Welcome to the latest addition to my “Wander” series, as an ambassador with PeopleForBikes.
This series presents “sneak peeks” into research-by-bike I do for my writing business. They are looser, longer routes than my other very-specific free self-guided bike tours around Metro Atlanta (don’t swear by the cue card — the point is just to wander). The “Wander” series also does not necessarily represent a bike route that is accessible and welcoming for all, and basic bike skills (and beyond) are required. Adjust it according to the risk you are willing to take, shorten it if needed, and walk your bike at spots that feel uncomfortable to you.
See TravelingAtTheSpeedOfBike.com for free classes via downloadable PDF and the first (and only) text-based bike skills class in the world. I also post bike tips and inspiration on TikTok @pedalpowerwithpattie.
I like to see things in the news for myself and thus had a terrific “wander” this week in the City of Atlanta that I’m calling my “Headline News” tour. Not only did I ride past the headquarters of CNN (of which the cable channel Headline News is a brand, and at whose parent company I worked for four years, by the way, when I first moved to Atlanta from New York City), now surrounded by protective fencing, but I also took in a whole lot of other headline news.
- The COVID-19 vaccination operation at Mercedes Benz Stadium (which, fun fact, hosts the largest metal bird sculpture in the world);
- The open-to-the-public Home Depot Backyard, with two gorgeous murals (both of whom’s artists I interviewed previously for the Superbowl legacy project named Off the Wall) and fun musical instruments (see @pedalpowerwithpattie on TikTok for a little video!);
- A COVID-19 field hospital across the street in the Vine City neighborhood (currently not in use but ready for action, if needed);
- The State of Georgia Capitol (where intense construction of a periphery fence is currently underway following the potential for threats to it);
- The informal memorial to Hank Aaron (following his recent death) at the old Atlanta Braves Fulton County Stadium location;
- Gentrification-in-action in the historically-significant Summerhill neighborhood;
- And so much more art, and artifacts of history, past and present.
I start and end you at the Krog Street Tunnel, where graffiti is welcome and legal, because so much “news of the day” seems to get amplified there in one way or another, although my visit there this time simply provided me with a location for my daily Leap of Faith during these challenging times.
You can learn a lot about our current moments in history by Traveling at the Speed of Bike up-close-and-personal at actual sites, where you can draw your own conclusions; formulate and research your inquiries; question your own eye-witnesses (as I did with guards yesterday); and explore needed context not found elsewhere. Join me.
See my collection of free self-guided bike tours here (including the Artsy Downtown series!), as well as photos from the rest of the Wander series.
Thank you for your support. 100% of proceeds from the sale of my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike, as well as my original-art Artsy Bike Face Mask, are used to help more women and girls ride bikes.
Also, there’s a bib! You can order it here. See an adorable baby modeling it here. (Reminder: Kids don’t wait. They grow up. You can’t “feel like a kid again” when you ride a bike for the rest of your life . . . if you didn’t ride a bike as a kid. The time for change is now.)