Bicycling in and around Atlanta.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Only Love Can Make It Rain

Atlanta receives some 50 inches of rain a year. That's considerably more than legendarily soggy Seattle which only gets 38 inches a year, so you would think Atlanta drivers would have no problem with a little precipitation. Well you would be wrong. Really wrong. The fact is anytime water falls from the sky Atlanta's roads are suddenly filled with thousands of chicken littles who give surrender what little driving skills they possess to a bizarre ritual that I call Atlanta Rush Hour Rain Syndrome.

Today as I rode home dodging drops falling from the sky I saw ARHRS in full effect. What are the symptoms you ask. It's easy to spot, it will start slowly with a driver perhaps on their cell phone accelerating wildly on a wet street. Other drivers will spot this behavior and begin to emulate it. Thats when the first accidents occur. These will be minor, fender bender types but never fear bigger and better things are on the way. After the first accidents tempers increase with backups, that's when the manic merging begins. Manic merging is a blind attempt to shove your front bumper into a spot before someone else can take that space. ARHRS inspired manic merging often is exacerbated by cell phone use leading to the classic corner to corner crash. Now all lanes are blocked. What is a driver to do? Why cut through a CVS parking lot or course! And here's where ARHRS comes into it's own, what happens when you have a line of cars cutting quickly through a narrow drug store parking lot? A toyota pickup backing out and getting hit by a subcompact.

And believe it or not, the highways were worse.

To be absolutely honest, I only witnessed the last of the accidents an reasoned out how they got to that situation.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Idle Bike Thoughts Vol. 5

Don't eat sugar cookies an hour before heading home or you might run out of gas when you need it the most.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Today's Sexy Bike Errand

Delivering dog's fecal matter sample to the vet. Yeah baby.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Death, Taxes, and Flats

Three things you can't avoid. On a downhill curve, I felt that wobble that we all know so well. It appears the tube split near stem, so I sat on the side of the road and changed my tube. At least I couldn't have picked a nicer day for it, blue skies and a cool breeze.

Speaking of breezes, I saw something today that reminded me that despite the fact that I'll probably lose my job any day now, I'm a lucky guy. Cutting through Sandy Springs, I saw a man who was obviously troubled screaming profanities at the leaves blowing by him. At least I have my wits about me, and my family and friends, and last but not least my bike.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

If This Weekend Were a Japanese Game Show...

It would be called Super Bad Weather Weekend Bike Maintenance Extravaganza! Fixed up the old Trek Hybrid for my brother. Did some work on the kids Trek to get it ready for Craigslist. Stripped the Huffy. Fixed the squeaky wheel and continued to work Schwinn.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Day

Jansport, as promised, has come through with new straps for my old pack and I found my REI dividends statement. So tomorrow I'll ride over to Perimeter to use it and my 20% of coupon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Squeak squeak squeak. Yep there's something funky with my rear wheel. I didn't have a chance to inpect it once I got home, but a cursory roadside inspection ruled out the easy subjects, something rubbing. So I guess it's the bikes way of telling me its time for spring maintenance. Rain is predicted for the weekend so it's time to break out the tools.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Spring Biking Hazards

Well I guess spring has sprung. It was 82 degrees when I left for home this afternoon, and yes there was some sweat. But with spring comes a whole new batch of biking hazards.


Spring is nice but there's something about it that makes people go absolutely crazy behind the wheel. It usually lasts until the real summer heat hits. Maybe it has to do with riding with the windows down.


Yes construction goes on all the time here in Atlanta, but spring always brings its share of new projects. Within a week or two there will be new detours and flagmen causing headaches for your favorite bicyclist.


Ah yes, the true yellow menace. Pollen here in Georgia is something that has to be seen to be believed. On windy days you can see great clouds of the stuff in the air.

The Bradford Pear

I don't know who brought this monstrosity to the US, but they deserve to be shot. Planted by the hundreds of thousands by overzealous builders who wanted flowering trees, the Bradford pear has a fragrance that wikipedia describes as sickly sweet. Most people will tell you however that they smell of fish. There's about a thousand of these suckers between me and work.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rare Sight

The old gray mule in snow.


Extra bonus, snowy section of the Appalachian Trail where I was hiking just before I got sick.


Monday, March 02, 2009

Too Early to Think About Summer?

No matter how you cut it, this is going to be a lean year. So I thought I should probably start planning my summer bicycle tour early. But where to go? Ideally I would love to get to Quebec, but that's going to be expensive. I've always wanted to do RAGBRAI but I might like a more solitary ride. Maybe something in the great lakes region? My youngest daughter wants to visit colleges on the west coast, maybe we could combine a trip. I toyed around with a trip around Lake Champlain. At this point its all still planning at this point. And before I tour I should really replace my rear cog.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Mysteries of the Digestive System

Well I've been sick pretty much all week. I don't know if it was something I ate, some kind of bug, or maybe during my hike last week my water purification didn't quite do the trick. Regardless, I've been on a diet of saltines and gatorade all week. Yesterday I ate a little better, and this morning I actually got out for a ride. Of course because I hadn't eaten well all week I was pretty much crap. So why did I force myself to ride? Because right now it's snowing, big wet clumps of snow falling from the sky. Snow is rare here in Georgia and if you get a chance to ride in it you can't pass it up no matter how bad you feel.