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Yuppiepuppie
Post subject: Smyrna to Anniston Silver Comet/ Ladiga ride  PostPosted: Jul 08, 2020 - 03:08 PM
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 265
Location: Grayson GA
I received a call from a couple nurses that we met on BRAG, wanting to do a Smyrna to Anniston (-end-to-end) Silver Comet/ Ladiga ride. Since we haven’t done this since last year, the idea sounds great and should provide an opportunity to enjoy ourselves! With that in mind, here’s the plan.

We’ll depart mile marker – 01 (The Publics parking lot on the East West Connector) on Wednesday, July 22nd at 6 AM (-to avoid the heat of the day), and spend the night in Jacksonville Alabama. We’ll return the next day departing around the same time. We usually eat at a restaurant in Rockmart or Cedartown, depending on the whim of the group, and make rest stops as needed.

For those who haven’t done this ride, it’s one of the most pleasant bicycle trips that you’ll ever experience. The Comet is flat (-for the most part) and scenic, and an absolute joy to travel. Depending on who rides, we usually split up into various groups based on riding speeds and abilities. As always, the ride isn’t a race, and the goal is to have fun. We’ll travel about a hundred miles, which sounds scary to many, but because of the flatness of the trail, the distance isn’t so formidable. I’m also working on a SAG vehicle to shadow us and carry our luggage. It’ll also be a bail-out vehicle if anyone wants a lift.

So if this is something that you would like to do, please leave me a message. I’ll need a head count to make arrangements. We usually stay at the Hampton Inn in Jacksonville, or the University Inn just down the street. The Hampton is nicer and has an excellent breakfast bar, but the University is cheaper. We also pair up two to a room to mitigate the expenses.

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forrest
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 10, 2020 - 05:00 AM
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Joined: May 10, 2010
Posts: 1541
Location: Ganymede
I was canned yesterday, so I might be in for this.

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Yuppiepuppie
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 15, 2020 - 06:25 AM
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 265
Location: Grayson GA
Sorry to hear about your job. I know of several in that same position.

Join us then. You can leave with the main group, or meet with VernZ at the caboose. I’ve had a lot of interest in this ride, so we should have a decent sized group. -Still looking for someone to drive the sag vehicle, but that’s no big deal. If all else fails, we’ll switch out drivers on the different legs. The goal is to not have to carry anything and provide support .

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(Fortune favors the bold)
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Veni Vidi Vomui
(I came, I saw, I vomited
 
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Yuppiepuppie
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 18, 2020 - 05:05 AM
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 265
Location: Grayson GA
-Time for an update, and new information for our Silver Comet/Ladiga Anniston ride!

We’re still leaving Wednesday morning, July 22nd, from the Publix parking lot, at 6 AM sharp. The early departure time will keep us out of the heat for a longer period of time.

There will be a small group of riders who will meet us at the Caboose. One of the Chain Gangers will bake us a supply of his world famous energy-filled brownies, that should last us to Cedartown.

I’ve negotiated a better room rate with the Hampton Inn in Jacksonville AL. Instead of the $103.97/night, Shelly Moore guaranteed us a reduced rate of $83.20. Split between two people, that’s an excellent value! When you contact or arrive, mention Shelly’s name, and that you are part of the Chain Gang ride (-They needed a name). I checked again, and breakfast will still be served, only instead of a buffet, they will prepare your plate for you.

Please let me know again if you will be riding. I need a final head count for the amount of brownies, and also a list for the sag support driver. My email is nealbowser@comcast.net

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Audentes fortuna juvat - Virgil
(Fortune favors the bold)
or
Veni Vidi Vomui
(I came, I saw, I vomited
 
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Yuppiepuppie
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 26, 2020 - 03:51 AM
Distance Rider
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Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 265
Location: Grayson GA
Beauty and the Beasts Smyrna to Anniston Ride

I’ve decided to give this ride a more distinctive name. -Something unique that would set it apart and differentiate it from all the others. “Beauty and the Beasts” instantly came to mind.

In the planning stages, we had 16 riders commit, along with a gaggle of “maybes”. Unfortunately, with heat and rain in the forecast, along with the Corona scare and the fear of staying in a hotel, that number dwindled down to only eight; seven guys and one female. Hence, the Beauty and the Beasts tag.

The Anniston ride is right at a hundred miles, and we always return the next day. That means back-to-back centuries, so careful planning is a must! Every ride is different though, and special in its own, unique way. However, some rides are more enjoyable than others, and in my opinion, this one was one of the best!

We started out early, with the trail barely visible. Several of us had our lights on, which helped with the darkness and our visibility. Still, there were other walkers and riders out on the trail, even at that early hour. Our plan to leave early proved to be the correct choice.

We were blessed with ideal temperatures, as we formed a loose double pace line, and maintained a (-more or less) 14 mph pace until we reached Hiram. At that point we were joined by several members of the Chain Gang, who greeted us with friendly hellos and home-baked cookies (-Thank you Neal Uhlich!)!

After our cookie communion, we mounted back up and headed towards Rockmart. With the ideal riding conditions, spirits were high and everyone enjoyed themselves as the trail awakened. With not much to do, I listened to the various conversations, and noticed that there were no Republicans or Democrats…only cyclists out having a great time. How positive and refreshing! We traveled over old train trestles and through several tunnels, heading West, and even surprised a flock of wild turkeys that scattered in front of us!

The group stopped at the Brushy Mountain tunnel to discuss our dining options, and because of our great travel progress, everyone agreed to bypass Rockmart and eat in Cedartown instead. We met up with our SAG driver Vern (-who’d shadowed us along the way) and he went ahead to check out the various dining facilities.

Of course, we hit the rollers on the other side of Rockmart and conquered Landfill Hill. By then, the morning temperatures were beginning to rise, and lunch in an air-conditioned restaurant was becoming more desirable. Vern had found us a local sandwich shop that everyone enjoyed, and we could actually sit down and eat comfortably! Life was good!

After lunch, everyone was back on their bikes and on their way to the state line. That’s where the rain caught up with us. The dreaded rain that many feared turned out to be a blessing! As many know, that stretch between Cedartown and the State Line is particularly desolate and exposed to the sun. With the afternoon heat building, the clouds and rain became a welcome blessing, that kept everyone cool and comfortable until entering the canopy of the national forest in Alabama.

From that point, the trail changes names and slopes downward, traveling through beautiful forest land and across fast-running creeks. Everyone usually becomes quiet on this stretch, while they enjoy God’s creation. Personally, I feel like I’m in church. Further on, the trail passes through cotton fields and small towns, eventually entering Piedmont, and their friendly welcome center.

From Piedmont to Jacksonville isn’t but another 13 miles, and the Hampton another one or two from there. Some of us went directly to the hotel, while others rode on to the end of the trail and back.

We checked in to the Hampton and parked our bikes in our rooms, then met Vern at the pool with his cooler of ice-cold Yoo Hoo, beer, GatorAid, or water. Swimming in our riding pants removed much of the residual salt, and felt absolutely fantastic! After we finished, we went to our rooms and snoozed until dinner time.

Again, Vern found us an excellent steak house to enjoy, and we enjoyed each other’s company until they were ready to close the place. Then back to the hotel for a sound night’s sleep.

The return trip the next day retraced the previous day’s route, but started out later than we wished. Still, everyone remained relatively cool until well into Georgia. For some reason though, we were experiencing an unusual amount of flats, and when someone flatted, everyone stopped. It became an excuse for another social session!

We also stopped in Rockmart to enjoy their Thursday farmer’s market, which dominated the town square. Vern’s SAG vehicle filled with peaches and produce direct from the back of various farmers pick-up’s. -Then on to Hiram, where some of our group ended their ride. From Hiram to the Publix was a relatively short jaunt, and everyone arrived safely.

I want to thank Vern Zander for his outstanding contribution to this ride, selflessly providing SAG support, carrying and unloading luggage, and providing refreshments purchased with money out of his own pocket. It’s actions like this that really make a ride.

So our next ride will be when the weather turns a little cooler; perhaps September.

_________________
Audentes fortuna juvat - Virgil
(Fortune favors the bold)
or
Veni Vidi Vomui
(I came, I saw, I vomited
 
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Reply with quote Back to top
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