Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Atlanta By Bike

I will never, ever, ever ride by a sign like that without stopping. Ever.

Imagine Columbus a bit larger. O.K., a LOT larger, and with about ten different neighborhoods like The Short North, but each one having it's own very distinct identity and flavor. Now link them all together with public greenways and bike paths, and you have Atlanta. Bike culture here runs deep, and the city knows it. Restaurants like Decatur's "Leon's Diner" have ride-up service, and an arugula salad that is not to be missed.

Downtown Decatur has a very prominent Civil War history, and the numerous plaques will tell you all about it.

Atlanta is a music town, and even if you aren't seeing someone play to hundreds in a dimly lit bar, the street performers (called "busking") are great. They will make you stop riding and listen, even if you are late for work.

Everyone in Atlanta rides, and they ride to do everything. The bike paths are hundreds of miles deep here, so driving on a cool and sunny afternoon is not an option.

The Music Room on Edgewood East is a new (but amazing) live local music venue, and it sits below Pizza Vesuvius. This artisinal pizza joint has an indoor, UPSTAIRS bike rack...

...and it is used by everyone who eats here. Located right in downtown, it's a very popular local spot.

We were there for the long weekend for the wife's show, but spent a TON of time cruising the city on bikes when we had the time. Road bikes were everywhere in Norcross, riding out Spalding Avenue by the hundreds Sunday morning.

Riding out to "Little Five Points" is always fun, and the shops, foodie spots and street performers are always crazy.

Fixies and geared bikes alike dotted the bike corrals. No one style dominated the others in Victoria Highlands, where bike clubs would ride for hours to get brunch on a Sunday.

Popular bar "ELMYR" in L5P always has interesting bike culture items inside and out. This place has some of the best fish tacos you'll ever eat.

Rickshaws are as popular in Victoria Highlands as they are in The Short North. They are a great way to move from one neighborhood to another.

Cycling is everywhere here in Atlanta...

...and the artistic community is very busy. Atlanta is still holding on to some of it's Antebellum past, but manages a good bit to look towards the future.

Open spaces can deliver the goods for nature lovers...

and clutches of old barns can hold secrets, like this well preserved vintage Rolls Royce tucked next to artist Sal Brownfield's studio in Norcross.

Just a nine hour drive south along 75, you can drive to a city that loves it's cyclists, both road and mountain (just like Columbus!). Be sure to plan on at least three days of non-travel time to take in all the museums, bars, restaurants, parks and neighborhoods.

The fall here is amazing, so get packed


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