Monday, September 30, 2013

On The Road: Knoxville

IMG_7580 IMG_7573 IMG_7575 IMG_7578 The sight of a decorated bicycle compelled me to visit the Market Square clothing merchant Rococo Boutique. It seems that Smart Trips invited Knoxville businesses to join in their promotion of alternative transportation modes. Those pleated area maps and sound, if whimsical, advice were a crowd favorite.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Roll Model: Taoran Le

IMG_6751 IMG_6968 Taoran Le acquired her taste for city cycling as a student in France and Italy. "In Paris, I really enjoy the citybike there to see the amazing city and beautiful people." Memories of VĂ©lib’ followed her to New York, where she found Citi Bike "surprisingly cheap and convenient." Today the Midtown resident commutes to Georgia Tech for her PhD studies in Electronic Engineering aboard a Schwinn Point Beach cruiser. Improvements like the cycle track on Tenth Street and the 'Amsterdam Left' at Fifth and West Peachtree Streets make her "glad that midtown becomes more and more bike-able and Georgia Tech as well."
A romantic at heart, she and other Georgia Tech Ph.D. students who "love biking, are free spirited, and enjoy the amazing breeze in late night Atlanta" have formed a night riding group, who last July "decided to bike to Decatur for not wasting the beautiful night. We biked through the BeltLine and Poncey-Highland Playground. The moon had an amazing blue ring with very few clouds. We were really enjoying the cold beer under the huge moon in Decatur."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Street Scene: Ponce De Leon Avenue

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Roll Model: Jessica Michelle Moore

IMG_5780 IMG_3674 Jessica Michelle Moore is a human dynamo. The triathelete trains for fifteen hours some weeks in addition to her full-time responsibilities at the Centers For Disease Control and evenings on stage at Whole World Improv Theatre. "Contrary to popular belief, biking actually saves me a lot of time," she confides. "When I do have to drive, I know all the best short cuts around the traffic, thanks to my creative bike routes." A cyclist since 2007, she became a regular commuter three years ago aboard her racing bike with an overfilled messenger bag. The search for a practical, all-weather solution has taken the form of "a beautiful steel touring bike with panniers this past spring. It’s a Salsa Vaya from Loose Nuts and she’s amazing. I really love the steel ride and modern comforts with the classic styling. I’m able to ride to the pool at 5 am, swim for an hour and then continue on to work. On swim days I get in 18 miles just by commuting. On other days I get in about 14 miles. Some days I get home on Salsa and switch to my road bike, Maccabee, to get in another 20 miles or so."

Such extensive training covers a lot of Atlanta and has shaped her perception of an adopted city. At first the native New Yorker studying at Emory "resented the car-centric culture and the general disdain for mass transit." Cycling revealed to her the urban landscape on a human scale. "The city really opened up for me at that point. I found myself taking extended routes just to discover different neighborhoods. That’s one thing I really love about the city; each neighborhood has its own unique qualities and people. I also really love to see how proud people are of their neighborhoods, i.e. I’ve never been somewhere where people drive around with bumper stickers of their zip code, lol. Whether it’s a beautiful sunrise or sunset over the city, running into a movie set and numerous famous actors (Ryan Reynolds is actually hotter in real life, if you can believe it), giving tourists in downtown directions (because cyclists know their way around, obviously) or seeing horses on the BeltLine, each experience by bike adds to the unique nature of our little big town that I would have never noticed if I were stuck in my car."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Roll Model: Indra Tobias

IMG_4646 IMG_5785 Indra Tobias and these blogs go way back. As a subject of the seventeenth posting to Atlanta Street Fashion, she helped me to preview the 2010 Seersucker Social that August. My former blog, The Chattanoogan, had just begun exploring the convergence of city cycling and street fashions, so it was thrilling to pick up the thread right away in Atlanta. Born of such timely optimism, Atlanta Bicycle Chic would be launched two months hence.

Amsterdam gave her an epiphany. She returned “with the idea of owning a bike as an adult weighing heavily on my heart. I wanted to pattern my biking style after those lovely, stylish ladies in the biggest biking town I've ever visited riding their city commuter bikes, mine having gears of course.” In the true European mode, those gears are internal, for both her Linus mixte and “a heavy tank of an old bike I had reworked to fit my city fresh style.”

She must have been a sight riding home from Ikea with a tall planter swaying in her wake. Duties that call from all over Atlanta preclude car-free living, but she once surprised colleagues by appearing "with my work supply box on the back of my bike on the rack. The crew on the other end looked amazed that I rode across town to meet them to work by bike. Now they are never surprised when I show up on my bike with work gear in tow."

"Critical mass was my very first group ride," she recalls. "Mobile Social is another top ride on my list of Atlanta best bike rides. My absolute favorite group ride is the Atlanta Seersucker Social. There is something about getting dressed up and riding around town on a well supported joy ride that ends with a picnic." Agreement here, and all who enjoy that stylish parade have her to thank for serving on its planning committee.

A resident of District 2, she acknowledges the cycling advocacy of Council Member Kwanza Hall, who "has no shame riding around on his fixie, sporting a suit, to show his support for many of our neighborhood events." Being a member of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition expresses her thanks to those "diligent folks have fought long and hard to get the biking community to a much safer and progressive level. With all of these working parts of our biking community there is a place for all riders, from no-car lifestyle cyclists to weekend joy riders."

Momentum Magazine Autumn Issue

IMG_0913 IMG_9728 This lady and her dog posed for the blog in June. Look for them on page 51 in the new Momentum Magazine.
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