Bicycling in and around Atlanta.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I'm Gonna Shoot You (censored version)

So on my way home from the park today someone threatened to shoot me. He also said many other things to me not suitable for family reading. I decided not to engage himm but it was still pretty stressful. What kind of crazy world do we live in?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You don't have to spend a fortune

I've seen quite a few people complain about the high cost of cycling as a hobby. Sure if you want the latest carbon frames, you're going to pay for it. But a bike for commuting can be had quite cheap. Witness the old gray mare.

Bike $35 used.
Fenders free discarded by friend when he upgraded
Panniers $40 on ebay
Handlebars $9.99 Nashbar

So we're looking at a total cost of $85 for this bike. My best estimation is that I have something like 5,000 miles on this one so that's roughly 1.7 cents per mile. I would call that a bargain.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Cochran Shoals and Colunns Drive

Photos from yesterday's quick ride with the digital Holga.

The Cochran Shoals trail is crushed stone but nice and wide.

Who is that mysterious cyclist

Columns Drive remember it's not a bike lane it's a paved shoulder.

A sign of the times: house and Lexus for sale

Today's road treasure.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I Meet the Cobb County Bike Patrol

Imagine my surprise to learn the Cobb County now has a bike patrol for the Cumberland Galleria area. This makes perfect sense because this area probably has the highest density of mixed use development in Cobb County. So I ran into these officers today riding home from Borders (still no bike rack) and guess what, they were having a great time. In fact one them pulled behind me and made the wooo-wooo siren sound while laughing.

Yeah life is better on a bike.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ride Review: Rottenwood Creek Multi-Use Trail

The Rottenwood Creek multi-use trail runs from the corner of Interstate North Parkway and Cumberland Boulevard to the Chattahoochee Palisades West Parking lot near Hwy 41 and Paces Mill Road. I rode it today and took some pictures.

The parking lot at Palisades West.

It runs right under I-75

There's lots of dog doo so you have to be on the look out.

Rottenwood Creek looks pristine here.

But don't let that fool you.

Hey here's a hill.

Evidently there's a dispute between the feds and Cobb County about who is responsible for trash pickup.

Under I-285

With graffiti

The parking lot at Cumberland Blvd & Interstate North.

So how was the ride? Short. It's actually not a bad way to skip riding on Cumberland Blvd and 41 in Cobb County as it dumps you right by the river. They seem to have built it as cheaply as possible, instead of the smooth concrete it's made of the rough stuff you see in the dog doo picture. But if you want to practice climbing a hill on a mup I'll doubt you'll find a better opportunity in Atlanta. One word of advice, unlike the Palisades West parking lot, there's no charge to park at Cumberland & Interstate North.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Get a GA DOT "Motorist" Survey

So I got this survey from the Georgia Department of Transportation. They want to know what I think of the quality of our roads, the DOT's performance in managing traffic flow and congestion, assuring highway safety, and what I think about possible DOT priorities. You're probably not surprised to find bicycles weren't mentioned once. At least they had a question about building more sidewalks. Of course they had three different questions about adding more lanes to existing roads, which we all know is only a temporary fix.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Today's Rides

Well I'm unemployed so I decided to take a ride on the local MUP. It's officially called the Rottenwood Creek Multiuse Trail. What it should be called is practice your dog doo dodging skills. I've never see so much crap in such a small area and I've been to Congress.

After returning home my wife called and asked me to go to Macy's and pickup some things for her. So back on the bike and off to the mall. There was a bike rack right outside Macy's but it was one of those old fasioned wheel benders. Then on the way home I decided to swing by Borders where I saw many books I wanted but since I'm still unemployed I thought I had better wait.

Friday, October 05, 2007


My wife and I are having a difference of opinion about whether or not our family could go car free. Since we don't live in-town, I realize it would be difficult but with flex-car now in Atlanta I think it could be done.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

What do you do with an unemployed commuter

I've just passed one month of unemployment. So there's been no commuting but I have been doing the usual errands by bike. In fact I just back from publix where I decided I really need an xtracycle. Filling the panniers just isn't working anymore.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fewer Bikes More Riding

Due to the fact that I'm currently unemployed, I've sold all but one of my bikes. In the end I choose to hold on to the commuter/tourer/do everything bike. It doesn't do anything particularly well but if I'm only going to have one bike, this is it. It began life as an early 90's rigid mountain bike, then it acquired slicks, fenders, racks, lights, and trekking bars.

It's not that I didn't love my other bikes but the mountain bike was rarely ridden, the hybrid was never ridden, and the Centurion went to a good home. The other part about being unemployed is that I have plenty of time to ride. So now the miles are adding up.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Putting Thinngs in Perspective

Here's an update on Sheldon Brown's health problems. It reminds me that my silly little ankle is just a minor annoyance.

I've got to admit it's getting better

I did a short very flat ride yester day in the 100+ degree heat. And I loved it. I still can't climb but at least I'm going in the right direction.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New Ankle Therapy

Give me a couple of new anti-inflamtories and wrap up my ankle so it looks like it comes from the Valley of the Kings. We'll see how this works.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Why You No Post?

Here's the deal. I've been off the bike since my last post. Riding along one day I felt an incredible pain in my ankle. Three doctor's visits have resulted in three different diagnosis quite frankly I think they have no clue. Oh, and I still can't ride. It's really getting old.

Monday, June 18, 2007

New Job Means New Route

I start a new job on Monday, so I'm currently searching for the best route from Vinings to Lenox Square.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

I never thought I would miss riding in the rain so much, but I literally can't remember the last time we had a good soaking. We went to screen on the green last Thursday and I was thrilled to see dozens of bikes filling the racks at Piedmont Park. It gives me hope for the future.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More MARTA Woes

You may have heard that MARTA's 190 million dollar Breeze card system decided to flip-out yesterday. Yeah, I hate the whole Breeze card system and I hate using the same gates for entrance and exit. Come July you will need to tap your Breeze card to exit a station, MARTA claims this is to better track ridership, to quote the Mighty Thor, I say nay. I believe that tap in/tap out is the first step to variable fare pricing. Right now you can ride from the Airport to Dunwoody for the same cost as a trip from Five Points to Arts Center. With tap in/tap out the gates could be programed to charge more for longer rides. In a city that needs to do everything in its power to increase transit usage this would be a monumentally stupid idea.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Absolutely horrible air quality today as smoke from the wildfires in the south enveloped Atlanta. It looks like LA out there.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Rising Gas Prices

Gas topped $3.00 a gallon in Atlanta over the weekend which brought the usual news stories about people cutting back in order to fill their tanks. And yet still I see cars racing from stop light to stop light, driving far in excess of the speed limit, and being used for the shortest of trips.

Not one of the reports I saw mentioned bicycling as an alternative to driving. Let's see, I don't remember the last time I put gas in my car, I'm in great shape, and I don't have to pay for parking. Bicycling, good for my heart, good for my wallet, good for my city.

P.S. As gas prices have climbed I have noticed a slight increase in transit use which is a good thing.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bike to Work Day

MARTA is promoting Bike to Work Day on their electronic signs in the various stations around time. Good job MARTA.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Two Days Two Flats

I anticipate I'll be writing a very negative review of Ritchey Tom Slicks very soon. Today's flat happened right in front of Jett's building.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Not One TdG Post

Between school and work I've been so busy this week that I've let the Tour past without comment. So let me say for the record that the Tour de Georgia is great, and I wish I was able to attend every single stage. :(

Thursday, April 19, 2007

APD Doing Their Job

The other day I rode down to Peachtree Center to do some banking.  When I came out I began unlocking my bike but because some dofus had chained his bike nearly right on top of mine. I was having a problem getting at the lock. That's when an APD foot patrolman came up on me and asked me what I was doing. I explained the situation and surprisingly he asked for proof the bike was mind.  

And you know what I can see why he did, he must have been watching me trying to get at the lock for at least two minutes, for all he knew I was just a well dressed bike thief. I told him that my name and address were etched on the seat post. Then I pulled it to show him where it was at. That satisfied him but with all the thievery that goes on I'm glad he showed enough interest to check me out.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Backup Plan

On this morning's ride to Sandy Springs I got a huge cramp.  A real nasty one.  I thought about riding through it but after about 100 feet I decided to engage the backup plan.  

As a bike commuter you've always got to plan ahead.  Flats, mechnical failures, or even a turn in the weather might force you off your bike.  My backup plan is to take the bus to the Sandy Springs station.  So as my cramp intensified I stopped at the nearest bus stop, waited for the bus and began to stretch.  And I waited, and waited, I know the bus schedules pretty well and I knew the bus was running late.  Then it came barrelling over the hill and nearly flew right past me.  I loaded by bike on the rack, (got to love MARTA's bike friendliness) and began one of the most harrowing bus rides of my life.  I mean this was slapstick comedy, sterotypical third-world bus driving, kind of crazy.  The bus driver flew down the roads far in excess of the 35 mph speed limit.  We hit a dip in the road and by heart jumped as I heard the rack hitting the asphalt.   Needless to say I was relieved when we finally reached the train station.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Multimodal Commute

Today I did the bike to train thing.  11km to the Sandy Springs MARTA station and then riding to the Civic Center station and then biking the one block to work.  1 hour and fifteen minutes from home to my desk although I was delayed waiting for a bathroom stall to change in.  

At one point on the train ride my car had three bikes in it, not bad.

Update: The combination bus/bike trip home took 52 minutes.  Not bad.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

One Less Car the Movie

From Martino, the trailer for One Less Car the Movie.

Critical Mass Atlanta

Jett over at AIC provides pictures and videos of Critical Mass Atlanta style.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Tale of Two Commutes

Today was the first day of the new commute. To give you an idea of the scale of the change, I went from commuting to here.

To here.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Pollen Bowl

If you're not from Atlanta it's really hard to imagine how bad the pollen is. Imagine the dust bowl of John Ford's films only yellow. When you're out riding your can see plumes of the stuff blowing off the trees. Everything is covered in a fine yellow dust and the horizon is obscured by billowing clouds of plant love.

If you can't tell, I'm not a fan.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Want One of These

Bike Friday Tikit

Friday, March 23, 2007

MARTA's Secret Fare Increase

Here's something that has been sliding under the radar for a while but it's sure to create a stir later this summer. Last year I blogged about MARTA's new Breeze Ticket system. Starting May 1, 2007, MARTA will begin charging a .50 fee for issuing Breeze Tickets. Allegedly this is to recoup the cost of the tickets, but it's really just a revenue generator.

Now you can repeatedly reload the tickets but these things are flimsy and are lucky to last one week much less the 90 days they're good for. When MARTA adopted the Breeze system the rational was to make it harder for fare cheats but now it seems clear that the real motivation was to provide a new revenue source for a transit system that can't increase their fares.

Friday, March 16, 2007

New Job

I've got a new job and for the first time I'm going to be commuting into Atlanta everyday. Over the next week or so I'm going to be planning my new route and searching for the best place to secure my bike downtown. I'm also considering getting a MARTA card just in case I need a ride.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Holy Crap, Can I Move to Santa Cruz?

Check out CBB!

Like Sheep to Slaughter

You've probably noticed that gas prices are creeping back up again. I don't mind, it just means I'm saving that much more money on my bike. What I notice most is that the same people who flipped out when gas prices went above $2.00 a gallon a couple of years ago seem strangely quite now. It seems the gas companies have gotten the American public use to high gas prices so they're going to keep them as high as they can.

As I said I've got no problem with high gas prices but I would rather see the money going to the government instead of Exxon/Mobile. So I'm saying why not another $2.00 in Federal taxes on gasoline? Sure people seem to have gotten used to $2.00 a gallon but how would they deal with $4.00 a gallon? The only way were going to break our addiction to gas is shock therapy and better now than later.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Live to Ride: Ride to Live

I'm under a fair amount of stress right now. The HRIS data system I'm under to contract to clean up is a mess. School is keeping me really busy. And then there's the fact that I'm the father of two teenage girls. But you know what? When I'm out on a ride all the stress just melts away. And if my youngest daughter wants to ride with me, so much the better. I'm sure you all know about the health benefits of riding but don't forget that a bike can be good for your mental health too.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lack of fun rides leads to lack of blogging

Ok, the new job officially sucks. Sure it's a nice easy ride and yes they have lots of bike parking, but frankly the work itself is just tedious. This weekend I making time for a nice long ride to nowhere in particular.

Friday, February 23, 2007

New Job For Now

Ok, I've got a new job at least for a little while.  I've taken a contract position but here's the rub.  It's only a mile from home, so I barely get warmed up before I get to work.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Well my commuting days are over for a while. As of Wednesday I'm
unemployed. I'm looking for yet another job where I can ride my bike
to work.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

When Your Engine Breaks Down

One of the perils of relying on a bicycle to get you places is that occasionally you pull, twist, or pinch something, and suddenly you’re not going anywhere.  I guess one of the things about getting older is that this happens with more regularity now.  So I’m off the bike for a couple of days.  Carpooling isn’t so bad, except for the fact that I’m in a car and not on a bike.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Portland the exact opposite of Atlanta

Bike Portland has an interesting post about how the Feds feel Portland’s Regional Transportation Plan doesn’t focus enough on cars.   In Atlanta transportation planning seems to focus exclusively on cars.  Let’s take a look at Atlanta regional transportation projects:


MARTA: Still no rail service to Cobb, Gwinnett, Paulding or Coweta counties.

Beltline:  Not dead but certainly dying. 

Commuter rail to Lovejoy: I’m pronouncing this project dead.


Ok, here’s a crazy idea.  We desperately need transportation alternatives in metro-Atlanta; and we really don’t want to pay for them.  So why not use existing freight rails for a commuter train.  Yeah, the ride will be terrible but it beats sitting in traffic.  CSX has a line that runs from Atlanta straight through the heart of Cobb County on to exo-burbs of Bartow.  To the south this same line runs along I-85 to LaGrange.  In Gwinnett, the Norfolk Southern line hits all the major population centers.  So am I missing something?  Why can’t we just throw up a few passenger stations throw some cars on the track and make a go of it?

Sunday, January 28, 2007


I was out for a ride Saturday when I noticed fiber spray painted on the sidewalk. I guess they're laying some fiber optic cable so digging up the street can't be far behind.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

FOUND Magazine

Found Magazine is a natural read for the utility cyclist.  As I wrote in Road Treasures, being out and about on your bike naturally lends itself to finding the discarded remnants of society.  Found Magazine collects these found objects and submits them for your consideration.  The result is accidental genius.      

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Thought of the day

Bicycling:  Sometimes you get cold, or wet, or dirty, and yet somehow when you arrive at your destination you still feel better than you would had you driven there in a car.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Protest Ride 10:30 a.m. Saturday

There will be another East Wesley protest ride this weekend.  The ABC has the details here.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Shocking Sight

I saw another bicycle commuter this morning.  He was riding on the sidewalk on a bike that looked too small but I’m sure that I dressed in my work clothes with my pants stuffed in my sock and riding on the street looked just as strange to him.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Modest Proposal

Last month I mentioned that consideration was being given to tearing up Atlanta’s downtown connector.  An idea was floated that removing the 15 lane behemoth would open up new land for development.  I have come up with an alternate proposal; replacing the connector with a linear park running 6 km from 17th Street to I-20.  Why a park?  Well the first and most obvious reason is the Atlanta is lacking in park space.  The parks we do have tend to be small and isolated while my proposed park would be longer than central park.  A park this size could really transform downtown Atlanta.  I haven’t really thought through all the details but I’ll post more ideas as they come to me.


Protest Ride Tomorrow

The ABC has taken the lead to fight the city’s ill conceived and bike unfriendly traffic calming measures.  Tomorrow there will be a protest ride, the details are here.

Columns Drive Controversy

Columns Drive is a lovely little street that runs from the east side of the Cochran Shoals section of the Chattahoochee River Park to Johnsons Ferry Road.  Because the road is flat, is connected to the park, has a low speed limit, and features pseudo-bike lanes it’s very popular with cyclist.  In fact it may be one of the most popular cycling roads in the metro-Atlanta area.  If you visit Columns Drive on any sunny weekend you’ll see dozens of cyclists, many on very high end bikes repeatedly going up and down the 2.5 mile road.


Did I forget to mention that Columns Drive also features many million dollar homes?  Well it seems the residents of these homes have grown tired of the cyclists and with the help of a Cobb County Commissioner are seeking to introduce a “no cruising” ordinance that would make it illegal for a vehicle (specifically a bicycle) to circle the road more than two times in an hour.  Now the roadies on Columns Drive can be a bit aggressive, but they’re nowhere near as annoying as the woman blocking the entire lane as she struggles to back her Hummer out of her driveway. 


In the end I just don’t see what the big deal is.  Even on it’s most heavily biked day, cars out number bikes on Columns drive 3 or 4 to 1, perhaps they’re just jealous of the fact that the cyclist are outside enjoying that beautiful stretch of road without paying a million dollars.

Cold Weather Riding

Winter has returned to Atlanta, and with winter comes the need to layer properly. It’s too easy to overdress and wind up sweating like a madman on the hills. For me the key has been to dress in layers just too the point that I’m a little cold before I start my ride. Once I’m on the road my body warms up nicely and I can usually get rid of my top layer.

Here’s my winter commuting attire from the bottom up:

Regular underwear

Khakis, or dress pants

Work shirt usually something white and button down

Fleece overshirt


Ear warmers

Now on rainy days I usually wrap up my work clothes and instead replace them with REI convertible pants, a long sleeve tee, and a rain jacket. Because it’s so much easier to stay cool in the winter, there’s no need to shower when I get to the office, making my winter commute 10-20 minutes shorter than the summer commute.

Alas, it appears our visit from winter will be a short one, this weekend’s forecast in for highs approach 20 degrees C.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Case for Seperated Bike Lanes

Both Martino and Bike Portland featured this video, I found it interesting enough to share.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Are you sure it's winter?

Unseasonably warm weather seems to be the rule all over the east. Today it was 21 degrees Celsius in Atlanta that’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit, too warm for January. I had a few errands to run so I hopped on the bike and hit the road. The first stop was REI at Perimeter Mall, I got a gift certificate of Christmas and I desperately need a new multi-tool.

Most of the this way to Perimeter is a designated bike route so you see these little signs.

Turtles preaching religous harmony.

After a quick stop at REI I decided to hop the train into town. One of the great things about MARTA is that they allow bikes on the trains at any time of the day. A short ride later I was in midtown and I quickly rode to Ansley Park.

Peachtree Circle is one of the few streets in Atlanta where the words bike lane and door zone go together.

After a quick ride through Ansley I entered Piedmont Park.

I took some photos of the midtown skyline.

While riding around the park I saw two people named Rob and Amber. You could tell they were Rob and Amber because their shirts and those of their entourage proudly proclaimed, were Rob and Amber and were with Rob and Amber respectively. Rob and Amber were evidently hyping their new show.

After leaving the park I rode across midtown to West Peachtree. West Peachtree features subpar bikelanes.

The new 5th Street bridge has much better bike lanes.

This is where the ride went downhill. I cut through the Georgia Tech Campus to Atlantic Station, then across 17th Street toward Howell Mill. About this time my right pannier falls off and goes skidding across the street. Of course this is the one with the camera in it. So I do a highly illegal turn and manage to pick it up just before the oncoming bus crushes it. I reattach the pannier and head on my way again. That's when I notice a strange noise from my bottom bracket. It get worse when the crank is under load so I try and take it easy but the route home is pretty hilly. In fact I was paying so much attention to the noise I make a wrong turn and wind up in one of the hillest parts of town. Don't ask me how but soon I'm totally lost, facing hill after hill, and by BB making a terrible noise. I had ridden through lunch and I was getting tired, I stop a couple of joggers for directions and they tell me the road I'm looking for is to the left just over the real big hill. I eventually find my way and make it to Paces Ferry Road. A little while later I make it to my last stop, the library. After that it's straight home where I calculate the useless ride stats.

46 KM ridden
5000 Calories burned
328 meters of climbing

Friday, January 05, 2007

Don't Know Why There's No Sun Up In the Sky

I rode out for lunch today and got caught in a heck of a storm.  It went from overcast to raining cats and dogs in just minutes.  So I dived into the local Moe’s and ate a burrito while I waited for the weather to pass.  I know a lot of people would find this frustrating but one of the things cycling has taught me is that there’s just no reason to always be in a hurry.  Atlanta’s very much a go-go town, the I’ve got to be faster, bigger, better, mindset can be seen in almost every facet of life here.  From people that trade-up their house every few years to the almost suicidal speeds people drive on our roads.  If you’re not moving in Atlanta you might as well be dead.  But today as I sat in Moe’s waiting for the rain to stop, I listened to Bach’s 4th Brandenburg Concerto and enjoyed the fact that there was nowhere I needed to be.



Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Resolutions


For 2007 in no particular order:


Get a new job, one that doesn’t fill me with dread every Monday morning.  I’ve made the same resolution every year for the last seven.


Learn Esperanto.


Personally convert to using the metric system.  So instead of measuring my rides in miles I’ll do it in kilometers.  (I remember when I was a kid in the 70’s the country made a big push to convert to metric, it’s a shame they didn’t stick with it.)


Ride more, drive less.


Pay off all of my debt.


Take things less seriously, although this may seriously hamper my ability to get a new job or pay off all of my debt.