I’ve lived in Georgia for a little over 4 years. I live about 7 miles from a seemingly endless trail called the “Silver Comet Trail”. In the four years that I have lived here, I have ridden on the Comet countless times. I’ve also heard local cyclist complain about the Comet way more times than I care to recall. It is in the defense of the Comet that I write this post. Allow me to answer to many of the critical things I have heard about the Comet:
It is boring!
Seriously kids, let’s get real here. You can go ride down a road and risk your life or be “bored” on the Comet. How about, instead of driving your $5000 bike to the trail head, you spice up your ride with a little ride TO the Comet and enjoy the peace and quiet on the trail. Consider it an escape from reality – you can truly be alone and doing something you enjoy out there.
It is dangerous!
You are probably talking about the 3 incidents related to “violence” on the trail. In one of them (the most tragic) a woman was stalked and ultimately murdered. This is TERRIBLE and I don’t want to downplay that incident in any way. I feel terrible every time I see the cross. This was a very isolates incident – not a random act of violence. In two other unrelated incidents, idiots tried to rob a cyclist. Yeah… because we carry SO much money! I heard a cycling “coach” one time telling a bunch of beginning cyclist that he wouldn’t ride the Comet without “packing heat”. Get real! In 32 years of cycling, I have never needed to pull a gun on ANYBODY much less some high school thugs on a bike path! Ride the trail at commonly used times – you will have no problem!
It’s too crowded!
I rode 12 miles on the Comet yesterday afternoon and saw 5 people. I didn’t pass ANYBODY! (Yeah, I’m old fat and slow, but seriously) There was nobody out there. I’ve commuted (7:30 am & 5:30 pm) and have never had any real issues with congestion. The weekends can be busy, but come on – ENJOY the excitement of seeing HUNDREDS of people engaged in healthy activity – or go to Waffle House and watch them get fat – you decide. I recently rode on the W&OD trail in Virginia – I thought they were similar – the Comet is SO MUCH NICER!
It is dangerous in a group!
The GROUP is making it dangerous for everybody. Slow down, shift down, spin and SHARE THE DAMN TRAIL! Sharing a trail with healthy minded people on 25 pound bikes sounds a LOT better than getting bullied by 2500 pound cars… maybe you enjoy that?
I guess my point is that we, in the #ATL have a tremendous resource right in our backyard. We can use it whenever we want for free. If you don’t want to use it, don’t be a dumbass and say negative things about it! It’s a great place for beginning cyclist to get used to riding. Younger cyclist to ride with people. It’s cooler in the summer (from the shade), its smooth, limited intersections (Powder Springs and west) and most of all – it’s FREE! Be nice to the Comet or I’ll shoot you with a snot rocket!