I mentioned in a previous post that David Herlihy, author of The Lost Cyclist, was going to be in Atlanta at the Carter Presidential Center. The event was last night, so regardless of the heat, we decided to check it out. Thankfully, no politics were involved – just a fascinating book reading related to cycling :) Herlihy discussed the research involved in writing the book, which was also extremely interesting. The book, which was set in the late 1800’s, revolved around a 25 year old cyclist named Frank Lenz, who attempted to make a trip around the world by bicycle. Can you imagine attempting such a thing at that time?! Much as we may feel that there is a lack of cycling infrastructure, it can’t compare to what Lenz encountered. He was unable to travel through some locations by bike at all due to the terrain, resulting in the hire of “coolies” to carry the bike while he walked! I haven’t yet read the book, so won’t try to give more details, but if you’d like a comprehensive review, you can find many out there, including from the NY Times, Urban Velo, and Cyclelicious.
I’d never been to the Carter Center prior to last night, so had no idea what to expect. We found that the grounds were actually very pretty with a lovely pool and fountains, however one thing was missing – bike parking! We looked around and saw that others had been creative when finding a place to lock up their bikes, including using small trees and benches close to the door as you can see in the photos below.
However, there were no open benches, and all the posts were too large to use the u-lock, so we began to walk away from the entrance to attempt to find another option. To our surprise, a woman came to the door and called to us, saying that we could bring our bikes inside! Lo and behold, there were several other bikes inside as well, probably more than has ever been at the Carter Center at once :)
Along with the bikes that had been ridden to the center, there was an example of the “safety bicycle” that Frank Lenz had ridden on his trip:
All in all, it was an enjoyable way to spend a Monday night, even though I thought I was going to die in the heat on the way :) Thankfully, the ride home was much more pleasant temperature-wise!