Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reader email part I

A reader, SF, sent me an email that I figured I would post with my response, since I figured others might be interested. I am breaking the email into two parts.

Part I:
Long time listener, first time caller. I was curious if you do any biking in Atlanta - your blog post on 9/22 mentioned that most of your destinations are within five miles of where you live, and that's a pretty feasible biking distance. I bike to work every day, mostly cause I love biking and hate a) traffic and b) parking, and am making more of a concerted effort to not use my car at night (although this week, granted, it's because I'm low on gas and am having trouble finding some).
Anyway, I do enjoy the site, but you don't mention bicycling that much, so I was hoping to get your take on bicycling in Atlanta.
I don't write about biking because I don't bike. At all. Not even for leisure on the weekends around the park. I tried borrowing my friend's bike for a few months when he left the country, but when I popped both tires on one pothole half a mile from the house I gave up. Before the tires popped, I biked around a bit with a friend who is a serious biker. I tried to follow him as he skirted down the side of a row of cars stopped at a light, but I ended up banging into a truck and feeling like a giant asshole.

Other reasons I don't like biking:
  • Hills. Atlanta has way too many hills for this to be a fun activity for me.
  • Traffic. SF writes that she bikes as a way to avoid sitting in traffic. I find that the traffic scares the bejesus out of me on a bike.
  • The heat. I like that my car has AC. A lot.
  • I'm lazy. I'll admit it.
Also, can I make a request of bikers? As a driver with a decent number of friends who bike, I make extra effort to be a conscientious driver. I don't pass unless there is ample room, and if I have to follow behind someone because I can't pass I try to do so at a safe distance and not ride up their ass. It's not that much trouble really.

Could y'all do me one favor? Please follow the same rules of the road that I do. Stop at stop signs and stop lights, and please don't cut in front of me when I'm stopped. It's kind of scary - I have no desire to hit a biker because I let go of the brake just before somebody cuts in front of me or darts through on a red light.

Also, and this is not a request but an observation, Critical Mass is kind of annoying. From a PR perspective, it probably does more harm than good for the cause of promoting bicycling. I'm not sure that is the purpose, of course.

Still, I have no problem with bicyclers. I think it's great that people are interested in biking more, and I totally support their right to do so and to share the road and all that. So, in that spirit, if you are interested in biking to work, check out this event:

Join the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign (ABC) and the Downtown TMA for a

Biking Roundtable

Tuesday, October 7th

Stop by any time between 7:30 – 9 a.m.

The Central Atlanta Progress Board Room

(Located at 50 Hurt Plaza in the Hurt building. For directions, please visit our website

Are you interested in cycling to work? Would you like to know more about biking and incentives for current commuters who bike to work? Don't be discouraged if you're not a cyclist! All Downtown commuters are welcome!

Join ABC and the Downtown TMA for an open forum on cycling Downtown.

  • Learn more about ABC's Bike Buddy program
  • Ask questions about biking Downtown
  • Meet experienced cyclists and other bike commuters
  • Explore possible bike routes to work

Stop by on your way to work! Light complimentary breakfast will be served.

RSVP your attendance to Crystal Clark at by Tuesday, September 30th.

1 comment:

  1. Well, if it makes you feel any better, I'm a very conscientious and law-abiding bicyclist. Legally, bicycles are vehicles, and as such, must follow all the rules of the road. I make a conscious choice to bike on lesser-traveled roads, so that I don't actually deal with many motorists.
    And I'm also a motorist, so I know what it's like to deal with unpredictable bicyclists.
    If you ever feel like trying it out on a nice quiet Saturday, I'd be happy to be your bicycle buddy....
    (I'm also turning into a bicycle evangelist.)


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