Friday, February 8, 2013

Silver Comet

Well, I'm hanging out in Cobb County these days and I might be for a while, so this past Sunday I figured I'd hit the Silver Comet. Might as well, it's right here. I've long wanted to ride it all the way to Anniston, stay the night and ride back. I didn't have time for that, but I figured I'd at least try to get in 6 hours or so.

Not 5 minutes into the ride I jumped in with some guys heading west as well and we flew through Cobb and Paulding Counties.


They were training for a triathlon or something and turned around near the Tara Drummond lot. I still had a long way to go though. Paulding Forest is a lonely stretch on your own. I was passed by the occasional random rider in the other direction but I don't think I saw anyone heading west at all.

Through Paulding Forest, the old railbed cuts deep into the surrounding rock and between the perpetual shade and general ability of rock to suck every last degree of warmth out of the air, it was a might chilly for a while.

I passed through the Brushy Mountain Tunnel...

 Brushy Mountain Tunnel

...and into Polk County. From there it wasn't far to Rockmart where the trail diverges back and forth from the original railbed. Entering the city proper, it dives down and runs along a beautiful little creek.

 Some Creek in Rockmart

But it also floods sometimes and with all the ran we'd been having, there was a ton of mud under one of the bridges. I guess it was appropriate though, as the Cyclocross Worlds had been going on that same day. Yay, I got some cross in.

In Rockmart, I figured I'd headed west long enough and I milled around the little square. There was an impressive Armed Forced Memorial.

 Armed Forces Memorial

There was also some gnarly old building that Kathryn would love.

 Old Building of Some Kind

Some day soon a sculpture from Ed Baltes, a former team mate of mine from the Bicycle Outfitters days, will grace that same square, right by the trail. Maybe I'll get to take a picture of it too.

In the distance, some flashing letters caught my attention. O... P... E... N... Open! Somebody's open. A restaurant! An Italian Restaurant!

I was a little hungry. All right!


Frankie's is great. If you ride out to Rockmart, you should eat there before riding back. I had a 10 inch pizza and it was delicious. There's also a big painting of the trail at the Brushy Mountain tunnel on the wall, BRAG jerseys hanging everywhere, hundreds of photos of recreational cyclists who'd apparently stopped in for a bite, just like me, and thousands, literally thousands of signatures of cyclists who'd come through at one point or another. Frankie herself sat down and chatted me up for a few minutes about a ride they have going on in March 23rd. "More Butts on Bikes" I think. It's $6 and you get food, beer and an organized ride to the Alabama border and back, or something like that. Sounds fun.

I kind of wanted to sit there all day but I had a long way to go and eventually I made my way out.

On the way back I got a little more cross in.


The trail was desolate through Paulding County again. I mean, I literally didn't see a single rider until I was within a few miles of Cobb. Somewhere soon after I started seeing people again I jumped in with two guys heading east. They didn't seem to understand the concept of drafting but also didn't seem to mind if I did.

I eventually made it home and sat around for the rest of the evening watching the Superbowl with my folks. Great game. Great day. Who'd have thought the Silver Comet would have been so much fun?

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