Our ride to Pride

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 13, 2013
Gasp! Bikes are on racks in Piedmont Park! Summon the authorities!

Gasp! Bikes are on racks in Piedmont Park! Summon the authorities!

Gather around for liberal yuppie whiner story time, kids!

My wife and I decided we wanted to ride our bikes from Decatur to the Atlanta Pride Festival.

Atlanta wasn’t supportive of our idea. 

We first ran into problems at the East Lake MARTA. I swiped my Breeze Card to open the gate and got about halfway through before the gate locked onto my bike like the jaws of life. A commotion ensued. My wife tapped her card to open it, and I squeezed through. But since my wife used her card, it could not be reused to open the gate.

We stood on opposite sides of the gate, swearing at MARTA and each other, until I picked up the phone on the call box. I informed the first operator about the malfunctioning gate. He told me to hold on and then transferred me to an answering machine with dial pad prompts, which would’ve been great if the call box actually had a dial pad.

I called back and the second operator answered. She sounded generally annoyed that I would call and report problems. She huffed and said she’d send a MARTA Police Officer. That’s great news, since they’re a rare sighting at MARTA stations.

My wife decided to purchase another card in order to open the gate for her bike.

First hurdle cleared.

We got off at the Inman Park MARTA and rode the glorious Atlanta BeltLine over to Piedmont. Things were going well, until we got to the park. The staff for PRIDE told us that we were barred from locking up our bikes, even though a rack holding dozens of bikes was in plain view. Atlanta built one of the premiere bike trails in the Southeast but you can’t park your bike in one of its oft-visited stops (at least on PRIDE weekend). Brilliant.

Luckily, Intown Bicycles on Monroe let us use their bike rack.

So that’s how we overcame great adversity and made it to PRIDE weekend. The TV movie is in the works.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • Mick

    When MARTA invited the public to submit questions / comments recently, I submitted a few. Why can’t a single card be used to provide multiple entries — after all, MARTA is collecting its fares, so why the limit on a single card? Why is tapping a card necessary to leave the station? Why does MARTA ultimately require a visit to a RideStore to continue with a Breeze account?

    MARTA’s email reply arrived 2 weeks later: Please call us about your inquiries.

  • I’m honestly not sure how you’re supposed to deal with the problem of accidentally swiping the card, but not going through the gate. Because my card still had plenty of “trips” left on it, but since I had used it at the “in” gate, it kept showing an error of “card already used”. Why couldn’t it at least use up another trip instead? Due to that, I had to buy an entirely new card ($1) with one trip on it just to go through. Dumb.

    And also dumb that I could not walk my bike to a bike rack barely inside the park. I understand they don’t want people riding their bikes in the park, but you should at least let people bring them in to park, come on!

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