Saturday, September 24, 2011

Atlanta Rocks: A Personal Bike Tour, Part 1

I attended a conference of about 170 marketers from The Nature Conservancy (of which I am one) a couple of weeks ago. The conference was really interesting and fun, and I made lots of connections to people in my network. It was held at Chateau Elan Winery (made famous in this video and lampooned on Family Guy) about 40 miles northeast of Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, a town that Kim Basinger once invested in with a since-failed plan to turn it into a movie-making locale.

Anyway, I intended to do more networking with a four-hour bike ride organized as part of the conference. But when I arrived downtown at the funky Bicycle Tours of Atlanta (pictured above to the left), I was the only one to show, which made for a great personal tour by my guide Robyn.

I'll take us through several sites of Atlanta, which I always thought of as a cold-hard batch of skyscrapers plopped down along Interstate 95 somewhere between North Carolina, New Orleans, and Florida, over the course of my next several blog posts.

One of my favorite stops was Oakland Cemetary, where legendary golfer Bobby Jones is buried. My favorite site there, however, was Margaret Mitchell's grave (pictured to the right). She basically supplied me with everything I've ever known about Atlanta through her classic novel Gone With the Wind. We also later biked past the spot downtown where her life was cut tragically short by a car that hit her as she crossed the street.

Finally, for now, we stopped in the lovely Central Park-like Piedmont Park, with its wide expanses of recreation areas and beautiful views of the skyline (pictured to the right).

Exploring cities I've never been to on bike is by far the best way to experience them. Why more people haven't discovered this travel trick is beyond me, and I wish my 20 or so colleagues who had signed up for this trip would have joined me. Then again, because they didn't show, I got to see many more sites.