HANG TIGHT while I finish the Ride Story . . .
MARTA stands for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority and includes trains and buses that run through several counties, with connections to buses in others. Fun bike fact: You can take bike on any train or bus at any time(when there is still room on the. bike rack on the front of the bus, which holds two bikes). I often (pre-COVID) combined train, bus, and bike. I also always carry a loaded MARTA card with me in case of flats. Although there has been an art program for years at MARTA transit stations, it has really been ramped up in the past few years to include a bunch of wonderful new murals as well as new people-focused plazas that involute you to linger. Some even have outlets to charge your phones, free public pianos, bike fixit-it stations, Relay bikeshare stations, and Little Free Libraries.
This tour takes you through a beautiful neighborhood named Ansley, Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail, Inman Park, Downtown Atlanta, and then back up through Midtown. It's Atlanta, so there are hills. Plus, you will need some street riding skills (see the Classes and Bonus Resources tabs on TravelingAtTheSpeedOFBike.com) but in general, it's a pretty lovely ride. Biggest problem right now, in all honesty, is the too-crowded Beltline (tip: weekdays are less crowded).
This is the West Peachtree exit at the Arts Center MARTA Station. It is by local artist Stacie Rose and designed to depict the business and virbarnacy of Midtown Atlanta. Walk your bike around to the other side of the station to see more art.
This is at the Arts Center Way entrance to the Arts Center MARTA Station. Okay, fine, it's not exactly a mural, but it's so pretty, especially when the sun hits it just right. The artist had done a huge installation at the High Museum of Art (right across the street) a few years ago, along with this complementary installation. This station had been my "home base" for years as I commuted a mere 15 minutes from here to the suburb city of Dunwoody, so it's the one closest to my heart.
As you're coming down the two-way protected cycle track, you may not even realize that this mural on the back of the Peachtree Center MARTA Station is not an abstract painting but rather the depiction of a visage. I walked my bike across the street to get this point of view and photo.
The Inman Park MARTA station boasts this beauty, painted by