Friday, June 24, 2011

Suwanee Greenway

I had a pretty decent road ride today. Yesterday's group ride got rained out, so I needed one and I wasn't disappointed.

I left around 4, hoping to ride for a couple of hours, headed south towards Suwanee, braving the traffic along Hwy 20, especially where it crosses the Chattahoochee, and after a few confusing turns, ended up on the Suwanee Greenway.

 Suwanee Creek Greenway Pavement

I'd been meaning to get out there and check it out to see if the kids would enjoy it, but also because a long time ago I got a GPS track of it from my buddy Tim that I couldn't make heads or tails of. At both ends there are parks and without any reliable maps online, I couldn't tell where the Greenway trail ended and the little trails around the parks began. Were they paved or dirt, singletrack or old roadbeds? I must know. It's important.

The greenway itself was much narrower and much twistier than I expected, and after all the rain we've had recently and all the boardwalk sections, much slipperier too.

 Suwanee Creek Greenway Boardwalk

Unlike Big Creek, you don't get a bunch of good views of Suwanee Creek, but it wasn't entirely without its charm. There was a cute little covered bridge.

 Covered Bridge

And you don't get too many waterfalls in metro Atlanta, so I'll go ahead and call this a waterfall:

 Urban Waterfall

I rode south all the way to Suwanee Creek Park.

 Suwanee Creek Park Sign

Since I took every little side trail there was, I ended up passing the same joggers about 5 or 6 times each, which must have been both confusing and annoying.

At the southern end, I was able to decipher the trails and when I got back home, Tim's GPS data made sense. There was bridge construction going on at the northern end, so I didn't get to explore George Pierce Park at all, but that's probably just as well. There are dirt trails up there and with all the rain we've had recently, my road bike probably wouldn't have worked so well. Something for next time.

Instead I rolled through "new" downtown Suwanee. There was some kind of festival winding down when I got there.

 Suwanee City Park

And there were strange sculptures around the perimeter of the park. This one, for example, was interesting.

 Prayer Booth

What's really funny is that I rode up on it from behind, didn't see the tag, didn't realize it was art and thought it was really a prayer booth a la THX 1138. I was kind of relieved to discover that it wasn't. I guess it's making a statement about how prayer can become routine and mechanical or maybe about the commercialization of church. Or maybe I totally missed the point. There were other sculptures that I understood even less, but they looked cool.

It was getting late, so I had to book it back home. I never realized before that it's basically one long descent from Suwanee to Hwy 20 and then one long climb to my house from the river. I definitely noticed today.

It was a great ride. I'll have to do something like it again when it's been dry for a few days and check out George Pierce Park. Hopefully my road tires can handle the dirt.

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