So, like other 58-year-old women, I needed new threads for rollerdancing! I’m specifically looking for affordable pieces that are bright and fun so they swirl and pop on my Tiktoks (tap in to @speedofbike!). They also, however, need to be functional enough so they don’t get caught in my bike chains while I’m riding to parks and parking lots to strut my stuff in between errand-running and doing research for TravelingAtTheSpeedOfBike.com each day!
There are two particularly cute local dress shops in my suburb-city (one brand new that I haven’t been to yet!) but neither have bike racks nearby and both are in car-centric parking lots that are not welcoming so I hightailed it to Goodwill instead (right next to REI, where I asked if they would host an ebike-testing showcase during Biketober!). I hit the motherlode! (Quick aside: If you haven’t watched the movie Motherload yet, you are in for a HUGE treat — see here.)
Oh, and on the way, of course, I stopped to rollerskate in the MARTA mass transit station’s parking deck! (Quick bike tip: Did u know u can take your bike on all MARTA trains, buses, and the Atlanta Streetcar during all operating hours? This is above and beyond most mass transit systems which do not allow bikes during peak traditional commute hours).
After Goodwill, I swung by my fave local gourmet shop, which has a great bike rack, and tucked an olive baguette in the little basket I had bungee-corded on my back rack. If curious about the basket in the front, it’s called a Plasket; it’s made from reclaimed ocean plastic, it detaches so I can carry it into shops, I’ve been road-testing it for months now, and I LOVE IT! See here.
The bread (lol) and my ridiculous (yet it works) #BikeNoodle helped me get home (when I wasn’t riding on the sidewalks, which is the ONLY way I recommend you do this route —— my suburb-city is the only city in the State of Georgia where that’s legal for people of all ages, with priority for people walking and in wheelchairs, due to known dangerous-by-design conditions. That means 65 miles of de facto multiuse path appeared overnight — see my post about that here. See 7-low-hanging fruit actions cities can take now to be more accessible for people on bikes).
Back to #BikeNoodle, everyone asks about it so I wrote this post with everything you need to know. I don’t use it most places I like to ride. If you see me using it, it ain’t a good reflection on your city. (Just sayin’.) But you know what would be worse? If I hadn’t found a comfortable way forward all these years (except that one time), even in places that make it uninviting. Because whenever I bike everywhere, I know I make a difference in my own life and the lives of those around me. And that feels good.
Look. I get it. I know we still have lots of bridges to cross. Every day I do a leap of faith and look forward to the day when riding a bike does not require one. However, it IS possible to #BikeEverywhere, and there are lots of people where you live who are happy to tap you in to the more welcoming routes, and other rubber-hits-the-road local tips. Reach out and ask! We LOVE to share our lived and learned experience (and many city halls don’t listen to us so we’re starving for someone to lend an ear!) I provide you with welcoming routes, free classes, and other resources in my “You Go, Girl” Toolkit on TravelingAtTheSpeedOfBike.com.
A quick final shout-out to city leaders and business chambers: #BikesMean Business, and even more so when they are ridden by women. Find out why you are most likely losing money here and here.
Join me for #Biketober and let’s #BikeEverywhere!
“Better than nothing” equals nothing. it is unacceptable.
Rockin’ my PeopleForBikes Ambassador jersey while rollerdancing in the empty MARTA transit station parking deck!
The main roads are the flattest and most direct to destinations where I live and are old Cherokee trails that are on ridges. To take side roads (which don’t connect so you eventually do have to deal wit the main roads, but still it gives you a break), you face enormous hills (and often high heat through a good portion of the year), so bikes would be game changers. Give ’em a test-ride!
Alon’s is such a wonderful gourmet shop and hangout. One of my very fave places in Metro Atlanta (this is actually it’s second location). There is indoor and outdoor seating. This is my fave place for in-person meetings, and for bringing my laptop to write.
Go, #BikeNoodle and olive baguette!
FYI, on my typical almost-daily 10-15 mile loops around this suburb-city, I generally see zero other people on bikes. One reason is because almost ALL of the “bike lanes” do not meet NACTO guidelines or the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Communities requirements. I’ve asked for pop-up tactical urbanism numerous times and get all the reasons why that not possible. It is possible. No more cone of silence. Here is the media release I would like to see.
Every day I take a #LeapOfFaith, and I look forward to the day when #TravelingAtTheSpeedOfBike does not require one.
Join the fun in #Biketober and #BikeEverywhere!