What: A 2-day ride beginning in Smyrna at mile -1 of the Silver Comet Trail and going all the way to the end in Anniston about 100 miles a way. Then coming back the next day.
When: Wednesday September 22 to Thursday September 23, 2011
Where: Smyrna, GA – Depart from the Publix parking lot on the East/West Connector at 7AM. Check the maps section of this blog for detailed maps of the Silver Comet Trail.
There will be a gaggle of us riding a 2-day Anniston and back Silver Comet/Ladiga ride in a couple of weeks, and we’d like to invite anyone else interested to join us. If you’ve never done this ride before, it’s a wonderful chance to enjoy magnificent scenery unfettered by normal road traffic. We’ll meander our way through Rockmart and through the farmland on the other side to our lunch stop in Cedartown. From there we’ll ride to the State Line, and continue on the Ladiga.
The Ladiga is only thirty-something miles long, but the trail travels through the National Forest and through Piedmont, then Jacksonville University. We always stop at both places to socialize and make friends. On this ride, rather than ride to the very end of the trail and stay at the Royal Inn, we’ll spend the night at the University Inn in Jacksonville. Accommodations there are much nicer, and our dining choices are superior as well. The price for the University Inn is about the same as The Royal Inn (-Fifty something a night/twenty-five each, two to a room), so it makes better sense to stay there instead.
So here are the specifics. We’ll depart from the Publix parking lot on the East/West Connector at 7AM, Wednesday September 21st, and return on Thursday, September 22nd. Our rides are no-drop affairs, and we usually average a speed of around 14 mph, with rest stops along the way. We’ll eat lunch in Cedartown, and maybe a late breakfast in Rockmart at Linda’s. For those who want end-of-the-trail bragging rights, we can ride the few extra miles to the end, then turn back to Jacksonville. That’ll also put the distance at over a hundred miles, which qualifies as a century.
So if you have any questions, please feel free to list them here, or send a PM to me directly.
Here’s more information, and answers to questions that others have had:
There are several of us who’ve done this ride a multitude of times in the past. Through those experiences we’ve ironed out most of the “wrinkles”. Let me share some of what we’ve learned.
The ride is basically a simple out-and-back affair, so we don’t have to worry about traffic or motorized vehicles. The trail will take us through amazing scenery, yet we’ll also ride through an occasional town or two so that we can eat and use facilities. We ride “self-contained”, which means that we carry what we need for the two-day excursion on our bikes.
The key to self-contained is to pack light! I’ve used seat post racks, handlebar bags, and small backpacks in the past. Of the three, I prefer the small backpack. The seat post rack (with bag attached) makes it difficult to swing a leg over the back when mounting. The alternative is to do the “cowboy” mount (swing your leg in front of you over the top tube). The first time you miss will always be embarrassing. The bag also throws off the balance of the bike making parking precarious (the bike develops a mind of its own and will try to fall over when you turn your back).
The same thing applies to a handlebar bag, although the bike will be easier to mount. If you pack just a change of non-riding cotton clothing and underwear, along with a comb and toothbrush, a lightweight backpack will work just fine. I use the kind that has a draw string that doubles as shoulder straps. One of the other fellows uses a camelback with the bladder removed. Either is effective and light and you won’t notice them unless you put extra non-essential stuff inside.
When we arrive at the Hotel, we shower and wash out our riding clothes. If we do that 1st, everything will be dry for the return ride. Then a short nap before dinner will round out the ride.
I can be reached easiest by email at email@example.com. As we get closer to the ride date I’ll try to pair folks up. –Two to a room makes expenses ridiculously inexpensive! We also seem to divide up into two basic groups. There will be those who ride faster (and they generally blaze ahead but meet up at pre-determined places), and slower riders. I’ll ride with the slower group and hang with anyone who has problems (flats, broken shifter cables, etc). I try to carry enough stuff to handle most emergencies). We’ll also have each other’s cell phone numbers in case of an emergency.
I would carry two water bottles, although some feel comfortable with just one. There are some pretty desolate stretches further out!
via Neal at atlbike.org