After we left Asheville, it was time for more bike riding. We found the Silver Comet Trail, a gem of a superhighway of trails in northeastern Georgia that goes from Smyrna to the Alabama state line, 61 miles. It is about 30 miles from our next stop, Howard and Ellen Best‘s, in Kingston. Howard is Jim’s bus guru, since the beginning, literally. Jim has a few things on his mental list that he wants to run by Howard and Howard loves sharing his knowledge of RVing. He and Ellen have been living in their bus and traveling for like 25 years! Yikes. Anyway, we’re headed there next.
But now we are in Rockmart, Georgia in a practically deserted, widely spaced campground that is like a minute from the trail. We planned to ride in both directions on the 61 mile Silver Comet Trail.
This trail is our eighth in our recent tour and it was like a dream come true. The entire surface was paved concrete with divider lines. You can roll along at 14-15 miles per hour. Like a superhighway. The first day we rode from Rockmart to Dallas. This portion of the trail is beautiful, well maintained and well-patrolled. In 2002, a girl was raped and murdered on this section of the trail and in July of this year another girl was brutally beaten close by. Her attacker has not been apprehended. It is sad because it is such a beautiful spot; to be violated there seems like extra punishment. We normally don’t necessarily ride together all the time but on this section, we decided to. There were plenty of other riders, but not a lot for a weekend, and a cute little Sheriff Smart Car patrolling. Everything was all OK.
This section was a pleasant 30 mile ride. The next day’s ride to Cedartown was to prove more challenging.
I had seen the maps warning of “steep hills” and figured they would be more challenging than even the Virginia Creeper Trail. That was a correct assumption. About five miles out of Cedartown, about 20 miles from the bus, the hills got interesting. We were used to cruising along at 14 MPH. Ha!
It is a really good thing we got new bikes. Neither of my old bikes (with me on it anyway) would have made these steep climbs. The climb was rewarded with a swift and effortless downhill segment, but lots of zigs and zags and road crossings to slow the fun. To me, it seemed like the section toward Cedartown was the worst, the steepest. On the way back it seemed like the path let you pick up enough momentum to just fly downhill. That part was fun. We ended up with a 40 mile day.
The terrain was different too. Instead of being arched in with pine trees and sycamore boughs which was a treat in itself, the pastures opened up and we saw some magnificent old trees in the fields. The weather was perfect.
This was right before the steep section to Cedartown.
This section of the trail meets up with the Chief Ladiga Trail at the Alabama state line. We may pick up there after our Howard and Ellen visit.