Monday, August 16, 2010

Mount Tabor and The Silver Comet Side Trail

Last week, Scott Martin of Paulding SORBA sent me a link to the GPS data for some new trails at Mount Tabor Park. I put it up on my trails site, and all week I got more and more interested in checking the trails out in person.

My dad's in town this weekend too. He caught some cold on the drive over. We're both fighting some kind of illness, but neither of us wanted to miss the opportunity to ride together. It was almost Forcing a Ride. Almost, but not quite. He suggested Big Creek and that sounded good at first, but then I remembered Mount Tabor, called him back and we had a plan.

I picked him up from his place. He looked like he felt as rough as me. It would be the blind leading the blind, or something. Some metaphor like that for two sick people.

He'd gotten a new seat just yesterday. This one had lasted 10 years before finally exploding into dust on his last ride.

 Raggedy Old Seat

We followed a maze of roads out to Mount Tabor and got ready to ride.

When my brother worked at a car audio store in New Orleans, people used to buy speakers or amps or something, then go out into the parking lot and install them there, on the spot. In fact, I was even guilty of that on occasion, usually because I didn't want to have to drive all the way back the next day when I realized I'd forgotten to buy some some minor little thing that I didn't realize I needed. People who did this were called "Street Hookers"; they hooked up their speakers out in the street in front of the store.

At the trailhead, my dad realized that his headset was loose, he needed to adjust his seat, and his front wheel was creaking like he had a loose spoke. Most people take their bike to the shop for that kind of stuff. Not us. Once, I rebuilt my rear hub, sitting in the back of my truck at the Chicopee trailhead. This is where I got it from. Street Hookin'...

 Street Hookin'

The trails at Mount Tabor are fun. Pine Pong lived up to it's name. I almost overran one of the first corners out there.

I tried out the EPIC video cam again today. I think I've got the angle right, I just need to keep my head straight. The video's too long for You Tube though. I guess I need to edit it down.

The trails are tight and twisty. The soil is pretty rocky, making for some steep, but sustainable climbs. There are three distinct personalities out there; dense piney woods, hardwood forest along a creek, and a more open area dominated by pine, sumac and underbrush. That last section reminded us both of Cedar Hill in Dallas.

Neither of us had any steam. We turned one lazy lap out there, though it didn't feel that lazy at the time, and jumped out on the road for phase 2 of the adventure; the Silver Comet Side Trail.

We rode about 4 miles of road from Mount Tabor over to the Silver Comet Trail and searched for about 20 minutes for the Side Trail. I'd marked the trailhead on my map but I forgot which direction we needed to go from there.

This sign clued us in.

 SCST Sign

The side trail basically follows a gasline, parallel to the Silver Comet itself, following the natural terrain, up and down, relentlessly. It's a case study in how to create a rideable trail through anything. "So, you're saying the trail has to go straight up this hill, across this stream, through this kudzu-covered washout, through this bog, and straight down that other hill?" "Yep." "Ok, do this..."

Five miles later we'd had enough.

 Break on the SCST

The ride back was substantially easier. Probably took a third of the time.

 The Padre on the Silver Comet

It was one long climb from the Silver Comet back to Mount Tabor Road and a few rollers back to the park. All that road between trails reminded me of the TNGA.

I didn't realize it had taken four hours until I turned on the car and looked at the clock. "Long day lay me low."


  1. Street Hookin. Nice. You should have called da mount'n man.

  2. Ha ha! I forgot all about the mount'n man. "You know, the man that's fidna mount my speakers!"