Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bike Week At Georgia Tech

IMG_8589 IMG_8686 IMG_8672 IMG_8701 IMG_8666 Climbing Atlanta's hilly terrain can be a struggle, but so is coping with gridlock. After the campus tour with Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson, I reluctantly returned the borrowed viaCycle, swapping its relative freedom for the straitened and stressed environment of the roads at peak traffic. Memories of the ride sustained me through drive home. As befits a bike that must be all things to everyone, the viaCycle frame is a step-through design rolling on fat tires. Novices will find it reassuringly stable. When I deliberately struck a pothole, the cushy ride softened the blow. Neither fast nor sluggish, its three speed hub made light work of the climb up to the Fifth Street Bridge. A bell would be welcome amid so much pedestrian traffic. Thank you, Johann Weber and Georgia Tech Bike Week.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Street Scene: The Eastside BeltLine Dedication

IMG_8124 1994_34 IMG_6670 IMG_8098 IMG_8103 This urban corridor was a different sort of place when I first dared to explore it on a spring morning of 1994. Overgrown in kudzu and home to an underground culture, the disused tracks were an hostile environment. As Mayor Kasim Reed remarked this morning, clean up crews were lucky not to have found a dead body. Mine, perhaps. Nor did I return from the walk with a plan for urban renewal. That distinction belongs to Ryan Gravel, whose Master's thesis at Georgia Tech gave Atlanta the blueprint. It was his vision and the contributions of many BeltLine supporters that a sizable crowd gathered this morning to celebrate with the dedication of the Eastside Trail. Now it is possible to ride from Piedmont Park to Sweet Auburn in ten minutes without having to contend with motor traffic. But what's the rush? Pause to admire the art installations, great city views and derring-do on display in the Old 4th Ward Skatepark. All of this is only the beginning of what many believe to be the best thing ever to happen in Atlanta.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

At The Grant Park Farmers' Market

IMG_8052 IMG_8051 Many cyclists pad their top tubes for portability, so seeing this Pashley Roadster so fitted gave me pause to consider who would carry his fifty pound bike up and down stairs as if it were a fixie? Think instead of a jump seat for his daughter to ride side-saddle.

Friday, October 12, 2012

At Georgia Tech: 5th Street Redefined

IMG_7932 IMG_7936 IMG_7935 IMG_7948 IMG_8004 IMG_7994 Why are east and west-bound traffic flows so restricted in Midtown Atlanta? The north and south rivers move in one-way arteries called Juniper, Piedmont, Spring and West Peachtree. Turn ninety degrees and your paths over the Downtown Connector become the two-way veins of 17th, 14th 10th and tiny 5th, which makes a constricting dogleg turn where it crosses mighty West Peachtree. Georgia Tech brings a significant volume of pedestrian traffic to the mix there and was a key player in the solution unveiled today, which included the efforts of City Hall, the Midtown Alliance and a grant from Bikes Belong. Now we have a "Copenhagen Left", beautifully illustrated by Joshuah Mello in this facebook album. Riders will have to adjust to turning left from the right lane, but do have a traffic signal for that purpose.
There is more to come. Both Mayor Kasim Reed and colorful, fixie-riding City Councilman Kwanza Hall affirmed their commitments to cycling infrastructure as a way of keeping Atlanta in the vanguard of American cities. Georgia Tech has risen to the occasion by developing an application for smartphones that will track urban cycle commuting so leaders and planners can see who rides when, where and why. Get yours from Cycle Atlanta.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Of Bikes, Brains And Beer

IMG_6810 IMG_6842 The PBR Mixie is up for grabs, but getting your hooks on this bit of limited edition goodness won't be easy. It will, in fact, take all of your Saturday afternoon to impress these people with your prize worthiness. To prevail in the Terminus 5C, you will have to run a gauntlet of five bike-friendly bars, where appetites will be sated and minds challenged. Free beer and a variety of runner-up prizes await at the ultimate destination atop Castleberry Hill. Registration begins at 11am in Woodruff Park for the noon starting hour. The cost is $10 for Atlanta Bicycle Coalition members or $20 to join in both the fun and our voice for cycling advocacy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Heels On Wheels September Ride

IMG_6905 IMG_6901 IMG_6907 IMG_6898 IMG_6911 IMG_6903 IMG_6908 IMG_6922 Change is good. After a year of Saturday evening rides departing from Woodruff Park, Rebecca Serna moved the hour to a Sunday brunch and the venue to a bike-friendly neighborhood. For August, Decatur and Houndstooth Road played host. September riders met in Grant Park at the shared home of SOPO Bicycle Cooperative and Woodward Cyclery. From bits to buy and advice for that diy project to custom remixed bicycles, all may be found under one roof at 586 Woodward Avenue. Heels On Wheels is a service of The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.
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