2017 Fall Ride:
The Silver Comet
September 30th and October 1st, 2017
About the Ride
This family-friendly two-day weekend ride on a smoothly paved Rail-to-Trail is perfect for new and experienced riders alike with its flat terrain and no traffic! The trail takes you through beautiful secluded forests and rural landscapes just when the leaves should be beginning to change. It’s gorgeous and a cyclist’s dream.
For years we have helped scores of cyclists take amazing trips ranging from 1-10 weeks long, but this has become our first weekend ride. We wanted to help more cyclists become acquainted with our events and provide another opportunity for our tight-knit alumni to get back together. This will be the 3rd year we have done this ride, with about 40-50 participating in each of the first two years.
The ride starts and finishes in Mableton, Georgia (near Atlanta) and goes to the Alabama state line and beyond. In Alabama the trail name changes to the Chief Ladiga Trail. The lovely Chief Ladiga Campground about 7 miles past the state line is where we will spend the night.
The ride lets riders choose for the first day whether to go 64 or 101 miles (a metric century or a century ride!), and the second day all will bike the 64 miles back to your car at the starting point.
The ride will be well-supported. Numerous old train depots have been converted into quaint welcome centers all along the route who love to see cyclists coming through. We’ll be providing numerous snack stops as described below and we’ll even have a support vehicle that could meet you at the nearest intersection for emergency pick-up in a real crunch.
One important final note: We believe in community on our rides. Expect to get to know one another and make new friends! We’ll also share more about the work of the Fuller Center and a brief devotion on Sunday morning.
The schedule and logistics below give more details, but first enjoy a few pictures in the following slideshow.
Why we Ride
We believe that everyone on earth deserves the opportunity to have at least a simple, decent place to live. As a Christian faith-based organization, we believe that all of us are called to help make that possible. Through our rides we seek to grow a diverse movement of those committed to that goal.
We aren’t just dreamers; we get things done. We work where we’re invited and help communities to form locally-led Fuller Center chapters, which we call Covenant Partners. These Covenant Partners are the hands and feet, building and renovating homes in 70 U.S. communities and 16 countries around the world. The funds raised on the rides play a huge role in helping to support our work. You can also help by volunteering in the U.S. or internationally.
Join the Ride
To ride your bike with us on the Silver Comet you’ll first need to fill out the online registration form. We start and end the 2-day ride at the same place, where your car can be waiting for you.
The registration fee must be paid upon sign-up and helps to defray some of the costs of the ride. The fundraising is used to support our mission — we’re a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
OR Sign up as a support volunteer!
- providing snacks for rest stops
- providing (or cooking) dinner at the camp site
- setting up rest stops
- driving your own car as extra vehicle support
- taking photos and/or making a short video
We’d love to talk with you about these opportunities. Contact us if you’re interested at firstname.lastname@example.org or 229-924-2900.
Costs and Fundraising Requirements:
2-day ride & camping:
Early Bird Registration fee: $40 ($50 after September 1st, $60 after September 15)
Fundraising requirement: $100 minimum
Millard Fuller Legacy Build (optional): $40/day or $250 for the week
You can choose to designate your fundraising to one of the Fuller Center Covenant Partners across the U.S. and around the world, or send it to where it’s most needed in our ministry. We encourage you to set your fundraising goals high – the more we can raise, the more lives we can impact!
Don’t let the fundraising aspect of the ride intimidate you – year after year riders tell us they are amazed by all the support they receive. The key is you have to ask! We also have some great online fundraising pages to help you.
Facebook users can meet the other riders and try to coordinate any other logistics on an event Facebook page that we’ll set up soon specially for this year’s event. In the meantime, you can always follow along on our official Facebook page that is permanently here.
Saturday (64 and 101 mile options)
Check-in: 8:00 – 8:30 a.m.
Meeting location: Floyd Road Trailhead
4342 Floyd Road
Mableton, GA 30126
Upon arrival and check-in participants can put their tent and small bag into our support trailer, which will be dropped off at the camp. We’ll then gather together before beginning our adventure and set-off west along the trail. The first stop will be at the Tara Drummond Trailhead at about mile 16. If some riders are not interested in camping, they can opt to turn around and head back to their cars, although we are not able to offer extra support for that portion back.
The rest of the adventurers will continue on toward Alabama and the Chief Ladiga Campground where the 64-mile riders will complete their journey and set up camp for the night. Those choosing the century option will continue on for a few more miles past the campground and get to experience more of the beautiful trail and fall scenery before turning around and heading back to camp.
Saturday Rest Stops:
The trail has its own mile markers, and many trailheads to stop and enjoy scenery and small towns along the way. The following are our planned rest stops and turnaround points where we’ll have volunteers, snacks, and water throughout the day at the rest stops, but not a lunch stop per se. Riders can eat a lunch of frequent and heavy snacking or stop to eat in one of the towns. After arrival at the camp everyone will be free to enjoy its beauty, take advantage of their nice showers and toilets, and snack until dinner is ready. Yes, we’ll provide dinner, too! The camp has a no-alcohol policy.
|4.2||Floyd Rd Trailhead Mabelton, GA (starting point)||0||8:30 a.m. ET|
|20.3||Tara Drummond Trailhead||16.1||11:30 a.m. ET|
|37.6||Rockmart Trailhead||33.4||1:30 p.m. ET|
|51.5||Cedartown Depot Welcome Center||47.3||3:00 p.m. ET|
|6.9*||Chief Ladiga Campground||64.2||5:00 p.m. ET (4:00 CT)|
|25.5*||Eubanks Welcome Center (Piedmont)||82.8||from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET (Noon to 3pm CT)|
*At the state line at mile 61.5 the trail’s name changes to the Chief Ladiga Trail and the numbering restarts at 0.
We will have ample snacks
Sunday (64 miles)
We’ll have breakfast at 7:30 ET (6:30 central time) followed by a short devotional in the morning. Then we’ll head back east for another beautiful ride… it’s just as scenic in the other direction! After the morning gathering, there is no closing event, so riders can plan their own departure time based on when they finish.
Sunday rest stops:
|51.5||Cedartown Depot Welcome Center||16.9||Noon ET|
|37.6||Rockmart Trailhead||30.8||1:30 p.m. ET|
|20.3||Tara Drummond Trailhead||48.1||3:30 p.m. ET|
|4.2||Floyd Rd Trailhead Mabelton, GA (the end!)||64.2||4:30 p.m. ET|
- Have fun
- Wear a helmet!
- Follow all camp rules, such as no alcohol or unaccompanied minors
- Respect riders, pedestrians, motorists, and all Fuller Center staff and volunteers
- Follow the age policy if bringing minors
- Make new friends
1. What are all those orange jerseys I see? On our long rides, which take place in the spring and summer, we all wear our jerseys. We’ll look into whether we can have any available for purchase for this Silver Comet ride this fall.
2. What are the age requirements of the ride? Our main concern with age is safety. Other than a one-mile stretch off the trail to the campground, the route is entirely on the trail. Of course, riders must still be careful at stop signs and street crossings. With this in mind, for this ride we will allow minors ages 10+ to join the ride when accompanied by a parent/guardian, who must ride with them at all times. Younger children may participate so long as they are not driving the bike, such as through the back of tandems, tag-alongs, and attached bike seats. All minors should register and have waivers signed.
3. Do you have minimum speed requirements?
On our new Silver Comet ride, we do not. However, as noted above each rest stop is only available until a certain time each day.
4. Am I really required to do the fundraising?
Of course! That’s a major purpose of the ride. Of course, you can always just make a personal contribution for the required amount or more.
5. I have a special diet that is vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/only-eat-steak-and-lobster. Will you accommodate me?
We’ll try to have some variety, but no guarantees that we’ll have exactly what you’re looking for. It’s only a day or two – if you’re very concerned about it you may want to carry some extra food in a seat bag or backpack. But in general we will say this: we will eat well! Lots of good things in store.
6. What does the event provide for my fee and fundraising?
Besides a chance to help change the world? And get a small taste of the cross country rides that we do? Well, more concretely we’re going to pay the campground fee, ensure that you have food and water at the rest stops, provide emergency support, and yes…a free t-shirt!
7. Do I really have to camp?
We really hope you will… it’s going to be awesome! The Chief Ladiga Campground is located in a beautiful valley in the perfect location right off the trail, and it has excellent bathroom and shower facilities (you can check out lots of photos in our slideshow!). We’ll have some fun in the evening with a campfire and fellowship, but we won’t be up too late and we’ll respect the campground’s quiet hours and no alcohol policy. We’re planning on having all participants camp at this point, but if you would need to make other arrangements on your own please let us know (email@example.com). The nearest hotels seem to be about 20 miles away in Cedartown or Jacksonville, Alabama.
8. Does the route ever go on the road? Will I get lost?
The route does cross a lot of streets in the small towns through which it passes. Most of them are not busy, but of course care and caution is needed at these intersections. Also, at such intersections the trail sometimes continues 100 feet up the road, so you’ll need to bike technically on the road for very short stretches. You just have to keep your eyes open for the path and the signs that say Silver Comet (in Georgia) or Chief Ladiga (in Alabama) and you’ll be fine.
9. What amenities does the camp have?
The camp has 8 beautiful showers (4 men, 4 women) with hot water, sinks, good drinkable water, flush toilets, and electrical outlets at the shower building. There are no plugs immediately near the place where you will set your tent, so some people may want to bring another way to charge their phone such as a power pack or spare battery. Also, the camp is beautifully remote and has very limited cell service.