…looking for the rad? I was that many years ago when I lived in Atlanta. Yeah, whatever.
Now I am old and rad (rode?ratty?ridiculous?) and by accident found myself back aboard a single speed. Yes, back aboard as I first got into single speeds in the late 90’s when everyone who rode them were basically delinquents extending their middle fingers at the cycling industry (Mega9, Ha!). I certainly loved the simplicity and chaos of them. As time went on the majority of people I came across riding single speeds were roadie/XC kooks with chips on their shoulders. They seemed less interested in fun and more into bagging more off season training and Stravasshole onanism, but I digress.
None Mo’Black edition Honzo…
This weekend the weather for the entire region looks terrible. I’m optimistic, however I was thinking of returning to Atlanta on Sunday 4/8 (overcast, but almost no rain in the forecast) to do a basically a classic urban ride. Basically leave my vehicle top side and take MARTA down to then ride around Decatur, Emory, Candler and wherever. Granted the trails of any sort will be a mess, but on a single speed who cares?
Now it’s been more than dozen years since I did any riding through there, but I would always hit Mason Mill and a little trail near Emory, I think now listed as Peavine Creek. Making stops for coffee, food, beers and general effing off were always a part of it too. So in town ATL’iens, are those trails still a thing? Any others to add? I have all day to kill.
I didn’t know you used to ride those trails! Well, prepare to have your mind blown.
Of course all of this is unofficial, but here are the highlights:
Mason Mill: look for the semi bench cut trails along the hill just below the tennis courts. Some parts are really off-camber, and it’s all challenging but fun and rideable with practice. There is also an area called “across the tracks” or “under the tracks” (depending on how you access it) that is really twisty and challenging. This part connects to a section called “privet underground” that adds even more distance. (This area is located northeast of the tennis courts and to the left side of the wooden boardwalk as you go toward North Druid hills rd.)
Ira B. Melton: This is a park across the stream from Mason Mill and there are a couple crossings. Once you get into Ira B, the trails are pretty easy to follow and are all pretty tame. However, the real gem is an area called “High Ground” that’s across a small stream on the southwest end of the park. There are a couple entries, but neither is obvious (one requires you to shoulder your bike and climb up a steep, rooty embankment). Anyway, High Ground is full of big rock drops and a fun gully ride you can loop over and over. This video was shot entirely in “High Ground.”
Honestly you could spend an entire afternoon riding these trails. If you rode everything in Mason Mill and Ira B, you could get 8-10 hard miles in. I say hard because most of the trails are quite tight and technical.
Peavine Creek is OK, but it’s steep and there isn’t a lot there. It’s good to connect to other stuff though. Note the singletrack trails around the Emory President’s house and behind the VA are closed to bikes. However, it is now possible to go under the bridge on Clairemont in front of the VA to get from Mason Mill to Emory Campus. (It’s still under construction, but passable.) From Peavine, I usually ride over to Morningside Nature Preserve where the trails are short, but fast and flowy.
Thanx, @JeffBarber. It is very possible that I actually rode Ira back in the day, but had no idea as I would just go wherever. As far as access, I used to always come off Clairmont and the ride down Mason Mill or McConnell and just go from there. Do you have any better suggestions so I am not doubling back or getting completely lost? I will likely either ride up from Decatur (from E Lake or Avondale MARTA) or depending how nutty I am feeling ride across town from the North Ave station.