Atlanta is the 9th most populous metropolitan area in the US and people are still moving to Atlanta at a brisk rate -- 4.5% growth so far in 2010s
. Here's a generalization -- the subdivisions put up in recent decades to receive that population growth favor motorized traffic, not walking nor cycling, and not much public transportation. Many subdivisions are isolated from one another, connected only by wide, higher speed roads with lots of vehicles. Tbdean's Lawrenceville
and much of Gwinnett County (population 842 thousand) probably fit that bill: lots of residential developments that connect only by busy arterial roads.
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).
To borrow from another recent thread
Check out the Southern Bicycle League
, Southeastern Cycling
and the Path Foundation
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.