Speaker's Stand: Ladiga Trail to Anniston, please
by Bob Mahoney
Special to The Star
Nov 06, 2010 | 1838 views |  2 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A friend and I drove down from Philadelphia at the end of September to ride our bikes from Smyrna, Ga., to Anniston on the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga trails. We agreed that cycling from Atlanta to Anniston on the trail was the most enjoyable ride we have ever experienced.

Unfortunately, we were struggling with the best way to get from the trail-head park at Weaver Road to our destination — the Victoria Inn in Anniston, where we had reservations. Before the ride, I found Mike Poe from the Northeast Alabama Bike Club (NEABC) through an Internet search, and he hooked us up with some directions by back road. While I was grateful to Mike for his Southern hospitality, the ride from that point was not at all pleasant.

We were tired, and the roads were narrow in places and hilly with road-kill rotting on the limited shoulders while a few cars even blew their horns. We really loved the Victoria and enjoy staying in that part of Anniston. This was our second stay at the Victoria. We did the same bike trip back in February; however, that time we didn’t get directions from Mike and the NEABC and just took the highway. That was a real dangerous decision. The highway shoulder eventually disappeared about the same time darkness set in.

Now we are considering doing the ride at least annually. We may be back down in February 2011. But after biking almost 100 miles from Atlanta, cyclists can’t help but wonder why the trail isn’t finished that short distance into Anniston.

I was writing to tell you how awesome it would be if the Chief Ladiga Trail could be finished. The Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga trails are unique in their surface quality and length nationwide. After cycling other trails around the country, you can offer a fantastic “taste of the South,” with no better way to experience it.

“So close . . . yet so far,” or as Peyton Manning said on a winning strategy, “The real mindset is to finish drives into the end zone.”

Bob Mahoney lives in Lansdale, Pa.
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Speaker's Stand: Ladiga Trail to Anniston, please by Bob Mahoney
Special to The Star

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