Monday, March 21, 2022

Spring Break 2022 Bike Tour Day 9 - Warm Springs to Atlanta

 And we're done!

We are in front of the surprisingly modest Amtrak station, waiting for Debra to come with the truck so we can load the bikes and hit the road. We spent the time having pleasant conversation with the nice lady hanging out there on her motorized wheelchair, who told us about the poisonous air by the station caused by lasers. She was very excited by the T-Bone.

Max was amazed by the Atlanta Falcons stadium, so he demanded to take a picture.

The state of Georgia apparently spent 1.6 billion dollars on this and had no money left over for bike lanes in Atlanta.

Atlanta really makes me appreciate how far we have come in the 25 years I have been riding a bike as an adult. Because in Atlanta, it is still the year 2000. "Why would you want to waste space on a street by making a lane for bikes? What about the cars?" Atlanta and its suburbs were shockingly bad. Somehow we made it all the way in to the center of the city without getting hit by a car.

We did have a wreck though, only three miles from the end. I saw a badly needed porta potty. I shouted "STOPPING" and slowed down and started to pull over, and Max plowed into me and dumped his bike. I noticed his cell phone skittering along the pavement ahead of me. "You couldn't stop because you were looking at your phone, weren't you?" "Uh sorry." No injuries, no damage. Luckily.

We got going early this morning, because Max wants to have an afternoon at home before school starts on Tuesday. Even though it was 37 degrees out. "We could wait an hour and let it warm up." "Tough it out, Dad."

Lunch was at Anthony's pizza in Fayetteville. It was tasty. 

Every single thing in Fayetteville is named after something from the Confederacy. It's a bit ridiculous.

Most of the day was on two lane roads like this.

The problem is once you get within about 40 miles of Atlanta there is traffic. Even on Sunday morning. The traffic started around Peachtree City, a massive planned community, where the planning did not include improvements to the roads in the vicinity. Around Fayetteville, 30 miles out, sometimes the road is a divided highway, sometimes not. Sometimes there is a shoulder, sometimes not.

At the airport, we picked up US 29 to get into the city, which was the only option Google Maps labels "bike friendly". It's not. It's three lanes, no shoulder. It's really bad. If it wasn't Sunday, this would probably not be an option. But we made it.

All in all this was a great bike ride. Highlights include:
* Rural back roads in Georgia
* Bike trails in Florida
* Southern Buffets

Max had no more flat tires once I bought him a pair of Gatorskins in Tallahassee. I haven't put them on his bike yet.

It added up to 520 miles in 9 days. We only had rain one afternoon.

Here is the Strava track.

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