Bicycle group pedals to new home

The Atlanta Bicycle Campaign put a new spin on moving day Saturday. A three-mile spin, actually.

Published December 15, 2007 by Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By BRIAN FEAGANS

The Atlanta Bicycle Campaign put a new spin on moving day Saturday. A three-mile spin, actually.

More than a dozen members of the bicycling advocacy group loaded their bike frames with files, books and supplies, then pedaled from their old offices in a Virginia-Highland church basement to their new headquarters downtown.

Early on, at least one ABC volunteer wondered if the freight would be too much.

"Byron, I think that's going to be too heavy for you to ride," Lisa Safstrom said, staring at the mule-load on Byron Rushing's dark blue Gary Fisher.

A red basket in front held boxes of paper. Another box sat on the skateboard-like deck in back. And an extension piece allowed the bike to support two panniers that flopped down like giant pockets on each side; they held files, miscellaneous supplies and a box labeled "Pens, Pencils, Markers, Erasers."

But Rushing, a member of the Atlanta Bicycle board, said no worries: he'd found the best route. And today, best meant flattest, not fastest.

Rushing got the idea for the move from friends in bike-crazy Portland.

"They always like to brag about how they moved by bike," he said. "I thought we'd give it a shot."

"It's better than sitting on the couch on a Saturday morning."

Rebecca Serna, Atlanta Bicycle's executive director, also saw moving on two wheels as a way to promote cycling.

Part of the group's mission is to educate people on the healthy, environmentally friendly aspects of riding a bike, she said. And the group's new location at 233 Mitchell St. is intended to put the campaign closer to such wheels of influence as the Georgia Department of Transportation, Atlanta Regional Commission and Atlanta City Hall.

"It's the governmental center," Serna said, "so it makes sense to be there."

And they did get there, with messenger bags sprouting laminated street maps and side-packs heavy with Zip drives. The cyclists rolled down Ralph McGill Boulevard, weaved through the Fairlie-Poplar district and hit the hand-brakes near the corner of Mitchell and Spring streets.

It was a gasoline-free move. Well, nearly.

Serna said the group did have to make a few exceptions. It transported the furniture by truck. And no one felt comfortable biking across Atlanta with the office refrigerator.