curated Biketober calendar for Metro Atlanta, across the USA, and around the world
JOIN US anywhere in the world in a #RollingWave during Biketober! Simply take a photo or video (safely) of yourself or others waving on or near bikes and post it on social media tagged #RollingWave!
There are already a bunch (including the USA’s POTUS and FLOTUS!) from the USA’s National Bike Month in May, Canada’s National Bike Month in June, and World Bicycle Day June 3, 2021. Let’s keep the momentum going!
Friday, October 1 Join the Atlanta Bike Challenge at LoveToRide.net. Qualify for chances to win great prizes (including an ebike!) every day throughout Biketober that you ride as little as 10 minutes. Leaderboards highlight people who encourage others, who ride with kids, who ride the most days, and who ride the most miles.
Saturday, October 2 FB4K Atlanta (FreeBikes4Kidz) donation day, with our beloved friends at BikeLaw Georgia in Decatur (right next to a stunning protected two-way cycletrack) serving as a dropoff donation spot yet again. See other drop-off locations throughout Metro Atlanta here:
Sunday, October 3 Don’t know how to ride a bike at all? Free “Learn to Pedal/Balance” class created by a League Cycling Instructor (me!) available anywhere via 4 fun, short daily texts via a secure online platform as well as a downloadable PDF. This is the method that got Meghna, Helena, Diana, and Kaysha riding for the first time in their lives in under two hours. (Take that class before the one featured on October 24.)
Monday, October 4 Is your city represented (see map below) in the global consortium of more than 125 Bicycle Mayors encouraging others to ride bikes and collaborating on worldwide initiatives? If not, find out how to apply or nominate someone here. If you don’t have time for this pro bono commitment with the Amsterdam-based social enterprise BYCS, there is also a Bicycle Citizens Network that offers other ways to make a difference. Note: Biketober concludes my first year as the first Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor. My pro bono bike work in the USA ends November 1, and year 2 of my term will be focused exclusively globally. I am available stateside for paid work, specifically writing, project leadership, and brand ambassador opportunities.
Tuesday, October 5 Watch Motherload. This documentary is stunning, and will have you rethinking the hermetically-sealed minivan or SUV (if you haven’t already). I attended a free public screening of it in the fall of 2019 in Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta (pictured below). Every single city representative, chamber of commerce member, corporate leader, and school board member (and anyone else who needs a reminder about the sheer joy of it all) should view this movie.You can see the trailer here.
Wednesday, October 6 National Walk/Bike to School Day. Look, I know that if it’s hard to do and doesn’t feel safe, it’s the lowest thing on your priority list right now. The school to which my daughters and I used to ride has zero bikes in the bike racks, and the sign out front promotes Walk to School Day (but doesn’t mention bikes). I’m not even sure riding a bike there is “allowed” anymore. I do have tips in my book, Food for My Daughters, about ways we worked it in while juggling the challenges, in case it’s something you want to do. Here — I’ll give you those tips for free. I’m glad we made the effort. Those days pass quickly. Even if you do it just once, your kids will remember it forever. Reminder: children don’t wait; they grow up.
Thursday, October 7 Atlanta City Cycling Class from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (note this organization recently merged with PEDS Atlanta and a new name/combined mission is coming soon). Sign up for this free class, and others. My dear friend Stephen Spring has taught them the past few years but just left for something VERY big (a profile of Stephen is coming during Biketober, to join this list of other profiles of people making a difference).
Friday, October 8 Brookhaven Bike Bingo! The Brookhaven Bike Alliance is doing some astounding advocacy work, and the thing I like most is how well they are keeping FUN centered. This is very hard to do. They are featuring their popular Bike Bingo throughout Biketober. Check it out here, and maybe take a roll or two in Brookhaven to see what’s happening there.
Saturday, October 9 So you want to ride a bike in Metro Atlanta but you don’t know where to go besides endless circles at your local park or the often-too-crowded Atlanta Beltline’s Eastside Trail? I got you covered:
Sunday, October 10 Second Sunday Sober Bike Ride. Lots of bike happenings end up at brewpubs, and that’s not necessarily welcoming to those who don’t drink alcohol or are struggling with addiction. Local-woman owned-and-operated Bicycle Tours of Atlanta (the number 1 outdoor company in Atlanta according to TripAdvisor, with more than 900 5-star reviews) partnered with The P-Man Foundation to offer these once-a-month bike rides for free (INCLUDING free bike use) for anyone looking for a sober-committed active community. The sober-curious are welcome as well. Click here to register (required).
Monday, October 11 PeopleForBikes is a national nonprofit organization funded in part by the bike industry and charged with encouraging more people to ride bikes. I serve as a PeopleForBikes Ridespot Ambassador (the only one in the Metro Atlanta region) and I really like these folks. You don’t want to miss their city scorecards, plus get in on the fun on their Ridespot app — I’ve already won five cute patches for completing challenges! It’s fun when they arrive in the mail!
Tuesday, October 12 Meet #TodaysNiceStranger. Lots happens when you’re traveling at the speed of bike, and one of them is the number of people you get to meet. You may enjoy a street portrait project I’ve been doing sharing some of the many nice strangers (maybe even you!) I’ve met. (It lives on Instagram here. Some of the stories are on Instagram at #TodaysNiceStranger). Some of them are now my friends. I’ve read some of their books, enjoyed their art, and shared their hopes and dreams. Why not meet some nice strangers of your own today? (There’s also a lot of free public fruit out there. Look for native persimmons and pomegranates next.)
Wednesday, October 13 The Atlanta Cycling Festival is back for four days October 13 through the 16th, with both virtual and in-person happenings. See here.
Thursday, October 14 Don’t miss the “You Go, Girl!” toolkit. I see you. I hear you. I got your back.
Friday, October 15 Riding bikes helps us stay connected to each other and to our communities while being naturally socially-distanced. It’s a win-win during these trying times!
Saturday, October 16 Pedalpalooza bike rodeo for kids is presented by Global Spokes in the City of Clarkston, Georgia. Note that Global Spokes will be opening a bike shop right on the PATH in Clarkston before the end of the year. (If interested, here is a profile of Mike Flueckinger, Global Spokes’ chief mechanic.)
Sunday, October 17 Monthly Family Bike Ride in Dunwoody Although this bike ride takes place in the streets, please note that the City of Dunwoody in the only city in the State of Georgia where it’s legal for people of all ages to ride bikes on the sidewalk (with priority given to those walking and using wheelchairs), in recognition of known dangerous-by-design conditions. This created 65 miles of de facto multiuse path overnight. Find out more about that here. You may want to consider legalalizing this act of self-preservation and improving equity where you live, too, even if it’s just temporarily until appropriate infrastructure that meets standards is created.
Monday, October 18 The League of American Bicyclists. Tap in to the extraordinary amount of information that the League of American Bicyclists provides for free on its website. You may especially enjoy finding out how your state and city rank nationwide, and what local resources (bike shops, League Cycling Instructors, and more) are available to you. Plus, the League provides tons of short, engaging videos* to help you ride your bike more. Consider joining the League, as their important work helps create a safer and more inclusive country for bike riding.
Tuesday, October 19 Support your local bike shop! We need our local bike shops, team, in order to keep our bikes running well. We’ve already lost a bunch of them, but hopefully the current bike boom (biggest since I was a Bike Native in the 1970s boom!) saved the day for the others. Some bike shops have been working hard to be more inclusive beyond the big-bucks sports cyclists, so search those out if that’s important to you. Of course, if you do have the money and enjoy spending it on high-end bikes and gear, thanks for helping keep these folks in business and boosting the local economy.
Wednesday, October 20 The Georgia Bike/Walk Summit is happening in a hybrid format from October 20-23. I’ve been to two of them (one in person in Downtown Atlanta, and last year’s virtually) and they are very good, and seemingly quite intimate in scale. Register here. Georgia Bikes also runs a list of events throughout the state on its website.
Thursday, October 21 Public murals represent the diversity in our region (check out the #ArtOfBikeRiding hashtag), and who is riding bikes is no different. In fact, who gets to occupy public space; where; when; how; and why — and who gets to decide that — are huge equity and inclusion issues. Take a moment today to really see who is riding in your city — how, when, where, and why. Notice what kinds of accommodations are provided that help or hinder their free and safe access.
Friday, October 22 Silver Spokes Adult Trike Class in Decatur. Oh, I’m so happy to see this still going. I was actually hired to teach this class for a year, and it was an awesome experience. Contact Sara Holmes to register. Note: the City of Alpharetta also has adult trikes, but no formal program as far as I know, although my 85-year-old mom and I hope to get out on them during Biketober (she’s on team Trust the Journey!). FYI, if you’d like your city to start an adult trikes program, share this with them:
Saturday, October 23 Decatur Family Bike Ride. There’s lots happening in Decatur (one of 6 certified Bicycle Friendly Communities in Metro Atlanta — the others are City of Atlanta, Peachtree City, Carrollton, Roswell, and Alhparetta). See here. City of Decatur has a paid staff to focus specifically on active living, so you may want to consider that in your city, too.
Sunday, October 24 “Pedal Power with Pattie” Basic Bike Skills Class via 22 short, daily texts (also available via free downloadable PDF, Tiktok, and occasionally in-person):
Monday, October 25 Did you know that riding a bike can provide a time-dependable commute? Plus, you can take your bike on all MARTA trains, buses, and streetcars during all hours of operation? Here’s my fun little TikTok for how to load and unload a bike on a bus:
Tuesday, October 26 See 7 Low-Hanging-Fruit Actions Cities Can Take — right now, today! Don’t make this harder than it is, folks. Your city is missing out on the economic impact of people on bikes every day you wait.
Wednesday, October 27 Bikeshare is a bit of a crapshoot right now in Metro Atlanta (all the Zagsters throughout Metro Atlanta got removed during the pandemic, and God only knows what’s going on with Relay). However, I’m still a fan, and fingers crossed for a robust return! There are some ebikes for rent out there. Take a little virtual ride with me:
Thursday, October 28 I often say “all roads lead to City Hall when you’re traveling at the speed of bike.” That’s because so much advocacy work seems to be necessary in order to get the smallest of life-saving changes in our shared public spaces known as streets. You will most likely find yourself there as well. Visit the Community Advocates page on the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition’s website to find out how to get involved or to get ideas for your city wherever you may live.
Friday, October 29 Decatur Senior Bike Ride. Again with Decatur! Truth? I asked all over for input on this calendar, and Decatur sent me a ton of listings — and considering they do this kind of stuff on an ongoing basis (not just for National Bike Month and Biketober), I feel like they deserve the extra shoutouts. Plus, I ride there every week and love it. In fact, I believe city leaders from all over Metro Atlanta (especially the burbs) should seriously consider taking this self-guided tour in Decatur before they create yet another too-narrow unprotected bike lane that doesn’t meet NACTO guidelines or tell their constituents why painted crosswalks are not possible.
Saturday, October 30 See Traveling at the Speed of Bike (book and blog) for lots more info. Note: 100% of proceeds from the sale of my book are used to help more women and girls ride bikes**. Below is a free Book Club Chat Guide. Let me know if you want me to pop in virtually anywhere in the world to answer any questions!
Sunday, October 31 Join me in centering joy, in all its conundrum
*Want even shorter ones? See my Tiktok series @pedalpowerwithpattie!