This beauty hangs above the double doors as you enter Sopo. We received the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign’s (now Coalition) 2008 Community Project of the Year.
This video from the early days of the shop shows the quintessential awesomeness of Sopo. Still true to this day, if you’ve ever wondered why we started and what we’re all about…watch this video! I’m not sure which is more amazing…the fact that we’re still true to our mission 10 years later, or the fact that a lot of volunteers in this video are still around!
The skies have finally parted and it looks like the sun is here to stay for the week! If you’ve been riding in the rain this past week, your bike is no doubt grimy, mucky and downright disgusting. Consider taking 15-20 minutes out of your day to clean it up. Cleaning your bike gives you an opportunity to get up close and personal with your bike. If you’re like me, you usually just give the tires a quick squeeze and then it’s bang…out the door! Cleaning your bike gives you an opportunity to slow things down a bit, inspect all the parts in detail, and notice anything that might need fixing.
For a quick clean, you’ll need:
-Two rags, one for washing and one for drying
-Warm, soapy water (I like to use a mixture of Dawn and water, but use whatever household soap you have)
Squirt some soap into your bucket and fill with water to your desired level. How much should you use? Just eyeball it depending on how dirty your bike is and how detailed you want to get. Dip one rag in the soapy water and start wiping down your bike, top to bottom. I like to start on the handlebars and headset and work my way down the fork and front wheel, then move on to the top tube and the rest of the bike. Starting at the top will allow the soap to run down the bike onto already dirty parts near the bottom. If you start cleaning your drive train first, and then wipe down your seat and frame, you might find that you’ll have to clean your drive train again to get all that new soap out of there. You can either dry your bike as you go, or wait until you’re all done!
When it comes to cleaning the chain, you want to make sure all the muck is off the chain and that the chain is nice and dry. If your drying rag isn’t soaked, use it to grab your chain and pedal about 10 cycles or so. Repeat until all the gunk is off, then lube it up. A clean and well lubed drive train is the number one way to keeping your bike in good working order and can save you tons of time and money in the long run.
Depending on how much time you want to take in cleaning your bike, you can use an old spray bottle and fill it with the same soapy water solution. Using a spray bottle is great for getting in those small, hard to reach places like in between your gears. The spray bottle method might also be a good idea if you live on the fifth floor of an apartment building and you find yourself doing most of your bike maintenance in your kitchen. Old toothbrushes are also great for getting in those hard to reach places where fingers just aren’t going to fit.
Last Friday, New Belgium Brewing hosted the Clips Beer and Film Tour on the Beltline at Old Fourth Ward Skate Park. The short films and unique beer tastings expanded our minds and our palates despite the misty weather.
Some films focused on art, some films focused on conservation of natural land, and some films (naturally) were bicycle themed. Here are a few of the films featuring bicycles.
Every Sunday from 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. is Ladies Night at Sopo! All ladies, transgender and LGBTQ are welcome. Sundays are less crowded and present a great opportunity to get some special attention to fixing up your bike.
The next few weeks are busy ones for bikers! Check out these cycling events around town designed to get you on your bike and welcome Autumn:
Critical Mass- September 25
Meet at Woodruff Park beginning at 6 p.m. Ride out at 7 p.m.
Atlanta Streets Alive- September 27
2 p.m.-6 p.m. Click here for more information.
Atlanta Bike Challenge- September 27-October 25
Join the challenge. Ride bikes. Win prizes.
New Belgium Clips Beer and Film Tour- October 2
Gather on the Old Fourth Ward Skatepark Lawn starting at 7:30 p.m. Films begin at 9 p.m.
National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day- October 3
RAMBO (Roswell Area Mountain Biking Association) is hosting a family fun day event in conjunction with this national celebration. More information
Dingo Cross-October 3-4, Gainesville
The first cross race of the season has arrived!
Few visitors know that Sopo has a library. Last week, Steve from the Grant Park Neighborhood Association stopped by to donate “The Female Cyclist” to our collection. Thanks Steve!
We have lots of books on bicycle maintenance, training, nutrition, safety, commuting, and just about everything else cycling related! We also have a big stack of old issues of Bicycling, Bicycle Times, and other great bike magazines. Come check them out…no library card needed.