How I took a site seeing tour of the Silver Comet Trail from the passenger seat of a motorized Mule.
but the post title is more catchy, no? :-)
So, Friday, I pulled off one of my usual "let's be a tad bit lazy" stunts and waited until after work to go for my swim. Originally, I had planned to swim at the gym on the way home. Nobody in my neck of the woods swims on Friday afternoon. They are getting ready for their Friday nights I guess. That all changed when word came through that Matthew's hardship transfer had been approved and he could play football Friday night. Georgia has this high school designed to limit recruiting by not allowing transfers to play varsity sports their first year. Matthew as going to play his first game at a high school near the Silver Comet Trail. Very convenient for me from work, but I would need to swim at the gym by Cumberland Mall.
I headed over to the gym around 4:30-ish. This one is very busy and it was packed. Every lane was full. Somebody was even waiting for a lane. When one opened up, he offered to let me swim with him. That's not something that happens at my gym either. When a lane opened up, I moved, but 15 minutes later, two more people showed up and once again, I was sharing a lane. Not a big deal for me. I've just never shared a lane for an entire workout. I thought since I had some extra time, I would just take an extra 400 yards on to my planned 3600 yards. My arms were toasted when I was done, and I ended up doing 4000 yards in an hour and eighteen minutes, including rest periods.
Matthew got into the game for one play. He attempted a 47 yard field goal, which fell 7 yards short. It was straight as an arrow though! They ended up winning pretty convincingly too.
Saturday, I was up bright and early for Matthew's soccer tournament. Unlike last weekend, we were blessed with decent weather. I watched Matthew's first game and ended up reffing until almost four o'clock in the afternoon. Dee Dee asked me on the way home if I was "really" going to get up and ride my bike in the morning. I had blocked out a couple of hours for a swim, but due to Matthew's schedule, I ended up getting the entire morning off. I showed up at the Silver Comet Trail with the intent of riding 4 hours.
The ride started out OK. I made it out to the 30-ish mile marker staying steady in Zone 2, when I heard the thump thump thump of my back tire. I pulled over and sure enough it was flat. I proceeded to change it. One thing I will say is that every rider that came by asked me if I needed help. What a great tri/cycling community we have. I put the first tube in with no problem and got started back down the trail. At the thirty one mile marker, there is a tunnel. On the other side of the tunnel, I heard my tire pop. I pulled over at the sitting area there were two guys on road bikes were resting. I put in my second tube, and I "think" there was something wrong with valve. It let all the air out pretty quickly.
One of the gentlemen was kind enough to give me a tube and a spare canister. I took great pains to fill the tire up properly. They took off on their merry way. I got on my bike, went six feet, heard the pop, followed by the sound of hissing air. In disgust, I sat my butt back down on the rock and took out the third tube. That was when I noticed some fraying on the tread of the tire. It didn't go all the way through, so I wasn't concerned about it. Well, not a lot. Some ladies came by on their road bikes, and I asked them if they had a spare tube. They were kind enough to let me borrow one and their bike pump. After getting the tire on yet again, I decided it was time to head for home. I rode with the girls for about half a mile when that tube popped as well. With a sigh, I got off and started walking. The girls offered to meet me at the rest stop at mile marker 20 (11 miles away) and give me a ride. I thanked them and told them the sheriff would be by in a bit, and he could give me a lift back to a rest area.
After walking down the trail for about 10 minutes, the sheriff shows up and gives me a lift. It's about then that I realize my (Dee Dee's) sunglasses are no where to be found. Sometime between that last flat and getting picked up, I lost them. Now that I think about it, I may have set them down in the back of the Sheriff's mule. Any who, the sheriff game a ride back for 16miles to the trail head at the start of Paulding County. There was a bike shop there that quickly got me fixed up and back on the road. I ended up missing the first half of Matthew's first game on Sunday, which really pissed me off.
Even now, three to four years later, I am still learning. I need to put my pump back on my bike where it belongs. I need to check my equipment EVERY TIME before going out on these long rides.
Thank you Paulding County Sheriff's Department. I am and will always be very grateful for the public service you provide to our community.