Sunday, August 11, 2013

When walking is more pleasant than cycling

There are times when cycling is simply not much fun. I seldom ride along Perimeter Center West, during rush hour, even though there is a dedicated cycle lane on Perimeter Center West, for the most part.
Look at this mess. So many cars and many of them are not going too far; may be to the next signal, at best, I can guarantee you.
This is one instance, where I draw the line and say, "Forget it. I think I will walk instead". It is easier on my body and mind, plus it does a body good to walk.

By the way, all this took place on Thursday last week, when I had to go to REI Perimeter, to get a new shifter for the SA hub installed; on Brahma. Long story short, I accidentally lost a small spring that's inside the SA IGH shifter, while trying to rectify a small issue with the shifter. The spring fell out, accidentally, and I could never find it, when it fell on the street. No worries though, because my trusted Brompton dealer, Foldabikes, sent me a replacement shifter, in record time. I called him on a Saturday and I had the new shifter delivered to me on Monday. Talk about excellent customer service!
After getting the new shifter installed, I drove my Brompton to the Sandy Springs Marta station, where I boarded the Northbound train towards Roswell. There sure were more bikes at the Sandy Springs station than my usual station - Medical Center.
Brahma patiently waiting for the train :)
Oh, I almost forgot. There is another instance, other than traffic congestion, when I prefer walking. This point is, hopefully, illustrated by the picture below. This is a fair representation of how hilly it is at Dogwood and Holcomb Bridge Road, where I board the Marta bus to work. It is quite hilly, know what I mean? No worries, though. I am working on tackling this hill someday soon :)
Paz :) 

PS. The figure above looks sorta like a step-function. Had to mention this to satisfy the inner-nerd in me and y'all :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Americano Meets The Chattahoochee!

I have been meaning to ride my Americano, since I moved to Roswell. However, finding time to ride, given all the priorities, including managing projects at the new home, have been rather hectic and I was unable to do it until today.

So, not surprisingly, I rode the Americano down to the river; Chattahoochee river.
I stuck to the Roswell Riverwalk for the most part and took a detour once, to explore some dirt trail, along the Riverwalk. It was great to get off the normal path and I had time to take this snap.
And this one. But, I had to hurry up and get going again, as the mosquitoes were starting to eat me alive. I did not bring my bug repellent with me and believe me, I need it here more often than I have in Dallas :)
I call this picture, "Americano Meets The Chattahoochee". I still can't get over the mist at the river. I think it is marvelous.
Lots of canoe traffic on the river today. I saw at least 5 or so, in the near vicinity of the bridge. The bridge you see is part of GA 400.
Today's ride was short, but I had two specific objectives:

  1. I wanted to find out if the bike had survived the move. I found some issues, some of which I can fix on my own and some of which will require a professional bicycle mechanic. It is good that I found them, so that I can have the moving company reimburse me for these expenses.
  2. I wanted to see how the Americano faired, in the hilly area near my home. I was very pleased with the performance. In particular, I loved the way the Americano climbed. And, while descending the 26%+ hills around my neighborhood, the bike handled superbly, boosting my confidence to a very high degree.
Objectives achieved. Boy, don't I wish there were many more days when I could say this? :)

Peace :)

Roswell Riverwalk - A Sweet 18 miler along the Chattahoochee

Last week, I took a day off and drove my Thorn Nomad to check out the Roswell Riverwalk. I had no clue what to expect, but it turned out to be quite a pleasant experience.

The Roswell Riverwalk trail begins near the intersection of Riverside and Dogwood and Old Alabama roads, in Roswell, GA. Much of the trail is paved, but parts are pea gravel.
I get to the Roswell Riverwalk using the multipurpose trail along Martin's road. Along Martin's road, there is a bike trail, but I find the trail to be much more relaxing and peaceful. To me, often it is the overall peacefulness of the experience that matters than the how quickly I get to a destination. So, taking the slower and more enjoyable route works great for me.
Trail Etiquette - There is a bunch of useful tips on this list.
There are lots of information boards along the trail. One below talks about the first ferry operation, Martin's Ferry, back in the early 1800s.
There is a slight discontinuity in the trail, where Riverside turns into Azalea, and it is quite confusing. You would think there are two lanes to the left of the solid yellow line (one with the long line of cars), but only one of them is for cars. The other is a "continuation" of the trail; or, so it appeared to me.
Then, suddenly the mysterious lane disappears and we have one lane on either side of the solid yellow line.
There is a lot of stuff to do around Roswell. Billboard below advertises music events.
Further up the Riverwalk is the Roswell Park. Another place for many activities.
And, finally, a better view of the Chattahoochee. Lots of kayaks on this river, I tell ya.
A very cool bride over the Chattahoochee. This is part of the Riverwalk.
Information about the Covered Bridge Over the Chattahoochee River.
Still on the Riverwalk.
The Riverwalk is constructed in a fairly sensible manner. Here it is well separated from the traffic.
I bought the home below just so I have a place to stretch my legs, when I ride the Riverwalk. There are some very cool homes along this stretch. Probably worth a bunch of greenbacks :)
Tranquil Chattahoochee. Very nice part of the river!
When we started house-hunting in Roswell, I remember looking at some homes on Shallowford Road. I didn't quite know the significance of the name then, but now I do.
Nicely constructed system!
And, whoda thunk? A commuter.
The Riverwalk ends at Willeo road. At this intersection, I rode south.
Willeo was a fairly flat road (for Roswell) and had a bike lane, at least part of the way.
Yes, the famous Bike Lane sign.
I took Willeo all the way to Chattahoochee Nature Center. I wanted to check out this place, ever since I first laid eyes on Roswell (on Google Maps). My dream of riding to this place finally became true. I was overjoyed! Actually, I rode further past the Nature Center, on Willeo, just so I can reach the next county; Cobb County!
The Chattahoochee Nature Center is a splendid place, with about 140 acres of preserved land. Only foot traffic is allowed on the preserved lands. One cool thing about this place is that they have a Drum Circle on some Friday nights. I haven't been to one, yet, but I bet it is a lot of fun.
After checking out the general layout of the Chattahoochee Nature Center, I headed back towards home. On the way, I stopped at various points, where it looked swampy. Just for fun and also to see if there were any gators around :)
There are several points at which one can join the Riverwalk, which is a 7 mile long linear park. Here is a parking lot, at one such a point.
I don't claim to know much about history, but I learned a bunch by reading the information boards along the way. Here is one that caught my eye - Roswell is situated on what was once part of the Cherookee Nation.
Upon returning home, I noticed that I rode about 18 miles, in all. This has, by far, been the longest ride I have undertaken in Roswell. I had a wonderful time on the Riverwalk and I hope I can do it again, soon. I also plan to walk at least 10 miles of it someday soon. I just have to get my nephew to go with me, for both inspiration and for catching up.

That's all for now.

Peace :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Precious cargo

Of course, I am referring to my virtually indestructible felt hat, which keeps the sun off my head and face and the stuff in my Brompton T-bag :)
Precious cargo - Need I say more?

Paz :)

Things you see on a bike commute

My commutes have become multi-modal. I ride my bike from the train station to work and from the bus stop to home in the evening.

I ride by the Chattahoochee river, almost everyday. On Thursday evening, I stopped and took the photos published in this post. There was something mystical about the Chattahoochee that evening. The  high humidity creates a thick cloud of mist. I see it in the mornings too, but I seldom get to take any photos, because I ride in a car in the morning. Perhaps, not forever, but for now.
Another view of the Chattahoochee. Can you spot the little duck?
Just so beautiful! If I was traveling in a car, I would likely not have this golden opportunity to stop and photograph the river, in all its glory.
The joys of cycling...

Paz :)