Riding the Chief Ladiga/Silver Comet Trail

I made my way to Anniston, Alabama to attempt an adventure billed as “The 2018 Summer Solstice Chief Ladiga Silver Comet 2 Hundy Ride.” For a nominal fee of a twenty dollar donation to battle MS you could attempt to do your longest ride on the longest day of the year. I had never done much more than a century so I was nervous as I approached the trail head that morning and as expected there was a small turnout of 45-50 riders. Gladly, I ran into a Strava friend and her husband, and we quickly put together 6 riders who wanted a more relaxed pace. This was my first extensive ride on a rail trail, and it was great not having to worry about vehicular traffic for 95 percent of the ride. The trails surface was smooth with only twigs, pine cones and puddles from a storm the day before to navigate. In the unpopulated sections of the trail there were a few downed trees but there was no need to unclip my pedals to continue.

The promoters of this ride provided SAG support but there were several places where provisions could be obtained such as the old train depot in Cedartown, GA. The gentle grades of this old railroad bed are deceiving in that there were nearly 5,000 feet of elevation gained over 200 miles with most grades being less than 2 percent. Bicycle traffic was sparse until you reach the suburbs of Atlanta where pedestrians made great use of the trail. We ate lunch in Smyrna, GA and then began our return trip to Alabama and the race with the sun to get back to the start. Well, with two flats myself and a broken spoke on another’s bike we stuck together and got back 15 hours after we had started this “2 Hundy ride.” I recommend the trail and will go back to ride again someday; being just 3 hours away it is a great place to do a long ride adventure and make new friends. –Michael Shelton
Thanks, Michael for the ride report, and congrats on the accomplishment!