Bicycling in and around Atlanta.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
A lot of my neighbors don’t understand how I can ride my bike nearly everywhere. So I’ve made a list of available services within a five mile radius. Now I have a lot of problems with the area I live in but accessibility isn’t one of them.
Within 1 mile:
1 Convenience store
1 Sports Authority
1 Circuit City
1 Office Depot
1 Toy store
1 Post Office
1 Day Care center
And soon 1 performing arts center
Within 2 miles:
All of the above plus:
1 Bike shop
1 Bagel Shop
1 Coffee Shop
1 Barnes and Noble
5 more restaurants
2 Drug Stores
3 Athletic clubs
1 Post Office
2 shopping malls
1 Bus Transfer station
Numerous office buildings
Within 3 miles
There’s so much within three miles I can’t even begin to list it all.
That being said this area is rather hilly so 3 miles is a good ride but it’s certainly doable by anyone with a modicum of fitness. So why is that people still refuse to get out of their cars for these short trips? Certainly there’s an environmental factor. In the summer it’s tough to walk your dog without building up a sweat much less ride a fully loaded bike to the store. But I think the real reason is mostly cultural.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Along with cycling I enjoy a good walk. Of course the sidewalks
around here are littered with trash and broken glass, making it
hazardous for my little dog. Until a few years ago we didn't have
sidewalks so I suppose I should count my blessings. What surprises
me is that some of the same hostility I get while bicycling is also
directed at me when walking. I've had garbage thrown and horns
honked along with the usual screams of get a car or something, I
can't really hear them when they're passing at 40 mph. So what's the
deal is a car the only acceptable way to get around Atlanta?
About 12 years ago my wife bought me a small portable shortwave radio
for Christmas. I've been hooked every since. Shortwave brings me
news and entertainment from all over the world. The value of getting
news from another nations perspective is incredible. CNN/Fox and the
rest don't tend to be critical of US policy but Radio Havana sure
is. In fact shortwave's coverage of international news is far
superior to anything you'll get on the US airwaves. Broadcasts range
from the silly, "did you know that Princess Maxima of the Netherlands
is pregnant," to the profound, "Somalis resist the takeover of their
town by the Council of Islamic Courts." So if you're interested in
getting a new perspective on the news check it out.
Monday, September 25, 2006
One of the things about bike commuting is that you’re much more aware of the junk on the road than you would be in a car. This inevitably leads to the discovery of what I call Road Treasures. Some are accidental losses others are deliberately discarded but it’s always weird to find something in perfect condition lying in the gutter.
Here’s a list of some the things I’ve found over the years:
An unopened pack of clothes hangers
A wallet (returned to owner)
A photo album (never claimed)
A homemade CD of a live reggae performance
An IDE hard drive
A videotape with contents not fit for a family blog
An estwing hammer
A diaper bag full of used diapers (eww)
And best of all
A spoke wrench no doubt lost by a fellow bicyclist.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
I was having a great ride this morning. It was cooler than normal which encouraged me to ride hard and fast all the way to work. Unfortunately when I got to the last light before my office everything changed. As I pulled up to the light I took the lane and waited for it to change. A few seconds later a Toyota Tacoma pick-up pulled behind me and in my opinion a little close to my rear wheel. When the light turned green I hammered my way across the intersection, taking the lane the whole way because once I cross the street I have to take an immediate left. Then I hear the pick-up's engine gunning, it sounds like he's flooring it. He swerves around me and left hooks me before my turn. As he turns he shouts out the window that I should get an f***** car and takes off down the street. I don't know why this set me off, maybe it's because I still had plenty of adrenaline from the ride, but I was literally ready to fight the guy.
I don't understand what was bothering this guy. I was at the light before he arrived. I hammered my way across the intersection and the speed limit on these roads is only 25 at most waiting behind me would have delayed the guy by 5 or 10 seconds, but he still felt the need to yell at me.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
coming back to the bed, she sat down
began stroking Florys bare shoulder
Prestige, Mr Flory, is like a barometer
A nod and a wink will accomplish more
Than a thousand official reports.
Hes been saying the same thing ever since the Jubilee
Alone, alone, the bitterness of being alone!
The headman reflected, scratching the calf of his left leg with his right big toenail.
It was years since he had enjoyed a meal.
The jungle was dried-up and lifeless at this time of year.
But the trees avenge themselves
The cigarette that had dropped burned down
acrid smell, browning the paper.