Since its formation, the SBL has placed the highest emphasis on safety. The club was a pioneer in the use and distribution of hard-shell helmets. The SBL strongly advocates both the rights and responsibilities of cyclists. Participation in events is restricted to those willing to operate their cycles in a safe and courteous manner in accord with all traffic regulations.
The Southern Bike League, as it was first called, came into existence at a meeting of ten Atlanta area cyclists on May 3, 1970, with Jan Cox serving as first President. The city name was left out of the organization name since the members came from several surrounding areas. In June of 1970 the League issued its first newsletter entitled The Derailleur.
Rachel Caviness, Bill Cutler and Jeff Berryhill followed Jan Cox as SBL Presidents. By 1973, "Bike" had been replace by "Bicycle" and the publication was changed to a magazine format and renamed to Southern Bicycle League Magazine. In 1974, Anne Jenkins Perry resigned and Bruce Eure assumed Presidency. In January of 1975, the League adopted formal by-laws and incorporated with the purpose of promoting transportation, sport, and recreation. Jack Taylor was elected President and served until 1978. By that time the SBL had grown to become the second largest non-national cycling organization in the country.
Volunteer members organize and lead over 1,000 rides over the course of the year in the metro Atlanta area. In addition, monthly club socials allow new and old members alike to meet in a casual atmosphere to exchange cycling stories and participate in a program to help increase their bicycling knowledge. These programs feature refreshments and socializing, and are sometimes followed by a special program covering a topic of interest to the cyclists. Special socials include the annual summer picnic and the traditional SBL Christmas party. The slogan, "Cycling is more than just bikes," is still very true, as many SBL members have developed lifelong friendships with each other.