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Is Atlanta a decent cycling city?(13 posts)

Is Atlanta a decent cycling city?aet
Apr 8, 2003 11:12 AM
I may end up moving there for job purposes and i want to be prepared for what i'll have to deal with, bike wise.

not reallytarwheel
Apr 8, 2003 11:46 AM
The traffic was horrible when I last lived in Atlanta 20 years ago and it's gotten only worse. The Atlanta metro area is so huge that it's hard to escape it. The climate allows year-round cycling, though, and there are great areas to ride in Georgia if you don't mind driving to your starting locations. There are a few options inside the metro area, including the 5-mile loop around Stone Mountain (not on weekends and holidays though) and a long dedicated bike trail on the NW side that I forget the name of right now. Atlanta might just have the worst traffic problem in the entire country.

I am sure that area bike clubs have some routes worked out on lesser traveled roads beyond the suburbs, but be prepared to drive some.
silver comet trailtarwheel
Apr 8, 2003 12:17 PM
The bike trail in NW Atlanta that I forgot is called the Silver Comet, named after the old railroad line that it follows. It goes for 37 miles from Smyrna to Rockmart, with plans to extend it into Alabama. I haven't cycled on the trail but have heard good things about it. However, like all multi-use trails, you probably have to be careful not to collide with runners, rollerbladers, etc. Here's a link:
Decent is a good word to useSpecialTater
Apr 8, 2003 1:24 PM
Decent in that there are plenty of cyclists and some good clubs. Decent in that it's located in Georgia, which many consider an excellent cycling state due to the hills and plenty of organized rides (also Tour de Georgia pro race). Great mountian biking is nearby if you are into that.

Not decent in that the local govt has been slow to embrace cycling and add significant paths or lanes around town. There is a good route from essentially downtown to Stone Mountain. Check the website below. Also I believe a poor selection of LBS, though some really good small ones. There are no "superstores" like Performance or Supergo which is a little frustrating.

_rt_ is probably the most prolific RBR participant from Atlanta, though I have not seen her post lately. She would be a better source than I.
hmm. sounds grim. i hope i can stay here in austin!!!!(NM)aet
Apr 8, 2003 2:01 PM
re: Is Atlanta a decent cycling city?KSC
Apr 8, 2003 3:54 PM
A cyclist I know in Atlanta once told me that some bicycling institution rated Atlanta the worst major U.S. city for cycling. Plus Austin has better Tex-Mex.
Stay away if you can.Damn
Apr 8, 2003 4:29 PM
I've been living here since 98 and my family will leave as soon as my wife gets a job elsewhere. I was a bicycle police officer and now I'm a stay at home dad and I still cycle about every day. The thing is you have find out where you may live if you move here. That's a big factor, but I'd have to say stay away. If you have to move maybe we can just switch houses because I'd take Austin over Atlanta any day. Atlanta was rated last ouit of the major cities to raise a family and Georgia scored the lowset on the SAT's. Do you really want to bike around with a bunch of dumb asses driving next to you?
re: Is Atlanta a decent cycling city?stratslingr77
Apr 8, 2003 5:30 PM
Go to Pine Mountain. It's about 40 miles or so south of the city. The terrain is rolling hills and it's pretty rural with lots of open road. Bring plenty of water anytime between May and November because the heat and humidity is NASTY~! Also expect short, but frequent downpours during that afternoons. I agree with the previous poster: Georgia sucks! I moved to Tacoma, Washington last year and am eternally thankful to be out of the south! The "good ole boys" don't take too kindly to seeing men in lycra.
re: Is Atlanta a decent cycling city?Sadlebred
Apr 8, 2003 7:34 PM
The Atlanta Cycling Scene Dead??? Hardly! Check out all what is going on at http// including group rides, races, etc. Ok, Shameless plug for my website. If you can out up with the traffic, Atlanta has some great riding. Email me at sttarlite at if you want to talk about it.

yeah, what everyone else said..._rt_
Apr 9, 2003 5:28 AM
didn't realize i was so prolific in my posts! ;-)

there is a strong cycling community here but the roads are terrible. well, actually, the roads themselves are generally ok, it's the drivers & traffic that are horrible.

as someone else said, you're going to have to drive to ride. especially if you decide to live inside the perimeter.

there are a variety of group rides at various levels of hammerhead. there's also some slower stuff. to be honest i have not tried very many of the group rides because my schedule since i moved here 9 months ago has been too crowded. my plan is to start trying more of the group rides now that the time has changed & my schedule is not as booked.

feel free to email for more info if you want:

re: Is Atlanta a decent cycling city?LLSmith
Apr 9, 2003 7:23 AM
There are about 15 counties that make up metro Atlanta. Plenty of great cycling areas outside the city. Traffic is a problem in the metro area as people continue to move here. No super stores here yet, but some quality small shops in the city. Riding a bike here might not be as easy as some areas, but plenty of people ride.
Depends on where you live......ATLien
Apr 9, 2003 11:27 AM
True: Atlanta traffic sucks. BUT--I've lived here for the better part of 9yrs and found that it all depends on where you live and the quality of live you're looking to lead. For us living "in-town", there are plenty of good group rides every night of the week (although mostly hammerfests) and plenty of good back-road routes to ride any distance you want around town. You name it: crits, 25, 50, 75-milers, TT's; they're all here pretty regularly.

If you live in the suburbs or "OTP" (outside the perimeter), well I just can't help you because I try to stay away from those vast tracts of feature-less khaki-colored homes with vinyl siding and 2.5 kids.

Seriously though, Atlanta is no Austin (or Boulder) to be sure, but if you're willing to trade a 5br new home for the cost of a 2br older home or townhouse and be closer to the center of town, you'll find that traffic is not nearly as bad as the 'burbs and that there's plenty of good riding if you look hard enough.

I used to think riding a bike in this town was nuts, and now I do it 6 days a week.

check out sadlebred's site, she's got lots o' good info on the local scene.
Apr 9, 2003 6:45 PM
ATLien--thanks for the plug. Do you live ITP or OTP (inside 285/the loop or outside 285/the loop for those of you not from the ATL)? I'm about 4 miles otp but do much of my week night riding itp. Check out the Lethal Injection ride in Powder Springs if you want a nice, rolling 30 mile weeknight hammerfest. My team says we are having a B ride this year. As soon as I recover from my surgery, I will be out there. Drop me an email sttarlite at

If you are willing to drive about 20-30 minutes on the weekends, great riding can be had in White, GA, Cartersville, GA, "Silk Sheets," Newnan, etc. Plenty of good riding in this area including mountains...true mountains.