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“Most bike shops look like your dad’s garage, so we’re trying to steer away from that,” says Marshall Thomas, a.k.a DJ Mars. “We’re selling fun: You walk into the store, we’ve got bright, colorful merchandise, we’ve got dope music, we feature dope DJs on the weekend, and we just create a different vibe.”
Like all cyclists in Atlanta, Black folks who ride bicycles are accustomed to irate car horns and hurled expletives. But it’s also not uncommon for them to receive a surprisingly warm reception—an encouraging gratitude that even the United States’ first cycling world champion, a Black man named Marshall “Major” Taylor, was denied during the height of his career at the turn of the 20th century.
When you outgrow riding in your neighborhood and on the well-trodden BeltLine, metro Atlanta presents a wealth of places to explore (or just get lost) on two wheels.
Long bike rides during the pandemic didn’t just introduce me to new spots or bring me closer with friends; they forced me to process how I could find the spaces in hardship where I could grow, get lost in thoughts about life, and reframe my challenges.
Atlanta’s springtime weather, homebound remote workers, and bicycle shops made bicycling more attractive than ever before for newcomers and experienced cyclists alike. So local bike shops did their best to keep up.
Can you ever feel comfortable letting children bike solo around a city with countless hills and roaring cars, one that’s still recovering from generations of autocentric planning? Is that traditional rite-of-passage still safe? Absolutely.
From easy rides to heart-stopping climbs, metro Atlanta and beyond have plenty of places to get lost on two wheels.
Recently, e-bikes have been enjoying an explosion in popularity that defies demographic categorization. Fans of all ages are weekend joyriders, devout commuters, families consolidating to a single car, or avid cyclists recovering from injuries. Metro Atlanta’s ubiquitous hills, months of steamy temperatures, burgeoning tech community, and growing system of protected bike lanes and paved trails are all factors that have fueled the local market.
What’s the best way to get more people on bikes? Make it easier and safer to bike by building world-class bike lanes, off-road paths, and mountain-biking trails. Here’s what to expect in the coming year.
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