Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dahlonega Wheelworks: The Newest Addition to the North Georgia Green Map

North Georgia Green Map
Off and on over the course of the past year, students at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega have been developing an online map promoting businesses in the Dahlonega community that adhere to green business practices.  The goal behind the map is to promote ecotourism to the surrounding area. Ideally, people visiting here will be able to use this map for research before they come, or access it via a mobile device while in the area.

Dahlonega Wheelworks
I'm enrolled in an Intro to Leadership class this semester, and as an integral part of the course we are all working together on a "service learning project."  We collectively decided to work on updating and adding to the green map. As the project progressed, I ended up as the leader of the team tasked with adding new sites to the database. I was perusing the map while trying to brainstorm new locations to add, and I realized that our local bike shop, Dahlonega Wheelworks, wasn't yet listed on the map.  Obviously, a bike shop would be a great location to promote in the context of ecotourism!

Last week I dropped by the shop and asked the guys a couple of questions so I could write up a review for the map.  The new locations have yet to be added to the map (another group will be doing that work), so here is my review for your reading pleasure:

Dahlonega Wheelworks
24 Alicia Lane
Suite 2
Dahlonega, GA 30533


Dahlonega Wheelworks is the only bike shop in the town of Dahlonega, and as such it occupies an important position in the North Georgia cycling community. Don't be fooled by its size: this little bike shop here in Dahlonega sells more high-end bicycles than any other shop in the state of Georgia!

As far as green practices go, Wheelworks consistently practices cardboard and engine oil recycling. As a general rule, they do their best to avoid excessive waste whenever possible. But as a bike shop, there aren't nearly as many chances to put green practices into use as there would be in a restaurant, for instance.

Where Wheelworks really shines green is in their significant contribution to the cycling community. As a bike shop, they naturally promote road cycling and mountain biking, which are low-impact sports that can be practiced by athletes over the course of their lifetime. As Jon, the owner of Wheelworks, put it when I interviewed him: "How many guys do you see going to play a pick up game of basketball at 60 or 70?" There are a surprising number of people in their 60's, 70's, and beyond that ride road and, interestingly, mountain bikes. I personally have ridden trails with a number of different people in that age bracket.

Not only are road cycling and mountain biking sports that can be practiced for a lifetime, they get people outside and in nature, enjoying the natural world. Mountain biking especially allows people to access the heart of the forest via singletrack trails with little impact on the environment. (The most recent studies on the topic find the impact of a mountain biker only slightly more than that of a hiker.)

Dahlonega Wheelworks is integral to the continuance of these two sports in our area.

Pictures I took for the review:

Carbon Fiber Ibis Mojo... Very Nice!

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Hopefully in the end Wheelworks will get some valuable exposure from all of this!


Daniel October 20, 2010 at 11:15 AM  

Very nice write up Greg. I love the idea of the Green Map for a region, I guess I should look it up but I have a feeling this is an idea that would be/should be getting pretty popular.
(Love that Ibis!)

Greg Heil October 20, 2010 at 1:33 PM  

Yeah, the green craze continues to grow ever larger, and for good reason: there are some good thoughts and motivations behind it.

PS Yeah I know, I wish I had one of those! That bike is worth more than my truck!

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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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