Siver Comet and Chief Ladiga Trails
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Silver Comet Trail & Chief Ladiga Trail Comments
Murderous stretch from Rockmart to Cedartown


I just finished riding the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga Trails. I drove down from Washington DC to ride it. I had a wonderful time riding since the weather was slightly hot, but not overwhelmingly so and my daughter accompanied me as a sag wagon, should I need one. Thanks to not having any rain or bike breakdowns, I rode the entire stretch from Smyrna to Anniston.
The only challenge on the trip occurs between Rockmart and Cedartown where the blogs and websites warn of some hilly terrain that can be tiring. Let me correct that impression. These are reclaimed highways designed for Chevys and Fords for 12 miles. There are a dozen hills of at least 1/2 mile that are, without Lance Armstrong's steroids, impossible to climb on your bike. It took me 2 and 1/2 hours to go about 7 miles. I walked my bike up half the hills and rested for 20 minutes each at the top of three of them. No one anywhere warns you sufficiently about this stretch. This is a conspicuous and dangerous riding section that the fine people in Georgia tend simply to not say a thing about. I almost died on this stretch. After my heart attack a year ago, I was not ready for this challenge, and I emailed my relatives immediately to sue the state for their conspicuous avoidance of a sufficient warning of this dangerous stretch.
My guess is that most of you already know this section exists because in my 2 and 1/2 hours only two other riders passed me. I suspect those of you from the area simply ride west from Cedartown instead of east and those in Rockmart merely head east (only) to avoid it. But those of us coming from out of state are trapped by this section without warning.
Did anyone else out there suffer from these misleading messages that fail to warn anyone of what tremendous difficulty is involved in this stretch of road (it's not a trail)?
posted Sep 15 2012 11:58AM - RKM, Silver Spring, MD

An apt description of that stretch. The SCT is a meandering trail for the most part and is only of fairly moderate difficulty, however, and I have never made it a secret when telling others about it, that 12 miles, as noted above, is Difficult. Not for the big shot riders, of course, but for the average rider, which is about 98%, it's a test. Yes, many go west from Cedartown or east from Rockmart, that's the easier thing to do. I remember my travails the first time I did this stretch and while not walking I was certainly spinning. Also, this 12 miles is situated nearly in the 'middle' of the Anniston to Smyrna ride and is s big psychological hurdle for the average rider as they get nearer, and nearer, this stretch. It is enjoyable though, and makes the SCT more, er...'interesting'...:-)

Also, that stretch is out in the 'boondocks' so one will see relatively few riders along this area. I would always suggest a buddy if doing the full stretch from Symrna to Anniston, or simply through this 12 mile stretch.
posted Sep 24 2012 7:26AM - SRR, Marietta, GA

Your description is the best of the Alps section of the SCT. We stopped to rest on one of the benches and scrawled by an obviously weary hand stated THIS PART SUX. Compared to most of the SCT how hilly is the Chief Ladiga trail.
posted Sep 30 2012 9:10PM - David, Buford Ga

The Chief Ladiga is flat, flat, flat. Since it is entirely an old railway, very slight grades here and there. Going east, you won't hit a real grade until you get to Cedartown. Planning on riding the SCT from Cedartown to Dallas this weekend. Your description makes me a little nervous.
posted Nov 1 2012 1:05PM - Steve H, Pelham, AL

Though I have not ridden it, a person is responsible for knowing what kind of condition he is in, and besides those kind of hurdles are part of the adventure. Try riding across "flat" Nebraska, with an incessant headwind.
posted Feb 18 2013 10:12PM - renegadetenor, denver

The hilly portion is there as a detour because... that part of the old Silver Comet RR is still active with trains on it. So it's best to have a low gear of less than 36 gear inches(G.I.). See sheldonbrown.com
posted Dec 24 2013 8:59PM - Richard C Beck, Conyers, GA

As a 52 year old beginner, I expect the worst, and hope for flat ground. When I rode down the hill, I wondered why there was a bench half way down, I was wrong, the bench was half way up, for a reason. I made the ride without stopping until I reached the top. I rested with the 20 year olds who were tired also. If you wish only for flat ground, get a stationary bike.
posted Dec 28 2013 6:59PM - Davo, Menlo

You want flat ground, try riding the Cowboy Trail in northern Nebraska. (www.bikecowboytrail.com) You can ride from one county road to the next and it will show you what the whole trail is like. Warning: they have the Texas goathead sandburr and it is attracted to bicycle tires. It went through my Kevlar tires on my Burley trailer.
posted Feb 14 2014 12:35AM - Gene, Indiana

Give me a break, sue because it was to hilly? I am 50 and road/walked it on my longboard skateboard in the 188 mile 3 day stage race that goes the whole length of the Chief Ladiga and the silver comit trail and back. Damn sue happy USA nothing should be a challenge/adventure. I say to you stay at home next time.
posted Apr 28 2014 3:36PM - Ed skater, Sarasota

IF it took you 2 1/2 hours to go 7 miles due to the hill(s) then you might consider NOT riding at all and sticking to a gym or simply ride flat trails. The Washington & Old Dominion trail (in your area)has hills and dozens of crossings making it a challenge of sorts. I hate losing momentum while riding. I live in West Virginia where we have LOTS of hills.
posted Sep 17 2017 6:15PM - Radmann, Inwood , WV

This I over Garbage Hill dumb ass. Dah go sue your own ignorant stupid ass for not researching data.
posted Sep 27 2017 2:45AM - Anonymous

    


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