Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Cycling’

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

Read Full Post »

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!

 

Read Full Post »

Six Gap Century Three Gap Fifty Cylcing North Georgia 3 6Today, I had my ass handed to me in 11,230 different ways. For many cyclists, completing a 100 mile bike ride or century, in a single day represents a significant milestone- a true notch in their belt.  In January of 2010 I set the goal of completing my first century ride with Team In Training that June. With a lot of time in the saddle and encouragement from friends, family and teammates I completed that century ride- and about five others since. 

Six Gap Century Three Gap fifty 6 gap 3 gap 2011

Out of the Gate

Like many goals reached, their attainment reveals more possibilities- opening the doors to the potential for further accomplishment.   Century rides are no different; and while completing any century is a big win- I have since learned that there are Centuries…then there are Centuries.  Throughout Georgia, the Southeastern US and perhaps the entire East Coast no other Century holds the position of the Six Gap Century held in the mountains of North Georgia near the beautiful town of Dahlonega.  Riders who successfully complete Six Gap proudly wear the coveted jersey back on their local rides- to the envy of fellow riders.  In the cycling community, little else trumps the prestige of earning a Six Gap jersey.

Cycling Parent: Fear and Doubt
Liam Earns Polka Dot Jersey – North Georgia Mountains
A Day of Cycling in the Gaps: North Georgia Mountains

My Six Gap Century attempt was not preordained.  In reality, I was shamed into it.  As a test run I completed the Beautiful Back Roads Century in Cartersville, GA the previous week.  At 100 miles, the BBRC is a Century…but not a Century of the caliber of Six Gap-  it would allow me to gauge my fitness level in anticipation of the big ride in the Gaps the following week.  Even with riding an extra 16 miles due to a missed turn, being chased by dogs and experiencing a mechanical that left me riding the final 30 miles in a single gear I still finished- though admittedly not as strong as I would have liked.  Still, I had signed up and paid for Six Gap.  At the very least I could do the 3 gap fifty mile option, right?  I had done this ride and written about it on numerous occasions- I knew I could do 3 gap with little  trouble.

Bike Ride North Georgia Six Gap Centruy Three Gap Fifty 2011 Cyclist Bicycle

I hate you Brigette. Thanks for the encouragement 🙂

As 3000 riders departed the massive parking lot of Lumpkin County Highshool, some for the 35 mile Valley Ride, others for the 3 Gap Fifty and others for the 6 Gap Century I was still undecided as to my route option.  Did I have it in me to do the full ride?  Could I climb the dreaded Hogpen Gap?  On the medical side- could my patched up knee handle the strain of 11,300 feet of mountain climbs?   While discussing my quandary The previous night my friend and fellow rider Brigette,  simply looked at me and said “Rule #5”.   She may have added “bitch” in there too.   This statement refers to cycling humor website Velominati who keeps a set of rules for cyclists.  Our group has taken to slinging these rules around on group rides as both corrective action and as a source  humorous motivation, or just plain ridicule.    Rule #5 is “Harden the F up“;  and is the cycling equivalent of the Triple Dog Dare.   With this bit of healthy humiliation masked as encouragement coming from Brigette,  I was resigned to doing the full Six Gap. 

I am not going into a blow-by-blow of the ride in this article.  It was hard- perhaps the hardest thing I have ever done.  After 60 miles of riding, Hogpen gap did in fact “rip my legs off and beat my soul with the stumps” as fellow rider Graham likes to say.   I got off and walked twice.  I stopped at every rest stop.  The climbs at Neal’s, Jack’s and Unicoi gaps were fine and long- I cursed and swore as Hogpen and Wolfpen gaps inched slowly beneath my wheels and my legs turned into stone.  I screamed down the backside of each one and let the breeze cool my saddle sores, drying the sweat into a salty crust in my hair.  I wondered if the end would ever come- and 9.5 hours later it did.   My friends were waiting for me in the parking lot- asking what took me so long.   I have my six gap jersey and no one can ever take that ride away from me.. but I might let you touch it if you want. 

Read Full Post »

I bought a new bike- and I like it.  I still like my primary bike too- so let’s start with that.

I am always hesitant to draw thinly veiled analogies between bikes and relationships so I wont even attempt to veil it.  I kind of broke that stance with The Ex Girlfriend anyhow, so in for a dime in for a dollar- right?  I have a perfectly healthy relationship with my primary ride, the 1994 Specialized M2 that has been in our family in one way, shape or form since it was purchased.  I have personally ridden the bike over four thousand miles in the past two years.  It has been good to me- no accidents, not even an in-ride flat during that time.  In fact, I just installed two new Maxxis Detonator tires, Lizard Skins race bar tape and a new-to-me Fizik saddle because all three were worn out from our two thousand miles together this year.  I have been riding a lot this year, which is good; but probably a third of that mileage has been “non-training” or just cruising around town. 

For those of you who are accustomed to rationalizing irrational purchasing decisions (like most cyclists), you  see where I am headed with this line of  “logic”.  If you don’t see it- hang on cause here it comes!   Popularized by warehouse stores, I classify this particular rationalization as “the more you buy, the more you really save” argument and it goes something like this:  Though less expensive than many hobbies and fitness activities (justification #1), cycling maintenance and parts can be expensive (justification #2).  Though I do most of my own maintenance which saves some money (justification #3), I would save even more if I rode my primary road bike with all the expensive components less frequently for “around town” stuff (justification #4)- fewer miles equals less wear and tear.  However, if I am going to ride my primary road bike less, then I am going to need a NEW bike that I can put those harder city miles on…right?  (Game, set and match).    

Commuter Bikes perfect for the ride to work and urban life | Roadster | Mixte | Dutchi | Gaston | Dover |

My new Linus Roadster Sport (sweet)

Going back to the relationship analogy this is also like the guy who cheats on his wife because he “loves” her, or she just doesn’t understand- or even because “she wont do that”.   Don’t hate the player- hate the game.  The point here is that when people want something, they can take talk them selves into pretty much anything  by any means necessary.    In this case I bought a new Linus Roadster Sport in Olive.

Linus Roadster Bike Bicycle

The Flat Noah's Arc Bars Added Responsiveness

Chris at Loose Nuts Cycles knew I would be back after my failed attempt to win a free Linus earlier this year (Another Day, Another Bike Giveway).  Like a good bar tender, he was hip to my motivation and my justification for buying a new bike.  Can you imagine that they just happened to have the model, color and size that I wanted in stock?  It was destiny- so I decided to take destiny out for a test ride around Grant Park. 

The initial set up on the Roadster was a little more upright than I was wanting, being more accustomed to a compact riding position on the road bike.  While definitely in keeping with the traditional design roots of the roadster and club style, I found that the swept-back  North Road handle bars with thier nearly perpendicular grip position made the steering and response a little softer than I wanted.  This setup is fine, just personal preference here.  Chris happily set me up for a trial ride with a pair of crescent-shaped Noah’s Arc handle bars by Soma Fabrications.  These flat bars dropped my riding positon and the 95mm of backsweep gave me the verve and responsiveness I was looking for.  Chris had never put these bars on a Linus, but they look very slick.   I bought the bike.

While this bike is decidedly not for putting in the miles, I have found myself wanting to ride it- and have found several occassions to do so on just the first day.  I am already saving money! 

Get Your Own Linus Here:

Loose Nuts Cycles Atlanta Bike Shops Grant Park

Phone: (404) 228-5555
Address: 452 Cherokee Ave “A”,
Atlanta, GA 30312
Email: Kareem@loosenutscycles.com
Chris@loosenutscycles.com
Twitter: @LooseNutsCycles
Facebook: Loose Nuts Cycles
AIM: LooseNutsCycles

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 »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: