To cap off my birthday staycation earlier this week, we booked a tour with Bicycle Tours of Atlanta. We’ve lived in Atlanta for just over 10 years now, but there’s still so much we don’t know about different neighborhoods around the city. When I found this company online, and then saw that it was rated #1 for outdoor activities on TripAdvisor, I knew I wanted to check it out.
We got up early on Wednesday morning and drove down to Studioplex in the Old Fourth Ward (which is an interesting building to check out on its own) to meet up for our tour. Turns out, we were the only ones signed up for that morning, so we got our own private tour with Robyn, the owner of the company! Taking a staycation in the middle of the week has its perks. 🙂
After getting a quick lesson on the bikes and using gears (since we haven’t done that in a long time), we headed out on a 3 hour, 8 mile tour of the city. We started on the Beltline, and we stopped periodically to hear some stories and bits of trivia about different art pieces along the way. The story behind this giant installation, “The Art of Reconciliation” by William Massey, is really interesting. I’m not going to spoil all the fun by sharing Robyn’s stories here, so you’ll just have to take the tour to find out more!
The backside of the installation, which I’d have never thought to look at when just passing by. Can you spot the various pieces of “trash” used to create this piece?
Fun fact: The owner of the building that houses Junkman’s, Savage Pizza, etc. in Little Five Points asked a local mural artist to paint the back of the building so that other street artists wouldn’t continue covering it in graffiti. From what we understood, mural work is respected by fellow street artists and is usually not “tagged” or painted over.
Art by Greg Mike near the Krog St Tunnel. His work is recognizable not only by the colorful, surreal style, but by the chipped tooth in the mouth. We had fun looking for his other works along our ride the rest of the morning.
Krog St Tunnel — thanks for the great photo, Robyn!
You’d never guess that this piece is a self portrait painted by a 70-year-old lady named Dot, would you?
We found more Greg Mike work with the chipped tooth! This was part of a multi-artist collaboration, and I loved the “Where the Wild Things Are” inspiration. #staywild
Like I said, we’ve lived here for 10 years now, and there are still so many neighborhoods that we have yet to really explore. Sure, we’ve been to shows and restaurants in Inman Park and Little 5 Points, have walked the Beltline, and have driven past Oakland Cemetery too many times to count. But seeing these places by bike is a much more up close and personal way to get to know the city that we call home. We rode into The Stacks Lofts complex in Cabbagetown, which has amazing history and also houses one of the coolest, most unique pool areas I’ve ever seen. We rode through part of Oakland Cemetery, which I’m sort of embarrassed to admit I’d never been in until now. It’s such a beautiful, fascinating part of Atlanta, and I can’t wait to go back for an event or tour. Who knew that they host about as many weddings each year as burials??
I’m so happy we tried out a different way to see Atlanta. It doesn’t hurt that we got in some good exercise, too. Robyn, who started Bicycle Tours of Atlanta, is such a lovely lady and is truly a wealth of knowledge about the various neighborhoods of Atlanta and the history that consumes them. This is something I’ll suggest to anyone who is new to the city, visiting for a weekend, or even who has lived here for years.
Also, Robyn was kind enough to offer a 15% discount to you guys for any future tours booked by Labor Day (9/5/16)! Just use code: MELISSA at checkout. I hope you’ll check them out soon!