The 2018 Atlanta Cycling Festival will be Saturday, May 19 - Friday, May 25.
Boy oh boy, we can't wait. Here are all the news and announcements for this year's festival.
We're Proud Of Our 2018 Theme
Here it is: Exploring Atlanta by bike, 5 years in a row.
That's right - We're headed in the 5th year of the festival. The idea for the Atlanta Cycling Festival was born in 2013 after visiting a cycling festival in Cork, Ireland (Check out our humble beginnings on The Mobile Social Blog).
Since then, we've been exploring and reveling in all the wonders that Atlanta has to offer via two wheels. So many parts of the city can only be fully appreciated when you jump on a bike and experience it with those in the Atlanta bicycle community.
This year, we plan on doing even more exploring, going places that we've never been and connecting with both old and new friends. We cannot wait.
We're Excited To Have The Festival In May
For the past 4 years, the ACF has been in the second or third week of June. There are pros/cons to this but, after much deliberation, we decided to move the festival to May.
Why? Two big reasons: The weather is markedly cooler (June is hot hot hot hot) and there is a lot less going on in May (Festival season kicks off in June).
The above reasons will really help us focus the festival and create an even better riding experience.
Our Event Calendar Is Going To Be The Best Ever
That's right - We've got 4 years under our bike jerseys. That means 4 years of feedback, experiences and moments. This year, we're pairing down our event calendar to primarily include the best of the best events. Look for The Doughnut Ride, The One Ride, Infrastructure Tours, Queer Ride, Pecha Kucha, The Intercontinental Cocktail Ride, Yuba Bike Demos and many more crowd favorites.
But don't worry - We're going to add some new key events, taking riders to all sorts of incredible places, full of new experiences. And, of course, they'll be plenty of cold IPAs to go around.
This Year's Volunteer Experience Will Be Incredible
What powers the ACF? Amazing volunteers, handlebars down. Since our first festival in 2014, we've had a stellar group of volunteers help make the ACF a fun, safe and welcoming place. This year, our volunteer team is going to make sure that the experience is the best it can possibly be.
Permitting, beer and the silly large amount of Tinkertown Pies we plan to consume don't come cheap. We've had the honor of working with some long time partners and sponsors to make the Atlanta Cycling Festival a reality. And this year, we're adding even more local companies that believe in Atlanta and biking, such as Cardinal Digital Marketing, a top notch Atlanta SEO company.
And that's all for now. We'll see you Saturday, May 19 - Friday, May 25.
We are big fans of Grady. If you've been in a serious bike wreck, you know how important Grady is. That's why we're excited for VeloCity Atlanta - A new cycling event benefiting Grady Hospital.
Starting from the field of Mercedes-Benz Stadium and ending with a great party at Georgia International Plaza in downtown Atlanta, this fundraising ride will give back to an institution that has given us so much and offers fully-supported routes, plenty of rest stops and distances ranging from 100-miles to a 5-mile closed course city ride.
Spring is upon us and now's the time to get your bike ready for Atlanta's prime riding season. Since this winter has been particularly cold, there's a good chance you haven't been on your bike much. So when you do ride, you may hear all sorts of new, not so fun noises.
Fear not! We at the Atlanta Cycling Festival have some tips and tricks to get your bike ready and in shape for spring... and then the Atlanta Cycling Festival (Coming May 19-25)!
Step 1 - Make Sure You Have A Bike
This may sound ridiculous but bear with us.
In March 2015, Atlanta residents approved the $250 million Renew Atlanta Bond Program which authorized improvements, upgrades and repairs to infrastructure and transportation throughout Atlanta.
Full disclosure - the above are sponsors of the ACF, but we're confident that you'll get an amazing bike and awesome service.
Step 2 - Wash That Bike
Dirt, grim and gunk are probably plentiful in your bike's drivetrain. And if you haven't biked in a few months, then all that junk is probably caked on.
The fix: Go get a bike wash kit. REI has a pretty great selection of tools and washes to get you started. Make sure that you dry your bike thoroughly to avoid rust.
Does washing your bike seem like a lot of work? Fear not yet again! The Atlanta Cycling Festival will have a bike wash station at Atlanta Streets Alive on Sunday, April 8th, from 2pm-6pm. Come enjoy DeKalb Ave like never before AND get your bike oh-so-clean.
Step 3 - Apply All The Bike Lubricant
After you've washed your bike, it will need to be heavily lubricated. There are a lot of bike lubricants out there, so talk with your local bike mechanic to see which they prefer.
Here's a quick video on how to lube like a pro.
Step 4 - Check All The Little Things
Your bike is clean and lubed! Hooray! Here's what you need to check next:
Check bike tube air pressure; pump if necessary
Check the spokes
Check brake levers
Check brake pads
Step 4A - Realize That The Above Is A Lot Of Work And Take It To Bike Shop
We totally understand that doing all the above is a lot of work, so it may just be easier to take your bike to a bike shop for a spring tune up. Any of the shops listed in Step 1 are a wonderful choice for bike repairs/tune ups.
Don't have time to take your bike to the shop? Call VeloFix Atlanta. They'll come to you!
Step 5 - Get Out And Ride!
The moment of truth: Time to go for your first ride! Need some suggestions? Make sure you check out:
And there are many, many more. Once you start attending one group ride, you'll quickly find many more.
For the past 3 years, Bruce Hagen and his Atlanta Bike Law team have been huge partners and sponsors of the Atlanta Cycling Festival. Bruce and his team are avid cyclists, lovers of beer and incredibly active in the Atlanta bike community.
Each year about 50,000 Americans are injured, and approximately 500 killed, while simply riding their bicycles. And, despite the growth of the Atlanta BeltLine and other metro Atlanta bike plans, our region remains a dangerous one for bikers. Georgia drivers continue to be aggressive or inattentive to bicycles with which they share the roads.
We're excited to announce that
our 2018 Event, Ride and Volunteer submissions are now open! Man, are we are on a role here with our announcements.
Here's your chance to lead an ride or volunteer to help others discover life on two wheels and help Atlanta become #BetterWithBiking. We need your biking awesomeness and ideas to make this year's festival even better.
BRAG is excited to bring you the 2018 Spring TuneUp, a 3 day cycling and music festival in Rutledge, GA, April 20-22. This long weekend getaway features various road routes through Georgia farm lands, with your choice of ride lengths each day. Camping, live entertainment, SAG support, hot shower facilities and plenty of snack-filled rest stops are included. Local food trucks, coffee & beer on-site!
BRAG is a not-for-profit dedicated to providing affordable, quality bicycle tours in and across the state of Georgia. Now in its 36th year (holy moly!), BRAG is the second oldest across-state bicycle tour in the world and attracts riders from across the United States. The fellowship and spirit that comes along with all BRAG rides keeps many cyclists coming back year after year.
BRAG is a bicycle ride, not a race. It’s about the journey. BRAG supports charitable causes and the BRAG Dream Team.
For the past 3 years, REI has been a pivotal sponsor of the Atlanta Cycling Festival. They've made far fetched ideas a reality (Remember when we launched a MTB course on a parking deck in 2016?) and been an incredible partner to help make each ACF the best it can be.
9am: Announcements and then pedal out to the REI Boathouse in Stone Mountain, GA (~17 miles)
12pm: Arrive at the Boathouse Shindig
Lunch, beer, demos and more!
3:30pm: Start packing up and pedal back to Atlanta (~17 miles)
This is a fundraiser for the Atlanta Cycling Festival. Proceeds from the event go directly towards making the festival possible.
This is going to be an incredible event. Get your tickets now!
Relay Bike Share is the City of Atlanta’s bike share operator. With 500 “smart bikes” and over 70 stations across the city, Relay seeks to be a healthy and enjoyable transportation solution. Whether you are an occasional user enjoying some of Atlanta’s beautiful bike paths, or using the system to close a gap on your daily commute…Relay Bike Share is there for you!
During ACF 2018, Relay will have "virtual hubs" at all of our parties and restaurant partners during the week! Need a bike during ACF? No prob - Get a Relay and use the promo code "ACF2018" for a special discount.
Oh, and at our Closing Bash, we'll be celebrating Relay's 1 Year Anniversary. Hip hip!
Holy guacamole! We're just 2 weeks away from the 2018 Atlanta Cycling Festival (Coming Saturday, May 19 - Friday, May 25)! We've got 20+ bike events during the week - If you haven't yet, check out our 2018 Ride/Event Calendar.
But how do you get ready to explore and experience Atlanta by bike? What a great question! We at the ACF have put our helmet-hair-heads together and created this handy list to make sure that you're ready for the week of biking fun!
How To Get Ready For The 2018 ACF
Behold: All the steps.
Step 1: Get A Bike
Sure, this may sound silly, but in order to enjoy a week of biking, you, well, need a bike. Here are some great options for you:
Relay Bike Share: Relay has a silly amount of strategically placed and super useful hubs all around Atlanta. Also, during ACF, Relay will have "digital hubs" at all the partner bars so you can park the bikes there for no added charge! Also also! We've got a swanky promo code: acf2018. Get a Relay and come join us.
Visit one of our sponsor bike shops: Great bikes + they help make Atlanta better by supporting the community? We love that. Here's our list:
Come to our Bicycle Yard Sale: That's right - our 2nd Annual Bicycle Yard Sale on Saturday May 19th, 2pm, is a fantastic place to get a nice used bike at price that works for you. Bring your haggle pants - You'll need them.
Step 2: Download The Apps
This year, we're proud to feature two apps for ACF participants.
Ride Report: Ride Report has partnered with the City Of Atlanta to help make bicycle infrastructure decisions faster, smarter, and more responsive to cyclists' lived experiences. AKA - The app helps the city know what roads are great and which roads are not so great. During the ACF, the more you use the app, the more trophies you get. The trophies can then be "redeemed" at the closing party for ACF swag and beer. That's a win. Download it now.
ACF iOS Event App: Developed by the talented and regal Carlos Quinones (Our favorite biker developer), this app will give you detailed day-of info, help you plan your week and locate the next event! A must have for iOS users. Download it now.
Step 3: Follow Us!
How can you get breaking details and info on all the events during the week? Simple: Follow us on that ol' social media:
And there you go! All the details to get you primed and ready for ACF 2018. We'll see you Saturday, May 19 - Friday, May 25!
Join us for the first ever Pedal, Pint & Paddle to the REI Boathouse!
Pedal, Pint & Paddle is a day of biking, ice-cold Eventide Beer and an afternoon on the water at the REI Boathouse! We'll have food, music and all sorts of awesome bike vendors. What better way to enjoy your Sunday?
So join us Sunday, May 20th for a day of beer, bikes and boats!
Wowzer! The 2018 Atlanta Cycling Festival is less than 3 days away!
With over 9 months worth of work, we at the ACF are extremely proud of this year's ride calendar and event lineup. We've done our best to bring you some old classics and new favorites this year, with the goal of trying to ensure there's a little bit for many types of riders and a lot of fun for all.
So, from roadies to techies, moms to dads and commuters to party people, here are our event picks for you.
The Newbie Rider
Absolutely 100% new to biking? Boy oh boy - Do we have an awesome ride for you. BEHOLD: Newbie Love - New Riders Clinic (Tuesday, May 22nd, 6:30pm). Join Black Girls Do Bike Atlanta for a beginners cycling clinic and short ride. The clinic will focus on cycling basics, including how to properly wear a helmet, basic bike maintenance, proper hydration and nutrition, stretching before and after, cycling gear and clothing, proper bike fit and more. Welcome to all newbies or those interested in cycling.
The Road Warrior
If you're a kit loving, knockout-hills-like-they're-a-punching-bag type, have we got a ride for you. BEHOLD: The Espresso Ride (Saturday, May 19th, 8am). Hold on to your helmet as you travel 40+ miles and 1,000,000+ hills to some of the best/newest coffee shops in town. Proudly hosted by Lifeline Inman Park, open that Strava and get ready to "crush it."
Fun: Riding your bike. Not fun: Riding your bike in rush hour. Until now - Hello, Urban Confidence: Taking On Rush Hour (Wednesday, May 23rd, 5:30pm). Join the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition staff as they lead you on an informative and fun ride that will boost your city cycling confidence. In addition to experiencing some of the infrastructure that is making biking for transportation in Atlanta more accessible, you'll learn how to increase your awareness, communication and presence while navigating our city's streets.
The Cool Mom
Know what's cool? Being a mom. Know what's cooler? Being a mom on a bike! If this sounds like you, then come ride in the first ever Babes and Babes Ride (Saturday, May 19th, 10am). Hosted by Caravan Bicycles, this ride is for mommies and their kiddos. The ride will take you to Cabbagetown Park (Awesome playground for the kids!) for playing, mingling and then will head to The Spindle for Tinkertown Pies, coffee and lunch!
The Cool Dad
Know what's cool? Being a dad. Know what's cooler? Being a dad on a cargo bike with your kids, carrying groceries, a large keg and couch (Yes, this has been done). Sound like the current/future you? Well, then, come join Yuba Bicycles for the Yuba Bicycle Demo Day (Sunday, May 20th, 1pm). Come demo the latest Yuba cargo bikes with Tony, the best Yuba rep around.
The "I Want It All" Type
Like bikes? Like boats? Like beer? Well, have we got a ride for you. BEHOLD: The Pedal, Pint & Paddle To The REI Boathouse (Sunday, May 20th, 8am). Imagine a day of biking, ice-cold Eventide Beer and an afternoon on the water (#SUPlife)! We'll have food, music and all sorts of awesome bike vendors. What better way to enjoy your Sunday?
Calling all ladies in tech - We're so proud to host the first-ever-in-Atlanta Women Who Tech Bike Ride (Monday, May 21st, 6:30pm). Join in a ride from downtown to midtown to meet rock star female tech leaders in Atlanta! We will be graciously hosted by The Garage at TechSquare. Ride hosted by the fantastic duo behind Atlanta BEAM and the best media coverage by our friends at Hypepotamus!
The Competitor/Win All The Prizes Dude
This year, we're teaming up with Ride Report.Ride Report has partnered with the City Of Atlanta to help make bicycle infrastructure decisions faster, smarter, and more responsive to cyclists' lived experiences.
Come to the ACF tent at The Big Opening Bash and/or Big Closing Bash and show us your trophies to redeem!
The "I Ride So I Can Eat" Type
Do you ride so you can eat all the things and drink all the stuff? Well, then, we've got two awesome events for you: The Taco Tuesday Ride (Tuesday, May 22nd, 6:30pm) and the 5th Annual Doughnut Ride (Friday, May 25th, 9:00am). The ride names speak for themselves.
The "We Like To Party - We Like To Party Party" Type
Well, let’s just dive right into the big news, little news and medium news around the future of the Atlanta Cycling Festival.
THE BIG NEWS: A New Festival Director Has Arrived!
For the past 8 years, Jeffrey Wisard (The guy writing this article), has been creating, producing, promoting, hosting, leading bicycle rides/events/films viewings/hummus + potato chip tastings/bike camping trips and a whole lot more. From The Mobile Social to the Atlanta Cycling Festival, creating these events has been a heck of a lot of fun. I’ve never run the show alone, though - I’ve always surrounded myself with incredibly smart, reliable, honest, big-minded and huge-hearted individuals that have used their talents to make these crazy bike ideas a reality.
Despite this, though… It’s time for me to stop the metaphorical bike, dismount, take a big bite of a CLIF Bar and hand the handlebars over to someone new.
Well, frankly - You and the city deserve the best possible Atlanta Cycling Festival. While there is still some juice in the ol’ legs left to keep pedaling along, I’m keenly aware that this energy isn’t sustainable. To maintain and grow the ACF into the festival that I’ve always dreamed it to be, it’s time for me to step aside.
For 2019 (and beyond), Mark McCampbell, will be taking the handlebars and making the ACF the best it can be.
Mark comes from a 20+ year events background, is an avid Atlanta bicyclist and has amazing plans for the future of the ACF. More so, Mark is partnering with Musimatic - his family’s business to bring even more power to the festival. With more than 40 years of experience in the industry, Musimatic has been involved in concerts, festivals, and conventions, such as Dragon*Con for most of its life.
Mark and company understand and fully believe in the mission of ACF in being the most impactful bike festival in the southeast. Their desire is to create an unforgettable experience which will serve to reconnect the seasoned biker to what makes riding great, to connect the new and curious rider with their own bike story, and to help develop a deeper and wider connection with the city of Atlanta.
To this end, I know that they can bring to the festival their abilities, resources, and technical expertise to increase the scope of the ACF to help it to become the greatest cycling event not only in the southeast, but beyond. In fact, Mark can't wait to talk with you. Drop him a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE MEDIUM NEWS: Nothing Is Changing In 2019
Despite a new festival director with a powerhouse of ability behind him, the festival will remain exactly as you remember it: 20-30 events all around Atlanta for the entire week. Also, the commitment to give back to the Atlanta cycling community (fiscally and physically) will 10,000% stay in place.
Beyond 2019 - who knows? But I’d expect some awesome large scale productions… maybe even a film festival with a tech bent and a concert or two. Ideas that wouldn’t have been possible with our resources in the past.
THE LITTLE NEWS: Surprise! There’s No Little News - Just Big Thank Yous!
Let me take this spot to give a bunch of big ring thank yous to all those that have made the ACF what it is today:
Thank you to the past ACF staff: Maria, Nick, Ann, Kathleen, Catherine, Julie, Michael, Trang, Jyotsna and Sharanya; without your talents, this festival would have been totally lame
To our “from day 1” sponsors: Tube Creative, MailChimp, WABE; you were the first to believe in the ACF and, thanks to you, it’s better than anyone could have imagined
To our “from day 1” partners: The Spindle, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, SOPO, RBG, Atlanta Triathlon Club, GA Bikes, The Mobile Social, Pecha Kucha and Civil Bikes; Atlanta would really be terrible without you
To our “3+ years” sponsors/partners: REI, CLIF Bar, Georgia Bike Law, Metro Atlanta Cycling Club, BRAG, SBL, Gerry Weber and Eventide Brewing; Exploring this city on two wheels would we boring as heck and a lot less diverse without you
To The Doughnut Ride: David - you and your doughnut team have, for the past 5 years, added to our joy and girth. Thank you!
To all of the ACF volunteers: Charles, Leslie, Corney, Niklas, Bryan, Kevin, Jordan, Maria, Bryan Jesus, Ned, Barbara, Doctor Steve, Steven, Erika, Erin, Sharif, Ezz, Susan, Chris and so many more; You brought smiles and safety in all the best ways
To Kyle Torok: A sounding board, selfless helper, bringer of inspiration + ideas and darn great friend; No yelling at car in Grant Park during the 2010 BeltLine Bike Tour, no ACF
To my wife, Trang: Without your suggestion that we should check out the Cork County Cycling Festival, the seed would never have been planted. And your encouragement and support help make ACF into a reality
To you: The riders, the lovers of Atlanta, the keepers of the ATL cycling culture: Get your gloves on, snap your helmet in place and get ready for the crazy ride that is the future of the Atlanta Cycling Festival
Thank you. And see you on two wheels very, very soon.
The 2019 Atlanta Cycling Festival will be Saturday May 11– Friday May 17
Our 2019 Theme!
Your Ability, your bike, your Atlanta - Discover Your Bike Story
Biking means many things to many people, whether you are a serious roadie, a committed commuter, enjoy the occasional sunny day ride, or all of the above. Your bike story is how you came to love being on a bike, in whatever way you choose. We want to help remind you of your bike story, reconnect you with your bike story, or perhaps introduce you to a new bike story, while at the same time connecting you to this amazing city!
That is what this year’s theme is about. No matter your ability and no matter the bike, we want to create a space for you to explore and connect with Atlanta and with other bikers.
So get behind those handlebars and get ready for May!
We Are Excited About May!
Like last year’s festival, May was chosen for the weather, and because it went so well last time!
There Will Be Stellar New Events and the Return of the Classics!
We are working hard to make this year even better than the last (which is no small task) and that means knowing what classics to keep, and when to strike out and explore something new. Great rides like the Espresso Ride, the Intercontinental Fancy Cocktail Ride, Queer Ride, and The One Ride will be on the calendar!
But wait, there’s more…
While the oldies are definitely goldies, we are excited to bring new events to the 2019 Festival! Look for events such as the Westside Beltline tour, MTB Atlanta/REI Bike Park, 99% Ride, the Shimano STEPS Ebike ride, and the largest and loudest closing bash yet featuring a full concert to be located at Quarry Yards! This is just the tip of the iceberg and we will be bringing other amazing rides and events to you soon!
Last year’s Bikepacking Trip was moved to Fall due to pesky weather conditions, but it turns out doing it in the Fall was amazing! Therefore we are excited to say that the 2019 ACF Bikepacking Trip will take place this Fall of instead of Spring. And if you don’t know what this awesome event is, then keep your eyes peeled and stay updated because you won’t want to miss it!
The Power that Moves the Pedals - Spectacular Volunteers
The Atlanta Cycling Festival has been amazingly lucky to have such wonderful volunteers since its creation and we are grateful for it. They help to make ACF a fun, safe, and welcoming place for all, and this year our volunteer team will be working hard to make the ACF experience the best it can be.
Making the most amazing bike festival in Atlanta a reality is tons of fun, but all that delicious Eventide beer, permitting and food doesn’t come cheap. ACF has had the honor of being supported by long time partners and sponsors who help make all this possible. We would love your support in helping us to make ACF 2019 the best year yet!
Relay Bike Share is the City of Atlanta’s bike share operator. With 500 “smart bikes” and over 70 stations across the city, Relay seeks to be a healthy and enjoyable transportation solution.
Whether you are an occasional user enjoying some of Atlanta’s beautiful bike paths, or using the system to close a gap on your daily commute…Relay Bike Share is there for you!
During ACF 2019, Relay will have "virtual hubs" at all of our parties and restaurant partners during the week! Need a bike during ACF? No prob - Get a Relay and use the promo code "ACF2019" for a special discount.
Have you ever thought? Gee I wish there was some sort of amazingly awesome and stupendously super cycling festival where I could help others to discover Atlanta on two wheels… Well think no longer because do we have the answer for you!
We are excited to announce that Ride, Event and Volunteer submissions for 2019 are open! What makes the Atlanta Cycling Festival truly great is…well frankly you. That’s why we need your biking greatness. If you want to lead a ride, host an event, or volunteer to help make this year’s festival better than ever, this is your chance.
So what ideas do you have? Perhaps a Slowest Bike competition, or maybe a tour of Atlanta’s finest Pizza Establishments? We know that you are just brimming with fun and creative ideas, so send them along to us and we’ll be in contact for the next steps.
The deadline for rides will be April 5th, so don’t waste any time and come show people what we love about life on two wheels!
For the past 4 years, Bruce Hagen and his Bike Law Georgia team have been huge partners and sponsors of the Atlanta Cycling Festival. Bruce and his team are avid cyclists, lovers of beer and incredibly active in the Atlanta bike community.
Each year about 50,000 Americans are injured, and approximately 500 killed, while simply riding their bicycles. And, despite the growth of the Atlanta BeltLine and other metro Atlanta bike plans, our region remains a dangerous one for bikers. Georgia drivers continue to be aggressive or inattentive to bicycles with which they share the roads.
If you're ever injured in a bike crash/wreck (something we sincerely hope will never ever ever ever happen), we confidently recommend the personal injury attorneys at Bruce A. Hagen Law.
The first day of Spring is here and its time to pull that bike out of the garage/shed/broom closet/whatever. If winter has been keeping you in (like the rest of us) then it’s time to dust off those wheels and get your bike into top shape for the Atlanta Cycling Festival 2019 (May 11th-17th)!!!
As the weather gets warmer you might ask yourself…
Where is my bike? Do I have a bike? Does my bike work? Is my bike the right bike for ACF?
Well we have the answers for you!
I don’t know, it’s your bike. If you don’t you then you should! If you’re not sure, then don’t worry because we can help with that! A resounding yes!
Every bike can be the right bike because what matters is how you want to ride. Your ability, Your Bike, Your Atlanta is part of our big statement for this year. Some people ride as if they are in the Tour De France, some ride at a nice leisurely pace, some love all types of riding. We want to give everyone a space at ACF so that you can fully experience your bike story!
Some rides will be fast, some will be slow, some will be off-road. So, while perhaps your bike might not be the best option on certain rides, your bike is most definitely right for ACF!
Getting That Bike Ready to Ride
First, Got a Bike?
If you don’t have a bike, or are thinking of getting a new one, then this is the time to do it! If you’re unsure of what you want, a local bike shop is a great source of information. They’ll be happy to help you out and let you try out a bike or two.
To be completely transparent here, these are all Sponsors of ACF, but we know you’ll get great service and an amazing bike at any of these spots.
Second, Tune Up!
Wash the Bike - We think that one of the most beautiful things in the world is a sparkling clean bike. Dirt, grime, and gunk have probably built up as you’ve ridden and it’s time to get that stuff off. A few tips:
Spraying a bike with high water pressure isn’t the best idea, a bucket, sponge, and soap will do the trick just fine.
A Chain Cleaning Kit such as those from REI make chain cleaning a breeze!
Dry, Dry, Dry! Dry that bike completely so that it doesn’t rust.
Lubricate the Chain - After that amazing cleaning you just gave the bike, it’s time to lubricate it so that your ride will be nothing but smooth sailing…rolling. If you don’t know which lubricant to use, then talking to your local bike shop should clear it up. Take a gander at this VIDEO to learn how to do it like a pro.
So what’s left? Now that the bike is clean and lubricated be sure to check that these things are in working order:
Tire pressure – pump if necessary
Everything good? Not sure? Way too busy to handle all this right now? No problem we understand. Head on over to your friendly local bike shop have them do a tune up. Once finished, it will be like #newbikeday all over again!
Third, Ride, Ride, Ride!!
Now comes the really fun part! Put on that helmet, charge up those lights, and get out and ride! If you need a few suggestions, then we are happy to oblige with our…
Mini Atlanta Bike Riding Guide!
Atlanta has come a long way over the last few decades in terms of being bikeable. Bike infrastructure such as bike lanes, and bike share programs like Relay have improved accessibility for riders of all types. There is still a lot to do, but awesome organizations like the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (ABC) are working hard to make the city a better place for biking.
First and foremost, we always advocate for, and require helmets on ACF rides. A good helmet could be the one thing keeping a potentially bad day becoming a much worse day.
Other safety tips we recommend:
Awareness – Always know what’s going on around you and ride defensively
Take the Lane when appropriate – This one can seem a bit intimidating, but it is your right and sometimes safer to take the lane when you are unable to stay towards the right side of the road.
Rules of the Road- Like a car, bikes are considered vehicles of the road and therefore are subject to the same rules.
Sidewalks vs. Roads – Always ride on the road not the sidewalk. It can be dangerous for you and pedestrians. Also, it is illegal if you are over 12 years old.
These are just a few tips, for more information to pursue at your leisure, check out these great organizations:
We understand if you’re feeling a bit intimidated about riding the streets of Atlanta. Some roads like Dekalb Ave can be scary, that’s why we recommend this amazing Map to help you get to your destination safely.
So With the Safety Stuff Out of the Way, Time to Ride!
The bike is good to go, you’re helmeted up, now where to ride? Well of course at the Atlanta Cycling Festival is the obvious answer, but since is that not until May we thought we'd give you some suggestions to warm up those legs.
Beltline – This one is evident, it’s a great stretch of paved path with many wonderful watering holes along the way. Just be sure to yield to pedestrians on busy days. Or put some bigger tires on that bike, and head over to the emptier unpaved sections for some off-road Beltlining! Bike type: Any (unless unfinished portions of Beltline then Hybrid/Mountain advisable)
Proctor Creek Greenway – This 7 mile spur of the beltline is a newer section that will become part of the Emerald Corridor which will lead up to the Chatahoochee River. A pleasantly beautiful ride through the westside of the city. Bike Type: Any
South River Trail – This shorter stretch of paved path sometimes makes you feel like your out in the wilderness all the while still being within the city. This path eventually will run out to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Rockdale County. Bike Type: Any
Stone Mountain Loop – A classic that sees riders all week long. From downtown Atlanta and back the entire loop is about 40 miles, a great way to get those legs in shape for the Espresso Ride! Bike Type: Any
Road and Off-road
Feeling a bit more adventurous? Well whether you’re looking for more road riding, mountain biking, or gravel riding, here are a few suggestions:
Silk Sheets – While not actually in Atlanta, this terrific road ride is very close. With rolling hills and multiple distances to choose from, this route takes you through the beautiful area around Serenbe. Though the route is on active roads, drivers are accustomed to cyclists. Check out the TeamEndured website for information on the different routes. Bike Type – Road Bike
Southside Park – Built by the amazing people at MTB Atlanta, Southside park is the only purpose built Mountain Biking trail inside the perimeter. When finished it will have three loops ranging from Beginner to Advanced. Take a look here to see what parts are ready to ride! Bike Type – Mountain
Dirty Sheets – Another route outside of the city, that sees frequent Atlanta residents. This 20 mile gravel route is a blast to ride and takes you through some of the amazing backcountry of South Fulton. Bike Type – Gravel/Cross/Mountain
The Roads of the City – Atlanta is an amazing city, with so much to offer and in our humble opinion, the best way to experience it all is by bike. Hop in the saddle and blaze your own trail through Downtown, Midtown, Edgewood, Westside, Mechanicsville and more! Bike Type – Whatchya Brung
Riding Groups and Events
There are a ton of great riding groups and clubs in Atlanta. So many that there’s far too many to list here, so if you’re interested in finding different groups to ride with then check out sadlebred The site is a great resource for seeking out rides. You’ll find them all welcoming and accepting of all people and riders, but it is good to read the descriptions and know your current ability before jumping on them.
Here are a few rides and groups that we highly recommend:
TourDeLanta – An active group of Mountain, Hybrid, and off-road bicyclers who ride various urban single-track loops around Atlanta during the week and different Mt. Bike trails all over Georgia on the weekends. If you’re interested in getting into mountain biking but haven’t taken that leap yet, then their weekday ride (Thursdays 6:30) is a great way to start!
Toecutters – Like backpacking? Like biking? Well why not Bikepacking? The Toecutters crew are all tough as nails and the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. When not braving inclement weather to roll out into the wilderness, they have two featured rides in the city. The perfect early morning road ride #MashtoBRASH (Wednesdays at 6:00 am) and the best way to close out the weekend, #SundaytoMonday (Bi Monthly, Sunday, 10:30 am).
Velo City – This is not only a great new ride/event in the city, it’s also for a great cause! Velo City benefits Grady hospital, helping them to continue the amazing work being done over there. Featuring multiple distances, you can find your own pace in this annual ride. The event takes place May 4th, so don’t waste any time and register soon!
Gear Act – This group is all about getting people active, on the streets of Atlanta, and having a great time doing it. They feature a late night no drop ride that is fantastic, an annual Silver Comet Ride to Alabama, and more!
The Mobile Social – A terrific ride for those who want to an easy social ride where you’re not struggling to talk between heavy breaths. Occurring on the Second Thursday of each month, this ride changes routes each time to show off different neighborhoods in Atlanta and the best part is, at the end there’s Beer!
That's a great list to get you started, and if it feels like a lot to take in right now, don't worry because a lot of these rides and groups such as Tour De Lanta and Gearact will be featured in this year's Festival.
Get out on two wheels and see you in May!!
Join nearly 2,000 of Atlanta’s Community Leaders and Bicycle Advocates! Feel the electricity at the starting line in Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the remarkable support throughout your journey as we unite in our mission to help Grady!
Don’t miss your opportunity to cruise the streets of downtown Atlanta and beyond while giving back to one of our city’s most essential institutions — Grady Hospital. This fully supported annual ride and celebration takes place on Saturday, May 4, 2019, and is a unique opportunity to participate in a cycling event. VeloCity brings cyclists, donors, volunteers, and spectators together to celebrate health and wellness while supporting and bringing awareness to one of Atlanta’s most vital assets. Check out their Facebook Page for more information! See you at the Benz!