Posts archived in cycling

I don’t really think of my mom as living in the country. But turn to the left out of my mom’s neighborhood and this is what you get – country.

A different kind of "share the road" sign

With the exception of a few short stretches, this is the kind of road I had to work with. No shoulder. And sometimes no white line on the edge. These roads have a speed limit of between 45-55 mph. I was a little concerned, but didn’t need to be. South Chesterfield County, VA drivers were very respectful of my space and didn’t crowd me or yell redneck things out the window. I even had someone stop to make sure I was okay while I was eating a snack.

Rolling hills

Horsies

Road into the park

The temperature and humidity was about perfect. I wasn’t even sweaty at the end of the ride. The hills made my knees a little cranky. Probably because I forgot about my granny gear until the last half of the ride.

Lots of animals … goats, a chicken in the woods, chicken houses (sad face), and a bunch of horses. At one point a turkey vulture flew towards me and then over my head. So huge! I was glad he was alone, though. A group of them might’ve made me wonder if they were waiting for me to become a tasty snack.

There are a few more pics here.

And here’s the route and a flyover view!

A few weeks ago I took a day off and spent part of it taking about a 20 mile bike ride around town.

Grave stones among the trees

Mirrored fence in Oakhurst

Springing trees in Oakhurst

PATH just south of Agnes Scott

Flowers in Decatur

Water break on the Candler Park PATH

In Little Five Points

MLK on Freedom Pkwy

Atlanta from bridge over Freedom Pkwy

Bunny at the Krog tunnel

Picking up a banh mi in East Atlanta at We Suki Suki. It fits perfectly in a bottle cage.

About to destroy that banh mi with some leftover kale salad.

 

Friday evening I made myself a double Manhattan after a long stupid week and enjoyed it while watching Game of Thrones. Afterwards I decided to go for a night-time bike ride. A slightly tips bike ride to the Occupy Atlanta encampment downtown and back. That seemed to be about the right amount of riding to do. The encampment was pretty quiet. That might’ve been the night they were marching over to the Peachtree Pine shelter.

Along the way I took a few pictures.

 

A couple of months ago, I saw them filming The Walking Dead at this building. So look for it this season.

Time for another 44 miles on the Silver Comet Trail. This time I started at Hiram and continued west to Rockmart. After passing Rambo, the next trailhead is 11 miles away. So it’s pretty much out in the country. It was hard to get going this time. Within the first 5 miles my saddle came loose and then I had a flat. No fun! It was my first time using a CO2 cartridge which went okay I guess.

Rockmart. There’s apparently a downtown area but I didn’t go there.

 

 

 

The trail around Rockmart follows this river/creek.

Tunnel

It was not just wet but muddy in that tunnel. You could tell who on the trail had been through it.

Sheriff’s office caboose at Hiram.

No victory pizza.

Usually I don’t like to drive my bike somewhere to ride it. It just seems a little wrong. But there’s only so far I can ride to ride. So Monday I packed up the bike and drove up to the beginning of the Silver Comet Trail in Smyrna. After looking at the maps and mileage online, I decided to go for the Rambo trail access, 22.22 miles away. Yeah, that’s right, RAMBO. Okay, I didn’t pick it because of the name but because the next one was another 11 miles which would’ve put me over 60 miles. That’s a bit too ambitious. Nick came with me despite repeated warnings about how slow I am.

When I do rides like this, I like to go mostly without stopping to the halfway mark, then if I want to take pictures, do it on the way back. And that’s how it worked this time except in this one place. We headed onto a bridge over a railroad track just as a train was approaching. We stopped to watch it pass under and they give us a couple of honks and they pass under. Yay!

See, Rambo Trailhead. Not even making that up.

The trail is downright luxurious compared to the crappy city streets I’m used to. Okay, driving to ride has its merits. We were lucky in that it was overcast which kept the temperatures down, but the trail is largely shaded too.

After 44.4 miles, it’s time for victory pizza at Maddio’s!

How have I lived in Atlanta for 13 years without ever having gone to Ria’s Bluebird? Well, I fixed that Saturday morning. Got there bright and early to mostly beat the crowds and tried the Bionic Breakfast with a side of spicy tofu. It was delicious especially topped with sriracha. The tofu was good, but ended up making it too much food for me. It made me sad to leave some behind but we were headed out for a bike ride afterwards and I didn’t want to carry leftovers.

After eating, just outside, we found this. Looks like something that could be explained by alcohol.

Jared and I headed out on a bike ride. We kept out Memorial towards downtown, then headed North, took Marietta St., cut back across 17th St. and headed to the new section of Piedmont Park. Looks like it is no longer a secret.

It was HOT, so a visit to King of Pops was sounding good. Except he wasn’t on the corner yet. We thought about heading to the Ponce festival, but headed to The Porter instead. They open at 11am on Saturdays. Yay! Apparently beer makes a great recovery drink because I felt awesome the rest of the ride home. I ended up riding a total of about 24 miles. I forgot to set my bike computer and only got a few legs on map my ride. I really wish that app didn’t eat so much of my iPhone’s battery.

Just over a year ago, I finally stopped thinking about riding my bike and actually started doing it. The height of summer might not have been the best time for this undertaking, but I did it and haven’t looked back.

It all started with little rides in my neighborhood at the beginning of July on a mountain bike I bought new in San Francisco in … 1995. The first rides made me want to puke. But I kept at it and tried to avoid the mid-day sun. And at the beginning of August, I started commuting to work 2-3 days a week, 9ish miles each way. And, it’s awesome!

After doing some 20+ mile weekend rides, it was time to think about getting another bike, a lighter road bike. I found this Fuji Finest on Craigslist. It fit, the price was right and it passed Matt’s look-over with bike mechanic eyes. It’s much more fun to ride than the commuter. Probably weighs half as much.

And we’ve had some fine adventures. Riding out to Stone Mountain and back. The ITP/OTP Ramble – 47 miles! And the Beltline Bike Tour – 27 miles. Quick rides to meet friends for dinner.

And, no, riding in Atlanta isn’t that bad, at least in town. Sure, there isn’t a ton of infrastructure, but cars have been pretty respectful to me on city streets. It helps that I’m mostly using 35mph or less roads and do my best to avoid dangerous roads.

Here are the resources I use the most:

Bikeforums.net: if you have a question, it has probably been answered on this site. If you can’t find your answer with their search bar, try using google – site:bikeforums.net your search string here

Atlanta Bicycle Coalition: nervous about riding city streets? These guys have a class for that! They also have organized rides for all levels, provide a bike valet service at events and are awesome advocates for cycling in the community.

Sheldon Brown: this is pretty much the encyclopedia for cycling on the internet. Learn how to do anything from installing brakes (I’ve done this!) to adjusting your saddle properly.

Zoic: ladies, want cute cycling clothes? Zoic has cute shorts and skirts that you won’t be embarrassed to wear around.

Shebeest: They make the normal road cycling shorts, but in matte fabric. Love mine. Hate having a big shiny ass. They also have some nice commuter shorts, capris.

This is getting long, so I’m not going into what I carry on my bike, exactly what I wear for commuting, sweat, stinkiness, winter, sore butt, etc. Feel free to ask about these things or I’ll eventually post about ‘em.