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Silver Comet

2006-08-03 14:17:16.269756+00 by meuon 8 comments

The Silver Comet Trail is my destination for the next couple of days. The goal: Ride out of Atlanta until I ain't go any farther, or it's too dark.. which hopefully will include a few miles on the Chief Ladiga in Alabama which almost joins the Silver Comet in Georgia. Then turn around and come back. While theoretically it's a 211 total round trip, I'm not pushing for it. My max single day so far has been a tad over 40 miles.. but I'm thinking 10-14mph is "all-day-cruising" speed on my bike so it could be a nice couple of days.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-08-03 15:20:15.57068+00 by: Dan Lyke

Sounds fun! There was a recent thread on the Tandem@Hobbes[Wiki] mailing list about multi-use path speed limits of 15MPH being enforced in Denver, and I realized that my experience skating taught me that you really don't want to be going much faster than that on a multi-use path anyway. So, yeah, cruising at 14mph should be perfect.

Take the digital camera and give us a full trip report!

#Comment Re: made: 2006-08-03 16:35:31.530015+00 by: Larry Burton

Arrgh I'm going to be in Chattanooga for the weekend or I would join you.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-08-03 17:37:16.361286+00 by: ebradway

I've haven't seen mention of the speed limits in Denver but I do think they should be set and enforced in Boulder. Lots and lots of people on the multi-use paths. The other day I was walking down "The Hill" along Broadway - fully in the marked walking lane (not the two bike lanes) and some guy flew past me (well over 15mph) on my right (the bike lanes were on the left) and brushed my shoulder. A few milimeters closer and he'd have been toast (no helmet either). If I had stepped to my right (which would have been my initial reaction had I heard him) he would have plowed into me full speed.

High speed riding on the multi-use paths around here is completely unnecessary as something like 80% of the roads have marked bike lanes.

Have fun on the cruise!

#Comment Re: made: 2006-08-03 17:37:52.04247+00 by: meuon

This is a "scouting trip" as I have run into lots of others that want to do this in the fall. I think we'll be doing it again soon with a bunch of interesting fun people on bikes.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-08-03 17:42:55.325691+00 by: Larry Burton

Keep me posted, Meuon. Right now I have time to do stuff like this. The only reason I haven't been on that trail this week is due to the air quality alerts. It's suppose to be better this weekend.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-08-05 01:40:00.838374+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Wow. Sore.

118 mile total trip, average speed 13mph.

Bike: What a great way to do a trip like this, I could look around without straining, comfortable and when I needed to be, fairly fast. No problems, my big fat 65-70psi Conti Town and Country tires are perfect for a ride like this as there was a fair amount of debris on some parts of the trail, and all of the road parts. The bike even worked well on dirt and gravel trails. The long wheel base recumbent, with the pedals up high has a LOT of ground clearance and feels good on mild trails.

The Silver Comet Trail, in 3 (and a smidgen) parts:

From mile marker 4 to a little past RockMart GA- Beautiful trail, extremely well marked and signed, really nice tunnels and bridges to minimize traffic issues. Lots of people doing short sections of it. Rockmart's section is "downtown" and along a stream / park and is beautiful.

From RockMart GA to Cedartown: Mostly down Wwy 278, which has a decent shoulder and well marked bike lane. But you better not be skittish about being 3 feet from Cars and Semi's doing 75mph.. It was HOT coming back that way, very exposed compared to the trail which is mostly very shaded and much cooler than being by the highway.

Cedartown to 'Bama: Picked up the trail "Downtown" Cedartown, almost by accident as I was just cruising the main drag looking in the shop windows. The trail going to 'Bama is almost just like the other section, well marked and signed.. except for the end, it just ends.

A smidgen of 'Bama: Where the Silver Comet stops, a gravel trail continues.. for about .3 mile and then the "trail" is covered in high weeds and brush, but you can continue down the asphalt road along the trail. It's 'Bama. Big Change. Lots of "Keep Out" signs on treas and rural driveway entrances, trash.. and yard dogs. After the second bunch of yippy yappy dogs, I turned around, zipping back by the dogs as fast as I could (pretty fast) and got back to GA.

For the record: I rode about 40 miles Thursday afternoon and into the night, just cause it was so cool. Camped off of Hwy 278 with my Hennessy Hammock, and woke up a bit after dawn, and did the rest Friday. Lunch at Tony's Italian back in Rocktown was suprisingly good. I started feeling my right ankle and knee around 60 miles, but it did not get above a "hey, remember me that you broke a few years ago" level. I didn't push it, (hence my average speed) as I've never ridden these kinds of distances steadily like this and I wanted to make sure I could ride back to my truck. I'm sore, but feel pretty good.

Trail Issues: According to the map, there was lots of water and restrooms on the path. Restrooms were scarce and were just porta-potties in trailhead parking lots. Except for the water spigot at the Cedartown visitors bureau, the ones on the trail did not work. There are no facilities (food/water/restrooms) on the trail, or nearby off the trail from Cedartown to the 'Bama line (20 miles). I was suprised (and enjoyed) that even for a Thursday and Friday, there were few people on the trail. I didn't see ANYONE on the trail past mile 20 going out.. only 1 person coming back Friday Afternoon, until I hit mile 33..(then I started seeing other people). That 1 person was 88 years old and doing his 15 miles per day and was sociable, but I could barely understand him. Did you catch that? I didn't see another bike rider or other person on the trail from about 7pm Thursday till 1pm Friday. Wow.

Gear issues: broke my bitvalve on my main water bladder, it drained, I had a 1 liter bottle as well, which saved me.. On the way driving home I picked up a new bite valve: $4.99. 3 liter camelback that looks like it'll tie to the back of my seat better: $29.99. Being able to easily carry LOTS of water in 90-100 degree heat on long rides: priceless (see trail issues). My trusty Princeton Tec Yukon headlamp is NOT bright enough for riding at night when vehicle headlights blind you.. (1watt Luxeon) and it's got a low level LED flickering. Drooled over and bought a Bruxton L3 a 3watt LED lamp with a 4 C Cell battery pack as well as the 4 AA one on the headband.

Would I do it again? Probably not the whole thing, but I'd love to do a day trip to Rockmart and back this fall.. It'd be spectacular.

#Comment Re: Hey made: 2006-08-10 20:34:03.890104+00 by: ghasty [edit history]

Dammit, Mike...I live about 2 miles from the trail start...give me a ring sometime

#Comment Re: made: 2006-08-10 20:47:54.738933+00 by: meuon

No offense Gary, but I had an opportunity for a few days of much needed solitude. Nancy was out of town for a few days, and I was craving a lark, at my pace, alone. It's something that really recharges my battaries.

Next time, I'll yell and visit first, if not drag you out for a ride. :)