Monday, February 11, 2008

another unfriendly cycling city

We just returned from a quick trip to Atlanta. Beth is going to sell her jewelry in the Beehive CoOp there, so she wanted to go down again and setup her display and get all the inventory sorted through. She wanted me to accompany her and stay overnight this time as Atlanta is just a bit far for a day trip and she knew she would be working at the Beehive for at least 3 hours.

We headed down friday afternoon and had a great dinner with her old friend who lives in Atlanta. We headed back to the hotel after stuffing ourselves at the Cali Pizza Kitchen. Beth and I wanted to walk from our hotel to a bar for drinks so we headed out to Ru San's because it was close. I enjoyed two yummy Sweetwater IPAs and we got an interesting fried banana and ice cream desert. We can now add to list of life experiences; eating ice cream with chopsticks. And I must say we were quite good at it!

We got up leisurely this morning and headed to IHOP for breakfast! oh yea!! I'd talked about it enough that Beth finally said we could go and I got my favorite, chocolate chip pancakes! All this because our hotel didn't provide any complimentary breakfast items, or many items at all actually....(see rant below). We headed straight for the Beehive after brunch and Beth got to work. I decided to bring my Crosscheck with me for the trip so I suited up in my riding gear, mainly just shoes and chrome bag with some books, and got directions to the local park. The directions sounded very easy, basically just head down Peachtree Rd and swing a left on any street between 14th and 10th. I was psyched and ready for an adventure. I had a quick discussion about how bike friendly Atlanta was and wasn't with another vendor at the Beehive, then I was off to find out what riding in Atlanta was like.

I got all my stuff together and passed off the car keys to Beth and said ado. I quickly got in the saddle and onto Peachtree Rd and immediately found that it would be an adventure. Peachtree Rd is a major thoroughfare, basically like riding down West End in midtown Nashville, just with 3-4 times as many cars and trucks, much narrower lanes and no shoulder. Add to this constant construction zones, one after the other for the entire 2 mile stretch I needed to ride. No complains here as I was actually enjoying myself. I just owned my little section of road and tried to maintain the fastest speed I could to keep up. The crosscheck handled the many potholes and chewed up pavement very well. I didn't hear anyone yelling at me and no cars put my life in danger. I was surprised that I didn't see any other cyclists riding. I met a lady while waiting at a light that asked me how easy it was to ride in Atlanta. I said I was from out of town so I didn't really know yet. She said that she noticed there weren't many bike lanes and that Atlanta wasn't a very bike friendly city. The few miles I rode today proved her to be correct.

I made it to the park in one piece and still happy to be riding. I rode a couple laps and explored the park some and then found a nice comfy tree to hang and read. After a couple hours I packed back up and rode back to meet Beth. I'm going to have to try to bring my bike more on our little Freshie and Zero outings. It was great to zip around Atlanta and have something to do while Beth was working.

Small rant about hotels. It's so annoying that as you pay more for a hotel, they offer less. Ok for $75-100 you get a Holiday Inn level hotel, with free wifi, continental breakfast, free parking, maybe a water bottle and hopefully a mini fridge. When you move up to a 'nice' hotel in the $150-200 price range, you get a suite with a couch, (eh big deal, though the extra room is nice), a nice mattress, no free wifi ($10 per day in the Double Tree in Buckhead), no breakfast (on site generic restaurant), $4 bottles of water as a tease, and $16 per day parking in an off-site garage. Thank God for, but it seems the priorities need a check. Clearly the people who can afford to actually pay $180 for a hotel, can pay $10 more for internet and $16 for parking. Like Starbucks doesn't need to have free wifi to entice their customers, because they actually don't want them to stick around and hangout, but the independent coffee shops use free wifi as a selling point to bring in customers. oh well... such is life.


Anonymous said...

Dammit Greg, Why didn't you tell me you were coming to Atlanta? We could have hit any of the local trails and i wouldn't have wrecked my bikes. Your getting some of the blame in my bike carnage. No, seriously Atlanta has some great trails. Hit me up next time.

matt (xtanker)

Chewieez said...

Sorra Matt!

I'll definitely give you a shout next trip. I didn't really have time for a trail ride this time, but hopefully next time!

freshie & zero said...

comfy bed is a trade-off for no free (and usually lame) breakfast. who wants another crappy muffin and defrosted eggs alongside a tiny bowl filled with raisin bran anyway? i totally agree that charging for wi-fi is completely ridiculous, though. it's free in the business center downstairs? cool - do you think they'd mind if i was in my pj's? and i love the water bottles they leave out with the little sign that says they'll charge you $4. I think the Ramada Inn & Holiday Inn Express are my favorite hotels in the mid-range. Lots of perks for usually under $100.

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