Silver Comet Ride to Alabama Recap
8:00 am – We meet up at the Florence Rd trailhead. It’s a beautiful day for a ride. The temperature is a little cool, but will quickly warm up as the sun has its way. There is already activity on the trail with a few runners and cyclists, but nothing like what this place sees on the weekend. After filling the water bottles, stashing some food in our pockets, and a quick restroom stop – we are on our way.
It’s smooth sailing all the way to Coot’s Lake. My cyclometer gets a little chilled and cuts out for about 8 miles, but we have a computer on another bike to help keep track.
10:00 am – We pull into Rockmart and are in need of restrooms. The little gas station I know of doesn’t have public restrooms. And they add on 30 cents to your charge bill if you charge under $5. That reminds me – I need to call Mastercard and see if this merchant is allowed to do that. Sounds fishy to me.
So we head next door to Suntrust Bank. Laura has an account there, so it should be no problem to use their restroom. She heads in and asks about a restroom and they hand her a set of keys. I think it was the keys to the entire place since she opened up a closet and a staircase before finding the restroom. Unfortunately, we leave without any extra cash, but it’s good to have an empty bladder.
11:00 am – We’re lost. There is a 2.5 mile gap in the trail between Rockmart and Cedartown. I downloaded a detour map from pathfoundation.org that was supposed to get us around it. At one point, it says “Right on Campbell”. There was no street sign that said “Campbell Rd” at an intersection that we came to. So I THOUGHT we were essentially staying on whatever road it was we were on. I was WRONG. As a note to those of you thinking about doing this ride – we later discovered little spray painted emblems in the road that looked like little rocket ships. The white ones seemed to mark the route that we wanted to take. BUT DON’T BLAME ME IF THEY AREN’T THERE when you ride. Make sure you know where you’re going.
I see a gas station about a block down and decide to pull in for directions. They were outta business (does anyone see the irony here?). But their gas was $2.75 a gallon, so although the place looked abandoned for years, it hadn’t been that long! I guess the town of Antioch wasn’t ready for the veggie dinner offering listed on the sign. Oh well. So I see “Antioch Rd” on the little map I had and charted out a route to get us back on course.
11:20 am – We’re back on the prescribed course. But this is after 4 – count ’em FOUR dog sprints. The first pack was rank amateurs. They came prancing after us like a glee club going to a Bette Midler concert. The next one was not so pleasant. A MEAN 3-legged dog came after us. I was going to snap a picture, but I had to wear his ass out so he’d leave the rest of the party alone. So then I’m cruising up a hill when I hear the leaves rustling behind me – and then I hear snickering. I look back to see what gives and there is this little Chihuahua running up the hill after me. I hit the next gear and dust him. And then comes the lassie dog that was probably just going to say “hi” but I could do without (he’s standing in the middle of the street in the background of this picture).
11:52 am – we finally hit the depot in Cedartown. I must say that I’m not impressed. The countryside you passed through was really nice between Rockmart and Cedartown, but once we hit the depot we saw a somewhat rundown town and graffiti on lots of signs and the trail itself. We pressed on to our final goal knowing it was only 10 or so more miles away.
Originally uploaded by Mike.
12:31 pm – Are we there yet? YES. Ignore the dog poop – the arch reads “Chief Ladiga” which is the name of the trail on the Alabama side. This thing goes on all the way to Anniston, Alabama. There is a nice park there with picnic benches and bike racks. No water or restrooms, though. I took several pictures and we relaxed for a few minutes basking in the glory of having ridden to Alabama.
12:44 pm – Now we just gotta get some lunch and get home. We started back out down this long and lonely stretch. We saw one other old guy out here on a Bianchi (must’ve had a good retirement pension) but other than that it was us, dog poop, and chickens.
1:30 pm – We roll up to the depot in town and the sign says “Open” but the little thing in the door says “Back at 2”. So we’re off to find restrooms elsewhere. And where better than the courthouse?? Of course, the restrooms are on the OTHER side of the metal detector – and one member of our party has an extreme amount of metal in her leg. It went off but they let her on through. Some guy was hanging out there, shooting the breeze with the sherrif. Upon further inspection, Brian found he was in leg shackles. What a town!
We pressed on back to Rockmart and went through 4 more dog sprints on the detour (and we actually took the prescribed route the whole way). The last one involved a dog that was able to do about 20mph. Fortunately I had an extra gear left in me. Mind you this is happening after mile 70. But I wore him out good and he didn’t seem to care about Brian and Laura at all.
3:15 pm – We arrive back at Rockmart and have lunch at “Hometown Pizza”. You should stop by if you’re in town. Have the turkey sub – it’s a favorite.
From here it’s only 28 miles or so back to the trucks. The sky looked like the weather was going to turn, but it didn’t bother us at all.
5:30 pm – We’re back at our vehicles. Pictured is the three of us at the end. What does mile 100 look like?? Why didn’t we take a picture there also?? Because there was a diamondback rattler crossing, that’s why. There are more pictures up over at in my Silver Comet 2007 Set at flickr. They are also geotagged, so you can get a feel on the map of where we were.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our escapades as much as I enjoyed experiencing them. And I just love my new camera!!