Celebrate Bicycling in Atlanta with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition

Tandem bicycle at the 2015 Blinkie Awards (Photo Credit: Atlanta Bicycle Coalition)

In the fall of 2010, I had just moved back to Atlanta after a couple years away. My previous 5 years in the city had been spent mostly in the Midtown area, within the confines of Georgia Tech with periodic trips to the Chattahoochee River for crew practice.

In the fall of 2010, I had finally secured a job, albeit far outside the city, after a months-long search for an entry level job in the midst of a recession. I knew it would require a 30-mile drive, but I decided to settle in the City anyway, in part to be within biking distance of everything except for work. My apartment was situated in the Old Fourth Ward, at the bottom of a large hill — this hill would eventually contribute to building up my endurance and strength for biking. My affordable apartment sat along a dirt trail I later learned to be the BeltLine Eastside Trail, whose flat pathway which would eventually contribute to making me lazy on my bike.

In the fall of 2010, I basically found myself beginning the exploration, meeting the people, and getting involved with the organizations that would eventually shape my life into what it is today. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (ABC) was a huge part of that.

In the fall of 2010, ABC had already been around for almost 20 years, working toward the mission to “create a healthier, more livable Atlanta by making it safer, easier, and more attractive to bicycle for fun, fitness, and transportation.” I had found them through a friend, an impromptu volunteer opportunity, and at my first Atlanta Streets Alive on Edgewood Avenue. That event, which attracted around 3,000 people in 2010, now brings out well over 100,000 people, multiple times a year, in various parts of the city.

Beyond Atlanta Streets Alive, ABC “advocates for a safe and connected network of bikeways and better conditions for bicycling, educates bicyclists and drivers on safety, provides resources to overcome barriers to biking, [and] promotes the bicycle as a viable transportation solution and form of recreation and exercise,” while partnering with organizations working toward similar goals in similar ways. Each year, these partners are recognized and members are celebrated at ABC’s annual awards event: The Blinkies.

This year, the celebration will fall on February 10, 2017 at the M. Rich Building in Downtown Atlanta. You can purchase tickets and find more information here.

In the winter of 2017, it’s obvious that Atlanta, bicycling in Atlanta, and ABC have all grown and changed — I have too, as it turns out. ABC and biking in Atlanta have been strong forces in helping shape my life into what it is today, and I am thrilled to celebrate another year of membership, challenges, and successes with them this February. Please join me.

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