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  1. #1
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    Possibly moving to the Atlanta area... help?

    I have an in-person interview with a company in downtown Atlanta next week, and a phone interview with a company close to the Northlake Shopping Mall (between Emory Uni and Norcross).

    With the downtown position, I've heard that living inside the beltway makes commuting by bike bearable. I also looked at the Smyrna/Powder Springs area, a bit further to downtown, but it seems like it's really close to the Silver Comet and some decent roads... this might make commuting downtown quite a task though compared to something like Decatur. I'm pretty comfortable riding with traffic, have a pretty good amount of experience with it. I'd love to be able to bike commute as often as possible. I know what traffic's like around Atlanta (girlfriend lives in Cumming right now), it's a huge difference to central PA. I do a lot of mountain and road riding.

    Also trying to interview with places around DC as well as Charlotte, but I've had more responses from Atlanta positions.

    However... things going through my head:
    1. Are there any somewhat local technical trails that wouldn't require an hour drive (i.e. good for after for under the week)?
    2. Any neighborhoods that are recommended or ones I should stay away from?
    3. Any recommendations for last words if you think it's the worst place for a biker to move to?

    EDIT: I'm going through the sorba forums, no need to mention those
    Last edited by Dwayne; 02-02-2006 at 09:01 AM.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  2. #2
    not so super...
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    Pretty much all of the good trail is OTP (outside the Perimeter). If you live ITP you will spend an hour+ to get to a riding area. Cumming/Alpharetta is a nice area (Kinda reminds me of Central PA - I grew up in Hoillidaysburg) MTB wise with Big Creek and Central Park close by and a 45min drive to Blankets; plus good access to all the great N.GA riding. Work commute wise it sucks because you will have to do the GA400 crawl.
    Nothing to see here.

  3. #3
    thats right living legend
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    I guess I don't know much but my GF lives in Smyrna right across the street from the Silver Comet thing. I myself really couldn't imagen commuting from there , but then again I don't live there or ride road. Blanketts creek seems pretty close, and I love rideing it, but I don't live there so it's nice and novel for me. It seems that that's the standerd quick ride trail for most ATL folks. All in all I think it would be a pretty good place to live for mtb. You've got north Georgia trails and NC trails all within a couple/few hours away. Anyway good luck...

  4. #4
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    In town there is Mason Mill. Its located kind of on the back side of Emory Univ. There is actually a lot of rideable urban singletrack in the city, you just have to know where to look for it. If you head south of the city there is Dausett trails in Jackson Ga or head east and there is Conyers and the GIHP (site of the 1996 Olympic mountain bike course). As far as commuting by bike, its do-able. Unfortunately Atlanta drivers are pretty cycist un-friendly. Most of them are too caught up in the rat race and their own personal space to give you a few feet of "their" lane. I would suggest buying a MARTA pass, one of the nice (and most underused) assett about their buses are the fact that they all have bike racks on the front of them. Worse comes to worse you can allways stow your bike hop a ride and still make the world a brighter place through lower emissions.

    Matt-

  5. #5
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    Look through the archives. There has been a lot posted about riding and living in Atlanta. Also try www.sorba.org and www.southeasterncycling.com for som einfo.

    If you road ride, Atlanta has a lot of traffic. You will eventually get over that fact.

  6. #6
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    I really appreciate the responses, definitely learned a few things I hadn't read about yet.

    ssinga: Yeh, the Cumming area is really nice, odd name for a place though. House prices are very reasonable, nice neighborhoods, closer to some of the good trails... but I definitely wouldn't want to commute from there, especially to the downtown area.

    blackagness: I've read lots of good things about the Silver Comet, the only drawback I've read is that it can be a little crowded, so sometimes it's not ideal for a fast road ride. However, I'd be tickled pink to be able to ride 100 miles one way, and 100 miles back, and not having to deal with cars. However, I'm up in the air whether or not Smyrna is too much hassle to commute from, especially by bike.

    psychobillycadillac: I checked out the Mason Mill park on google maps satellite images, and I think I can make out a network of trails if I'm not mistaken. Distance would be good to the downtown area, could commute by bike and use MARTA in a pinch. Housing seems doable in that area, too. I'll try to drive through on my upcoming visit.

    sadlebred: I read through a lot of the sorba forums over the weekend and found a lot regarding commuting, not so much where to live though. I'll keep digging through the archives. Oh, southeasterncycling has been bookmarked for quite some time, trust me. I'm confortable with traffic, too, though I much prefer finding roads that minimize it.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  7. #7
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    Don't forget sope creek for close to town mtb'ing.

    I live in Smyrna about 2 miles from the comet. It can be crowded, but it really depends on the time of day. rollerbladers and runners to contend with, however, allmost all of my experiences have been good.

    As far as commuting from Smyrna, I've thought about it at times. Many of the roads there have wide shoulders (until you get closer to town) and it ain't that far of a ride if you know how to get around. I drive into downtown from S. Cobb and 285 and during rush hour it takes me 23 minutes door to door. If its dead (and like 1am) it takes me about 13 min.

    Good luck with your decision!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbuch
    Don't forget sope creek for close to town mtb'ing.

    I live in Smyrna about 2 miles from the comet. It can be crowded, but it really depends on the time of day. rollerbladers and runners to contend with, however, allmost all of my experiences have been good.

    As far as commuting from Smyrna, I've thought about it at times. Many of the roads there have wide shoulders (until you get closer to town) and it ain't that far of a ride if you know how to get around. I drive into downtown from S. Cobb and 285 and during rush hour it takes me 23 minutes door to door. If its dead (and like 1am) it takes me about 13 min.

    Good luck with your decision!
    Great info, thanks! I was wondering how long it would take to get downtown. My current commute is about 20 minutes, but that's here in rural PA. Commuting by bike here takes ~35-40 minutes, so maybe I'd be looking at roughly the same if I'd work downtown and I'd live in Smyrna. Well, this is all assuming I even get an offer, so hopefully I'm not jinxing it. I'll try to check out the Smyrna area as well as Decatur/Emory during my trip.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne
    Great info, thanks! I was wondering how long it would take to get downtown. My current commute is about 20 minutes, but that's here in rural PA. Commuting by bike here takes ~35-40 minutes, so maybe I'd be looking at roughly the same if I'd work downtown and I'd live in Smyrna. Well, this is all assuming I even get an offer, so hopefully I'm not jinxing it. I'll try to check out the Smyrna area as well as Decatur/Emory during my trip.
    I should put a disclaimer on those times. I do have lead foot and I am kind of and aggresive driver. So...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbuch
    I should put a disclaimer on those times. I do have lead foot and I am kind of and aggresive driver. So...
    You're talking to someone who holds a record for the highest non-motorcycle speeding ticket in one of the counties of PA (125 in a 65, 60 over the limit). Well, the magistrate said it was the highest he'd seen in his 13 years anyway.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  11. #11
    paintbucket
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    You might get better commuting info here

    http://bikesbl.org/

    And here

    http://atlbike.org/
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  12. #12
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    Smyrna is suburban hell compared to Decatur/northlake. If I were ever to move back to atlanta decatur, candler park , or va highlands would be the only places I would be willing to live. I hope this is a good paying job you are interviewing for as rents / housing in Atlanta can be steep.

    Commuting by bike sucks there but it didn't keep me from doing it back and forth to college every day (at emory).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooglin
    You might get better commuting info here

    http://bikesbl.org/

    And here

    http://atlbike.org/
    Sweet, I haven't seen either one of those yet... have a bunch of Atlanta biking sites bookmarked now.

    Quote Originally Posted by lucifer
    Smyrna is suburban hell compared to Decatur/northlake. If I were ever to move back to atlanta decatur, candler park , or va highlands would be the only places I would be willing to live. I hope this is a good paying job you are interviewing for as rents / housing in Atlanta can be steep.

    Commuting by bike sucks there but it didn't keep me from doing it back and forth to college every day (at emory).
    Yeh, Smyrna struck me a little as suburbia, the only reason it really stuck is because of the silver comet trail and house prices are decent. However, I think as far as commuting goes I'd be much better off over in the Decatur/Emory/North Druid Hills area. My new position (if it works out *crosses fingers*) should be in the mid-60s for pay, plus whatever my better half makes. I won't be rolling in money, but I'm pretty frugal and have done some number crunching with good results so far.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  14. #14
    paintbucket
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne
    Sweet, I haven't seen either one of those yet... have a bunch of Atlanta biking sites bookmarked now.
    A couple more then. The first is what passes for a dirtbag/urban/messenger culture. I think its centered around GA Tech, so who knows how much is for real and how much is a bunch of college kids acting rebellious. Still, you might learn something about downtown ATL there.

    The second is the bike co-op, which is pretty new (last year or so I think). I've never been, but it looks good.

    http://fastermustache.org/

    http://www.sopobikes.org/
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  15. #15
    Fake Athlete
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    Dwayne- I live in Decatur, and I ride the 4 miles to Emory to work often. I also ride from here all around the downtown area with the slicks on pretty regularly. SSinGa is exaggerating a bit when he says it's an hour+ to trails. Conyers is about 1/2 an hour from Decatur, and Yellow River (which is under improvement at the moment) is like 15 min. I wouldn't get too excited about Mason Mill; those trails are close to me, but really not much there as far as mileage. Psychobilly is right as far as hidden singletrack, but you have to connect it with stretches of pavement, so it's not like getting into a XC groove although it can be a lot of fun.
    Also living here instead of in the Northern suburbs opens up more choices as far as trails south of town, Dauset being one and Arrowhead near Macon(suprisingly hilly) being another.
    I like ham sandwiches

  16. #16
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    Just thought I'd give a bit of an update...


    I interviewed with a company downtown this past Tuesday, and I received a call this morning from the agency I went through, the company is drafting up my official offer right now and I'll have it on Monday. I'll be working in the south tower downtown, on Peachtree St. I'll write my resignation letter over the weekend, and hand it to my curent employer once I have my offer on Monday.

    I've been looking at houses in the Emory/Decatur area, Smyrna/Powder Springs, and Sandy Springs. I've heard conflicting things about MARTA's reliability, but I have heard positive things from folks over in the Smyrna area that say that commuting downtown is by far not as bad since you don't have to take 400. Decatur would be nice since there's a bike path that leads downtown. I'll probably rent for a few weeks/months before I buy something, that should give me a little time to figure out where I want to be.

    Anyway... just wanted to say hi to all the folks down south, I look forward to making it to some of the rides and hanging out. Can't wait to explore new trails and roads.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  17. #17
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    Dc

    just my opinion....I just moved from there (to SC).

    The Good:

    Great local club (www.MORE-mtb.org)
    Good riding (even better further out)
    Good Food
    Lots to do

    The bad:
    Cost of living
    Cost of living
    cost of living
    Traffic
    cost of living

    Once again, my opinion, shoot for Atlanta or Charolotte. Nothing wrong with DC, just a bit too stressful for my taste.

    Sorry, a bit off topic, but you mentioned that you were looking at DC.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrtaylo
    Sorry, a bit off topic, but you mentioned that you were looking at DC.
    Read my update post right before yours. Atlanta is already happening.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  19. #19
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    I'm looking at a house that's 4-5 miles north off of Exit 44 on I-20 west of downtown. I'm guessing it would be about 35 minutes to commute downtown on average (it's 20.5 miles from driveway to parking space). Does anyone have any experience with this area (between Powder Springs and Austell) and commuting in?

    West and NW of downtown are attractive because you get more house for your money, and riding (road and off) seem a bit easier out that way. I did find a decent condo 1.5 miles north of where I'd work, but no garage to put my project car or regular car in.

    10 more days 'til I drive down.
    Last edited by Dwayne; 02-23-2006 at 11:41 AM.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne
    I'm looking at a house that's 4-5 miles north off of Exit 44 on I-20 west of downtown. I'm guessing it would be about 35 minutes to commute downtown on average (it's 20.5 miles from driveway to parking space). Does anyone have any experience with this area (between Powder Springs and Austell) and commuting in?

    West and NW of downtown are attractive because you get more house for your money, and riding (road and off) seem a bit easier out that way. I did find a decent condo 1.5 miles north of where I'd work, but no garage to put my project car or regular car in.

    10 more days 'til I drive down.
    Not too sure about that area, but I think you are going to want to go further north than that to get into the nicer areas of powder springs and austell. I also think that the commute would be painful (by car or by bike). As far as living west and NW of downtown, I would try and stay as NW as possible and less west. Drive around a lot before you decide. I think renting for a few months is a good idea.

    I live off of 285 and S. Cobb Dr. (exit#15). There is a rediculous amount of development going on over there (building like crazy!!!) and its right on the oustskirts of the vinnings. I moved over there just under 2 years ago, because I saw it as a great investment given the growth over the next 5 years or so. May want to check it out. Oh...I also live about 1.5 miles from the comet trail. As I mentioned before, commuting by car during rush hour takes me about 20 min., however, I don't have to go as deep into town as you will. I do know some back roads to get you deeper while still avoiding traffic. If you're interested let me know I can give you some good routes.

    B

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbuch
    Not too sure about that area, but I think you are going to want to go further north than that to get into the nicer areas of powder springs and austell. I also think that the commute would be painful (by car or by bike). As far as living west and NW of downtown, I would try and stay as NW as possible and less west. Drive around a lot before you decide. I think renting for a few months is a good idea.

    I live off of 285 and S. Cobb Dr. (exit#15). There is a rediculous amount of development going on over there (building like crazy!!!) and its right on the oustskirts of the vinnings. I moved over there just under 2 years ago, because I saw it as a great investment given the growth over the next 5 years or so. May want to check it out. Oh...I also live about 1.5 miles from the comet trail. As I mentioned before, commuting by car during rush hour takes me about 20 min., however, I don't have to go as deep into town as you will. I do know some back roads to get you deeper while still avoiding traffic. If you're interested let me know I can give you some good routes.

    B
    It's interesting that you mention the Vinings/Smyrna area, because that's where I've been concentrating my search for the past few days. There are a lot of houses that would only be 12-15 miles to work on back roads (with the interstate as an option). The only problem is I'm not familiar with the Smyrna area, so I'll have to drive through a few times to get an idea of where a good place would be. A realtor might be able to help me out with that, just have to find a decent realtor, too.

    Are there areas of Smyrna I should avoid?
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team, '10 Slice 4
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  22. #22
    Horses and Bikes, Oh My!
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    Don't move towards Windy Hill. There's a good bit of gang activity up that way.

  23. #23
    Horses and Bikes, Oh My!
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    no message
    Last edited by Sadlebred; 02-27-2006 at 06:37 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne
    It's interesting that you mention the Vinings/Smyrna area, because that's where I've been concentrating my search for the past few days. There are a lot of houses that would only be 12-15 miles to work on back roads (with the interstate as an option). The only problem is I'm not familiar with the Smyrna area, so I'll have to drive through a few times to get an idea of where a good place would be. A realtor might be able to help me out with that, just have to find a decent realtor, too.

    Are there areas of Smyrna I should avoid?
    The heart of the vinings is off of exit 13 (paces ferry) inside the perimeter. However, that can get pretty expensive. If you stay between exit 15 and exit 12 that should keep you in some nice areas. If you're going to live outside the perimeter, the closer to the perimeter the better. There is a lot of development going on in the areas just off of exit 14 and exit 15. There are some really nice neighborhoods off of cooper lake rd that will put you on top of the comet trail (might be expensive though). If you want to get a little further out, I would head west on the east-west connector or north on Atlanta rd. If you discuss this area with any realtor they will know what you are looking for. I know a few that can help if you'd like me to recommend some, just let me know and I'll put you in touch.

    Hey...maybe when you get here we can actually go for a ride!!!

    oh...also...you could look off of oakdale. mucho development going on there too!!

    B

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbuch
    The heart of the vinings is off of exit 13 (paces ferry) inside the perimeter. However, that can get pretty expensive. If you stay between exit 15 and exit 12 that should keep you in some nice areas. If you're going to live outside the perimeter, the closer to the perimeter the better. There is a lot of development going on in the areas just off of exit 14 and exit 15. There are some really nice neighborhoods off of cooper lake rd that will put you on top of the comet trail (might be expensive though). If you want to get a little further out, I would head west on the east-west connector or north on Atlanta rd. If you discuss this area with any realtor they will know what you are looking for. I know a few that can help if you'd like me to recommend some, just let me know and I'll put you in touch.

    Hey...maybe when you get here we can actually go for a ride!!!

    oh...also...you could look off of oakdale. mucho development going on there too!!

    B
    Just realized that I said that wrong (got the numbers reversed). vinings is off of paces ferry, but it is exit #17. And change what I said about exit 14 (I meant 16). and...you don't want to stay between 15 and 12, it should be 15-18 (or 19). sorry about that.

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