First, let me say that is was great meeting Allen & Rachel, Martin, and Chad yesterday on the Silver Comet Trail!
The weather yesterday was absolutely beautiful for an Autumn ride on the Silver Comet Trail. We met at 10:00am at the Smyrna Trail head (mile 0, km 0) and hit the trail. One of the key things that I believe Allen learned almost immediately is that bicycle tires must be checked for proper inflation before each and every ride.
We struck up a nice leisurely pace with Allen pushing (slow that cadence down a little ). Things were going great up till mile 10 when Allen stopped for Martin and I. I don't know what coffee Martin drank yesterday morning but I'm staying away from it; I think someone slipped a diuretic in the coffee while Martin wasn't looking. Martin spotted Allen down on the trail first and we rushed to assist. Allen had a nasty chunk out of his elbow and a good scratch on his helmet. Martin and I both agree that the helmet saved Allen's headcheese and may have prevented a 911 call. Allen was quite the trooper and hopped back on the bike and made it to the rest area at mile 11.5 where Rachel was waiting with the heavy lifter.
While at the rest station, Martin was directing another friend in for the ride and we finally concluded that Chad was going to meet us at the Red Caboose. Once Allen was safely loaded and off Martin and I set out at a blistering 12mph pace to mile 14 where Chad met us. Chad is a hoot! He picked up a small, and I mean small as in really too small for him Trek up off of ebay. This was the first occasion where I really longed for a helmet cam. After a rest stop the Paulding County Chamber of Commerce, we decided to push on to the Tunnel. Martin was telling us that the tunnel was at mile 33 and Chad was mumbling about sprinting to mile 33. We loaded up and were back off moving along at our normal 12 mph pace. I hit a falling grade and picked up the pace a little and dropped Martin and Chad. So, I slow up and as they catch up I see in my mirror Chad pedaling like a mad man and I hear at about mile 20, "Sprint to the Tunnel". So I shifted the Blue Bomber up and set out pushing the pace a little. It is amazing the look on road biker's faces when a blue Schwinn Cruiser with loaded Panniers comes by them.
As I am doing my version of HIIT on the Silver Comet Trail, I come up behind two older gentlemen and announce after drafting for a second that I was passing on the left. I was leery of passing them for the one gentleman was wearing a "Six Gap Century" shirt. I knew therefore that he has paid his dues. At mile 31 I see a tunnel looming ahead of me and the Six Gap man passed me complimenting me on the speed I achieved on a cruiser Thankfully the gentleman told me that this was the only tunnel so I decided to dismount, clear snot, and eat my PB&J while waiting on Chad and Martin. They finally made it as I finished my sandwich.
At this point, Chad gets a text (from a girl ) and mutters something about needing more water. We learn from the gentleman with the fascinating recumbent bike that there is a convenience store another 3 miles up the trail. Chad sets off like a bat out of, rhymes with trail. Martin and I determine that he must really need water. We finally arrive at "Coot's Lake" and mile 33.5. We stock up on water and snacks and re-attack the trail.
The best parts of the return trip (other than the descending mile markers) were the occasions where the Blue Bomber and I would push past the drop bar cyclists. If it were not for dropping my chain at 22mph, Chad and I would have really driven on through. Somewhere at this point, a road cyclist commented on how I was really pushing the Cruiser and I told him that it was the engine I was worried about. Turns out it was the bike that needed the attention and shortly thereafter is when I dropped the chain.
The last incident, I will leave for Martin to tell because y'all would think I was just joshing if I told you. However, I really do wish that I had a helmet cam!
The scenery improved dramatically towards the end of the trail. According to Martin's computer we rode just over 67 miles in 5 hours and 20 minutes. I finally had enough calories to have my McRib and eat two!
I am thinking of a December conquer the trail ride but will have to make lodging arrangements to make that happen. I believe we could hold a 15mph pace and complete the trail in about 9 hours including rest stops. Anyone game? I'll need to plan the finances right to include a hotel room the night before and after since it's a 4 hour round trip via the heavy lifter. We'd have to hit the trail at about 7am to conquer the beast.