Posted by: twistsoffeet | May 24, 2011

All That Riding to Get Nowhere


I rode 55 miles today.

This included one of my biggest, steepest hills, in traffic, for about 15 miles, and I am right where I started.

But I did get my wheel fixed. I rode to Anniston today, and visited Wig’s Wheels. Wig’s is a bicycle shop that sells, among other things, Trek bikes. Unfortunately, they are not part of the Trek Red Shield Warranty Program.

But very fortunately for me, the owner is a qualified bicycle mechanic and a very nice guy. He was kind enough to true my wheel and replace a couple of spokes, and then did not charge me. He knew I had ridden to his shop for the warranty, and even though he does not participate, he helped me out immensely.

His shop sells Trek, Scott, and other bicycle lines and a full range of any bicycle related products. He even helped me re-attach my trailer. While there, I met an Anniston police officer, whom I asked about camping locations and a good route out of town.  He said the Talladega National Forest nearby allows primitive camping. I asked about a couple of routes, and he said they would be good, but to get to them I would have to ride some pretty rough neighborhoods and the chance of being robbed would be very high.

Naturally, I chose to ride back to the Chief Ladiga Trail and go my original route. The trail runs through the campus of Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL. I ran into a number of students on a phys-ed run, and chatted with a couple.  I was going to try and camp in Germania Springs.  However, I chose not to stay there because I was unable to obtain water, and a group of guys was watching me and I did not feel comfortable.

So, here I am back at the Eubanks Welcome Center in Piedmont, AL.  I will leave here tomorrow morning and take Hwy 278 to Gadsden, AL, and then take Hwy 431 north to Fayetteville, TN.  I am still uncertain after that, but will probably head west from Fayetteville, rather than staying on Hwy 431 because I do not want to go through Nashville.

It is frustrating that I rode 54 miles today, and I feel it, but am right where I started. I am anxious to get back on the road and heading out on bike trails unknown. I am hoping I can get back here for a moonlight bike ride in mid October. One group starts in Cedartown, GA, and heads west, while another group starts in Piedmont and heads east.  They meet in the middle for a BBQ and music with dancing, and a general good time.

It is the only time when travel on the Chief Ladiga-Silver Comet Trails is allowed after dark.  But for me it would be a good time to see other riders from this area and elsewhere whom I have had the opportunity to meet while here.

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