Join me as we travel serendipitously, with no goal in mind, during my new “Wander” series of Ride Spot tours! Here I am rockin’ my new Artsy Bike face mask as I head from the Atlanta Beltline’s Eastside Trail extension to the Southside Trail (and beyond). (If you’d like your own, they’re 2 for $20 here.)
Below is my Ride Story, with select photos. The route cue card follows at the end. (I also have a Baker’s Dozen of other ride routes for you around Metro Atlanta, including my Artsy Downtowns series!)
After putzing around a Stump Garden (bravo, Trees Atlanta, for that brilliant creation), riding a brand new-two-way concrete-separate cycletrack, checking out an enormous bright red sculpture and passing under a graffiti-covered bridge on a dirt path, I see this little sign that says “labyrinth” and I’m like, what? Turns out I fell upon a whole amazing guerilla-art installation! Note to self: text the number on the sign and see what happens!
I even do my daily Leap of Faith here!
Onward! It’s time to “find Waldo.” And not only do I find and ride a street by that name, but I discover that when a city changes a street name from “Confederate” to “United” at the crossroads of societal forward progress, good things happen. Small example: Wait till you see how they “disguised” a parking deck at nearby Grant Park as a gorgeous greenspace that will soon be a new public asset to the community!
I swing around the park and meander down a few neighborhood streets to see if the Atlanta Mounted Police horses are out in the paddock where they live. No such luck, today, but that’s ok. An easy ride up Cherokee takes me to the Atlanta Zoo, where I meet Val, who I designate Today’s Nice Stranger! She tells me she just got her first bike in years and is excited to ride. (See more nice strangers I’ve met while Traveling at the Speed ofBike on Instagram @TodaysNiceStranger.)
I get a text telling me there’s a protest going on at the Georgia State Capitol, so off I go to cover it as a street photographer! As I pass Uncle Sam juggling this ladder and his little personal Segway things, he mutters, “I have to do everything around here!” (If you’re interested in seeing some of my protest street photography, see this post with links to other protest albums.)
One of my favorite murals used to be here on a corner in the Sweet Auburn district of Atlanta and it was really just about totally faded so I welcome a new one. But Jersey City? I don’t get it. I’m intrigued now . . .
Truth? I get a little teary when I pass this movie set (and that it features a faux bike shop makes me swell with pride). Atlanta has been the “Hollywood of the South” for a few years now and passing movie sets had been super common and lots of fun (I wonder if I’m even in a few movies riding by in the background). But this is the first set I’ve passed since COVID-19, and it’s sad and exciting and scary all at once. I stop to watch for a few minutes.
I’m hustling now because it’s 1:47 pm and my favorite donut shop closes at 2! Priorities, baby. Keep your eye on the prize.
Just in time!!!!!!
Follow me on Ride Spot so we can wander again together, wherever you may be in this wonderful, limitless world we share. If you’re in Metro Atlanta, I hope to cross paths with you while Traveling at the Speed of Bike.
As always, trust the journey!