Sunday, March 8, I ventured out on a bike ride with two biking friends. It was the inaugural bike ride for my recent bike purchase of a Specialized Allez (shown left). It was fantastic! I got started and it seemed to not take as much time as it did the last time I rode along the Silver Comet Trail. I think the last time I did a bike ride that long, I was a bit whiny. NO, not me! Yes, I was whiny. My ass and my legs hurt. I wasn’t a seasoned rider, and to be honest, I’m still not.
The Silver Comet Trail is a paved/concrete trail that is free of use to all who venture out into nature. It is wheelchair accessible and is used for walking, dog walking, biking, and horses. The section in GA is 61.5 miles (98.97 km). It starts in Smyrna and goes to the Georgia/Alabama state line where it continues as the Chief Ladiga Trail until it reaches Anniston. When reading the trail website, I found that plans are in the works to extend it an extra seven miles from there. It’s known as a rail-trail because it uses the clearing where a rail line once existed. It’s quite a wonderful use of something no longer needed/used. Along the trail, you see a few bridges passing overhead along with a few you have to cross, including one or two that span valleys. Those are really nice and give you a bird’s eye view of your surroundings.
We started off from the parking lot off East-West Connector in Smyrna. Many bikers use this parking lot as a starting point and the people there have learned to keep an eye out for others’ property. When a large group of people take part in a similar activity, you tend to become one big family. At least, those here see it that way. We traveled along the trail until we reached Hiram where we stopped to take a break and readjust. Fortunately, I was still feeling pretty well. Of course, the legs were starting to say “Hello!”, but we were only on about 12 miles (19.31 km). After eating some trail mix and drinking water, we took off.
Our next stop was in Dallas (see above) where we had a chance to refill our water supply, sit a spell, stretch our legs, and readjust…again. I think at this point, I drank quite a bit of water. I was needing it! From Dallas, I knew there was only about 10 miles (16.09km) to one of the most awesome tunnels I have ever seen along a trail. It was still cool with the wind blowing, but the farther you get into the tunnel, the colder it gets. It’s the longest tunnel I have been through on a trail like that, along with the other tunnels you pass through along the way. Once we reached the other end of the tunnel, we stopped for a break before turning to head back to point A.
The trip back was pretty much uneventful…unless you call hitting a girl with my bike uneventful. She was stupid and stepped into my path. So I hit her! Next time, she will not step into the path of an oncoming bike. I could have done much worse and could have been going much faster.
All in all, it was a fantastic trip and one that I am sure I will do again. Being out in nature is one of my favorite things and adding exercise to that makes it even more enjoyable. There will be many more posts to come as the summer season gets here and we’re able to get outside to enjoy the sun.