I'm moving to the Atlanta GA metro area from Michigan and need help locating a community to live that has same interest as me(cycling, and running). I would prefer to live in the suburbs. My main goal is to stay within a reasonable driving distance to the airport hr to hour and a half. The research i've done appears I will want to look towards the north north east side, but never living in GA I am unsure where to start. Thanks in advance, Paul
My beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and my 2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Team bike
You can't use cycling and Atlanta in the same sentence.
I moved from there 1.5 years ago to get away from the traffic.
If you MUST live there try Decatur/Tucker and you can ride to Stone Mtn or Little Five Points (L5P). Lots of cyclists and bike commuters in that part of town.
To ride from your home, it's better to be near a neighborhood which has not exploded in population in recent decades, whether inside Atlanta or in a neighboring town with some history at a certain size. There are plenty of residential roads which connect. You do encounter stop signs and traffic lights.
Judging by the many recreational cyclists I see, plenty of people are happily riding in Atlanta.
That's supported by the 2014 Alliance for Biking and Walking Benchmarking Report. Among 52 large US cities, Atlanta (speaking of the city, not the metropolitan area) is middle to upper-middle in cycling activity and safety (18th in bicycle commuting, 15th in project spending, 7th in bicyclist fatality rates -- where 1 is best and 52 worst).
If you are willing to ride with cars a fair bit and to plan your routes to avoid the least suitable roads, you'll be fine inside Atlanta and neighboring cities such as Decatur.
To check out areas of interest, look at where people actually ride -- use lots of data, in addition to the comments of some friends at bikeforums. Use mapping sites like Google maps (turn Bike Paths on) and RideWithGPS.com to see routes which cyclists have identified. Zoom in on the Strava Heatmap to see where Strava cyclists actually ride. The active route you see heading west into Alabama is the Silver Comet trail; you can read more about that at the Path Foundation. Heading east from Atlanta a popular route is the Path to Stone Mountain.
Atlanta is moderately hilly; not much flat, but lots of alternating up and down. For a day trip to longer climbs, head a little ways up to north Georgia and ride the terrain that was part of the Tour de Georgia, which was a 2.HC UCI stage race until it closed during the Great Recession. The hills of the Six Gap Century are probably the best known.
Paul - While recognizing your interest in the "north north-east side," the west (maybe think Smyrna vicinity & west there of?) side would nearly always be less time getting to/from the airport while also offering you close access to the bike/hike contiguous trails Silver Comet Trail + Chief Ladiga Trail (90+ miles worth of well maintained paved surface, in addition to various spurs).
Best wishes with your living location evaluation process.
Roswell has some acclaim as bicycle-friendly, at least in the context of Georgia cities, but I just don't see it. Maybe I never haunted the friendly parts, but I prefer Alpharetta if you can deal with heavier traffic.
I live in Gwinnett (Duluth) and there are plenty of great rides from my front door. My favorite is a 50-mile ride to Lake Lanier and back, which passes through Suwanee and Buford. There are also 3 very nice multi-use greenways in Gwinnett, about 10 miles each. I prefer the secondary roads so I don't have to dodge strollers. ;-)
Check out out the Strava heat maps, they'll show the most heavily travelled roads by bike. I use this to create my routes.