The Georgia Bikes Blog

Peachtree City recognized as GA's 8th official Bike Friendly Community

The League of American Bicyclists announced the latest round of newly designated Bicycle Friendly Communities, and Georgia got some great news.

Congratulations to Peachtree City, the state's newest bronze-level Bicycle Friendly CommunityMulti-Use path in Peachtree City

Peachtree City features over 90 miles of paved multi-use paths that are open to golf carts, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The city is also creating bike-friendly streets and roads to accommodate daily bike travel and recreational cycling. Peachtree City joins seven other communities in GA with the BFC designation.

We want to recognize the city of Alpharetta as well for its Honorable Mention. Keep up the great work, Bike Alpharetta!

Our neighbors in Chattanooga also deserve a high-five. The city moved up from bronze to silver, one of only a handful of cities in the southeast to have earned that designation. So far, all the BFC's in Georgia are bronze level. Who will emerge as our first silver-level city?

 

 

 

Big opportunities for bike tourism in GA

The national organization focused on improving bicycle tourism, Adventure Cycling Association, recently wrote up the 10 Indicators that Bicycle Travel and Tourism is Booming

Georgia has all the raw material needed to become a global destination for tourists who enjoy bicycling. We have challenging mountainous climbs, relaxing coastal bike paths, lovely antebellum college towns, and a vibrant capital city where bicycle infrastructure and cycling culture seems to double every few months.

Most of our mid-size cities boast impressive multi-use paths, from the Heritage Trail in Rome to Columbus' top-notch Riverwalk and Fall Line Trace. Thanks to the tireless work of the PATH Foundation, Georgia is also home to many dozens of miles of nationally recognized rail-trails, chief among them the Silver Comet, Stone Mountain PATH, and Arabia Mountain trails. You can investigate these, and all of the state's major bike tourism destinations, on our Bicycle Tourism page.

Georgia offers marquee bicycling events like BRAG and the Six Gap Century. There are small and large century rides throughout the state. Casual urban tourists can enjoy excellent sightseeing rides in Atlanta and Savannah. Signed routes for self-guided tours already exist in rural Sumter and Walton counties. One of our Board members, Eddie Shirey of Conyers, just published a guidebook and website for people who want to explore the history and route of Sherman's infamous "March to the Sea" by bicycle.

The recently formed Georgia Bicycle Adventures company is currently in San Diego, presenting at the National Bicycle Tourism Conference.

All this is to say that GA has a lot going on already for bicycle tourism. Bicycle tourism is great for Georgia. It brings in money, shows off the authentic culture and beautiful landscapes of the state, and all of the factors out of our control - history, geography, climate - are completely on our side. So, what about the factors within our control? How do we position Georgia as the bicycling destination in the southeast?

Let's start by looking at Adventure Cycling's quick guide for communities who want to capitalize on the bike tourism boom:

"At its most basic, bicycle tourism means offering good riding opportunities alongside welcoming customer service."

You offer these two traits through:

1) Quality, safe, physical places for people to ride, from standout facilities like the Silver Comet Trail to bicycle friendly city streets and bikable rural shoulders. See our Executive Director's presentation to Dublin, GA officials for more about designing bike-friendly streets and roads for bike tourists.

2) A friendly, welcoming atmosphere for people on bikes. Check out Social Circle's cost-effective efforts on this front. Convenient bike parking, bike friendly lodging/camping, and well-publicized emergency and repair services for stranded cyclists are important aspects of creating an atmosphere of welcoming customer service.

and

3) Be a community of safe drivers who welcome bicyclists to their community. Nothing will scare off bicycle tourists faster than a high-profile hit-and-run...or a nasty personal encounter with an aggressive motorist. Tourists can travel anywhere they want to ride bikes. If your town isn't welcoming and safe for people on bikes, they won't come back, and they'll definitely tell their friends not to visit your community to ride. Engage in "Share the Road" campaigns for local drivers, and make sure law enforcement officers take aggressive and distracted driving seriously.

 

November Members can win a custom bike bag

When you join or renew as a Georgia Bikes member in November, you will be eligible to win one of these amazing, custom, 100% waterproof bike bags, created by Athens, GA's Tiny Tank Tech!

Just make sure you become a member, or renew a lapsed membership, by Sunday, November 30th at 11:59 PM EST.

There are two bags you could win, a handlebar bag or a pair of custom panniers. Both of these were created using sponsor banners from past Georgia Bikes events. Good luck, and thanks for your support!

Tell GDOT how to spend transportation funding

Through November 21st,  the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is soliciting feedback on its Statewide Strategic Transportation Plan (SSTP)/Statewide Transportation Plan (SWTP). 

A major component of this plan is exploring how to best invest in transportation system improvements across the state. They have developed an online tool for the public to provide input on how to allocate the state's anticipated transportation funding (federal/state funds) over the next 25 years. You can choose how transportation funding should be allotted, see how it will affect the performance of the system, and compare your results to others.

We strongly encourage you to participate in this process. Your input is extremely valuable for the planning of our future transportation system and results of this survey will be considered in the final recommendations. Let GDOT officials know that investing in better bicycling and walking facilities is essential for our safety and for our economic development.

Responses are confidential and the survey takes ~5-10 minutes to complete.

The survey can be accessed at www.gdot2040.com. Please complete it by November 21, 2014.

Thank you for your participation in this planning process! We greatly appreciate your time and support. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact GDOT at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Subcategories

Subscribe to the Blog