Laughing Right Out Loud

Saturday, May 15, 2010

First Century Ride

Five months ago, I would get winded walking from the bedroom to the kitchen and back for a cup of water. Yesterday, I embarked on a 100-mile bicycle ride with my wife.

We first came up with the idea about a week before and we carefully planned every little thing about our day. We made a long list of supplies to carry in a pannier, planned our rest intervals, planned where we would eat lunch. All we had to do was wait for Friday to get here and we would be set! We chose to ride the Chief Ladiga Trail from Anniston, AL to the Georgia state line. In Georgia, the trail renames as the Silver Comet Trail and continues on to Smyrna, just north of Atlanta. The trails are part of the Rails To Trails Conservancy project where old unused railroad beds are converted to bike/walking paths. Given the distance and populartity of these adjoining trails, the Cheif Ladiga/Silver Comet Trail has been awared a place in the Rails To Trails Hall of Fame. We planned to ride 50 miles into Cedartown, GA, eat lunch, and turn back.

After spending 3.5 hours driving from Tullahoma to Anniston, we started our ride around 8:30. We did not try to rush at all. We just took a leisurely pace and made plenty of time to snap pictures and enjoy the wildlife (well, except for the snakes).

After leaving Anniston, our ride took us through the campus of Jacksonville State University and the town of Piedmont (the Piedmont Welcome Center is pictured above) before coming to Gateway Park at the state line. Once we hit the state line, there was absolutely nothing until the town of Cedartown, some 15 or so miles away. We had packed plenty of granola bars, but by the time we reached Cedartown, we were starved. The trail leads to the old train depot, which now serves a welcome center. We stopped in and asked the attendant for a restaurant suggestion. She told us of a little country cafe about a block down the road. We found the place, relaxed there for an hour or so, went back to the depot to refill our water bottles and hit the trail to return to Anniston.

Recall, I mentioned that we had meticulously planned the whole ride? Seems I forgot to check the actual mileage to Cedartown, which we were certain would be our turnaround point. We reached the town at 43.25 miles, which meant that our total trip would come in at 86.5. We made a plan to return to the start of the trail and then ride 14 more to and from Jacksonville to make the complete century. However, the sun set on us and our last two miles were in the dark, so we had to abandon our plans of completing the ride. With that said, I realize there will be plenty of other opportunities to do a century ride. I am considering going back to that same trail by the end of summer and doing 114 miles, the additional 14 to make up for yesterday's deficiency. Even without logging the full 100 miles we set out to complete, yesterday was a very monumental day in the fact that Felicia's prior longest ride was 17.8 miles and mine was 32 miles. We both accomplished so much more than we could have ever dreamed possible.

Along the way, there were some great bridges with breathtaking views of the creeks and rivers that ran along and underneath the trails. We snapped lots of pics, stopped along the way to talk with other cyclists and, overall, had a great day together.

I have posted pictures of the ride on my Facebook page. If you would like to see them and are not already a FB friend, just let me know and I will add you.


  • Great work, Jason and Felicia. You two have come a long way. 100 miles is a great round number, but even few shy of that is a remarkable achievement. Now you know it's just just having the legs, but making a plan and being prepared for changes along the way.

    Keep up the good work!

    By Blogger Scott Redd, At 1:30 PM  

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