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I survived the Silver Comet Trail (barely that is)

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I survived the Silver Comet Trail (barely that is)

Old 06-16-03, 07:04 AM
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mkwdrs
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I survived the Silver Comet Trail (barely that is)

Well, this overweight (260) father did 41 miles on Father's Day. I've been doing 10-12 miles approx 3 times a week. My dad, brother, and I went to the Silver Comet Trail (rail trail). I had the bright idea of going from the Smyrna end all the way to the current other end in one trip. What a mistake. My brother rides little to none, so we decided for him and dad to ride out a certain way, turn back to go get the truck and meet me in Rockmart where the trail ends. I called them at the half way point where I stopped to eat and drink a little and I was feeling okay. I could either go back the way I came or keep heading on. I'm a moron.

My brother made the comment after about the first 4 or 5 miles about it being mostly uphill up to that point. Even though it is a gradual uphill slope, he was looking for a nice coasting opportunity. That "uphill" comment would haunt me the rest of the day. Previously I had rode out to the 17 mile marker and turned around and made it okay, so I thought just heading on to the other end was no big deal. Big Dummy. The further you go the more uphill it gets. I considered just getting in the fetal position and crying at one point. I would see a curve and think, "on the other side of the curve I'm sure it's level or a slight down hill so that I can rest some". Wrong. Then I'd think, "at the top of this hill I'm so sure that it will level out". Wrong. I got totally beat up mentally not to mention it was hot and my water was getting less and less. I had to stop and rest several times, but I didn't walk the bike any.

Thanks be to God that my wife gave me a bike jersey for Father's Day. I just so happened to throw in an extra bottle of water in one of the pouches. Thank God I filled that bottle up when I had the chance too. My poor little heart had about all it could take. Thank God for the convenience store between mile marker 33 and 34. Probably saved me. What a moron I am. Thank God for the tunnel where the temperature was very cool. Probably saved me too. Thank God for triple chain rings. Probably saved me too. Thank you Cobb County for using asphalt whereas the others used concrete which make the ride more rough.

I felt awful until we made it home and I took a nice cool shower. While waiting on my dad and brother to pick me up, I poured water on my head and it helped a little. At 260 pounds, you would think that I know better. I figured that I would be really sore today and walking like Fred Sanford, but not nearly as bad as I thought. I walked that fine line of over doing it. I probably crossed that line, but luckily made it back. Man am I hungry today. The diet may have to wait until tomorrow.

It won't take but once to learn this lesson. Ride from the Rockmart end of the trail if you are going all the way. Maybe I lost some weight.

Since my brother don't ride very much, he was riding a piece of junk bike that was too small for him. As soon as him and dad were putting their bikes in the back of the truck when they got back, one of his tires went flat. He's lucky.

Last edited by mkwdrs; 06-16-03 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 06-16-03, 07:41 AM
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That's the one major problem I have with the Sliver Comet is the lack of watering holes. My bike unfortunately has only one bottle holder which I plan on doing something about soon with the heat. That one stretch of 14 miles witout water does hurt you sometimes. Still glad to hear you did 41 miles.
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Old 06-16-03, 10:03 AM
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Congratulations mkwdrs, I just hope it hasn't put you off. I did fifty miles on father's day, but the last time I rode that distance I nearly died (slight exaggeration) and its taken me 2 months of conditioning to try it again.
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Old 06-16-03, 11:13 AM
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mkwdrs: I'm glad you survived the trip. I know what you're talking about regarding the SC trail. When Bikedud and I rode it recently I commented to him that it felt like we were constantly going up hill. It did seem to get better on the return trip though.

On our trip we started from mile marker 0 and rode out to the 25 mile marker and back. In August when I'm up in Atlanta again I'd like to try and ride the entire distance of the trail.

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Old 06-16-03, 03:03 PM
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it sounds like you should ride it backwards...41 miles of downhill! whee!
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Old 06-16-03, 04:00 PM
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Congratulations! The SC is my steady ride, when it is NOT RAINING. Gee, sorry, but the rain is driving me crazy lately. 20 miles last week for the whole week. Geez, when will it lighten up. If you know the area, and luckily, I am a 25 year veteran of Paulding, Cobb and Polk counties, there are several places along the trail where you can pull of and get plenty to drink. In the future, I will try and document some of the places where you can get off the trail and get refreshment from time to time, about every 10 miles.

Off the top of my head, there is the Bike Depot at Floyd Road, in Cobb County, at around mile marker #5 or so. At marker number 14, you can get off and there is a strip in Dallas where you can get whatever you want, even a Bike Shop, and a Race Trac that are easy to get to. At marker number 21, there is a road crossing that you can take a left on, and get to a store in about two blocks. At marker number 32.58, there is a store at Coots Lake, about 2 1/2 miles past the tunnel. There is a place at the Van Wert trail head, but I would have to be there again to tell you how to get to the store from there. That is at marker number 37. That is as far as I have gone, the end of the trail is at number 44, isn't it? I am pretty sure that there has got to be something in downtown Rockmart, but I haven't actually gotten to that point. My next goal is to go to the Rockmart end of the trail. Hmmm....this gives me something to work on this week. Thanks! I will report at the end of the week on what I come up with, I will create a map and upload it as a picture file for anyone interested.

With regards to the elevation changes, yes it does seem rougher to me if I go towards Rockmart rather than towards Smyrna. I get on at marker number 22, and go 10 miles in either direction and back in order to get 20 miles in. I'd really like to ride with you sometime, we could get on at marker 22 at Rambo, and go to Rockmart and back, that would be a good semi-long trip for a morning. Or we could go from there back to Mavell Road and back. That is what I have done for a short trip as well. - Best
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Old 06-17-03, 05:41 AM
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Thanks for the stop off points. I will definitely take note of them. I think that I used the water fountain at approx marker 20 and went until I saw the store at Coots lake.

I don't get down that way too much since I live just north of Cumming, but I'll notify you if I do. I'm lucky to come there 2 or 3 times a year.

It was fun though.
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Old 06-18-03, 02:02 PM
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Danny, I'm glad you survived the ride. Sounds like it was a good learning experience.
Send me a PM if you want company on your next ride.
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Old 06-18-03, 06:08 PM
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Originally posted by mkwdrs
My brother made the comment after about the first 4 or 5 miles about it being mostly uphill up to that point.
You need to hit Stone Mountain Park. No entrance fee for bikes.

But there's a reason. Hills.

:thumbup:
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Old 06-18-03, 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by mkwdrs
It won't take but once to learn this lesson. Ride from the Rockmart end of the trail if you are going all the way.
You keep riding and enjoying your rides. One of these days you're going to ride uphill to Rockmart and be amazed at how fast you go.
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