Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘BeltLine & PATH’ Category

Silver Comet Trail Hurricane Lee Cycling in the Rain Atlanta By Bike

Hurricane Lee Spreading the Love Across Georgia. Thanks NASA Guys.

Cycling website Velominoti is “The Keeper of the Cog”,  the road-wizened rules of cycling by which we must abide. Liam, Ethan and I received our schooling today in Rule #5- Harden the F- Up [all rules here] See those nifty little spirals coming out of the hurricane, fanning across Georgia?  Those are called “rain bands” and they carry massive amounts of water in them to drop on cyclists heads- and can even spin off neat little tornadoes.  I did not know this before today.

Silver Comet Trail PATH Atlanta By Bike Junior Cycling Hurricane Lee
A Wet Ride All Day Long. Rolling By Mile Marker 12

We had planned to ride the Silver Comet Trail today for most of the week- before we had even heard of Hurricane Lee.  Yesterday I asked Ethan how far he wanted to ride. He replied “We should do a Century”.

Liam interceded “Dude, a Century is 100 miles”.

Ethan, looking insulted at Liam’s insinuation that he did not know how long a Century ride was, shot back sharply  “I know- can we do one on the Silver Comet tomorrow?”

Liam now jumped on the wagon too “Yeah, Dad- can we?”

Silver Comet Century Riding Atlanta By Bike Family Cylcing Junior Cycling Bridges

Looking Over The Edge. Many Scenic Bridge Vistas Along the Silver Comet

“Yes we can”  I replied, shocking them both by my acquiescence, secretly sparing them the details of the pain and suffering involved in such an undertaking.  I was aware that rain was in the forecast for most of the day, but so were cooler temperatures in the seventies…good for long distance riding.

The Silver Comet is a 61 mile long paved rail conversion running from just outside Atlanta to the Alabama State Line where it continues another 40 miles as the Chief Ladega trail.  Together, the Chief Ladiga and Silver Comet travel over 100 miles, forming the longest paved trail in America.  Doing an unsupported Century is no easy task, and there is a cyclist-friendly c-store at mile 35 on the trail that can be strategically used for resupply again at mile 65 after the turn-around at mile marker 50.  This means that we only had to carry enough nutrition to make the c-store, resupply, ride another 15 out to 50, 15 back to 65, resupply again for the final 35 home. 

Silver Comet Cycling Hurricane Lee Atlanta By Bike

Feed stop at Mile Marker 20. Cooler Heads Prevail.

The light drizzle at roll-out from the parking lot at Cooper Lake was actually pretty refreshing.  The sensation of the rain slowly infiltrating my shoes, shorts and rain slicker came with a silent resignation- it was just going to be a wet day, no need to try and stay dry.  The boys were in high spirits as we careened around the few joggers and other cyclists who also wanted the path to themselves.  Noticeably absent were the joggy-mommies that usually pack the first few miles of the Comet- jacked into their i-pods and oblivious to nature, their slumbering spawn and other people trying to get around them.  Yay!  

We settled into a nice cadence, I figured if we could keep the average speed around 14 miles per hour, we should be able to have a sub-8 hour finish including breaks- putting us back at the car around 4 pm.  We maintained this pace for about 20 miles when Ethan fell unusually far behind.  Liam and I pulled off at the rest stop and Ethan arrived less than a minute later- heaving his bike into the bushes nearly in tears in a full blown tantrum.  He then kicked Liam’s bike into the mud and the mushroom cloud meltdown came.  He did not want us to go that far ahead and we were going to fast and he wanted to stop.  He wanted to go home.  My heart sank.

As a parent, and especially a cycling parent, I always struggle between the line of  challenging the boys and being too pushy.  This was neither- Ethan was just scared that we would leave him.  He was wet and fatigued. I told him we could slow down, but all he had to do was say something next time.  I assured him we would not leave him behind and that, NO we could not go home now.  We had a little discussion about digging a little deeper and pushing a little harder- especially at the moment we most didn’t want to.  That is when the rewards come.  This is when the good stuff happens. Was he willing to do that?  This broke the ice and we continued on in better spirits.  I am glad we didn’t call it quits…yet.

The rain bands from Hurricane Lee would arrive in waves- washing over us constantly, but varying between a light drizzle and white squall downpour.  The boys took pride in the growing piles of road grime and grit accumulating on their bikes- debating who’s was dirtiest.  We made a game of shouting “It stopped raining!” as we passed under a bridge or traversed a tunnel.  We were fully soaked and loving it!  Soon we were back in our cadence and I would routinely perform a visual check to make sure the boys were in the right gear for the long haul- middle ring in the front, and low enough in the rear to keep a nice spin on the very gradual grade changes.  They both gravitate to mashing big gears.  The Silver Comet is an old rail line and with the exception of a few bridges and road crossings there are no grades greater than 2%.  This is nice, but it means you are pedaling all the time- no big gears.

Silver Comet Trail Atlanta By Bike Cycling Silver Comet Centrury Food

Shelter From The Storm. Gas Station Refueling Stop in Polk County

Approaching the C-store at mile marker 35 we hit the wall… a wall of rain.  It came down in buckets and our speed dropped to 5 or 6 miles per hour as the runoff on the path was higher than the rims of our wheels.  Visibility dropped to nil as we made the shelter of the gas station canopy and entered the store to buy food and drink.  The lady at the counter said it was supposed to get worse as she eye-balled us quizzically.    I ran through the scenarios in my mind.  If we could only go 5 miles per hour we could not reasonably finish the ride on this day.  It was time to head back to the car from here with 70 miles in our pocket and hope for the best.

Then the storm sirens came- these indicate that there is a tornado warning in effect.  Not a tornado watch, but a warning that a tornado is imminent.  The eerie howl emanated from a distance over the tree tops, sounding at first like a motorcycle topping out 3rd gear.  Then the sirens were not so distant and looking back from whence we came, I knew what that low-black sky meant.  Being stuck out in the middle of podunk Georgia during a tornado with my kids was not on our agenda for that day.  The boys were machine-gunning me with questions about what we would do when suddenly the sirens stopped and mechanical voice came through the air telling us that this was a “REAL emergency and we needed to seek shelter now”.  Shit. Shit. Shit.       [this is what it sounded like]

Silver Comet Trail Path Tornado Atlanta By Bike

The Boys Keep a Sharp Eye Out for Twisters from Inside the Mountain.

I remembered that there was a long railroad tunnel about a mile down the path.  It sure beat hugging a tree or lying in a wet ditch for shelter and I explained the plan to the boys as we began our sprint toward safety.   Inside the tunnel under the mountain we were probably as safe as we could be.  I viewed the prospects of us being sucked out into the afternoon sky as remote.  As the sirens continued their creepy whine in the distance, the boys  busied themselves with spotting twisters from the mouth of the tunnel.  It was dry, we were safe and could get safer fast by moving to the middle of the tunnel. We had food and water and could sit this out for awhile. 

We repeated this drill- next time under a bridge on the way back to the car, but we arrived safely and with a bigger adventure completed than we could have dreamed of when we started.  Even though we did not make the Century, we pushed hard and made good decisions that we were all happy with.  Still dirty with grime, but in dry clothes and shoes we discussed our near-miss with Hurricane Lee over large stacks of pancakes and hot cocoa (coffee for dad) at the IHOP near the trail head.  I am very proud of the boys for their accomplishments today- and thankful that we all lived to tell about them.  Well done boys- you own Rule #5.

Silver comet Trail Map Cheif Ladiga Youth Cycling Junior Atlanta by Bike

Three Counties in 70 miles (35 out-and-back)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

aTLANTA BY BIKE DRAGON*CON DECATUR BOOK FESTIVALThe boys and I decided to embrace our inner freaks & geeks this weekend on our bikes to catch the Dragon*Con parade (freaks) then riding seven miles along the Stone Mountain and Trolly Line PATH  to the Decatur Book Festival (geeks). After a hearty breakfast at Le Petit Marche  we met up with Graham, Megan and Patrick and Lisa from the Kirkwood Sunday Ride to roll downtown.  

Dragon*Con Parade

Dragon*Con Parade 2011 Atlanta By Bike Peachtree Street.

Riding down Peachtree along the Dragon*Con Parade Route- thanks for the photo-bomb Patrick!

All I can say is WOW!  As we approached Peachtree St. from Edgewood Ave. I began to get the sense that our 9:30 arrival was probably too late- and that suspicion was confirmed as we turned onto Peachtree to see both sides of the road lined 10 feet deep with people.  I had taken Liam to the parade in 2001 and there were probably less than 3000 spectators- my guess today would be upwards of fifty thousand.  We rode our bikes along the entire parade route and it was spectacular!

Dragon

Ethan's Dragon*Con Parade Fist-Bumps with Chainsaw Hand guy- Ouch!

Finally carving out a spot on the corner of Baker St. and Peachtree for the parade’s final turn we had a great view of the entire procession;and what a procession it was!   Starting out with Lonnie Anderson as the Grand Marshal (she still looks good!) followed by a 90 minute march of characters from across the world of science fiction and the imagination.  As cyclists, it is not often that we get to see people dressed more uniquely than ourselves. My personal favorites were probably the Georgia Ghostbusters or possibly the Ghetto Stormtrooper, while Liam’s was the guy cracking the whip from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.  Ethan, who had positioned himself up front to get maximum fist-bump exposure from every passing character, said his favorite was the guy with the Chainsaw-Hand.  Yes- he got fist bumps from the guy with the Chainsaw-Hand along withabout 300 others!

I have always wondered why there was an asterisk in the Dragon*Con name.  After an exhaustive online search bore not the slightest clue. Graham said he thought it was because “Everyone is a star“.  ‘Nuff Said. 

Decatur Book Festival

Departing the utter chaos of the Dragon*Con parade aftermath we were able to filter through and completely by pass the gridlock as we picked up the Stone Mountain/Trolley Line PATH at Jackson Street.  As it meandered out of Candler Park we headed East along College Avenue and into Decatur Square in under 30 minutes from Downtown Atlanta.   The book festival was much larger than I thought it would be and we made lunch of Giro’s and lemonade our first order of business. 

There was a great selection of local and regional authors- Ethan picked up a copy of the new Skippy John Jones book and as we went to get it signed by the author we were told the line was closed.  Bummer.  I found a very handsome hardcover of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which I have never seen before.  Liam did not find anything that tickled his fancy.  

It was a book festival- that pretty much says it all! 


.

Read Full Post »

Atlanta Cycling, Intown cycling, Kirkwood Sunday Ride, Atlanta Junior Cycling, Intown Bike Route

The Braves By Bike 

It was hot- damn hot this weekend!  The boys and I decided to venture over to Turner Field on Saturday night on our bikes to catch the Braves getting absolutely blown out by the Cubbies (8-4).  The 4 mile ride to the stadium was terrific- though the humidity was a wall through which we pedaled.   Team Eddie are not huge baseball fans, but it was a quiet Saturday night and I like to make one game a year because that’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re American.  Turns out it was a big night for baseball  and we had to buy general admission tickets “off street”.   

Once inside Turner Field we discovered that there weren’t any bike racks to be found- anywhere!  We ended up securing our bikes to the perimeter fence but with the Atlanta BeltLine Night at the Braves coming up on September 1st, and lots of folks hopefully riding their bikes- it may be a problem.  Just to be sure I didn’t miss anything I went onto the Parking and Directions, Turner Field Map and event the A-Z Directory on the Braves website to check- there is nothing about bikes or bike parking anywhere on their website even though there are hundreds of thousands of people within reasonable biking distance to the stadium. 

More information on BeltLine Night at the Braves: http://www.atlantabike.org/beltlinebraves

Kirkwood Sunday Ride

Click For Map & Cue

We had a great turnout today and the morning temperatures were agreeable for the ride start in front of Marchet’s.  There were 4-5 new riders to the group which always is encouraging!  This week we set out to do the “Intown Loop” route of 25 miles through East Atlanta, Ormewood Park, Grant Park, Cabbage Town, Old Fourth Ward, Poncey Highlands, Piedmont Park, Morning Side Druid Hills, Emory, Decatur and Oakhurst and back to Kirkwood. 

We had a hard time executing this route when we did it back in June, so I made a route map and cue sheet to ease the waiting and lost riders we experienced last time….and no one brought them.  It was still a good time with some good riding with good people.  We made the Krispy Kreme on ponce our rallying point to regroup and head through Piedmont Park, but lost half the group in the park anyway, so it didn’t really matter.   We all had fun and met back for brunch at Marchet’s.  Tip for next intown route ride: Sean will print cue sheets. 

Team Eddie Preview:

Grant Park Criterium, Junior Atlanta Bike Racing, USCF Junor Races Liam and Ethan will be carrying the Team Eddie colors at the Grant Park Criterium next weekend on Sunday, August 21st.  It should be a spectacular day of bike racing if you want to come on out and cheer us on!   Liam will be racing in his first USA Cycling sanctioned event, so we are going to get him a junior racing license (which I just think is cool).  He will be racing in the 11-14 Juniors category.  We just found out that Frazier Cycling will be there with 6 other racers in his age group.  We will be studying our strategy very carefully- breaking away, attack and setting up for the final sprint.  The junior’s race is 25 minutes +1 lap.  With the coordinated effort of a Team like Frazier on the course, Liam will have his work cut out for him.  He has the legs and ability to win- he just has to race smartly and aggressively.   Our goal will be to take it to Frazier and make them be defensively instead of assuming that thier coordinated team effort will roll everyone in.  I am excited! 

Ethan is too young to race in the junior category and is still on the fence about the “Big Kid Fun Race”.  More to follow!

Read Full Post »

We had quite a group today for the Because-We-Know-You’re-Not-At-Church ride out to Stone Mountain with the Kirkwood Sunday Riders.  Today was just one of those days that made me glad to be a cyclist- we had a ton of people show up (27) and most of them had never ridden with Kirkwood Sunday Ride,  so it was nice getting to know a few folks.  For mid-July the weather was incredible- about 80 degrees and overcast so there was no overheating.   Liam and Ethan were with me after being on vacation for the past ten days and it felt really good to roll out with them at my side.  The boys are becoming so confident and at-ease on the bike, I am enjoying watching them enjoy riding and beginning to pick up skills.

“I don’t need stained glass and a steeple when I got spokes and a giant rock.” -Lisa

Kirkwood Sunday Ride- Rolling Deep Out To the Rock

Rolling out from Le Petite Marche in Kirkwood,  the large group started to naturally form into smaller ability based groups for the ride.  I hung a bit with Paul- it was his first group ride ever and he was really enjoying it.  I also got to ride a bit with Rachel who trekked in from Peachtree City (by car) for the ride this morning.  My friend Wes made the comment that it was a really nice group of people- and it struck me that he was right.  I think the fact that you have a group of generally health-oriented people out for a great morning ride with the endorphins kicking will suppress even the biggest grouches.   We all collected for a specacular group shot before heading back to the ‘hood for a straight-out invasion of our favorite brunch place Le Petite Marche.  French toast sammies!

Liam’s Corner

Today was awesome because there were so many people.  The hard part was going up a big hill with my chest hurting- but I made it.  All the people were really nice- but Rachel was the nicest person there.  It was the funnest ride- I think I did well because I wasn’t last.

Read Full Post »

Kirkwood Sunday Ride, Blessing of the bikes, Atlanta Intown Rides, atlanta beltline, Stone mountain bicycle,

We have all had some close calls on our two-wheel adventures: spills, accidents or worse.  Please join the Kirkwood Sunday Ride for our first ever Blessing of the Bikes & Ride to the Rock. We are getting started early and will be finished by noon- so you still have the rest of the day to do stuff. Get righteous and ride!

8:00 AM

  • Moment of Silence & Remembrance
  • Nondenominational Blessing of the Bikes  led by Rev. Susannah Davis, Kirkwood UCC
  •  Preride caffeine uptake

9:00 AM (SHARP)

Ride to Stone Mountain! We will have 2-3 ability-based groups departing Kirkwood Station just outside of downtown Atlanta in the Historic Kirkwood community and riding 30-35 miles to Stone Mountain; roughly following the PATH route.  All groups will be no-drop, meaning nobody gets left behind!

To view the Atlanta PATH Foundation maps of the route click [here].  This is not the exact route, but if you are for some chance seperated from the pack, it will help get you home! 

This ride will not be supported, so please prepare accordingly. It should go without saying, but HELMETS ARE A MUST!

Post-ride brunch will be held at hip and yummy Le Petit Marche in Kirkwood Station, voted the “Best Breakfast in Atlanta” by Yelp.  Bring your appetites!

Find the Kirkwood Sunday Ride on Facebook [here]-stay in touch!

Read Full Post »

Several members of the Kirwkood Sunday Ride were unable to attend the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition’s Tour of the Atlanta BeltLine on May 7th.  With the distinguished honor of  several of our group’s riders having volunteered  as ride leaders at the ABC event, we elected to do our own ride along the BeltLine this Sunday.

To make a distinction up front:  Today’s ride was an informal  group ride that simply followed much of the route of the ABC Beltline Tour- but it was not the BeltLine Tour.  ABC did an  unparalleled job of route planning, volunteer coordination, ride organizing and conveyance of information through interpretive stops.   The net effect ABC’s efforts was an unparalleled contextual experience  of the BeltLine that provided participants a glimpse of the possibilities the BeltLine has to offer.

While key components of the BeltLine are coming online in relatively quick order, the BeltLine itself is not a “destination”; no more than is any other road or street in the City.  Roads are a means to an end- they are a conveyance to a larger purpose and in this regard the BeltLine is no different.  The primary distinguishing factor that the Beltline has to offer is how that larger purpose is achieved… a much needed option or choice.       

While there is now bona fide BeltLine infrastructure to see, touch, feel (and ride)- to me the most attractive features of the the project are those that remain unseen.   This blog focuses almost entirely on the trails and parks component of the BeltLine- it is a small piece of the overall picture that includes economic development, affordable housing, public art, mass transit and so on.  It is the slow revelation and gradual connection of the BeltLine’s individual components eventually forming a complete picture over time that is most fascinating to me. 

Please consider joining the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition here: www.atlantabike.org

 

 

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read Full Post »

Okay, the rapture didn’t quite come off like as predicted- unless the world ended and everyone I know is just in hell- a very distinct possibility.  If you are a frequent visitor to the Team Eddie blog, you probably had a clue that yesterday’s  Atlanta Cyclist Disapears post was a bit of a hoax.  Funny enough- it has been the single most popular post ever  for this blog with over 500 hits as of this writing…and counting.  I find it a little sad that topics about cancer, family rides and other subjects which I find personally fulfilling were all beat by news of a goofy disapearing cyclist believed to have been raptured….go figure!  Ethan and I did have a fun time staging the bike and clothing for the photos though! 

Not related to the Apocalypse –  but after an unusually cool and wonderful spring in Atlanta the weather is now starting to turn hot.  Being a delicate northern flower; I wilt easily in the heat. From this point on I will need to start to orient my riding to the early morning or after sundown.  Does anyone know if there is a way to acclimate to the heat?  I just can never seem to get over it! 

Saturday Ride 5/21/2011

The boys and I were going to push for 50 miles today- but we got started a little later than planned and by noon it was too hot to finish a full fifty.  We got a nice section of the Intown Loop completed, the boys always love whistling and whooping as we go through the Krog Street Tunnel, so this route is always one for them.  We made a shot stop at the Jackson St. overpass at Freedom Parkway to check out the impressive view of the Atlanta skyline before heading down Century/Argonne to Piedmont Park.  The boys had not seen the new park extension  that I was able to preview during the BeltLine Tour , so we detoured from our route through the park to go check it out.  The new fountain feature was full of kids playing in the water- but neither Liam or Ethan felt like disrobing to run through the fountain in their Lycra. 

Kirkwood Sunday Ride 5/22/2011Post Rapture Ride to the Rock”

We had a great group of 15-18 riders today for the Sunday ride- but things went a little screwy from almost the get-go.  Megan experienced a derailleur issue and turned back by the Columbia Seminary.  From there Liam rode with the “A” group and I never saw him again until the finish.  Ethan and I rode out to the mountain and waited to meet up with the the main group, but after 20 minutes decided we had missed them and headed back for home.  It turns out that they did two loops around the mountain and we were nearly back to the starting point when Patrick called to let me know that Liam was with them and they were just leaving the park.  

While riding down Oakview, just outside of Oakhurst village Ethan exlclaimed that he had gotten his water bottle while mounted- something we had been working on.  This news was followed by a large crash- Ethan falling off his bike!  Ooops! I circled around to check him out after his second crash in as many weeks- he was fine.  I asked him how it felt to go over the handlebars and he replied “I didn’t notice going over the handlebars because I was concentrating on crashing”.  He is a tough little kid.  In striking the curb he flatted his front tire.  For the first time ever, I had left my Co2 inflator at the house, so while we had a spare tube we had nothing to fill it with.  We practiced the art of walking home.

Liam came in with Steve from the fast group (thanks Steve!!!) a short time later and we all enjoyed a post-rapture-post-ride brunch at Le Petite Marche!  A lovely weekend of riding to  be sure! 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: