We have this wonderfully fabulous asset in Atlanta called the Silver Comet Trail. It is a wide paved trail built primarily upon an abandoned railroad line where the luxurious “Silver Comet” passenger train used to run carrying rail passengers from New York to Birmingham, AL. After the railway abandoned most of the line in 1989, construction of the trail began in 1998 and was completed in 2008. The trail now runs between Atlanta and Cedartown in Georgia and then into Alabama where it becomes the Chief Ladiga Trail and currently ends just north of Anniston, Alabama. The combined Silver Comet/Chief Ladiga Trail stretches 94 miles and travels through scenic countryside, beautiful forests and small, quaint towns. As a cyclist it now beckons to us to travel the length of it to explore as the Silver Comet passengers did for 22 years along this route.
The first overnight weekend ride that I set up on the Silver Comet Trail to Anniston and back in April of 2011 “sold” out and it became a “sold-out” semi-annual event occurring in the spring and fall each year after that. Word of mouth got out and people are now traveling from other parts of the country to do this ride. I like to joke that I cannot get away from leading it and organizing it because people are always asking to be added to the list for the “next one”. From this experience and seeking the opportunity to add more rides and create more ways to explore the trail, my new company, Southeastern Cycling Tours, LLC, has emerged. While our original focus will be the Silver Comet overnight trips, I did not want to limit the Company to just that as we have successfully navigated the Natchez Trace as well (riding our bikes the full length of the Trace, not just parts of it) and there are so many other places to explore in the Southeast by bicycle.
Cycling continues to grow recreationally and as a means of travel in the south and over the next year here in Georgia will explode in popularity. The Civil War sesquicentennial is upon us in Georgia in 2014 and as part of the historical remembrance of this war, towns with historical sites are being encouraged to promote themselves by embracing travel and tours of their towns and historic settings by bicycle. It is an exciting time to be a part of the cycling community in Georgia!
We hope that you will come join us for one of our trips and see what brings many back to ride the Silver Comet here in Atlanta time and time again.