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Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta Bicylce Coalition’

GA Tech Starter BikesStarter Bikes | Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.

It appears that Georgia Tech’s Starter Bikes program has experienced a bit of a bumper crop this fall with the recent receipt of over 100 donated Bicycles.  They are having a sale!

Starter Bikes is a collaborative project with Georgia Tech’s Students Organizing for Sustainability and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. Volunteers refurbish abandoned and donated bikes into low-cost, entry level bicycles for students and community members in need of inexpensive but reliable transportation. The program is also available for people who would like to try a bike, but don’t want to make a large up-front investment until they have more experience

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Every kid should be able to ride their bike to school. This right of passage, ushering in new freedoms and new independence for kids also brings with it the prospect of new angst and worry for parents.  Between 1969 and 2001, the percentage of school-aged students who walked or biked to school in the United States declined from 41% to just 13%. Traffic and safety concerns are cited as the primary barriers to parents feeling comfortable in allowing their children to bike- or walk to school.

The Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School (ANCS) is taking the lead in creating a safer environment for students to ride their bikes to-and-from school; now through a partnership with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, ANCS  is providing middle school campus students with the knowledge and training needed to develop safe cycling habits and strengthen on-bike decision making skills.

Safe Routes To School (SRTS)

ANCS is the recipient of a $500K federal grant for a Safe Routes To Schools (SRTS) project to enhance walking and bicycling opportunities for students and the communities around each campus.  In conjunction with the Georgia DOT and the City of Atlanta Department of Public Works, which sponsor the project, ANCS will construct and improve campus-area facilities such as sidewalks and crosswalks and address safety issues by various programs—all designed to make it easier and safer for students to walk or bike to school.

Confident City Cycling 

On October 19th, 2011 ANCS has arranged for students to participate in the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition’s Confident City Cycling Course.  This compact yet comprehensive class covers everything students need to know to learn to “drive”  thier bike safely and confidently in a city neighborhood environment. It includes bike handling skill drills and an instructor-led ride with feedback to reinforce what students learn in class.

Our Family’s Experience

Woody Gap North Georgia Cycling Six Gap 6 Three Gap 3 Youth Atlanta Bike Bicycle.Since starting 6th Grade at ANCS this year, my 10 year old son Liam has ridden his bike nearly every day.  We rode together for the first couple of weeks optimizing a route that balanced distance, traffic and safety.  Our route includes the crossing of 3 fairly major thoroughfares.  Two of these crossings he handles solo, but for the third and busiest he has coordinated a meet-up with other students to safely cross en-masse.  Liam now rides by himself most days and I have noticed a new (though far from perfect) level of situational awareness in him on our rides together.    He has even modified his route slightly on his own to avoid a dog that enjoys chasing kids on bikes!    I look forward to the additional skills and knowledge that Liam will gain through his particiaption in the Confident City Cycling Course at ANCS!

 

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Atlanta Bicycle Coalition Jails Ride Kirkwood Sunday Ride Atlanta By BikeABC’s training ride this month is hosted by the Kirkwood Sunday Ride (facebook page).  Instead of our usual start at Manuel’s Tavern, we’ll be meeting at Le Petite Marche in the Kirkwood Neighborhood (map below).

We’ll still ride past multiple incarceration facilities, a landfill, and along the little known McAfee Road. Of the three, only McAfee poses a threat to you – with 6 steep hills packed into a straight-as-an-arrow 3.3 mile stretch. This ride has some great lightly-traveled sections of road, yet never ventures outside of I-285.

Driving directions:  East on I-20, exit left on Maynard Terrace, right on Memorial, then left on Howard.

Ride starts at corner of Howard and Hosea Williams.

Riding directions from downtown Decatur:  ride south on N. McDonough, right on Oakview, right on Hosea Williams into Kirkwood retail district.  Start is across Howard from the BP station.

Transit: Closest MARTA stations are Candler Park and East Lake – transit directions. (Enter the address “1963 Hosea L. Williams Dr., Atlanta GA 30317” into the destination field).

Ride at 9 am, then plan on staying on for post-ride bike talk and brunch at Le Petite Marche.  Order off the menu, or take advantage of the “Cyclist Special” — served by our own volunteers!.

This no-drop ride has an A and B group.

For more information email David Southerland david@perimetergo.org or call 404-933-4541.

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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!

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Yes, it can be done- an entire weekend in Atlanta by Bicycle!  The boys and I lined up our weekend activities and decided that we were going to do them all by bicycle- all over the city.  We pulled up google maps and determined that it was about 5 miles to Piedmont Park where we would hit the pool; this despite my long-running and completely justified phobia of public swimming pools.  Afterword we would head over to the Atlanta Streets Alive event in Sweet Auburn; all by bike.  Sunday would be our usual Kirkwood Sunday Ride– a loop around intown Atlanta.

Piedmont Park

We set out to the Piedmont Pool around 11:30 and by the time we rolled through the gates at around noon, the heat even had me considering a dip in the public waters.  My phobia of public pools is born mostly from my being accustomed to swimming in the vast, uncrowded and COLD waters of Lake Ontario growing up.  The St. Lawrence River and the Thousand Islands remain my vision of ideal aquatics to this day.  I would actually feel refreshed and cooled after a dip- not just wet and covered in a film of chlorine and sunscreen.  My phobia grew after moving to Atlanta and after being goaded and guilted into the Candler Park Pool by my ex.  No sooner had I tentatively ventured in than a kid next to me aspirated some water while being dunked then proceeded to vomit a viscous neon orange jet of vomit into the pool.  It was Cheetos.   I had watched him scarf down an entire bag before  cannon-balling his siblings moments before.  Now it floated in a glowing orange slick as people lept from the pool.   It took me two years to venture in again.

We arrived at the Piedmont pool to find a friendly foreign student worker who informed us that the pool was closed due to “contamination”.  Even through her hard-to-place accent (South Africa?) I could read what she was telling me: some kid had dropped a deuce in the pristine and over-chlorinated waters of the Piedmont Park Conservancy’s newly renovated and immaculately kept aquatic gem.  Scenes of Bill Murray in Caddy Shack donned in a hazmat suit and ceremoniously coaxing a presumed turd into his skimmer at the bottom of a hastily drained clubhouse pool immediately popped to mind.  No Baby Ruth in this pool.  I also learned from some nearby moms that this was a not infrequent occurrence.   A phobia is defined as “An extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something”.  I am thinking that my phobia may not be so extreme or irrational…

So we left Atlanta”s version of Bill Murray hunt down his Baby Ruth and headed over to the new Piedmont Park extension that I first learned about during my volunteer as a ride leader for the Atlanta Beltline Bike Tour.  I recalled from the tour that there was a water feature similar to the fountains at Centenial Olympic Park.  The boys had a blast running and jumping through the fountain for a couple of hours and I enjoyed some time in the sun (too much it turned out) and we headed over to Sweet Auburn on our bikes. 

Atlanta Streets Alive

We rolled down Jackson street and came into Atlanta Streets alive just below its Western end at Boulevard.  The boys thought we were sneaking into Area 51 as we passed the police and barricades while an SUV (from Cobb) did a halting and angry u-turn at the street closure- I liked it already.  I have to admit that I was expecting a little more action, but then we got into it- the streets were ours!  No buses, no SUV’s from cobb or anywhere else- there was no immediate vehicular danger to our lives while astride our bikes in the middle of Edgewood Avenue- a normally bustling corridor connecting the heart of downtown Atlanta and the Little Five Points neighborhood.   There were a few skateboarders, a lady desperately trying to set up up some sort of bike challenge course, LOTS of Atlanta Bicycle Coalition volunteers (thanks Katherine!) and then it hit me- the streets were not closed, but they were open. Anything was possible on the paved canvas- not just not getting hit by a car! 

Soon we careened toward downtown just to check it all out.  We took wide arcing swaths out of the street- no on comming

traffic.  We waved at shop owners and a hipster selling used books off a blanket.  We filled our waterbottels with ice-cold water from one of the stations and noted how quiet it all was.  The boys took turns astride the painted bull in front of a Georgia State University campus building.  I chatted with  Chris, the owner of Loose Nuts Cycles about themerit of bamboo bicycle construction and the merit of me winning the Linus Bicycle they are giving away next month (it will be mine).  We turned around and headed again from whence we came- stopping in at the Sweet Auburn Market for some unsalted but freshly roasted peanuts which the boys and I ate curbside . 

All in all it was a fun event and I am glad we came.  If I had any input (which I soon might) I would suggest trying to connect the street opening the full length of Edgewood Avenue- buying into the vibrant and creative energy that is Little Five Points to the west would spill the entire length of the route to downtown.  Think L5P halloween parade on bikes…I like it.  A longer and freakier route! 

Kirkwood Sunday Ride: Kickin’ It Intown

First I just have to say that I am secretly proud of how much our little Sunday Ride has grown!  It started out last year as a solid group of 4-5 Team In Training riders for a nice Sunday recovery ride after harder training for the Tahoe Century.  There are now over 120 members in the Kirkwood Sunday Ride Group on Facebook (join if you like!) and we are now regularly having 15-20 riders show up to ride their bikes every Sunday. 

I have to admit that today’s ride had me feeling a little frustrated- mostly with myself.  We split the ride into two groups (A & B) earlier this year to keep everyone riding at their own comfort level.  This works out well when we are going to Stone Mountain and nearly everyone knows the way- but if we do something different like we did today I am realizing the importance of ride leaders or cue sheets.  We had neither today so everyone went in one group which was fun- but agonizingly slow.  We had three flats and a crash- and lots of waiting for the group to coalesce at stop lights.  As a result we had to cut the ride short (15 miles after 3 hours) and we had riders peeling off to head back. 

I don’t think that anyone wants to ride out to Stone Mountain EVERY weekend, but if we are going to vary the route it is going to take some (gasp) improved planning and coordination to come off smoothly.  This probably  means that we will have to have some folks volunteer to lead each ability group if we are not doing Stone Mountain, and may have to develop cue sheets so riders can catch up if lost or due to a mechanical.  My frustration hit mid-ride when it became apparent we were going to have to cut it short- so my apologies to everyone if I was a bit of a grumpy bear.  My appollogies too to Bridgette for causing her to wreck her new bike into me- I hope that your toe is okay!  🙂

An extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something:

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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!

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All I have to say is WOW!  If you missed this year’s bicycle tour of the Atlanta BeltLine by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, you really missed a treat!  I have to admit that I have been looking forward to leading this tour after the spectacular preview I received Easter weekend  on the ride leader training ride– especially after receiving an e-mail late in the week that ABC was anticpating nearly 600 people in attendance and it revealed through an official press release that Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitrof would be join the tour (in the group I would be leading).

As I departed my house on bike for the tour, things started out in grand fashion when I flatted my front tire right out of the drive-way but I was able to fix it and still report to the ride on time.  At the volunteer table I was given the red ABC volunteer shirt that I had been secretly coveting since last year’s ride- hey, I look good in red, what can I say?   Now officially in “Bike Angel” mode- I turned to assist the throngs of participants with registration, answering questions about route and pace.  I even helped Atlanta City Councilperson Yolanda Adrean and her friend with a quick bike check- cobwebs on a bike are not a good sing of current maintenance.

The crowd of participants gathered in the field under the Old Fourth Ward water tower andI met the first of the many great people from all over Atlanta that I would come in contact with throughout the day.  I really do believe that cyclists are cut from a different (and better) cloth than everyone else.  It turns out that over 120 cyclists would be in the Full Route- Moderate Pace group that I would be helping navigate the city streets over the next 28 miles.   Fellow ride volunteers Jen, Mike, Derek and I all huddled quickly before departure to finalize our game plan- discovering that we really didn’t have one but that we would do the best we could to deliver everyone safely back home.  I had never led a group this large, and being a daily cyclist in the city, I was nervous that everyone in the group would be comfortable with the traffic and hazards of urban riding.

After crusing through Cabbagetown, Ormewood Park, Grant Park, Pittsburg and Adair Parklwe made our first rest stop at the BeltLine Bike Shop- The Beltline Bike Shop takes in donated bicycles and invites inner city kids to earn a bike of their own by picking up garbage from their own streets. The Earn-A-Bike program is relationship-driven and based on the value of an exchange between giver and receiver. Tim and Becky interact with kids they meet themselves or are introduced to through a neighbor so that an authentic relationship is initiated.  I am  envious of this program and REALLY envious of their tool stock- it looks like a pro shop inside!

While standing outside the shop I found myself standing next to Tom Dimitrof and asked him how he was doing.

“Fine,” he replied “This is a really spectacular ride”

“That’s awesome, I am really glad that you could come out with us today! Do you ride much? I inquired while eye-balling is full carbon Campagnolo rig.

Dimitrof quipped “Not as much as I should.  I am really big on pushing the health aspects of cycling- especially with youth.  I want to find  ways to participate more in getting younger people into riding.”

I was really impressed with his sincerity and willingness to just come out for a ride with all of us.  He  was a regular guy that just so happens to operate an NFL team- and who has a really nice bike. I also noticed that Tom was riding with a Atiba who just so happens to run the Dream Team, a youth cycling team based in my neighborhood.  I met Atiba at last month’s BRAG Spring Tune-up and was impressed with his entire program.  At the time, I was really proud to learn that these kids were from Eastlake and Kirkwood.  I hope that these two men have some terrific things in store for youth cycling in Atlanta!

More to come from this excellent adventure- for now I must sleep, so enjoy some pictures from today!

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UPDATE: The best way to get published on my blog is to say nice things about me!  Mathilde did a really nice write up of here experience on the BeltLine Tour, be sure to check it out too:
http://matpiard.tumblr.com/post/5335510439/abcs-beltline-bike-tour-awesome
UPDATE: Some more pics from the BeltLine Tour from Atlanta Bicycle Chic, click here to check them out:
http://atlantabicyclechic.blogspot.com/2011/05/beltline-bike-tour.html

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