how to use most of my tools.  Photos to follow soon.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Midtown & Downtown Bike Suitability Map

There’s a new bike suitability map available covering the midtown and downtown areas.  You can download it here.


A big tip of the hat to Atlanta Bicycle Commuter for this one.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Expressway Craziness

What’s crazier than making I-75 in Cobb County 23 lanes wide?  How about adding extra elevated lanes to I-285 across the top end perimeter?  Despite the huge costs of these projects nothing seems to indicate that Atlanta is anywhere near breaking its addiction to the automobile.  Now the Cobb County project is priced at 2 billion and the elevated lanes have to at least cost that much, so imagine how many of these we could build with the same amount of money?  Imagine a climate and grade controlled bicycle expressway that would link residential, business, and retail areas.  Visit Velo-city to learn more about the idea.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Whoo-Hoo a code red has been called for tomorrow.


Because of the predicted concentrations of GROUND-LEVEL OZONE, air quality in metro-Atlanta is predicted to be "Unhealthy." In this range, outdoor air is more likely to be unhealthy for most people, especially people with heart or lung disease (including asthma), seniors and children. Most people should restrict their outdoor exertion to morning or late evening hours when ozone is low, to avoid high ozone exposures.


Mercury Keeps Rising

They say it may hit 100F today in Atlanta.  Remember to take it easy and drink a lot of water.  John must be roasting down in Savannah.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Scary Experience This Morning


I was nearly involved in an accident this morning.  I was waiting at a traffic light and had positioned myself in the center of the lane because I was continuing straight through the intersection.  When stopped like this I make it a habit to periodically check my mirror to make sure someone isn’t pulling right up on my rear wheel, so imagine my expression when I saw an older Chevy Caprice bearing down on me apparently not slowing down.  Instantly I decide to filter past the line of cars on the right and it’s a good thing I did.  The Caprice slammed on its brakes skidding into the SUV that was now on my left.  It’s probably no surprise that the driver was talking on his cell phone which flew out of his hand and hit the windshield of his car so hard it cracked.  I made sure the drivers were ok then waited around and gave to cops my statement before continuing on to work.  If I hadn’t moved I would have been a cycling pizza kind of scary to think about.  Of course if I had been in my car I would have been smashed anyway because I wouldn’t have been able to move around the stopped vehicles.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

More on the heat

We’ve got another stretch of 90 degree days coming up so why not talk yet again about beating the heat.  First as I’ve said time and time again, if you ride in Georgia in the summer you’re going to sweat.  Get used to it.  Sweat is nature’s way of making sure you don’t fry your insides.  Are you self-conscious about sweating?  Don’t be.  Look around you, people sweat buckets just walking across a parking lot.  Your sweat is no different than theirs; they walk into a store dripping sweat so can you.  Drink, often and more than you think you need.  It’s all too easy not to drink enough and that’s a sure recipe for summertime disaster.  Go slow.  I just returned for a nice three mile ride and I didn’t sweat that much.  The secret, I went impossibly slow.  On the last and steepest hill before I returned to work my speedometer read in the low single digits.  Take time to stop and smell the roses.  When I ride I tend to stop a lot.  I stop and talk to my friends and neighbors, I stop to take pictures, and sometimes I just stop to cool off.  Take off your helmet.  When you’re stopped that is.  The helmet is a big insulator for your head and in the summer it should come off the minute you step off the bike.


This weekend: Fathers days shopping spree. 

Friday, June 09, 2006

Why Oh Why

You see me approaching the intersection at a fair speed.  We make eye contact.  Then after watching me get closer and closer you then decide you need to turn in front of me.  Just tell me why you couldn’t wait the five seconds it would take me to clear the intersection.  Yeah, I’m talking to you blue Volvo on Windy Ridge Parkway this morning. 

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Playing with Google Trends

So Google can rank searches by the region requesting them.  Hmmm, I wonder Atlanta will rank.


Traffic: Atlanta #9


Hummer: Atlanta #9 (Caracas is #1?)


Anti-Christ: Atlanta #10


Jesus: Atlanta #9


Revelations Atlanta #8


Left Behind Atlanta #7 (Do you notice a trend?)


Christ: Atlanta #6


Pollen: Atlanta #2


The Big Chicken: Atlanta #1 (and bizarrely London#3)


Lil John: Atlanta #1 (Yeah!)



I should have left well enough alone

My old saddle was showing its age.  It still worked fine but it looked like crud, so I bought a new one attached it and then took it out for a ride.  It only took a few minutes to realize that in the installation I had wacked my seat so far out of adjustment that it just wasn’t comfortable.  So I got off the bike and started making adjustments 24 hours later the seat still isn’t right.  I consider myself a fairly competent bike mechanic but this is giving me fits.  Late last night I thought I had fixed the problem but then on the ride in this morning I felt a distinct numbness in the groin.  So I’ll be doing some minor adjustments before I leave for home and hopefully this won’t be a reoccurring problem.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Weekend Roundup: Home Depot, Sunscreen, Kids, and Columns Drive

This weekend was pretty active riding wise.  I had to run several errands on the bike including a trip to Home Depot in Vinings where there was no bike rack so I wound up cabling my bike to one of their prefabricated children’s area thingajig.  After that I decided to take my youngest out to work on her street riding skills we cruised around area roads before cutting through Cochran Shoals over to Columns Drive.  Much to my surprise I found that the bike lanes on Columns have been expanded.  Previously these “bike lanes” had been too narrow for even one bike now they resemble the kind of nice bike lane you find in more progressive cities.  Oh yeah, remember it’s Georgia and it’s summer if you forget to put on sunscreen you’ll burn.  Trust me I speak from experience.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Is MARTA Smarta

Last night my wife and I took MARTA to the Braves game and I was reminded instantly of Atlanta’s public transportation failings.  First I have to comment about MARTA’s new Breeze Card system.  Designed to reduce toll jumpers I was shocked to find three out of the five brand new Breeze Card dispensers were out of order.  That combined with a multi-level menu for purchasing the card made for a long wait to buy our passes.  Speaking of long waits, once we acquired our cards we were treated to a long wait on the platform waiting for the next southbound train.  Of course Atlanta had the wisdom to design a rapid transit system that doesn’t have a station adjacent to its major sports stadium.  So after leaving the train you have the option of spending an extra dollar to take the Brave’s Shuttle to the stadium or walking the roughly one mile from the Georgia State station.  We decided to walk.  Then on the return trip there was no announcement that trains to North Fulton weren’t running through downtown.  If we hadn’t gotten on another northbound train we would have been sitting on that platform for a long time.  In all a one way trip downtown via MARTA took just over an hour, about the same amount of time it takes for me to get there by bike.  If Atlanta’s ever going to get out of traffic jam it’s going to need to have a great public transportation alternative.  And right now MARTA isn’t it.


The one good thing about MARTA is that it’s very bike friendly.  Racks on all the buses and bikes are welcome on trains.

Atlanta: Most Expensive City for Commuters

Well you knew this was coming.  According to Sperling’s BestPlaces Atlanta is the most expensive city in the nation for commuters.  According to Sperling’s a family with two commuters will spend $5,772 per year.  Not surprisingly 8 out of the 10 most expensive cities for commuters are in the south.