Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 15

My GEORGIA

By Lance Lamberton

Taking on the
Silver Comet Trail

M

ost large cities have dedicated trails that
are free from motorized vehicles, yet
few are as long and pristine as the Silver
Comet Trail. The 61.5-mile trail starts in Smyrna and
ends at the Georgia/Alabama line, where it extends
33 miles into Alabama on the Chief Ladiga Trail.
Having lived in the area for close to 20 years, I
thought it would be "fun" to bike from my house in
Austell to the Alabama state line in two days-
a 120-mile round trip. Doing so had been on my
bucket list, but I needed to wait until I had two
consecutive days of near-perfect weather. When that
chance finally came on Oct. 23, 2018, I was off to the
races, so to speak.
My plan was to get to the border before dark
and then head back to the last town on the trail,
Cedartown, at dusk, about 10 miles from the state
line. Once on the trail, I got a decent rhythm going
and was averaging 8 to 10 mph.
Twenty-five miles into my journey,
I reached the town of Rockmart. The
trail, which had averaged a 2 percent
grade, turned markedly steeper, with
grades that really put me to the test.
Even in the lowest gear, I sometimes
had to dismount and walk the bike. The
terrain also put a damper on my plan
to reach Alabama and make it back to
Cedartown by nightfall. When I finally
made it to Cedartown, I decided to call
it a day.
I awoke to a chilly morning, with
temps in the low 40s. By 9:30 a.m., I was
on the trail again, and an hour later it
appeared in the distance: a large red
trestle marking the end of the Silver
Comet Trail and the beginning of the
Chief Ladiga Trail. I was hoping I might
encounter other cyclists who could
photograph me at the trailhead, proving that I had arrived. Lo and behold,

a couple appeared coming from Alabama, and they obliged me
with the proof that I sought.
On my way back, everything went fine until I hit those
dadgum hills east of Cedartown. One of the cables connected to
my gear shifter snapped, locking me into high gear for the rest of
the trip. Consequently, I had to exert energy I didn't know I had
to get myself home. Before long, every muscle in my body cried
out in agony, but what choice did I have? Somehow I managed
to get home before dusk, and I immediately drew a hot Epsom
salt bath, which I had been fantasizing about for hours. It did
the trick, and before long I fell into a deep sleep.
I awoke sore but rested and asked myself if I would ever do
that again. The answer was "maybe." After all, there is no way to
anticipate mechanical failure. Nonetheless, I was proud of what
I had accomplished and could take this off my bucket list and
write about it.
Lance Lamberton is a freelance writer, motorcyclist and
occasional bicyclist. He lives in Austell and is a member of
Douglasville-based GreyStone Power Corp.

To submit a My Georgia story, send the essay (no more than 500 words) and 300-dpi digital photos by email to
mygeorgia@georgiaemc.com or by mail to the address listed on page 6. A self-addressed, stamped envelope
must be included for photos to be returned. Published essays pay $100. Georgia Magazine reserves the right
to edit submitted pieces.

Lance Lamberton
achieved his goal
of riding to the
Alabama border and
back in two days in
October 2018.
For information
about the Silver
Comet Trail, visit
silvercometga.com.
www.georgiamagazine.org

15


http://www.silvercometga.com http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Georgia Magazine - October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - October 2019

Contents
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 4
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 5
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 6
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 7
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 8
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 9
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 10
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 11
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 12
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 13
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 14
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 15
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 16
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 17
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 18
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 19
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 20
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 21
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 22
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 23
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 24
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 25
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 26
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 27
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 28
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 29
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 30
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 31
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 32
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 33
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 34
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 35
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 36
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 37
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 38
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 39
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 40
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 41
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 42
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover4
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