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post #724
bio: rich

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We rode the Silver Comet Trail

We rode the Silver Comet Trail
In Georgia there was an old train line called the Silver Comet that ran from the outskirts of Atlanta to the Alabama border. At some in time the train line stopped running and they ripped up the tracks and paved the train line. Now people ride their bikes on it.
The total distance is about 60 miles.

I flew down there last Thursday and my brother (who conveniently lives in the ATL) and I planned to ride the trail on 9-11 (biking brothers never forget (if we don't finish this ride, the terrorists win)). Props go to Silver Comet Depot where I rented a fine little Specialized bike for the ride.

Because neither myself or my brother are apparently good at logistics, we never got around to figuring out we could do the entire trail in one day as it would entail leaving a car at one end... or being driven somehow... or something. We decided to ride halfway and have lunch and then ride back. Our halfway point was the small town of Rockmart at the 37 mile marker and home to the fine little italian restuarant Frankies.

View View in a larger map

The first half we got rained on. At one point my shoes were so wet that on each downstroke I could feel water squishing between my toes - the shoes with the breathable mesh uppers weren't great in rain.
But, we had a good time.
The trail is very well maintained and because it was a former train line, it's generally flat and straight (much like me (um, wait (no, that's right))). There were handsome bridges and tunnels we rode through and some pretty scenery from time to time.

One odd thing about the trail was that we swore we were going slightly uphill at certain points and I kept making proclamations like, “This will be great on the way back as it will be downhill all the way!”. After lunch we hopped back on the trail and never came across this mysterious downhill section. In fact, it was mostly uphill all the way back to Atlanta. It was as-if we had discovered one of those ‘haunted’ roads where your car will roll ‘uphill’.
Conclusion: We apparently can’t tell uphill from downhill.

Frankies is a little casual restaurant in Rockmart, GA. They are very bike friendly and after lunch we had our photograph taken with Frankie (she was very nice) and signed our names to her wall of bikers. It was overcast and drizzly and at that point we were a tad chilly so the hot sausage stromboli I ordered was probably the best meal in the history of the world (at that time). Also, her breadsticks rock.

Three things about the ride back:
(1) It was slightly uphill
(2) My brother was getting tired
(3) We finally were passed by another rider
See, we had been doing pretty good on that 30-some mile downhill trail and passed a few other bikers, but no one had passed us. As stupid males, we thought this was noteworthy and that we were going to WIN the trail. Somehow.
We finally got passed by a lycra-clad guy when were nearing the 20-miles-left marker. Waaah.
Soon after we realized that we had a slight problem. My dear brother was getting more and more tired which meant that we were falling behind time-wise which meant that I might be late returning the bake which meant they might charge me a stupid late fee. So, with about 11 miles left, my brother was like, “Leave me. Make a run for the bike shop. I’ll be OK.”
And I’m all like, “No, I can’t leave you. We started this together – we end this together.”
And he’s all like, “No, that’s stupid. They close at six. Just go.”
And I’m all like, “um, OK.”

So, with 7 miles left I took off for the bike shop. I mention this only because even after riding almost 60 miles already, I was somehow able to keep my speed up and made it to the shop in under 20 minutes. But, the icing was that I caught up with the lone cyclist who had passed us.. and then passed and beat him to the end by a good five minutes.

The trail is fun. There are a lot of resources online. It probably makes sense to tell you what those resources are.
- Silver Comet Trail Message Board/Forum
- Silver Comet Trail on Google Maps
- Silver Comet Trail Official Website
- Path Foundation: Silver Comet Trail
- TrailLink - Silver Comet Trail
- The Silver Comet Trail on FLICKR

When you start doing research on this trail you will inevitably come across mention of a woman who was murdered by this crazy psychopath lunatic last year. She was running on the trail by herself and all sorts of bad things happened. Tragic, yes, but as with the interwebs, it seems like people are little too freaked out by it. Some of the things I read made it seem like you should assume that you’ll be murdered on the trail. Calm down people.
Our experience was completely pleasant. As with any outdoor activity, use your brain and/or instincts. Also, travel with my large muscled brother.

I came across this one website that had this great “Good idea for the trail” suggestion:
“When asking 35 random people on the trail if they were armed, the majority carried protection (Please note that this is an unofficial survey) “

Speaking of bikes... I'm riding in the NYC MS Bike Ride thing to raise money for the The National Multiple Sclerosis Society!
Donate some money if you like!

The ride is all over Manhattan on October 4. Should be awesomes!


That is awesome. We need more accessible rail trails Around here. There's a good one near DC a block from my aunt's McMansion that exGiff and I did two years ago that'd be worth doing at some point, if you don't mind staying with a member of my family (she has a wine cellar).
»stu ||  9/17/2009 ||  5:14:56 PM
»lisa ||  9/17/2009 ||  7:08:16 PM

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