Tuesday, October 27, 2015


This happened two weeks ago, so I hope I remember the details...

Me and Billy had planned on riding with some of his buddies, from Rockmart to the Alabama border and back. Of that I am fairly certain. These were the same guys we'd tried to get together to ride from Smyrna to Rockmart with two weeks prior. Between rain and unexpectedly cold temperatures though, that ride hadn't worked out any way close to the way we'd expected.

This one didn't work out all that much closer.

The night before, one of Billy's buddies reminded him that we were meeting at the Cedartown Depot. Hmmm... "I thought we were starting in Rockmart. Well, maybe Cedartown is only a mile or two past Rockmart." thought Billy and I simultaneously as we read that email. But it runs out Cedartown is about 15 miles past Rockmart, and only about 10 miles from the Alabama border. And, they were planning on riding all the way to Anniston, which is like 40 miles further into Alabama. And, one of the guys had already started 30 minutes before we arrived, figuring we'd catch him. And, the other guy was going to get a head start too, for the same reason, so he was leaving as we arrived. AND, it was an unseasonably cold 36 degrees.

At least it wasn't raining.

We arrived at the Cedartown Depot at either 8:30 or 9, I can't remember now, just in time to see one of the guys off.

Cedartown Depot

It doesn't look all that miserable in the photo, but it was seriously cold and horrible standing around in the shadows.

To ward off the shivers, we got dressed in like 15 layers of gear...

Billy Getting Ready

(Or I did at least. Billy had no base layer and must have been pretty damned cold.)

...and headed west.

Rolling West

It was the first cold ride of the year, and I was not used to the cold, at all.

I was struggling too. I wasn't sure if it was too many miles during the week before or not enough miles during the week before, or whether I was coming down with something, or if it was just the cold, but it hurt. I had a really hard time maintaining any decent level of effort.

Billy didn't seem to be having an easy time either, so I chalked it up to the cold.

After 10 interminable miles we reached the border.


Billy's buddy was there, though I guess he was hidden behind the arch when I took that photo.

Fortunately there was a circle of blazing sun right there and we got pretty warm standing around talking. The one guy that had left way earlier was somewhere closer to Anniston. The guy who'd left right as we'd gotten to the start had been there for 5 or ten minutes. It would seem that they had both overestimated our ability to catch them.

We chatted for a bit, then headed our separate ways. My and Billy's plan was to ride back past Cedartown, to Rockmart, grab some lunch and then ride back, thereby having ridden the entire Comet, both ways, in two rides.

At that point, the sun was coming up for real and it was probably in the low 40's. I could ride without my jacket, and whatever terribleness had been working on me earlier seemed to have decided I wasn't worth bothering any more.

The Silver Comet is a rail-trail, but between Rockmart and Cedartown, it diverges for a while because the rail is still in use through there. During this divergence, there are some seriously long and steep hills, unlike anywhere else on the trail. I remembered them from when the girls and I had ridden that section. It was the only time they'd had to drop their front ring. We were still reasonably fresh though, and made decent work of the hills. They seemed like they'd be tougher in the other direction though.

Beyond the hills lay the bustling metropolis of Rockmart.


And just off the square lay The Rock Cafe, promising delicious lunch and cozy accommodations.

The Rock Cafe

We grabbed some pizza, though we didn't go full-on meat-lovers this time, just pepperoni. And it was really, really good. In fact, thinking about it now, I'm actually getting a little hungry.

Sitting there in the restaurant, I honestly wasn't looking all that forward to the ride back. It was only 15 miles or so, and we were well rested, but those hills man... Those hills.

The hills weren't so bad though. It was in the high 40's by then too. The shoe covers were doing their job really well. I actually felt reasonably comfortable most of the way back.

When we got done we messed around with Billy's car for a while. It makes some CV-joint-sounding noise when it's cold and you turn right, but it can do it when you're not moving at all too, and it goes away with it warms up. So weird.

I remember it as a decent ride, but I also remember that at the time it seemed like a slog, so I'm not sure why it seems like it was a decent ride to me now. The mind is weird that way, I guess.

The ribs felt good the whole time, and I felt like I could actually breathe for the first time in a while. My shoulders and back were a little stiff, but nothing like they'd been before. Getting better for real, it seemed. At long last, getting better.

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