Southeast - Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga Trails
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11-30-10, 04:59 PM
I started a thread inquiring about trails in the southeast and got some good input. What I think we are going to do is the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga trail to get in over a hundred miles. I am looking for info and some brainstorming from anyone who has done this. I have read a few guilds on them and will continue to do so, however, any dtailed info would be appreciated. We live in Dothan, AL and so unless we start in Anniston and ride 50 miles and turn around we have a bit of a transportation issue. After some preliminary reading I was thinking of maybe driving to Anniston on day one, taking the amtrak to Atlanta that day and spending the night for an early departure back to Anniston on day two. This seems like an atractive option but I have a few things to iron out.
Taking the bikes on the train to atlanta. I assume amtrak allows this. Has anyone done this and what is the extra cost and where do they put the bikes? Do they need to be boxed?
Once we get to Atlanta I thought we would stay at Dobbins AFB since we all work for the government. I need a suggestion on transporting the bikes to Dobbins. I think we can just ride to the trail head the next morning. I believe it is only 6 miles from the base.
I guess I would also need a place to leave the vehicles overnight in Anniston.
any info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I am sorry to say that Amtrak is behind the rest of the rail world in dealing with bikes. On most trains bikes must be boxed and put on as checked baggage. Amtrak only deals with checked baggage at the big stations like Atlanta. Anniston is just a flag stop, no checked baggage on or off. There are a few trains in the Northeast and CA that have bike racks in each car to hang a few bikes. They should all be that way, but are not. I suggest you write to Amtrak and suggest they put racks on all their train. They will do it if lots of people chime in.
My suggested alternative is to do a round trip. Park at the AL end and ride to Smyrna. If you can stay at Dobbins you can probably get there on a Cobb County Transit bus, which do have bike racks. Ride back the next day. If you are uncomfortable with back to back centuries you could take two days to return if you have a three day weekend. Cedartown sits about halfway on the route and has reasonable motels and restaurants.
Also, out and backs are really not so bad. The scenery looks different going back. It is just so nice to be out of traffic.
My plans are to do a four day round trip from the GA end, staying in Cedartown twice and a motel near Jackonsville State. Four 50 mile days would be pleasant for the level of riding I do.
12-01-10, 06:45 AM
Thanks Sedges, I did talk to Amtrak last night and got the same info about the bikes and Anniston not being a baggage stop. I am all for the two day trip with a rest at Dobbins, however, only one of the gang will be up for that, the rest are interested in the ride but not a double. Since we all live in Alabama we will figure it out. Another option is to have a couple of us drive to Anniston and leave the transport there, take the train to Atlanta to meet the others. This way we all have a ride back home. It will be fun either way.
12-01-10, 07:13 AM
Last ride I did we started at the AL end point in Weaver, rode to Rockmart, ate lunch at Frankie's and rode back. Somewhere around 115mi total. That gives you your mileage you seek. And puts the "hills" in the middle of the ride.
12-01-10, 08:18 AM
if you just travel to ATL same distance pretty much. that way you can start and stop there. have the lodging needed and don't have to worry about transporting your gear and bikes.
In my humble opinion all the driving and train ride will detract from a weekend of very pleasant riding. Consider booking a reasonable motel in Cedartown for Saturday night. Drive up to Cedartown early Saturday and do an out and back in one direction and ride out and back the other direction on Sunday. The out and backs allow people in the group to choose their own distance for the day, turning back whenever they feel like it. The heavy hitters can do back to back centuries.
12-01-10, 04:22 PM
For this particular ride I think your suggestion will work for the group Ex Pres. What are the hills like? This is a rather novice group except for a couple of us.
12-01-10, 06:18 PM
There are a few between Cedartown and Rockmart where the Comet gets off of the railbed. A few snaky turns on the sidewalks in town as well. The hills aren't anything to kill you, but are steep enough in a few short places that I'm glad I wasn't on my fixed gear.
And if it's a novice group - are you sure you want to tackle 100+ miles in a day? Starting/finishing in Piedmont will shorten the route about 35-40 miles.
12-01-10, 07:44 PM
I think the hills will be fine. We are going to be tackling this in April. I want to give everyone a chance to ride a while and work up to it. I guess you have to know these guys. I am the oldest of the group by a number of years. My normal riding bud is a 35 year old in great shape and I have no problem keeping up with him. Our pace is not breakneck, we averaged about 14mph on the last 55 miler we did. We will all be on mountain bikes but most of us will have changed to slicks for the ride. I think those that do some riding will have an idea if they want to try the 100 or not. But we are such a competitive bunch I think they will want to do it. If someone thinks they will not be able to complete it we just head back when they say. However, I still think we will be fine. It will just be a long day. a couple of us may do it prior to the April trip just to get a feel of things.
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