Check out the Bike Chattanooga website for more info.
This past weekend I embarked on a climbing trip to a crag just 20 minutes north of Chattanooga. After getting scolded for attempting to leave our car in the Chattanooga Whole Foods parking lot to carpool to the crag (hey, we were paying customers!), we reluctantly parked in a pay lot down the street. Upon our return to the car that evening, we wanted to explore Chattanooga before setting up camp for the night, but didn’t want to have to drive downtown and park again. If only we had our bikes. Wait, what’s that I see in the middle of the parking lot? A Bike Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System docking station (aka Bike Share)! I had seen the Bike Share before but had not had the chance to partake. This was the perfect opportunity.
The Chattanooga Bike Share boasts 300 bikes and 30 docking stations conveniently spread all across the city. The bikes are simple 7-speed cruisers and fully equipped – we’re talking basket + bungee, front and rear automatic LED lights, an easily adjustable seat post, a cable lock, and even a bell!
At each station (which are solar-powered FTW), there is a kiosk to purchase tickets and an information panel which shows a system-wide map (this differs from the ViaCycle bike share program at Georgia Tech which involves using your phone to unlock a bike). We found the process for checking out bikes to be simple, it took us maybe 5 minutes to figure out what to do the first time around and after that it was smooth sailing. It is worth noting that the kiosks only take cards, no cash.
At the kiosk, we purchased a 24-hour pass for $6 which I think is quite affordable (there’s also an option for an annual membership for $75). The pass grants you unlimited station to station trips for 24 hours, with the catch that each trip must be less than one hour. This makes sense, seeing as they want bikes to be available for rental and not locked up to a tree for hours on end. The stations are numerous enough that this does not present a problem.
We took a total of four trips throughout the night, returning the bikes to get groceries and eat dinner and stop at a bar for drinks. All in all, the Bike Share program was super awesome and gave us the flexibility to explore the city without having to use a car. This is a fantastic system both for out-of-towners and locals alike. And it seemed to be pretty successful. Many of the stations had only one or two bikes left for rent.
I would be thrilled for Atlanta to get a bike share program. A feasibility study has already been conducted (attend ABC's National Bike Share Bike-In Breakfast on May 2nd to see the results!) In my opinion, we need to have better infrastructure in place before this can happen (what if a tourist/newbie rents a bike and turns down Piedmont or Ponce or Moreland or one of the many other non-bike friendly roads?) But, with Kasim Reed’s goal to have Atlanta be a Top-10 biking city by 2016, this may be feasible in the near future!
Check out the Bike Chattanooga website for more info.
We’re very social here at The Mobile Social. Heck, it’s in our name.
But sometimes… sometimes you just need to step away. Whether it’s a frustration at work, your side projects aren’t panning out, your goals aren’t being realized as quickly as you’d like or your dog cannot even handle it right now… Sometimes you need some alone time to recharge. Sometimes you just want to be mobile with absolutely no social whatsoever.
And that’s what this post is about – finding a great bike escape to help clear the mind when you don’t want to be social and need to recharge. Here’s one of my top picks.
This is one of the best panoramas you’ll get of the city. It really brings everything full circle: You can see downtown to midtown to Buckhead, all while being surrounded by the tangled web of the Inman Yard. The Yard is full of trains, trains that helped transform Terminus into Atlanta. It’s an incredible place to just sit and listen – you’re quickly surrounded by man-made sounds and those of nature’s making. It’s a point where you see nature’s beauty and man’s creation sewn together.
Like anything worthwhile, you have to work for this spot. There is a huge hill on Perry Ave just before the Yard. When you get to the top, you feel extremely rewarded.
Keeping with The Mobile Social theme, I created a route from Woodruff Park to get you to Inman Yard. Don’t rush this trip. Take time for the ride and time for yourself.
Sometimes you don’t want to be social… it’s ok to just recharge.
So, a couple of weekends ago, some of us from The Mobile Social had the awesome pleasure of hanging out and working with the kids from WeCycle Atlanta. In case you haven't heard about them, WeCycle Atlanta is a community bike shop and bicycle advocacy organization doing some amazing work in the West Side of Atlanta.
WeCycle's Mission is pretty straightforward :
WeCycle is a community whose mission is to revitalize the Historic West Side of Atlanta by exhibiting health-related, environmental, and economic intelligence through biking, research and fellowship.
WeCycle does this through bike workshops, teaching people how to build/maintain their bike and, what I think is one of the coolest ideas ever, their 40 Hours and a Bike!
Basically, 40 Hours and a Bike is a community service and cyclist-training program that rewards participants with a bike at the end of the program. How 40 Hours and a Bike is structured: Participants partake in 25 hours of cycling education and donate 15 hours of community service at one of WeCycle Atlanta’s partner service sites. Thus, participants get trained in all things bike AND give back to the community. That's a win/win/win/win/win.
What's really fantastic about the 40 Hours and a Bike Program is that it led the founder of WeCycle, Shawn Deangelo Walton, to create the Ashview Urban Farm - an urban, community garden on the West Side. Participants with 40 Hours and a Bike Program get to work in the garden, learn how to plant/harvest fruits and veggies and then give this food to the surrounding community. Huge. And we love this idea.
WeCycle is doing some amazing work on the West Side. We're super proud to say that we know them and are super excited about working with them more in the future... maybe a summertime Mobile Social Bonfire and Cookout at the ol' urban refuge? TBD. T. B. D.
So. You've seen our logo - it's all over this site.
As we launch www.themobilesocial.com, we've gotten a lot of questions about our logo. Is it a broken wheel? A ancient stick-man symbol? Soon to be one of the secret symbols that rule the world?
No. It's none of the above. Allow me to show you The Mobile Social logo and the famed Atlanta Perimeter.
Now then. If we overlay the two, we get...
And there you go - The Mobile Social logo was inspired by the roads that connect us in Atlanta. Just like these roads, The Mobile Social seeks to connect others and build community. And, just like anyone can drive/ride/bike on a road, so, too, is The Mobile Social open to anyone. Period.
And that's it. Be Social. Ride Bikes. And come join us on our Monthly Group Rides.