Saturday, March 15, 2014

Atlanta, GA- escape from the North

Back in January, we decided to head south to escape Buffalo's cold for a spell (it has been uncharacteristically cold).  The Virgin Islands are pricey, but maybe more importantly, it takes a lot of precious time to get there and subjects you to multi-plane trips where you are more susceptible to weather related delays...
We scheduled a trip to the South, where we have spent little time.  A brief brainstorm suggested Atlanta or Savannah and further research recommended Atlanta for a week long visit. Little did we know that I would end up having hernia surgery 2 days before we left. No worries; it just prevented me from doing drywall or construction work during recovery.

Atlanta was quite enjoyable, even if your bend is industrial reuse and Portland-esk style hippie venues.  It took a long time to find a great coffee shop, but when we did, it was all we I could have asked for.

On the 3rd day, we headed out for a bike tour with Bicycle Tours of Atlanta with Robyn and her intern : )  The tours start at a revitalized industrial warehouse site, which incubates (and obviously also retains) small businesses. The site still retains many of its more charming industrial attributes, such as sliding fire doors, but the roof has been pulled off down the center of the building to offer natural light to the remaining portions.  Extremely well executed.

We also visited a mill conversion to condos.  The greatest thing about it was that much of the huge infrastructure was left.  Hoppers and overhead rail tracks were meshed with a swimming pool.  Pretty fabulous.

Robyn customized our tour based on our architectural and art interests and led us through neighborhoods which saw deep economic slumps and managed to rebound without losing too much of their architectural heritage.  The ?city? promoted a mural painting bonanza, which manifests as fabulous and varied murals in diverse areas.

We really enjoyed the tour and it was not stressful on my recent stitches.  The bikes were better than the ones we rented in New Orleans; less wide saddle and more practical. Robyn was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot.

BTW the most hipster coffee shop vote goes to...drumroll... Octane, 1009 Marietta St NW.  Great mocha, clean tables, industrial bldg reused, they make designs in your foam. I know, I know.  Don't lecture me, this is my one flaw.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's Never Too Late in the Season for a Big Ride (that's what she said)

A friend proposed we circumnavigate Seneca Lake a couple of weeks ago. Ooooh, so tempting, but a pretty long ride in the cold. Presto!  The weather improved substantially and it turned into a decent 50 degree day. 

A 15-20 mph headwind made going south a struggle, but when we turned around, WOW.  20 mph barely pedaling back north was sweeeeet!  The whole trip came in at just about 75 miles.
It's always nice to have people nudge you towards things you would normally not consider.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

60 MPH wind gusts- amazingly took few trees out

I took a quick jaunt of 26 miles, thinking there would be a lot of downed trees, but it was not bad.  The streets had been cleared, but I found this poor willow downed on a bike path.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Some ammunition for "people against cycling infrastructure"

It gives me pleasure to see that the tiny speck of the world I live in is slowly changing to meet me better than half way.

Portland, Amsterdam, Copenhagen are our roll (yes, I did do that) models for what bicycling culture should look like. But even when they talk about money and cycling, things get muddied, worldwide. So I thought I would point to this article to give people at least one factual point for arguing the cause of supporting cycling infrastructure. 

"A study commissioned by Copenhagen’s mayor showed that driving cars offers up a $0.20 net loss for each mile driven, due to congestion, health, accidents and environmental impacts. This is in contrast to the bicycle which offers a $0.35 net benefit to the economy per mile ridden."

I ran into an article about the cost of a paved parking space, per car, but can't find that reference, so if someone comes across that, please post a comment with the reference.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 20, Tuesday

Jamie got up at the absurd hour of 3am to see me off. I took a shuttle to Denver to fly to Portland and meet Dwight and Rachel. It was quite uneventful, but it was sweet to be back with both of them.

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, Monday

On our last day together, we rented full suspension bikes and hired a guide/ instructor to show us some strategies for riding mountain bikes on trails. This was pretty cool, as he took us on a "Pump" track, used to teach/practice maneuver on rolling terrain. Breckenridge also has a tiny terrain park. Both of these practice areas were being used by very young children, who were out-performing me, but Jamie did super well. I think her skiing helps; she is fearless.
I took my bike to Alpine Sports to ship. (Not impressed- the bike made it home without damage, but that appeared to be pure luck. The packaging had shifted and was minimal and the store called me to find out if I had paid for the shipping. On the plus side, they agreed to also ship a box of stuff for me and did not charge me enough to cover a second box they needed.) Fireside Inn found me a box to take on the plane for the stuff I would need in Portland. Have I said what a fabulous place that hostel is? 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 18, Sunday

 The next day was our last day with John, Roger, Susan and Kevin. We all rode to the top of Boreas pass together and said our goodbyes.  Susan and Kevin will circle around to end up in Denver, where they will fly home. John and Roger will keep going to Mexico.

Jamie and I rode back down to Breckenridge, but Jamie took the tough way through the woods, while I wimped out and took the road.