Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Silver Comet

Spinning the legs out on the Silver Comet isn't usually worth writing about, but today's ride kind-of was.

Out near the Cobb County Border I passed a guy riding the other direction with what looked like an amazingly elaborate rig. From a ways away, it looked like Kathryn's cruiser, with the addition of a basket and some mirrors. There was a little dog in the basket, and as I approached, I realized he had some speakers playing back at him, and a few lights even. It was clearly a custom job. He looked proud of his creation and clearly enjoyed riding it.

I passed quickly and didn't get a really good look, but since I was at the point where I usually turn back, I spun back and figured I'd catch him right away and get a better look from behind.

Little did I know.

He was super conspicuous, but I couldn't see him at all, which struck me as odd because I'd just passed him like 15 seconds earlier. How far ahead could he be? How fast could he actually be going on that thing?

Turns out quite fast.

I eventually got to where I could see him, and he was even more conspicuous from behind: turn signals and brake lights.

After unsuccessfully trying to reel him in for more than a mile, I started thinking that he might be riding an e-bike.

It took almost eight miles to pull him down and when he saw me getting close he pulled away. I finally got right behind him at the Floyd Road crossing where you have to wait a minute or two for the light.

This thing was decked out. In addition to the mirrors, basket, dog, stereo, brake lights, and turn signals, he also had frame bags, saddlebags, running lights, at least 3 go-pro cameras, and drum brakes. It had a long wheel base, like a townie. I think it had 26 inch wheels. I couldn't immediately identify the motor though. There was some odd thing going on outside of the bottom bracket but it didn't look like a motor. It might have been internal, in the seat tube. Or there could have been something in the wheel drums. I could hear it, but I couldn't see it.

It was surreal watching him ride. The whole rig must have weighed 80 pounds but he looked like he was pedaling it effortlessly at a moderate RPM.

I always wondered how fast those things were, so I sat on his wheel for a bit, then eventually passed him and tried to stay ahead. It was hopeless. I was in a hard sprint, downhill, and he could keep up. When I sat up he passed me and put like 100 yards on me. I did eventually pull him back in and sit on for a half mile or so, but it was all I could do to do that and he eventually pulled steadily away. It reminded me of trying to race the train along Atlanta Road. I wonder if I'd had two other riders with me if we could have kept up though.

Whoo! I don't know about the average e-bike, but that one was fast.

And, if that wasn't enough, I also passed a woman armed with a samurai sword!

What a day!

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