Bicycling in and around Atlanta.

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.