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April 29, 2002

Emory to host annual Bike There festival

By Michael Terrazas


In a city notorious for its dependence on four-wheeled transportation, enthusiasts of the two-wheeled alternative will converge on campus Saturday, May 4, as Emory hosts the fifth annual Bike There Ride and Festival.

Organized by the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign (ABC), Bike There will kick off Saturday at 9 a.m. on McDonough Field.

The estimated 500 participants will be welcomed by President Bill Chace and DeKalb Co. CEO Vernon Jones. Maria Saporta, business columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will emcee the event.

After the welcome and opening remarks, participants will hop on their bikes and move out into the streets for a 12-mile ride through DeKalb Co., followed by a return to campus for a three-hour festival of music, entertainment and refreshments. Both Chace and Jones will participate in the ride, which will wind through the nearby neighborhoods of Mason Mill and Medlock Park.

“Some people have not biked enough even to forget how much fun cycling can be,” said Chace, who said his typical rides go for 17–22 miles.

According to ABC Director Dennis Hoffarth, the campaign asked Emory to host the event because of the University’s commitment to providing a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly campus, as well as its desire for improvements to North Decatur Road. Committed to enhancing alternative transportation wherever possible, the University was only too happy to oblige.

“We feel it is an honor to host the event,” said Brian Shaw, director of the Office of Alternative Transportation. “It shows that the cycling community sees Emory as an ally in its efforts to promote cycling as a commuting option. It also brings recognition to all that Emory has done and will continue to do to make the campus bike-friendly.”

Among the incentives the University offers to employees who choose to pedal to work, Shaw said, are guaranteed rides home in case of emergency; a parking Valu-Pass that enables riders to park cars in Emory decks up to 12 times per year; and the recently instituted Shared Cars program, which allows participants in alternative transportation programs to “check out” one of seven electric Th!nk cars.

External to Emory, Hoffarth said proposed renovations to North Decatur Road “will remove a major obstacle to bicycle commuting in the area,” adding that Bike There “spotlights the tremendous opportunities we have for adding bike lanes to the roads that really need them.” At the event, Hoffarth said ABC will release a color-coded map rating every street within three miles of Emory for cycling safety and accessibility.

Delta Moon Blues Band will perform live Saturday afternoon, and festival-goers will be treated to trick-cycling demonstrations, educational exhibits and free massages provided by The Spot Massage Center.

The all-ages event is open to anyone; registration is $5. Participants can register online at or, and same-day registration begins at 8 a.m. A limited number of Bike There T-shirts will be available for $10.