Friday, March 19, 2010

Experiencing Atlanta

Oh, Atlanta, you silly silly city. Sometimes I hate you but I have to love your quirks.

I didn't do a single train commute this week, so I saw a little more of the city than usual. Bicyclists are out in record numbers. In the few minutes that I'm not cooped up in my office, sleeping, or baking something, I encounter dozens of people on bicycle. It's very satisfying. Just a smidgen are shown here...
On Wednesday, I had dinner at the recently-franchised Flying Biscuit café. I was there to have dinner before meeting a guy about a bicycle frame - yes I have a new project bike. More on that some other day! There was an adorable vintage Schwinn Le Tour mixte parked out front. With an umbrella stuck in the saddlebag. The Beau stalked went out to talk to the owner when she came along to retrieve it. She turned out to be the wife of the guy who was selling me the bike frame - but he wasn't coming until later.
On Thursday, I made a trip to the natural foods store, Sevananda. I only needed a few things, but they were having a sale on 5-pound bags of organic flour. So...
On the way home, I rode slowwwwwwly, using my low gears.
Finally, I had the weirdest transportation moment of the week as a guy pulled up next to me on a three-wheeled motorcycle. I nodded hello, he looked at me like I was crazy, then a horse-and-carriage came around the corner. These circulate around downtown, offering quaint carriage rides for sightseeing and romantic dates. The carriage stopped to ask the motorcyclists about the vehicle. It was really a fascinating multi-modal moment. We have a lot of these in Atlanta, really. There are places where you can see freight trains, pedestrians, trucks and cars, MARTA trains, bicycles, and the occasional horse-drawn carriage pass by, all at the same time. It makes you realize how poorly equipped our siloed, highway-oriented transportation agencies are for dealing with cities!


  1. Hey nice collection of accounts cycling through Atlanta. Alas I dont live there - but coming to US in a couple of weeks. Happy cycling!!

  2. As a former Atlantan, I have to say that the Flying Biscuit is not recently franchised. They were just getting into franchising in 2001 when I left Atlanta.

    Other than that, I love this blog. I'm thinking of moving back to Atlanta from Vancouver BC and I'm interested to see what it might be like trying to commute by bike in the city now that it has changed so much.

  3. @cecily - True, it's not that recent. But they've now added a "local flavor" section which suddenly makes it feel more like a chain... I think the first franchises officially opened in 2007 or 2008.

    Anyway, Atlanta is a lot different from Vancouver, but you can live a bicycle-oriented life here. At least inside I-285. The further you go into the suburbs, the more challenging it becomes.

  4. Did you buy that Raleigh mixte frame off Craigslist? Is that the project bike? I am dying to know.